Our website provides you with all the information that you need to know in order to prepare for all your gorilla tracking safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
All planning a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda, the following information would apply (as set out in the printed leaflet of Uganda Wildlife Authority, Gorilla Rules)
Our responses from some faqs
- Always wash your hands before heading to gorillas
- A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes a behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and risk of exposure to the human air-borne diseases.
- Please always keep your voices low
- DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you brink in the forest should be carried back to you.
- When you approach the Mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to be ready.
- A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times when you’re with the gorillas which makes the gorillas feel relaxed and at ease.
- You must stay in tight group when your near the group
- Do not drink, eat or smoke when your near the gorillas because it can inevitably increase the risk of diseases if food or drink droplets fall
- Always keep your voices low when you’re with the gorillas and keep voices low till your 200 meters away from the gorillas.
- Flash photography is not permitted! Take photos and movements slowly
- Do not touch the gorillas
- Do not attempt to run when gorillas charge because it may be dangerous for you
- The maximum time to be with the gorillas is 1 hour but sometimes the gorillas might get agitated and if they do the guide will end the finish the visit early.
Mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them;
- Follow and respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day which minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
- When coughing or sneezing near the gorillas kindly turn away and cover your nose and mouth in order to prevent the spread of bacteria or virus.
- When you’ve a contagious disease kindly volunteer to stay behind
- If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest kindly ask the guide to dig a hole with his panga. The hole has to be 30cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.
- Do not leave any rubbish e.g. food, wrappers in the forest to prevent any contamination with the gorillas.
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- From your lodge they will packed for you lunch and enough drinking water
- Wear ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds
- Carry a photo of film camera but using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA
- Carry a rain coat, sunscreen lotion, a hat, insect repellent because weather is unpredictable
- Entebbe International Airport which lies 40km from the capital services a number of international airlines including SN Brussels, British Airways, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, Rwandair Express, Egypt Air and Ethiopian Airlines. Uganda can also be reached overland from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
MORE INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS
Visa for those who couldn’t purchase it online, can purchase it on arrival at the International Airport or at any overland border. Customs and migration officials are polite and efficient. Foreign Exchange and ATM facilities are available at the Airport and you can get these same services at several shops and restaurants. Most midrange to upmarket hotels in Kampala and Entebbe will arrange airport transfers by request, as will any Tour Operators based in or around the capital. Local time is GMT+3
A certificate of Covid-19 results is needed and a certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required. All visitors should take Malaria prophylactic drugs. It is advisable to drink bottled rather than tap water.
The unity of currency is the Uganda shillings. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference, but Euro and Pound Sterling are also widely accepted. Hard currency cash can be changed for local currency at banks and private bureau de change in all large towns, but traveler’s cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. Local currency can be drawn against Visa and other major credit cards at selected ATMs in Kampala, Entebbe Airport and in a few other towns.
Educated Ugandans are generally fluent in English, which is the official language. Of 30-plus different indigenous languages, Luganda serves as something of a lingua Franca.
Uganda can be visited at any time, though mountain Hikes, Gorilla tracking and other forest walks are more challenging during the rains which generally peak over mid-September to November and March to May.
Daytime temperatures are generally warm to hot, so bring lots of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at high altitudes, so carry a couple of light sweaters too. Those who intend to hike on the mountains will be exposed to Alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly. Solid walking shoes and sturdy clothing are ideal for forest walks. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and a waterproof jacket.
A valid passport and visa requirements are mandatory and should be checked before you travel. To make the most of the game reserves and National Parks, carry binoculars and field guides. Photography will need a zoom lens for wildlife (70-300 or similar). Print film and developing is available in Kampala. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.
Driving is on the left side. Visitors without experience of African roads are advised to organize a vehicle with a driver rather than self-drive.
Tipping is not standard practice at local hotels and restaurants, but it will always be appreciated. It is normal to tip 5-10% at tourist oriented restaurants. Guides and drivers should always be tipped.
Tourist oriented hotels and restaurants serve good western style meals, while a wider range of cuisines being available in the capital and some towns. Local restaurants serve Ugandan dishes, typically ugali (a stiff maize porridge) or matooke (cooked banana) eaten with stew.
A wide selection of local handicrafts are available as souvenirs. These include Musical instruments such as the hide drums made in the vicinity of Mpigi as well as excellent local basketwork, paintings, Batiks and pottery.