Gorilla Tracking in Uganda Halted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Uganda safaris including gorilla tracking in both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have been halted especially for tourists who have to come into the country. On the 21st of March 2020, President Museveni closed all Ugandan borders and banned international flights in a bid to cub the possible importation of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease that is already in the country.
A ban to international flights means that tourists cannot take their earlier booked Uganda gorilla safaris or any other tour in Uganda. There cannot be any international flights to the country and therefore all to know is that all booked tours cannot be undertaken until further notice.
However, what do you do when you cannot have your gorilla tracking safari in Uganda. Unfortunately, the Uganda Wildlife Authority withholds the right to refund funds for a gorilla permit and you can discuss with your Uganda tour operator on what you can do.
We advise that you do not cancel your trip but rather forward to a future date when you can travel or when Uganda is open to receiving international flights.
Are Mountain Gorillas at risk of getting infected by Coronavirus?
Mountain gorillas are part of the world’s most endangered animal species and very susceptible to human disease. Therefore any negligence on the safety of the mountain gorillas cause devastating effects that can heavily be regrettable.
Oxford Brookes University conducted research regarding the threat tourists pose to the health of the mountain gorillas. In the research is a highlight that shows that there is a likelihood of tourists infecting mountain gorillas with air borne diseases such as flu or cough. This is based on an incident that happened over 10 years ago where two mountain gorillas might have died of air borne diseases that might have been caused by a tourist.
During Uganda gorilla trekking safaris or Rwanda gorilla tours, there are set rules that guides the interaction of humans with the mountain gorillas. Individuals are advised to keep a 7 meter distance from the mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorillas do not know this rule and can move closer to the people and even touch them.
This poses a threat to mountain gorillas since they are susceptible to human diseases. So, how safe are the mountain gorillas from the COVID-19 infection?
As of now, international tourists or those who needed to have flights or any other means of getting into Uganda cannot have their gorilla trekking safaris which is so unfortunate. However, you can postpone your gorilla safari for a further date when you are able to go gorilla trekking again.
Popular tour packages in Uganda
All of these activities can be done either in a single trip or as a tailored trip. Here are several safari packages in Uganda for different kinds of activities;