Gorilla trekking is undoubtedly Africa’s most fascinating wildlife adventure. They are intriguing creatures because they act and look like us. More mountain gorilla facts will reveal that they are one of the most kind and tranquil animals. On Gorilla Tracking Packing Listearth, just 1,000 mountain gorillas survive. They are not the same as lowland gorillas, which may be seen in zoos and forests throughout Central and West Africa. Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. Uganda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. The primates may be observed in Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks. Mountain gorillas may be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and in Congo’s Virunga National Park. The primates live in groups, each led by a dominant silverback who guarantees everyone’s safety and well-being.
Gorilla trekking is a very popular and expensive sport, but it is well worth it. After you’ve booked your gorilla trip and left the logistics of transportation, permits, and lodging to your tour operator, the next question is how to best prepare. You may be wondering, “What should I carry for gorilla trekking?” While gorilla trekking is a thrilling and adventurous activity, you must be prepared. Tourists who have not adequately prepared for gorilla trekking are one of the most prevalent blunders we see in our experience operating safaris. During the briefing, we notice several people wearing basic sandals, white sneakers, and shorts, which are inappropriate for such a strenuous sport.
We have developed a list of things to carry for gorilla trekking that will enhance the whole experience. Always keep in mind that utilizing Porters to help you carry any additional luggage is highly suggested. For further information on how porters might be used, please see our page on gorilla trekking for the elderly. These gorilla trekking restrictions apply to all national parks, including Bwindi in Uganda, Mgahinga in Uganda, Volcanoes in Rwanda, and Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The guidelines also apply to people who have opted to go gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is also worth noting that the scenery in Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Parks differs from that in Bwindi and Virunga. Mgahinga and the Volcanoes National Park are higher in elevation and hence cooler than Bwindi. In the latter chapters, we also included a list for a general wildlife safari because most travelers
Gorilla Permits and Passports: You must present your gorilla permit and passport at the hotel and park offices before commencing your walk. A valid passport and a visa are required for every safari. Don’t travel if your passport is close to expire. You will not be permitted to enter the country or monitor the gorillas if you do not have the necessary travel paperwork. Also, make sure you have the yellow fever vaccines and the card.
Hiking Boots: It is critical to take hiking boots while going gorilla trekking in Bwindi or other national parks. Hiking boots of high quality would provide a greater grip on the rough and occasionally muddy terrain. Your ankles might be harmed if you wear low-quality boots or basic shoes. Always keep in mind that gorilla trekking entails ascending steep slopes in high-altitude settings. During the wet season, the trails may become muddy or treacherous.
Clothing: When packing for gorilla trekking, be sure to bring water-resistant pants, jackets, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, long socks, and long pants. The proper attire will keep you safe from being wet, sharp tree branches, the sun, and insects/ants. Always clip your pants to your boots to keep safari ants and other insects off of your body. Other items to consider while preparing your gorilla trip are a pair of shorts for relaxing at the lodge and pajamas for the cold nights. Include long socks to keep your feet warm.
A rain jacket and sweater: This is a must-pack item, especially during the wet season. Rainfall should be expected at any time of year since gorillas live in tropical rain forests. Even if you plan to visit during the so-called dry season, a rain jacket should be at the top of your packing list. During the winter evenings and mornings, the sweater will keep you warm. The Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga are situated at high heights, with multiple volcanoes on the horizon releasing chilly winds and mist.
What to bring on your gorilla trekking trip
Hand gloves: Garden gloves will assist you in grasping trees, branches, and other plants. In addition, the gloves will protect your hands from scrapes and bug bites. As previously said, the woodland may get muddy and treacherous. The gloves will assist you cling onto tree limbs or the ground if you fall. Gloves are a must-have item on every gorilla trekking packing list.
Toiletries are essential not just for gorilla trekking but also for ordinary safaris in other national parks. Toilet paper is provided in case you need to relieve yourself during a long gorilla expedition. Most hotels do not include toothbrushes or toothpaste. You should also bring your own sanitary pads (women), shampoos, deodorants, hand sanitizers, shavers, hair conditioners, lip balm, wipes, and lotions.
Headbands and hair ties: If your hair is not correctly knotted, it may become entangled in the branches.
A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen will keep you safe from the sun’s rays, especially during the dry season. These goods are also necessary if you intend to combine gorilla trekking with a visit to other national parks with hotter weather.
Packing list for Uganda gorilla trekking
Snacks, a packed lunch, and water: Trekking with gorillas is quite unpredictable. It all depends on where the gorilla family is on the day of the journey. The action might last anything from 30 minutes to 6 hours. Long-distance trekking might leave you exhausted and hungry. Your lodge should make a packed lunch for you, or you may park your own energy snacks. Energy-giving snacks are also available in Rwanda and Uganda from supermarkets and specialty stores. Just make sure you don’t forget them when you’re staying in your hotel for the briefing. Keep in mind that pursuing mountain gorillas for an extended period of time may be taxing, so bring plenty of water. Water will be provided by your lodge. Avoid leaving plastic bottles cluttering the park.
Walking stick: To assist you in navigating the dense forest and hilly regions. Following the briefing, the sticks are distributed for free. A higher quality one may be obtained at a fee from your hotel or, ideally, from the park rangers.
Camera with a large battery and memory: You can’t go on safari in Africa unless you have a nice camera. How will your buddies find out about your safari encounters? How will you recall what happened? Prepare to capture photos of the gorillas, as well as the stunning park landscape and locations along the way. Pack additional batteries in case the camera’s battery dies. When photographing gorillas, avoid using flash. They’ll become irritated.
Binoculars: The parks you’ll be visiting don’t only have gorillas. Several bird species, forest elephants, buffaloes, chimps, and colobus monkeys, among others, will be encountered on your trip. If you have a decent pair of binoculars, you can see the birds and primates up close.
Phone simcard: Try to get an international simcard so you can phone your relatives back home.
What to Wear When Trekking Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda
Porters are those who transport goods. Porters were covered briefly earlier, and I will go into more detail here. During gorilla trekking, porters assist tourists in carrying any additional luggage or hefty cameras. They can also assist you in navigating across steep slopes and valleys. When necessary, Porter can assist in carrying the elderly by utilizing customized bags. Porters often charge a fee of around $15 and are inhabitants of the nearby communities. By paying for their services, you are assisting the community, their families, and discouraging poaching. Some of the porters are students searching for money to return to school. We urge all of our guests to hire a porter if they are unsure about their fitness level or if the gorilla family is known to move a lot.
Tip: For your guides, porters, Rangers, and hotel personnel (Optional). Reward them for their efforts in conserving the gorillas and making your tour so pleasant. Remember that the majority come from low-income homes and have family waiting for them at home. If you decide to leave a tip, do so immediately after the service has been rendered and only in honor of great and professional service.
Other things to consider: Other basic considerations include travel insurance, emergency phone numbers, travel maps, directories, and your tour operator’s final schedule. Having money in local currency is particularly useful when tipping your guides or purchasing souvenirs in regions where there are no credit card machines or ATMs. Get a money belt to keep your money safe.
Packing List for Gorilla Tracking in Uganda and Rwanda
Although most of our tour cars contain first aid kit, we recommend that travelers carry water purification pills, pain relievers, and any personal prescriptions for medical issues and allergies. You may also need to pack pain relievers for bug bites, as well as medications for flu, diarrhea, and various colds, as well as those that re-hydrate the body. Bandages, scissors, tweezers, and eye drops may also be required. Always remember to bring swimming attire, especially during the dry season. The majority of hotels feature spacious rooms.