Gorilla tracking guidelines in Rwanda have been carefully developed to try to protect the mountain gorillas’ health and safety. As mentioned previously, Gorillas are extremely susceptible to human diseases and infections and become stressed if too many visitors arrive or approach too closely. Remember that they are wild individuals, and very protective of their young. To remain healthy and survive these apes need to be undisturbed by visitors and allowed to eat, rest and socialize with their own species.
RULE 1: If a tourist is ill, the park Staff has the right to refuse a visit to gorillas.
RULE 2: Only one visit is allowed per day and the number of tourists is limited to eight or six per group.
RULE 3: Visitors must be at least fifteen years old.
RULE 4: The time spent with great Apes is limited to one hour.
RULE 5: Flash photographic is not permitted.
RULE 6: All visitors must remain at least seven meters away from Gorillas at times. If the great apes approach two or three meters (as curious juveniles sometimes do), then visitors should slowly retreat back to five meters. If this is not possible, then the visitors will be asked to remain where they are. The guide’s instructions should be followed at all times. Keep your backpack and other items in places where young Gorillas can’t approach and investigate them.
RULE 7: Tourists should remain in a tight group, without spreading out or surrounding the great apes.
RULE 8: Where possible, visitors should sit or crouch whilst watching the Gorillas.
RULE 9: Body language is important, and visitors should not raise hands or arms, or point, nor stare at them.
RULE 10: Visitors should not clear vegetation close to Gorillas so that they get a better view.
RULE 11: If a silverback gorilla beats his chest, displays, or charges at you, do not run away. Tourist guides are asked to stop tourists from moving or running.
RULE 12: Eating, drinking, and smoking are not permitted near the Gorillas, or within 200 meters of them.
RULE 13: Visitors should be as quiet as possible, and whisper. If bitten by Safari ants or struck by stinging nettle, do not scream.
RULE 14: If you, need to sneeze or cough, turn away from the great apes and try to cover your nose and mouth.
RULE 15: All faucet materials must be buried. A machete may be borrowed from guides, a thirty centimeter (ten inches) hole dug and then the hole filled.
RULE 16: All rubbish must be removed from the park, and visitors are asked to be particularly careful not to drop small items, such as film boxes/ canisters, tissues, or handkerchiefs.
Ensure that you follow gorilla tracking guidelines in Rwanda and guide instruction in the jungle for your safety to enjoy your gorilla tracking experience in the jungle.