With fewer than 1004 mountain gorillas that are left in the world today, a lot more still needs to be done to protect them from extinction. One of the best ways to help secure the lives of these endangered primate species is by ensuring that the set rules and regulations are observed by trekkers at all times. These rules play significant roles towards protection of mountain gorillas and their habitat. They apply for gorilla tours in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park and the Virunga National Park. They include among others;
Only 8 people are allowed to track 1 habituated gorilla family per day. This is intended mainly to avoid causing disturbance on the daily behaviors of mountain gorillas and also put into higher risk of catching human infectious diseases.
Permits are a must for any visitor wishing to take part in this thrilling experience and only persons above 15 years are eligible to purchase a permit. Besides, each group is restricted to 8 visitors and this is to help create balance in carrying capacity of the area.
While on the trek, you are required to keep your voice low. This plays a great role in reducing disturbances on these creatures that one way may make them get irritated thus causing harm to humans.
Trekkers are always reminded to leave the forest or park the way they found it. No disposing off any kind of rubbish.
Always obey the set instructions as told by the park ranger guide and this will protect you from any kind of attacks these large apes can cause.
You are always encouraged to maintain a distance of 7 meters away from these intelligent creatures and also avoid any body contact as much as possible. Do not touch gorillas even when they get close to you and make sure that they always calm and this will help reduce any risk of them contracting any kind of human infectious diseases.
The fact that these wild creatures, they can charge or get irritated and so you need to avoid any direct eye contact with them, calm down and do not run away otherwise such action may cause harm to you. When they charge against you, make sure that you bow down to show that you are submissive to them.
No flashlight camera is allowed while taking photos of these amazing creatures. If your camera has a flashlight please, turn it off before shooting photos. Usually, the flashlight tends to scare these creatures while in their habitat a factor that may make them charge against you.
Once you get a group of mountain gorillas that is assigned to you, you have only an hour to spend with them-to take photos, explore their behavior and body gestures. This rule is significant as it helps avoid any kind of disturbance on the general behavior of these creatures in the wild.
If you are not feeling well or you have any signs of illness, you are not allowed to go and track mountain gorillas. This is important as it helps prevent spread of human infectious diseases from humans to these creatures. In case you are coughing make sure that you cover your mouth and nose while sneezing. Remember that these creatures share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans making them to be very susceptible to human infectious diseases.
For those of you who may wish to help themselves while in the forest, make sure that you dig up a deep hole and after, let it be covered. This can help reduce the spread of human infectious diseases to these large apes.
Do not eat, drink or even smoke while on a trek. This is mainly intended to minimize any kind of temptation of throwing rubbish anyhow in the forest where these creatures live that in one way may render them catch human infectious diseases.
While on the trek, make sure that you keep within your group to avoid getting lost which puts into a risk of being harmed by these creatures when you are alone in the forest. Make sure that you avoid any kind of unnecessary movement and always follow the trails these creatures used previously.
In summary, the set rules and regulations are intended to achieve the main goal of protecting and conserving mountain gorillas and their habitat. These measures do not only safeguard these creatures from human infectious diseases but also ensures safety of visitors while on gorilla trek.