Rules and Regulations for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Dos and Don’ts

Mountain gorilla trekking regulations are in place to safeguard the species, which is the most endangered ape in the world. Only three African countries—Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—have these endangered species. Mountain gorillas can be seen in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, and in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Due to the mountain gorillas’ threatened status, various regulations have been put in place to safeguard them against human-transmitted diseases and the behavioral abnormalities of this vulnerable population. These tips for general health apply both before you go see the gorillas and while you are there.

Gorilla Trekking Rules

  • The maximum number of visitors per habituated gorilla group per day should be observed to decrease exposure to human-borne diseases and minimize behavioral disruptions.
  • Before beginning your walk to the gorillas, wash your hands, Rules, and Regulations for Gorilla Trekking.
  • Don’t dispose of trash in the park. Don’t forget to bring whatever you took into the jungle back with you.
  • Follow the guide’s instructions; once you get close to the gorillas, he will let you know when to grab your camera.
  • At all times, speak quietly. The more you reduce your voice, the more of the forest you will be able to see.
  • Be cordial. Regardless of color, tribe, or country of origin, respect everyone in the group. You all spent the same amount of money to see gorillas and had comparable experiences.
  • Remain in a small group. You must remain with your group mates in other wards while you are close to the gorillas; do not disperse.
  • Asking the guide questions is acceptable, but always speak quietly.
  • If you are near gorillas, absolutely do not smoke, eat, or drink. The leftovers and excrement could spread sickness.
  • When gorillas rush, don’t worry; just follow your guide’s lead. Don’t try to flee; instead, slowly stoop down, avoid staring the gorillas in the eye, and wait for them to pass.
  • Although habituated, gorillas should not be touched or pointed at because they are still wild animals.
  • Flash photography is prohibited; instead, use the proper camera settings.
  • A maximum of one hour can be spent with the gorillas. If you choose to go gorilla trekking rather than the longer-staying gorilla habituation experience. This is done to minimize disturbance, and the tour will terminate early if the gorillas start acting worried or agitated.
  • Keep your voices down until you are at least 200 meters away from the gorillas when you return from your visit.
  • Please offer to stay behind if you are feeling sick or have an infectious disease while already at the park. According to the gorilla reservation policies, you will either be given a different visit option, or your money will be returned.
  • To reduce the transmission of bacteria and viruses to the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your mouth and nose if you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are close to the animals.
  • Always keep 7 meters from the gorillas. The group will be more laid-back the further back you are.
  • Put on a face mask to stop the Corona virus and other contagious diseases from spreading to gorillas.


You may help the endangered mountain gorillas by acquiring a gorilla tracking permit and trekking according to the gorilla trekking guidelines. Your tracking permit may be terminated for any violation of these guidelines without a refund.

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