Factors hindering Gorilla trekking
You can fail to meet Gorillas in their natural habitat because of the following reasons:
Insecurity- areas which are insecure are too dangerous to visit. In some parts of DR. Congo, tourism activities are put on stand still for some time due political instability but later, the tourism resumes when peace prevails again. It should be noted that in period of insecurity, communication is forwarded through embassies of different countries and social media among others.
Unfit guests may fail to meet Gorillas in their natural habitat. To make the matters worse, some of them may have limited funds to hire porters to help carry luggage or carry visitors who fail to walk during Gorilla trekking. It should be noted that Gorilla trekking requires some level of fitness since it involves climbing hills and slope down words, cross rivers and move through slipper trains among others.
Absenteeism - if any guest fail to turn up, his or her gorilla permit will not be refunded so, no encountering Gorillas in their natural habitat. He or she can however meet Gorillas after buying another Gorilla permit for another date. Each Gorilla permit must be used on a particular date it was booked for use but become invalid when the date elapse.
Unexpected circumstances like out break of strange diseases, violence of Gorillas on a given day, too much rainfall, dangerous pests in the forests among other. On the other hand, guests with infectious diseases like cough, Tuberculosis etc, are not allowed to encounter Gorillas.
Failure to secure a gorilla permit - Gorilla permits is the pass to Gorilla trekking and no one can be allowed to meet Gorillas with out. Its always advisable to buy your Gorillas permits in advance through local tour operators or do it personally to avoid disappointments.
Underage -persons under the age of 16years are not allowed to meet Gorillas. Such young people can not walk longer distances, may fail to grasp trekking rules or fear to look at the wild animals.
Failure to follow gorilla trekking rules and regulations- you can be hindered from meeting Gorillas when you do contrary to the rules and regulations.
Gorilla trekking is the popular tourist activity in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The following are some of the rules and regulations governing Gorilla trekking:
Before departing on your gorilla tracking:
A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.On the way to the gorillas:
Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
When you are with the gorillas:
A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should tried to be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
You must stay in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases. Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.