Gorilla trekking in the Kahuzi Biega national park has some strict rules and regulations that are supposed to be followed by the trackers on their Congo gorilla safari expeditions. These include the following;
Gorilla Safari Group Size
It’s only a maximum of eight individuals per day that are allowed to trek, this helps to reduce the spreading of diseases from humans to the eastern lowland gorillas.
Restrictions on Age
It’s only 15 years and over individuals allowed to trek
Hours of Visiting
Gorilla trekking takes place during day time and it’s between 8:00qm to 7:00 pm
Time limit with gorillas
It’s strictly 1 hour allowed to spend with the mountain gorillas.
Hiking boots with ankle support; a dry pack for camera gear; waterproof pants and jacket; gaiters; gloves; binoculars.
Always be on alert when in Congo as any time a civil unrest can erupt especially the Congolese border of Goma and the far East.
What to Know Before You Go
Book Park Permits First
Always book your congo gorilla permit in advance. Unlike in Uganda and Rwanda where these permits get over, in Congo there are very few tourists that visit these primates. So it is better to book in advance such that you are put in programme especially organizing for you rangers as well as spotting where these primates are;
Put the Camera Down
Take all the photos you want, but remember you’ll only have about an hour with these amazing creatures, and this will probably be your one chance to see them in the wild.
Always apply for your Congo visa in advance so that you are not given hard time on arrival.
Yellow fever required; hepatitis A, typhoid, meningitis, rabies, and anti-malarials recommended.
Rules of Congo gorilla trekking (The do’s and don’ts) in Kahuzi Biega National Park
- Protecting the eastern gorillas is the first rule; this means that if the tracker is sick or has any infections shouldn’t be allowed to come in contact with the gorillas.
- Manners are recommended- always turn away your face while coughing or sneezing and remember to cover the nose as well as the mouth to help reduce on the bacteria transfer to the mountain gorillas. This is the reason why you are given a mask to put on when in the presence of these primates.
- Don’t over stay with the gorillas- End ever to stay for the only recommended time with the gorillas; it’s usually one hour that is allowed.
- Keeping distance from the primates- it’s always recommended that you stay away from mountain gorillas between 5 to 7 meters because they are wild animals and can easily catch diseases from humans.
- Well behaving while trekking: the rangers always advise the trekkers to keep noise levels as low as possible, avoid pointing or using flash light when taking photos of the mountain gorillas.
- Remember to always carry water proof & warm gears for the cool conditions with in the mountains since it sometimes gets wet within the forest and comfortable walking shoes are of a great advantage.
- Visitors are not allowed to drink of eat as well as smoking during gorilla trekking.
- Always wash your hands before engaging in gorilla trekking.
- Don’t touch the mountain gorillas at any time, always keep hands to yourself to avoid direct contact.
- Avoid littering within the forest and keep the trash to yourself
- Avoid direct eye contact in case the gorilla charges and stay calm until it moves away.
- A ranger will be willing to dig a hole for you in case you need to use a toilet and after make sure its fully covered.