If you have been wondering about a safari in Africa, you must have heard about gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is one of those safari activities that take you close to the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. There are several gorilla species but mountain gorillas are the species that are highly trekked because they are found in their natural habitat. Are gorillas dangerous to humans? here is all you need to know about gorillas and Gorilla safaris
Because with gorilla trekking you walk through the jungle, many tourists on either Uganda gorilla safaris, Rwanda gorilla tours, or gorilla trekking in Congo, wonder whether gorillas are dangerous to humans.
Are gorillas dangerous to humans? If you are wondering whether gorillas are dangerous, the answer is NO. Africa is popular for lots of fearsome predators including lions, hyenas, and many more but luckily mountain gorillas are not part of them. .
Mountain gorillas are habituated before they are opened to tourists for trekking. During habituation, gorillas are taken through a long process where they get familiar with the presence of humans as rangers spend time with the gorillas for about 2 years until the gorillas get unbothered by the presence of people. After the rangers realize that the gorillas are familiar with humans, other people including researchers and guides are brought to meet the gorillas. If the gorillas pass this test then they are opened up to tourists for trekking.
When you go for a trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda, the ranger guides go with you to the jungle to ensure that you are safe since they are familiar with the gorillas. A total of 8 tourists are allocated 2 armed ranger guides to ensure their safety in the forest.
Being habituated gorillas have been carefully exposed to human presence and have learned that humans are not a threat. However, they are still cautious and act according to your reaction to them. In case the gorillas feel unsafe they may react since they are still wild animals though there are no recorded cases of when mountain gorillas have gone violent on humans during trekking.
What triggers gorillas to act in defense include being surprised or feeling threatened. Things like beating your chest and looking into the gorilla’s eyes directly like you are picking up a fight can make them feel threatened. If they feel threatened, a silverback mountain gorilla may react by making bluff charges, beating on his chest with aggressive sounds, or running directly towards their target. When the silverback gorilla charges towards someone in most cases it will stop just a few feet away just to wait for the target reaction. Make sure you do not react like you are picking a fight.
Though a rare occurrence, you should be aware of what to do in case the gorilla charges towards you since you definitely can’t fight this massive size of a giant. The most appropriate reaction is you crouch down slowly, look away, and act casually/with no intentions of threatening. In this way, the gorilla will see you as non-threatening and therefore will move away and return to their family.
A gorilla safari is one of the most amazing African safaris that can be tailored to a wildlife tour. With accessibility to all of the countries, tailoring in a Kenya safari or wildlife safari in Tanzania is an amazing way of having a true authentic African experience.