More impressive even than the gorillas ‘size and bearing is their unfathomable attitude to people, which differs greatly from that of any other wild animal I’ve encountered. Anthropomorphic as it might sound, almost everybody who visits the gorillas experiences an almost mystical sense of recognition.Often,one of the gentle giants will break off from the business of chomping on bamboo to study a human visitor, soft brown eyes staring deeply into theirs as if seeking a connection-a spine-tingling wildlife experience without peer. Gorilla tracking should not present a serious physical challenge to any reasonably fit adult whatever their age, but the hike can be tough going. Exactly how tough varies greatly, and the main determining factor is basically down to luck, specifically how close the gorillas are to the trailhead on the day you trek[one to two hours is typical, anything from 15 minutes to 6hours possible].Another variable is how recently it has rained, which affects conditions underfoot—June to August are the driest months and March to May are the wettest. The effects of altitude should not be underestimated. Tracking in Bwindi takes place around1,500m above sea level, but in the Virungas the gorillas are often encountered at almost 3,000m—-sufficient to the breath of any body who just flew in from low altitude. For this reason ,visitors to the virungas in particular might want to leave gorilla tracking until they have been in the region for a week and are reasonably acclimatized ——–most of Uganda lies above 1,000m. Take advantage when the guides offer you a walking staff before the walk; this will be invaluable to help you keep your balance on steep hillsides. Once on the trail’, don’t be afraid to ask to stop for a few minutes whenever you feel tired, or to ask the guides to create makeshift walking stick from a branch. Drink plenty of water, and do carry some quick calories such as biscuits or chocolates. The good news is that in 99%of cases, whatever exhaustion you might feel on the way up will vanish with the adrenalin charge that follows the first sighting of silverback gorilla. Put on your sturdiest walking shoes for the trek, and wear thick trousers and long sleeves as protection against vicious nettles. It’s often cold at the outset, so bring a sweatshirt or jersey. The gorillas are used to people , and it makes no difference whether you wear bright or muted colours.Whatever clothes you wear are likely to get very dirty , so if you have pre-mudded clothes, use them! During the r ainy season, a poncho. or rain coat might be a worthy addition to your day pack,while sunscreen,sunglasses and a hat are agood idea at any time of year as are gloves to protect against nettles. In all reserves, tourists are permitted to spend no longer than one hour with the gorillas,and may not eat or smoke in their presence.It is forbidden to approach the gorillas within more than 5m,a rule that is difficult to enforce with those curious youngsters[and some adults]who enjoy approaching human visitors.Gorillas are susceptible to many human diseases,and it has long been feared by researchers that one ill tourist might infect a gorilla,resulting in the possible death of the whole troop should no immunity exist.For this reason ,you should not track gorillas when you have a potentially airborne infection such as flu or cold,and should turn away from the gorillas if you need to sneeze in their presence.

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