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gorilla tracking permit

Number of people allowed to track a gorilla family

Number of people allowed to track a gorilla family: Mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the Eastern gorilla which is listed as endangered by the IUCN as of 2018. In Uganda, mountain gorillas are only found in Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Southwestern Uganda. Another remaining population of mountain gorillas is found in Virunga and Volcanoes national park.

Tourists coming into the Pearl of Africa are always required to observe rules and regulations of mountain gorilla tracking so as to make this exercise flexible and enjoyable to them. These include the following;

  • Before embarking on this fun filled experience, make sure you have your permits ready. This is usually made possible with the help of your tour operator who goes ahead to book them as early as possible from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Maintain a 10-meter distance from the mountain gorillas, avoid eating near the gorillas.
  • Tourists should also note that the minimum tracking age is 15 years. If you wish your children below 15 years to track, you will be required to write to the executive director seeking permission and if it’s not granted, you are advised to choose for them the best activities in their range for example a forest walk to the waterfalls and Batwa cultural experience. Do not use flash photography while in the wild with the mountain gorillas. This is because in most cases it distracts them and may end up charging at you.
  • Tourists suffering from a cold are always advised to stay away from the gorillas in that these gentle giants can contract the disease as well. If anyone must squeeze during tracking, they are advised to cover their faces and as well turn away from the gorillas. You are not supposed to litter the forest, always observe the rules at any time of the day. It should be noted that tourists are allowed only one hour with the gorillas.
  • The maximum number of people allowed to track a gorilla family is eight and this is to conserve and not interfere with gorilla behavioral traits. Gorilla trekking is limited to only eight people because the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) looks at mainly conservation, so the small numbers minimize the risk of human diseases to mountain gorillas and reduce damage on the forest.
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