We present here a description and an analysis of the modifications in the growth behaviour of GaN induced by the presence of foreign species. The particular cases of Mg and Si are analysed. Profound changes, both in microscopic and macroscopic scales, occur in presence of Mg, even for fluxes of about 1/1000th of the Ga flux. The growth rate can be increased by almost 50%, depending of the III/V ratio and on the amount of Mg. A theoretical model is proposed to describe the observed effect. It is found that Mg induces changes in the Ga and N diffusion barriers and acts as a surfactant. The effect is stronger on the α-GaN than on the β-GaN, where N is more tightly bonded. The effect of Si is by far less pronounced, probably because it is more easily incorporated than Mg, and its effect on the surface kinetics is then strongly reduced.