What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking in Africa?
What you pack for gorilla trekking in Africa (Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)) matters a lot when planning for a gorilla safari. This is one of the essential steps in planning for a successful and memorable gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC. When packing for gorilla trekking, not everything should be carried but rather a few select essential items. This is what distinguishes mountain gorilla trekking from the rest of wildlife safaris.
Mountain gorillas live in high elevation only in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Eastern DR Congo. Given the nature of their habitat, trekkers on a gorilla safari need to be well-prepared and part of the preparation is considering what to pack for gorilla trekking. Please pack lightly to reduce the overload because trekking mountain gorillas is entirely a strenuous experience!
Below are essential items to pack for gorilla trekking
Valid gorilla permits
When you think of trekking mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a valid gorilla permit is a must-have on a gorilla safari. This is what allows you to track one of the habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and the Virunga National Park.
Light rain jacket or poncho.
Light rain jacket or poncho is one of the important items to pack for gorilla trekking. It plays a significant role especially in protecting you when it rains. Rains should be expected at any time of the day when trekking mountain gorilla because gorilla habitats largely comprise of tropical rain-forests and they lie astride the Equator.
A waterproof Daypack
Waterproof daypacks are essential in safeguarding your important documents and other travel items.
Treks to view mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC involves hiking through the dense vegetation and steep slopes. Given the kind of habitat where these apes are, waterproof hiking boots are a must-have. They can protect your legs from water and make sure they offer support to your ankles.
Insect repellents preferably DEET should be a must-pack for gorilla trekking. It will help protect one from biting insects.
Long-sleeved shirts are recommended for gorilla trekking. Given the nature of habitat where mountain gorillas live in, long-sleeved shirts help cover one’s hands and protect them from the biting insects or falling tree branches. Environmentally-friendly shirts are the best so that they blend with the environment.
A sweater/jacket – What you pack for gorilla trekking in Africa
By nature, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Parks Virunga National Park are in cold areas. To have some warmth, a sweater/jacket is a must-have item.
Trousers are important to pack for gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. Actual gorilla trek, the park official or your park ranger guide will advise you to tuck your trousers into socks. This is to protect your legs from biting insects/ants.
Garden gloves – What you pack for gorilla trekking in Africa
You need gardening gloves when trekking mountain gorillas. They play an essential role especially in protecting your hands in case you touch itching plants or thorny trees when you fall and you need some support.
A valid passport and visas.
Packing a passport and visa isn’t an obvious thing. It is easy yet it’s one of the essential documents for one’s travel. One should also ensure they have a valid passport and visa as on the actual gorilla trek one is required to present their passport for verification purposes at park headquarters.
Cameras – What you pack for gorilla trekking in Africa
Photo taking is key for visitor memories and that is why cameras are must-pack for gorilla trekking. When choosing the type of camera to bring, make sure it is doesn’t have the flashlight and in case it does have, when taking photos, one is required to turn the flashlight off to avoid irritating mountain gorillas something that may make them charge against you or even cause harm.
A pair of cotton socks
One is advised not to forget long socks for gorilla trekking. On the actual trek, it is a must for every trekker to tuck in their trousers into socks in order to prevent red ants from entering.
First aid kit
The first aid kit is another essential item to pack for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo. It is important to have one in case of injuries. The first aid kit/box should include some painkillers, malarial drugs, and anti-diarrhea drugs, cold medication, antiseptic cream, bandages, and liniment for muscle strains.
Energy giving snacks and bottled water.
Trekking to view mountain gorillas requires you to be physically well because it is an unpredictable experience. It can take you about 2-6 hours less or more depending on the number of factors and make a complete trek, energy-giving snacks plus bottled drinking water are a must-have.
Hat – What you pack for gorilla trekking in Africa
A wide-brimmed safari hat is one of the important items to pack for gorilla trekking. This is to help protect your head from sun heat.
In conclusion, what you pack for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC plays a significant role in ensuring you have a successful and enjoyable gorilla trekking experience.
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