Gorilla trekking safety precautions

How to limit dangers and annoyances

Gorilla trekking is considered very safe. Dangerous incidents are virtually unheard of. Visitors are taken to habituated gorilla troops by experienced park rangers. These gorillas see people every day and they've learned that people are no threat to them. They mostly ignore humans although young gorillas might sometimes show some curiosity.

Mountain gorillas are, in essence, gentle giants. They show little aggression toward each other and their overall vibe is very peaceful.

  • Always follow your guide's instructions and guidelines.
  • Stay together as a group with your guide.
  • Always keep the recommended distance (at least 7m / 23 ft). Wait for your guide’s instruction if a gorilla approaches you.
  • In the rare occasion of a gorilla charging, crouch down slowly, look down and wait for further instruction from your guide.
  • Never look a gorilla in the eyes.
  • Don't make any quick movements and keep your voice down.
  • Never block the path of gorillas when they are walking.
  • Don't use a flash when photographing.
  • Gorillas are susceptible to human diseases. Never visit if you are ill and turn away if you need to cough.
  • If you need to go to the toilet, dig a hole in the ground and cover it up.
  • Never take food or drink close to gorillas. You can leave your daypack behind with the trackers when you approach the animals.
  • Cover your arms and legs to avoid nettle stings and use insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes (those containing DEET are most effective).
  • Wear a hat, use sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes, waterproof clothing and bring a waterproof bag for your camera and other belongings.