What To Pack for gorilla trekking

March 15, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

If you have already booked your gorilla tracking safari to Uganda, have your permits acquired, transportation and accommodation arranged. The next thing most people worry about is, what to carry as important things to this safari that will facilitate its success being that it’s not just like any other safari to Africa. The mountain gorillas are found within the Virungas Conservation area and in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in all the place the gorillas are in the mountains justifying the name mountain gorillas thus reaching them needs some preparedness and here are some of the things we  think may be important for the success of your gorilla safari.

Hiking Boots

Being that the mountain gorillas are always in the hilly areas, you expect a little bit of hiking and in some cases it can really be intense hiking. The hiking boots in all cases are an important item on this safari. The fact that it’s a forest, it’s important to have shoes that can manage any situation in case it arose. Make sure the boots are comfortable, and light to manage the terrain and high altitude which at times get boggy in the rainy seasons.

Garden Gloves

This trek being in a forest, there are many plants that are thorny and some just dangerous. It is important that you protect your hands during this trek. The forest is also slippery most times and you may easily slide, fall or if you touch any itching plants or thorny twigs you won’t be hurt. There are also germs and other insects that may be harmful or might be irritating so consider including Garden Gloves in your gorilla trekking packing list.

Rain Jacket

Bwindi impenetrable national park is a tropical afro-montane rainforest and it is expected to rain anytime of the day throughout the year. It is therefore a must and very advisable that you carry a rain jacket for your gorilla tracking safaris to Uganda. The place is also very cold and the fog and mist that the gorillas live in can also make you wet on moist. The trees will have the mist settle and become water and also, as you go through the forests, the water from the leaves will keep dropping and may make you wet we advise nature friendly and blending colors that will not affect the interactions and encounters with the wildlife.

Hat and Sun Glasses

Much as it is cool most of the times where the Mountain Gorillas live mostly in the morning and late evenings, it can tend to be hot in due course of the day so please carry a hat to protect you from the strong sun rays as you hike in and around the forest since the gorillas live both in the forest interior and on the edges, Also note that before you start the real hike, some starting points are not under forest the forest cover and if the trek happens in Rwanda, there are some families that are near farms in the open shoots. You may also need to carry some sun glasses too much as they are not worn while near the gorillas. These are extra optional.

Pair of Binoculars

Don’t forget that you are on safari and you want to have clear views of everything. Mgahing Gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable, Volcanoes and Virunga National parks are home to many bird species, chimpanzees, and numerous monkeys like the Red Tailed, L’hoest’s, endangered Golden, Blue, the Black and White Colobus among other primates, forest elephants and buffaloes, small forest Duikers, Chameleons and more creatures, so during your trek in search for the rare mountain gorillas, you will have a chance to spot some of the above at times in far distances and will need extra visuals to have better views.

Long Sleeved Shirts/Blouse/

Pack some long sleeved trousers/shirts/blouse for your gorilla trekking safari to Uganda. Please ensure that you stuck your trousers in your hiking boots to avoid insects such as safari ants entering your trousers. Jeans, safari and Kachi trousers can do this better as they will also protect you from the vines and nettles within the gorilla jungles

Energy giving snacks and enough drinking water

Tracking the gorillas and hiking in the jungles of Africa can generally be a calorie demanding activity. It’s always between one hour and about 6 hours on average. This means you are required to have good fitness levels to go through this trek. To this, you will need some energy drinks and snacks to complement your fitness. You will also carry some food inform of lunch from the lodge and a lot of drinking water to help you with hydration. To make sure you don’t carry a lot of things from home, you can buy the energy drinks and snacks on arrival in Uganda. Ask your guide to help you with this.

Cameras and extra batteries

Having good memories of a safari inform of photographs and videos is almost everyone’s dreams as it’s the best way to review and rethink your trip even after years. Therefore make sure you carry your camera and charge your batteries fully if need be, make sure you carry extra batteries in case one runs out and also carry an extra memory card to make sure you take as many photos as possible. Please make sure that you switch off your flash while taking gorilla photographs.

Porters for your gorilla trek

The porters are just an extra on this list but can also be very important. It is advisable that you do get one of the local porters to your gorilla trekking safari. The fact that you need to carry a lot of things to the forest and the hike may be hectic, you may need one of the local porters to help support you and also carry some luggage for you. The local porter come with a fee that u will agree upon with the help of your guide or travel consultant. Using a porter is also some way of supporting the community that helps in conserving the gorillas. For your take here is what Tara Short from the US a Journeys Uganda annual gorilla tracker and adventure partner for the last 3 years said on the 7th May 2021 ‘yesterday’s visit to see the great apes was magical. However, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my porter, Michael. He held my hand the entire time and pulled and pushed me through the thick jungle. There was never a time I saw dirt. The floor of the forest was full of thick and long green growth and it tangled up my feet at every opportunity. I fell on my bottom numerous times and Michael was there to pull me up and keep me going. At one point I fell all the way down to the ground and took Michael with me, I bet this was the first for Michael as these local people are adept at walking in the difficult conditions. I will never forget Michael and his help through the Bwindi forest’ so please however physically fit you are, at Journeys Uganda we advise you take a porter for several reasons.

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