Is It Safe To Go For Gorilla Trekking In Uganda?

 Is it safe to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda?

 Is it safe to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda?

 Is it safe to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda? :Gorilla trekking is one major safari activity to do in Uganda, as a tourist planning to visit Uganda for a gorilla trekking experience the first question that comes in mind is how safe is gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Like any human, being concerned about your safety is paramount. In the same question of safety, the safety of gorillas is also taken into count and as Uganda Wildlife Authority and other conservation organization, the safety of gorillas during gorilla trekking activity as it is for the trekkers “visitors” which in the jungle.

Among all primates in the world, Mountain gorillas are the closest relatives to human beings sharing more than 97% of DNA with human, this makes them very susceptible to diseases and viruses which affect human beings. Because of this, trekkers with any sort of illness are advised to stay away from mountain gorillas and that is by not participating in mountain gorilla trekking.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in two gorilla parks that is Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park both located in the southwestern region of Uganda. This region of Uganda is situated approximately 9-10 hours of drive from Entebbe or Kampala city the capital of Uganda and also from Kigali City on a drive of only 4-5 hours.

To answer the mostly asked question “is it safe to go gorilla trekking in Uganda”, gorilla trekking in Uganda is very safe.

Gorilla trekking is one of the major tourist activity in Uganda and because of this, it is given a lot of attention, well organized and enough security is provided to make sure all tourists visiting the country for gorilla trekking and safari experience feel safe all through their trek.

Since Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park where mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda is done are sharing border with Democratic Republic of Congo, many visitors tend to fear for their lives due to constant attacks of terrorist in DR.Congo. Fear not, these two gorilla destinations / national parks, Bwindi and Mgahinga are very monitored by the tourism police and the park rangers to ensure that there are no intruders or terrorists evading the forest. Also during gorilla trekking experience, trekkers are accompanied by two armed rangers equipped with AK-47 guns to keep the trekkers safe in case of ant attack for any intruder or wild animal.

Before visitors/trekkers head out in the forest for gorilla trekking, there is always an advance team that goes to the forest first to find out where a given mountain gorilla group spent a night then during your trek you are guided by this team following the trail until you meet the particular mountain gorilla family assigned to you.

Rules and regulations for gorilla trekking in Uganda

To ensure the safety of trekkers and mountain gorillas, there is a set of rules and regulations to be followed by trekkers during the gorilla trekking experience.

Before you set out

  • If you have any sort of illness such as cold or any other infectious illness, you are not allowed to visiting gorillas (participate in gorilla trekking).
  • The minimum age for gorilla trekking in Uganda is 15 years
  • The maximum number of visitors to visit each gorilla family is 8 people per group

When you are with the gorillas

  • Maintain a 7 meters (21ft.) distance from the gorillas
  • Eating, drinking and smoking are not permitted while on your tour
  • If you must sneeze or cough, cover your face and turn away from the gorillas as they can catch coughs and colds from humans
  • Time spent in the presence of mountain gorillas is only limited to one hour per day per group
  • Do not use flash photography.
  • Do not make unnecessarily noises and movements while in the presence of mountain gorillas.

Safety tips for gorilla trekking in Uganda

Book your safari with a trusted tour operator

Book your gorilla tour with a reputable tour operator, ensure that

Follow the gorilla trekking rules

During gorilla trekking experience, you are advanced to follow all the rules and regulations passed to you by the senior guide during the briefing, though mountain gorillas are humble animals, they can get hostile when they feel threatened that is why you need to act accordingly while in their presence. Some of the rules and regulations to follow include

  • Keep a distance of about 7 meters
  • Alwys stick with your group under the leadership of rangers and guides, do not leave your group.

Dress correctly to limit injury

Dressing right for gorilla trekking adventure will not only make your gorilla trek memorable but also make it safe for you and limit injury while in the jungle. Your clothing list for gorilla trekking in Uganda should include long – sleeved shirts, long trousers  that will protect you from insects and sharp tree branches, carry sunscreen and sunglasses to protect you from direct sunlight when the cloud cover clears, a warm sweater and rain jackets to keep you warm and protect you from the rain. Also wear comfortable and well-fitting hiking shoes.

Request for an easier hike

 If you are not sure about your fitness or you are an elderly, we recommend that you request for an easier gorilla family to trek. Your guide will know the best group to assign for you and you will be assigned that particular gorilla group based on your fitness level.

If you are unfit or an elder, insist on trekking a closer gorilla group to avoid having to hike for long distances

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