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The Comprehensive Guide to Gorilla Trekking: Expert Tips and Insights
Close-up of a mountain gorilla eating bamboo.
Close-up of a mountain gorilla eating bamboo.
Photo Credit: Culbert

Gorilla trekking stands out as one of the most profound wildlife experiences on the planet. It is everything that you would expect, and more. The opportunity to observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is both transformative and deeply humbling. As you prepare for this unparalleled adventure, it’s paramount to be well-informed. This guide, drawing from personal experience, offers a great list of the dos and don’ts to ensure a memorable and respectful encounter.

Essential Dos for Gorilla Trekking:

Prepare Physically:

The dense rainforest and its unpredictable terrains demand stamina. Engage in regular exercise leading up to your trek to ensure you’re physically up to the task.

Invest in the Right Gear:

A pair of sturdy hiking boots is non-negotiable given the challenging terrains. Additionally, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to shield against nettles and thorns. Packing essentials like a waterproof jacket, hat, gloves, and a durable poncho is also crucial.

Hire a Porter:

For just $15, a porter not only assists with your gear but also provides invaluable support navigating the terrain. This small investment also contributes significantly to the local community, offering them a vital source of income.

Heed Your Guide’s Advice:

Your guide is an invaluable resource, equipped with knowledge about the forest, its paths, and the gorillas’ behavior. Always follow their instructions for a safe and enriching experience.

Maintain a Respectful Distance:

It’s essential to stay at least 7 meters away from the gorillas. This distance safeguards them from potential human diseases and ensures you respect their space.

Pack Smartly:

A day pack containing ample water, insect repellent, sunscreen, extra socks, gaiters, and rain gear is crucial. The treks can be lengthy, so it’s vital to be well-prepared.

Embrace the Silence:

Speak softly and tread gently. This ensures the gorillas remain calm, allowing for a genuine and undisturbed observation.

Tourists and a guide observing gorillas in a forest.
Photo Credit: Susan Kottemann

Vital Don’ts for Gorilla Trekking:

Avoid Flash Photography:

Flashes can disturb the gorillas. Always ensure it’s turned off when capturing the moment.

Avoid Direct Eye Contact:

Gorillas might perceive direct eye contact as a threat. If a gorilla meets your gaze, lower your eyes respectfully.

Prioritize Health:

If you’re unwell, consider postponing the trek. Gorillas are susceptible to human diseases due to our shared DNA.

Respect the Environment:

Leave no trace behind. The pristine nature of the habitat is crucial for the gorillas’ well-being.

Refrain from Touching:

No matter the temptation, never touch a gorilla. It’s essential for their safety and yours.

Avoid Consumables Near the Gorillas:

Eating, drinking, or smoking can introduce unfamiliar scents or potential health risks to the gorillas.


Gorilla trekking is more than just a wildlife encounter; it’s a deep connection with nature and a profound understanding of our shared existence with these magnificent creatures. To maximize this experience, it’s essential to approach it with preparation, respect, and a sense of wonder. If you’re seeking someone who can elevate this experience even further, you’re in the right place. With a deep-rooted passion and extensive knowledge of these magnificent creatures, I promise an unforgettable journey. Let’s turn your dream into reality. Reach out, and together, we’ll embark on a gorilla trekking adventure that will stay with you for a lifetime.

A gorilla lying on its back among green foliage in a forest.
Photo Credit: Susan Kottemann
A baby gorilla sits close to an adult gorilla in a lush forest, both gazing towards the camera.
Photo Credit: Culbert