Gorilla trekking to many people is thought to be a threatening adventure to someone compared to any wildlife experiences in Uganda. Thus, leaving majority with a question that ‘is gorilla trekking safe’? Therefore, when one thinks of a gorilla trip to Uganda, safety becomes the first priority. But the truth is that this adventure activity is indeed a wonderful one and remarkably a lifetime experience that any traveler taking part in African safaris, ought not to miss. A close interaction with these huge apes while in their natural habitat is so full of fun and so interesting, so therefore, there is no need for one to worry about the safety because it’s very safe compared to even other wildlife safaris that you may imagine about.in all the national parks , Bwindi national park is a home to the gorillas and the First thing done before start of the activity, is to ensure that visitors are safe while on actual trek, there are set rules and regulations that every trekker must observe at all times , the visitors are briefed before they depart in the forest in search of their assigned habituated gorilla family.
While in the wild, the park ranger/guide who accompanies visitors also keeps reminding his group of the same dos and don’ts. Despite efforts to secure your stay in the wilderness, your safety starts with you first and this means you have to be keen and always observant all the instructions and listen to your guide since in the wild, the ranger/ guide is your boss. with all this, you are sure of a safe gorilla trekking experience of your lifetime.
Note that gorillas are not like other animal species, mountain gorillas are equally wild creatures and they are peaceful and gentle giants unless irritated just like any creature that they can charge against you and perhaps will be left with no chance but to attack you. That is why usually before any gorilla trekking, Briefing is usually done at the park headquarters mainly to outline the general behavior in which every trekker should possess while in the jungles with these creatures, these are set rules and regulations governing the whole gorilla trekking experience.
Some of the rules and regulations for a safe gorilla trekking.
Trekkers are always advised to maintain a distance of about 7 meters away from these creatures at all times.
No eating, smoking, drinking is allowed in the presence of gorillas since they may attack you trying to grab the food.
Do not litter the area with bottles, papers or any rubbish make sure you pick all of it when getting out of the forest.
Direct eye contact with the gorillas should be avoided as they can misunderstand and could think they are being threatened since being hostile is a factor that may make them irritated.
Avoid direct eye contact Just in case a group of these massive creatures get close to you, you are expected to stand still, avoid touching them if possible as the ranger for advice they will walk away.
keep your voices low at all times while in the jungles searching for these creatures as they may get disturbed.
While taking their photos, flashlight cameras are not allowed and if yours has one, you are advised to turn it off before taking photos. With also these dos and don’ts well observed, your safety with these creatures becomes great deal and you are assured of a safe gorilla trekking experience.
Gorilla trekking can only be conducted within habituated gorilla groups, and a complete habituated family lasts for a period of about 2 years as a way of making them get used to the sight of humans, during this period , the rangers guides together with the scientists and researchers frequently visit the gorillas in their natural habitat until when they are ready for trekking. Also, note that park officials are very keen on the dangers that are likely to occur and they are updated on current security issues, in addition to park rangers, there are also other security organs that work together with rangers to ensure that the area is safe and secure at all time. The security is provided by the tourism police as well as Uganda Peoples Defense Forces deployed in all national parks to ensure that the travelers security is taken care off. So far, Uganda Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park as well as Rwanda Volcanoes National Park are very safe destinations unlike the DR Congo which is still recovering from many conflicts that have hit the country by the rebels.
While on gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga national parks, no trekker is allowed to go in to the forest alone but rather with one armed park ranger guide and a tour guide. All these is intended to boost visitor safety in the wild and no need for you to be surprised once you find a person with a gun. But most of all the safety starts from you so you should consider observing the set rules and regulations while doing this activity. Your dress code also should be environmentally friendly and please, avoid any bright colors. Normally, interested trekkers on this adventure need to have good waterproof hiking boots that are light weight, rain jacket, gardening gloves, first aid kit, insect repellents to prevent insect bites that may cause you an infection, also long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, trousers, socks and others to keep you safe in case of the rain knowing that Bwindi is a tropical rain forest so expect rain at any time of the day.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking is a very safe adventure and can be done at any time of the year, all You ought do is to observe the set rules and regulations and pack the right gorilla trekking gadgets. with all this, you are assure of the best of this primate experience. For any plans to track mountain gorillas in Uganda simply contact us at adventure in the wild safaris a tour operator company we will offer you all the necessary information on gorilla trekking and Bwindi national park you will not regret the time spent during this adventure safari.