One of our worries was that those tourists were not following the proper procedures, such as keeping 7 meters away from the gorillas. This is very important since we humans are so closely related to gorillas (less than 3% genetic difference) that we can easily pass diseases to them, especially respiratory diseases.
So when tourism re-opened last month, we consulted closely with the vets at MGVP to establish the best possible practice for visiting the mountain gorillas. They told us that in a ideal world, all Rangers and tourists would wear masks any time they were with the gorillas.
So that is exactly what we are doing. Rangers started putting on the masks to see if the gorillas would react, but they didn’t. The tourists have also been understanding and have not complained about having to wear the masks.
Two rangers wearing the masks
This hasn’t been done anywhere else and we are proud that we are pioneering new ways in which visitors can safely share unique moments with our cousins, the mountain gorillas.
To find out more about visiting the mountain gorilla of Congo, please send us an email at tourism at gorilla.cd