Among the top most asked FAQ about gorilla trekking include where is the best places to trek gorillas in the world? Among the top most destination for gorilla trekking is done in Rwanda, Uganda, DRC and Republic of Congo. When planning on talking a tour we always think about what to pack. But when you don’t know much about the destination and the activity you are going to be doing, you will not know some of things to take with you. Well, I got you covered with the packaging list for a gorilla trekking safari in a destination.
Top 15 Packing list for Gorilla trekking in Africa
- Hiking Boots
Gorilla trekking as an activity involves moving on foot through some thick forests as you look for the amazing gentle giant apes. Because of the nature of the forest plus the altitude, you need light weight hiking boots for this activity. The trails involve hiking with some sloping and the trail gets slippery at times. The trek takes between 4-6 hours depending on the location of the gorillas that day. Though you will need to watch your steps all the way, a good pair of hiking boots will make your movement much easier.
- Garden Gloves
As you trek the gorillas, there will be a lot of sliding more so when it rained the previous night. It can even rain on you as you trek this makes movement more challenging because when you slide, you somehow need to get hold of some plants, and trees for support. These gloves will help to protect your hands against germs and other things that might scratch or bruise your hands.
- Rain Jacket
Mountain gorillas live in the tropical rain forests of the great Virunga region and also in the forests of Bwindi. In this type of vegetation, rain is received throughout the year. Many clients prefer traveling in drier months of June, July, August and beginning of September and try to avoid rainy seasons of March, April and May. But you can’t tell when it is going to rain, don’t forget to carry your rain jacket when going for the trek.
- Long Sleeved Shirts or blouse and trousersThis is important during the actual gorilla trek. Avoid short sleeved shirts or sleeveless tops (for women).The jungle has a lot of insects, stinging nettles, and plants with thorns. At times you will leave the usual trail and then find a new trail where you will try creating a way through the thick forest (with the help of the guides of course) more so in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The long sleeved shirts will protect your arms from the effect of those plants. Long sleeved shirts are also important to keep you warm because it is always chilly in the morning. Please ensure that you tack in your trousers in your hiking boots to avoid insects such as safari ants entering your trousers. Jeans and Khaki trousers can do this better.
- Energy giving snacks and water
Gorilla trekking can take from 1-8 hours and that’s why a certain level of fitness is required. To add on that, you advise that you carry some energy giving snacks as supplements. Some of the good accommodation facilities offer packed lunch and water for their clients who are going to trek gorillas. Before departing from your lodge, don’t forget to carry your lunch because you can’t tell when you will get back.
- Cameras and extra batteries
Photography is an important component of your safari and thus make sure that you have your camera ready, charge your batteries very well and if necessary, carry extra batteries as you will need to take as many photographs in the one hour you will have with the gorillas. Please make sure that you switch off your flash while taking gorilla photographs.
- Hat and Sun Glasses
If it is hot, please carry a hat to protect you from the strong sunrays. You may also need to carry some sunglasses too. These are extra optional.
- Pair of Binoculars
The tropical forests where mountain gorillas live are also home to other wildlife some of which include; chimpanzees, forest buffalos and elephants, and other primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys among others as well as various bird species. As you trek the gorillas, you will expect to spot some of these wildlife. A good pair of binoculars will make it easier to spot those at a distance.
- Porters for your gorilla trek
This is an extra optional item and we advise all our clients to take a porter for their gorilla trekking. As earlier noted, gorilla trekking can be strenuous and thus you will need someone to give you a push or a pull on the way to the gorillas. These porters go for a fee but it is worth it. Remember that these porters are actually school going students either in their vacation or have been chased out of school due to school fees. By paying some money to have a porter with you, you will have contributed to community development indirectly.
- Cotton socks
A pair of long enough cotton socks is handy for your gorilla trek. These socks prevent the safari ants from entering into your trousers. Before the gorilla trek, the ranger will ask you to tuck your trousers into the socks.
- Sunglasses and a hat
Sunglasses with neck trap and hats with a brim are important to protect you from the effect of the scorching sunshine. Similarly, sun cream is also an important element in your packing list.
A pair of sandals are necessary for relaxing in the evening or when doing some activities like community walks or going to the nearby markets.
- Swim suitNot all lodges in these destinations have swimming pools. For those who are interested in swimming after gorilla trekking, it would be wise to pack a suit. With this you will have to make sure that the lodge or hotel you book has a swimming pool.
You will definitely need this in the mornings and evenings. The coldness you will experience in Bwindi, Mgahinga or Volcanoes National Parks will make you look for your sweater or any cloth like a scarf to keep you warm. This is indescribable during the rainy seasons where even the blanket and bedcover may not be enough.
- A pair of shorts
These are important when you are relaxing within your lodge, or participating in other activities around where you are like nature walks, community visits, boat cruise, shopping and others.