Although gorillas are habituated to get accustomed to the presence of humans, they are still Wild animals. They have about 98% human genes therefore making them vulnerable to human disease. As tourists on a gorilla trekking safari, you are advised to stand in a distance of about 7 meters away from they to reduce on the chance of spreading any contagious disease to these endangered mountain gorillas and then spreading to humans. Much as meeting the gorillas and staring into there brown eyes is a dream come true encounter, excitement must not over ruin the healthy measures. Below are the healthy tips of a gorilla trekking safari.
1) Gorilla trekking is done in highland areas which requires a bit of fitness. You need to train for this activity in advance of travel or you need to hire porters to give you extra support when you get tired at a small fee.
2) Only one hour is permitted in the presence of the gorillas. This rule gives ample time to gorilla trekking tourists in both Uganda and Rwanda to enjoy the presence of the gorilla family they are trekking. In this hour, the chances of acquiring a disease from the animals or you spreading any contagious disease to them are narrowed. Although mountain gorillas are known to be calm and serene, they also get agitated from the presence of on lookers which also cause them to rage and become aggressive once you stay for long.
3) 7 meters apart is the minimum distance that must be observer when standing in front of the gorillas. This reduces on the distance you have to the gorillas and offers you the chance of relaxing while in front of the gorillas. Mountain gorillas also need to be comfortable with your presence too.
4) Before gorilla trekking, if you feel like a developing cough or cold. It is very advisable to voluntarily stay behind so that you don’t spread this contagious disease to these animals. Altitude may also affect you breathing in case you have a cold so you need to stay behind for your safety and the safety of these animals. In case you report to this to the ranger station in advance, an alternative gorilla trek may be organized for you or a refund given to you according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority policy.
5) Although you may develop a cold while on the way to see the gorillas, in case you feel like coughing or sneezing it is advisable to turn way and cover your mouth because this is an air born disease which can be contracted by the mountain gorillas. Remember they are just a few left in the world so conserving them is the best solution.
6) Avoid carrying and touching the gorillas while in the wilderness. At times these animals move as close as touching your camera but this doesn’t guarantee you to touch them. They may even pull your hair but do not touch there fur. This prevents you from acquiring any skin infection from them and them too.
7) While in the presence of the gorillas, you must avoid eating anything in there presence. They may grab it from you which may cause you to exchange saliva or the bite may cause them food poisoning. Do not feed the gorillas
8) Dumping garbage in the forest is highly forbidden during gorilla trekking because mountain gorillas are curios about anything new in there vicinity. Some containers harbour infectious germs and others contaminated.
9) During gorilla trekking, you may feel like easing yourself so you need to ask your ranger guide to dig a deep hole for you. Cover the all the waste beyond recognition so that the gorillas cannot exhume it. They may wish to find out what could have been covered so reduce on the chances of there curiosity.
10) Take anti malarial before travelling for your gorilla trekking safari. This will assist you to build your immunity in the tropics where malaria is common. You may miss out your gorilla trekking opportunity because of sickness.