Mountain Gorilla Tracking

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The Highlight of Your Tour

For many travelers, the tracking of gorillas ranks among one of the most exhilarating highlights of their trip to Africa.

Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered species of apes. It is estimated that there are currently less than 900 individuals left throughout the world. Nearly half of these can be found in Uganda, but significant populations can also be found in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Parc National de Volcans in Rwanda.

 

The Virunga National park is one of the last remaining places on earth where you can see the rare and endangered mountain Gorilla's. Together with its neighboring countries Uganda & Rwanda this is the only place were you will find them. 

Especially in DR Congo it has been a real struggle to conserve the Virunga national park and its inhabitants. Due to civil war and large influx of refugees their habitat has been eroded almost to the point of extinction. Recent plans of drilling oil in this region has only made things worse. Luckely due to the documentary film Virunga it was bought to the attention of the world. Activists from all over the world try to stop the plans of oil drilling in the region in order to preserve this oldest park in Africa. There are roughly 300 mountain gorilla's left in the Virunga national park.

 

There are some important rules that you should always keep in mind while tracking the gorillas...

While searching for the gorillas

  • A maximum of 8 visitors may visit a family/group of habituated gorillas per day.
  • To avoid exposing our furry friends to strange germs, wash your hands before you head out for the tracking.
  • Do not leave garbage in the park.
  • Aalways keep your voices low. This will ensure that you will be able to observe the beautiful birds and other wildlife in the forest.
  • Tip: Your group of trackers will be heading to the stop where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From the nesting spot you will track them to their current location. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Tip: As you approach the gorillas, the guides will signal when to get your cameras ready.
 
 

While among the gorillas

 

  • It is okay to ask the guide questions, but keep your voices low. 
  • Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas.
  • Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example by crouching down slowly, and do not look into the gorillas in the eyes. Wait for the gorilla to pass you by and do not attempt to run away (as this can increase the risk of attack).
  • Flash photography is not permitted; when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
  • Do not touch the gorillas. Keep in mind that though they may look warm and cuddly, they are still wild animals. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters (21 feet) from the gorillas at all times.
  • The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the gorillas is exactly one hour and the rangers are quite strict about this.

“The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.” - Dian Fossey

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