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What Not to Do on a gorilla safari in DR Congo

February 6, 2020
Gorilla blogs

What Not to Do on a gorilla safari in DR Congo

While gorilla safaris have become the most sought after experiences in Africa at large, a number of dos and don’ts do apply and they are a must for you to observe while on the trek to see these magnificent primates in the wild. Looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), regardless of it offering relatively cheaper gorilla trekking permits, equally there are many things one may not need to do while on a gorilla safari. They include among others;

The fact that mountain gorillas share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans, a trek to see these amazing apes is restricted to only 8 visitors per habituated group. In case the number exceeds, please inform the authorities responsible. All this is mainly to ensure that these critically endangered apes are protected from the spread of human infectious diseases as they are very susceptible to human diseases. Also, it helps reduce overcrowding as opposed to the carrying capacity of these creatures’ habitat.

Persons not above 15 years are not allowed to go for gorilla trekking. This plays a significant role when it comes to gorilla safaris. Mountain gorillas are dramatic creatures in the wild and persons below 15 years are considered children and given this fact, you realize that this category can easily be threatened and may not stand out in case these apes charge against humans.

Usually, when they charge against humans, you are supposed to stand still and for children, they may start screaming something that may trigger these primates to charge more and even cause harm to such persons and also other visitors.

Besides, a trek to see gorillas is a breathtaking adventure and entirely involves hiking through the thick rainforest and steep slopes. DRC is however regarded as one of the places with the most challenging gorilla trekking adventures hence required visitors that are physically fit.

Trekking to see these beautiful apes may last you about 1-8 hours depending on your hiking speed, nature of habitat and location of these creatures.

You are not supposed to smoke, eat or drink while on a gorilla trek. This rule is mainly intended not to cause harm to the lives of these critically endangered apes in the wild the fact that they are very susceptible to human infectious diseases.

Don’t dispose off any waste products after drinking or eating in the forest and make sure that you bring it to the dust bin at the park headquarters. In case of any need to help yourself while in the forest, make sure that your wastes are buried deep the soil and your guide will guide you on how deep the pit should be. 

Do not go to track gorillas when you are sick. In case of any illness, you are not allowed to go for this lifetime experience. While in the jungles, make sure that you cover your mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing.

Do not touch gorillas. Normally, these creatures can come very close to you but don’t even try touching them. To some people, they can be attempted to touch because they want to feel their bodies but this move isn’t ethically okay with gorilla trekking.

Do not make a noise. While in the jungles tracking gorillas make sure that you maintain silence at all times otherwise noise may irritate these creatures. Remember that humans are foreigners in their habitat and anything can make them charge and can cause harm despite the fact that they are habituated.

Just like humans, gorillas are equally very emotional and you have to be very careful with any kind of behavior that may trigger them to charge against you. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask questions. Gorilla trekking is all about learning and feels free to ask any kind of question you need to get clarification from the park guide about these creatures. 

No flashlight cameras are allowed while taking photos of gorillas in the wild. During the one hour of magical encounter, everyone becomes excited. Well, whereas this is what everyone wants or has been waiting for, make sure that your camera has no flashlight and if it does, ensure that it is turned off. Flashlight cameras can easily irritate these creatures and because of this, they can easily harm you. 

Conclusively, gorilla safaris have many dos and don’ts that every trekker must observe at all times while in the jungle. Visitors are briefed on these rules and regulations before embarking on the actual trek. Follow the above-listed don’ts and you will have the best of this ultimate primate adventure.

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