What to pack for a gorilla trekking safari
What to pack for a gorilla trekking safari: Gorilla trekking in an incredible activity where you move into the tropical rain forest in search of the habituated gorilla families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. During gorilla trekking you will be with a park guide who will be sharing information about the gorillas and showing you the gorilla leads to follow to where the mountain gorillas slept the previous night.
Gorilla trekking is carried out in three countries which include Uganda with two gorilla destinations namely Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbors the highest number of the mountain gorillas and Mgahinga gorilla national park, Rwanda with one gorilla destination which is Volcanoes national park and Democratic Republic of Congo with two destinations namely Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park.
Gorilla trekking starts in the morning with a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations at the park headquarters where after you will be grouped into 8 people to trek a habituated gorilla family. Trekking of the mountain gorillas takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of the gorillas and once the gorillas are found you will be able to spend one hour with the habituated gorillas in their natural habitat.
Visitors who want to trek the habituated gorillas in any of the destinations in Africa will have to first acquire a gorilla trekking permit which is only issued to visitors above the age of fifteen. Price of a gorilla trekking permit differs depending on the destination you visit for example a gorilla trekking permit in Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400 for foreign non-residents and it’s the cheapest gorilla trekking permit in all the destinations, a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 for all nationalities and it’s the most expensive permit and a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs $600 for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. Uganda increased the price of a gorilla trekking permit by $100 therefore effective 1st July 2020 foreign non-residents will pay $700 and $600 for foreign residents.
What to park for gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park is done in high elevation areas which are always cold during morning and at night. Gorilla trekking is also done in tropical rainforests which means that it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season therefore after acquiring a gorilla trekking permit you need to prepare yourself with various equipment so as to make your gorilla trekking safari successful including
Gorilla trekking permit
A gorilla trekking permit is a document or card that is issued to any visitor above the age of fifteen allowing him or her to visit a habituated gorilla family in any destination. A valid gorilla trekking permit is an important item that should be carried when going on a gorilla trekking safari because without a permit you will not be able to visit any gorilla family in any destination
Long sleeved shirt and trousers
Due to the fact that the mountain gorillas live in high elevation areas, the gorilla destinations are always cold in the morning and at night therefore a long sleeved shirt and trouser will keep you warm and also protect you from thorny plants in the forest.
The long cotton socks will be tucked into the long trousers so as to prevent the biting safari ants, fire ants from entering your body.
The hiking shoes should reach your ankles so as to give you stability and good balance when trekking in muddy and slippery grounds, stinging insects, thorny plants and also to keep your feet dry.
The garden gloves will protect your hands from germs, getting scratched or hurt in case you hold some plants for support during trekking in the jungle.
Gorilla trekking is done in tropical rainforests therefore it can rain anytime of the day regardless of the season and a rain jacket will protect you from rainfall. However it should be light and able to fit in the backpack when it gets hot during the dry season
Hat and sunglasses
The hat will protect you from direct sunshine and for the females it will protect the hair from water droppings and not to get stuck in the tree branches. The sunglasses will protect your eyes from direct sun.
Gorilla trekking takes about 2 to 7 hours in the jungle therefore in order to boost your energy during hiking in the jungle you are advised to carry at least 2 liters of drinking water and packed lunch from the lodge.
Gorilla trekking destinations such as Bwindi impenetrable national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park are always cold during morning hours and at night therefore the warm sweater will keep your body warm during trekking in the morning or at night while at the lodge.
Camera and extra batteries
A camera is a very important equipment to carry when goring for a gorilla trekking safari in that it will be used to take photos of the mountain gorillas and record the moments during the one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat.
First aid kit
The first aid kit is used to carry your medication or other prescriptions for anti diarrhea, allergies, painkillers, liniment, bandages among others therefore in case of any injury or muscle strains the first aid kit will help you.
The insect repellent will protect your body from biting insects such as safari ants, tsetse flies, mosquitoes among others therefore it should be applied to an exposed body when going for a gorilla trekking activity in the forest.
A walking stick will be hired at the lodge or bought from the local markets around the park and it’s used to support you when trekking down on steep slopes and slippery grounds
The backpack will be used to carry all your gorilla trekking equipment such as energy snacks, permit, camera, binoculars among others. However the back pack should be waterproof so as to prevent water from entering in case it rains.
A pair of binoculars
The binoculars will be used to view far wildlife species in the forest such as birds, black and white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees among others.
Hiring a porter
Due to the fact that gorilla trekking in done in steep, muddy and slippery grounds hiring a porter is very important in that the porter will give you a pull or a push during trekking and also carry your backpack.
Gorilla trekking gives you unforgettable and lifetime experiences on your safari which makes it a must do activity therefore in case you are interested in a gorilla trekking safari in either Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo, you can contact Achieve Global Safaris for gorilla trekking packages.