What to pack for your gorilla trekking safari; Gorilla trekking is an exciting adventure that entails guests walking through the tropical rainforest in pursuit of the endangered mountain gorillas and spending one hour with them in their natural environment.
Gorilla trekking tours take place in several locations, including Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Mountain gorillas live in inaccessible areas with little access to modern amenities and at high heights. You’ll be traveling across uneven, steep terrain at 7000 feet (13,000 meters) above sea level, through a dense humid tropical mountain forest.
When going on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda, or Congo, you should bring a few things with you, such,
What to pack for your gorilla trekking safari?
Facemasks and hand sanitizer,
Because mountain gorillas are susceptible to human infections, travelers are obliged to wear facemasks during the briefing at the park headquarters and for the one hour with the mountain gorillas in order to avoid transmitting diseases to the mountain gorillas. However, you can remove the face mask when walking through the bush and then reapply it while with the gorillas.
Light waterproof jacket
Mountain gorillas dwell in high-altitude locations with extremely cold night and morning temperatures. Gorilla trekking begins early in the morning while it is still cold, so a thick sweater will be useful in dealing with the weather.
Long sleeved shirt and trouser
The rainforest is home to a diverse range of plants and creatures. Shirts or blouses with long sleeves. Lightweight, breathable long-sleeved shirts or blouses keep scrapes and bug bites at bay.
Ants may be kept out of your legs by tucking your pants in. Wearing neutral-colored clothes can also help you blend in and prevent alarming the gorillas.
Garden gloves will protect your hands from germs, dirt and thorny plants as during trekking you will pass through thick forests with undesignated trails therefore the garden gloves will protect you from touching nettles, thorny and itching plants. You can put off the garden gloves while in the presence of the mountain gorillas so as to take beautiful photos.
A sturdy pair of hiking boots is highly necessary for trekking, especially on the steep slopes of dense rainforests. Your hiking shoes should ideally be thoroughly used so that they are a perfect fit. Hiking boots with a thicker upper and a firmer midsole offer good support and traction on your trek.
Throughout your gorilla walk, you will be clinging to various plants and roots for support. A solid pair of hand gloves will protect you from abrasions and injuries while also allowing you to have a firm grasp on the plant.
Furthermore, if you have skin allergies or sensitivities, it is advisable not to come into contact with thousands of unusual plants in a short period of time. The gloves also keep you toasty on cold mornings.
The insect repellent will protect your skin from biting insects like mosquitos, tsetse flies and bugs during trekking in the tropical rainforest and also at the lodge therefore tourists should pack a bottle of insect repellent when going on a gorilla trekking safari.
Energy snacks and drinking water
Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on whether the gorillas are located therefore tourists are advised to carry energy snacks as supplements and drinking water to keep you hydrated as you will not know the time when you will return back to the lodge. Energy snacks and drinking water can be got from any supermarket before going to the gorilla destination or at the lodge where you will be staying during the safari.
A safari hat with a wide brim is typically suitable for covering your head and neck from the blazing African sun. While a baseball cap can be worn, it exposes the neck. Many people purchase safari hats from local businesses around the parks as mementos and to directly help the locals.
Gorilla destinations like Mgahinga gorilla national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Volcanoes national park usually get very cold during mornings and at night therefore a sweater will keep you warm.
Cushioned, moisture-wicking socks help keep your feet dry and avoid blisters. Ants and other crawling critters are kept out of your pants by wearing long tuckable socks.
While gaiters are not required, they do assist protect the feet and lower legs from wetness and dirt throughout the walk. The dense jungles are damp and humid, especially in the mornings, thus gaiters are recommended.
A pair of binoculars
Get a closer look at the gorillas and other wildlife to enhance your wildlife viewing experience. While your primary objective is to observe gorillas, you will see much more. These gorillas inhabit incredible untamed habitats abounding with all manner of species.
You will also observe many birds, monkeys, and small land creatures on your journey. Binoculars are especially useful for birds since areas like Bwindi contain bird species that are not found anyplace else in the globe.
Camera and extra batteries
One of the most important items to carry for your gorilla trekking safari is a camera, since you will need to snap several photographs during your hour with the mountain gorillas in their natural environment. When planning a gorilla hike, charge your batteries and turn off your flash when photographing the gorillas to avoid irritating or agitating them and making them hostile.
The walking stick will give you support during trekking in steep and slippery terrains.
During the walk, a compact, comfortable daypack is important for carrying water, food, a camera, and other personal goods. With all of the stuff on our packing list, you’ll need a means to transport them, and a backpack is the best option.
Keeping things light is crucial because the walk to view gorillas may be strenuous. If you don’t need something, leave it at your lodge/hotel and avoid dealing with the extra weight.
Reusable Water Bottle.
Your gorilla walk will need a lot of energy, and you will soon be thirsty. Carrying bottled water will allow you to hydrate and rehydrate while hiking and seeking for gorillas, allowing you to focus entirely on the experience.
A reusable water bottle is an excellent method to get water into the forest while avoiding the usage of single-use plastic.
Sunscreen and Sunglasses.
Carry some sunscreen with you to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. We recommend purchasing sunscreen in larger cities and towns because it may be difficult to locate in small communities near gorilla parks. Additionally, if you like a certain brand of sunscreen that is not readily accessible in your area, bring it with you.
Sunglasses are required for most Sub-Saharan African travel because they shield your eyes from direct sunshine. If you’re going gorilla trekking, you might need to gaze at some monkeys or birds up a lofty tree, and you don’t want direct sunshine in your eyes.
Carry local cash for gratuities, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous expenses. You may also need to employ a local porter to assist you with pulling and pushing during the walk. Even if you are a seasoned hiker, gorilla trekking is not for the faint of heart.
The terrain is steep, the jungle is dense, and you’ll get a good workout before you even get to the gorillas. The porters are used to the terrain, and any money you give them directly benefits them and their families.
Personal First Aid Kit.
Bring any personal medication you may require, as well as a basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and other prescriptions you may require.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking safari
Gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Virunga Gorilla National Park, and Kahuzi Biega National Park can be done at any time of year, but the best time is during the dry season, which lasts from June to September and includes the months of December, January, and February. Because there is less rainfall in the national parks during the dry season, the gorilla trekking paths are dry and navigable, making hiking easier than during the rainy season, when the trails are muddy and slippery, making trekking harder.
In Summary; A packing list guarantees that you have everything you need to enjoy your vacation or activity to the fullest. When you’re well-prepared, you can concentrate on building memories, doing new things, and living in the moment.
With the materials listed above, you will be able to enjoy the full of your gorilla tracking adventure – rain, sun, or steep slippery slopes. Experienced hikers may opt to disregard one or two items, but we feel you would better have something and not need it than need something and not be able to acquire it.
So pack your things, embrace an adventurous mindset, and prepare for a memorable journey where every instant brings you closer to an unbelievable encounter with the beautiful mountain gorillas and the wild landscape they call home.
For more information about what to pack on a gorilla trekking safari, you can contact us at Explore Rwanda Tours.