Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular things to do in Rwanda or in Uganda. If you are planning to take a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda or Uganda, you need a gorilla trekking pass or permit. Just like other simple tours or journeys, permits are really required, act as permission to take a guided walk to search for these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Gorilla permits must be book in advance through your travel agent or tour operator, or book direct with Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rwanda Development Board. In some cases, tour agencies that are offering services such as trekking at Rwanda might already include these permits.
In Rwanda, permits can be obtained through Ruhengeri or Rwanda Tourism Board offices but you are to pay money. Each permit in Uganda costs $750. In Uganda, permits cost US$600 each. Permits are offered by Uganda Wildlife Authority at the capital of Uganda which is Kampala. International booking of gorilla trekking permits can as well be possible through email but credit cards are not accepted for payments. However, most travel agencies / tour companies accept credit cards mainly Visa cards, Master cards and American Express.
Included in the gorilla trekking permits are the rules to be followed once you are to go gorilla trekking. And some of those are the following:
Before heading to gorilla tracking – only a minimum of 8 visitors are allowed to visit a group of mountain gorillas every day. Through this, behavioral disturbance as well as risk of exposure of gorillas to human diseases might be minimizes. And always wash hands before heading to gorillas.
On the way to the mountain gorillas – always keep voices low. You will be provided with the chance to observe other wildlife animals in the forest. Do not ever leave rubbish in the park. Everything that you brought in the forest must be brought back with you. Once you are into approaching mountain gorillas, the guide will then inform you to be ready.
Once you are with the gorillas – distance from the gorillas must always be observed and the group must be in tight. Always keep the voices low and avoid doing unnecessary things such as smoking, eating or drinking. Sometimes, gorillas might charge but do not ever run away for it might increase the risk so just follow the guide. Once taking pictures you must move carefully and slowly and flash is actually not allowed. Since they are wild animals do not touch them. You are only allowed to spend an hour with the gorillas but once situation changes guide might cut the visit earlier. Your voices must still be down up until you reach 200 meters away from the gorillas.
Health rules – health is one of the most important things to consider once planning to go gorilla trekking. It is important that you are in good health condition. Once you feel that you are to sneeze or cough turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to prevent gorillas from human viruses.
And those are just some of the rules you must agree upon and followed once you are provided with gorilla trekking permit.