You have already paid for your gorilla tour, or you have booked gorilla permits, transport and accommodation? The next very important thing is to make sure that you should pack the right gorilla trekking gear for your safari. Gorilla trekking clothes are the same for gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga as well as the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of Eastern Congo.Therefore the next question to be answered is what to pack for a gorilla trek. Here is all what you need to get started with planning your next gorilla trek;
This is the most important of all items that you need, You should never forget the Hiking Boots when going for a gorilla trek in the park. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Volcanoes National Park involves trekking/hiking in search for the endangered mountain gorillas. Because of the nature of the forest plus the altitude and terrain, you need light weight hiking boots for this activity. Hiking boots are must as you decide on what to pack for your gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s volcanoes National Park.
Consider including a rain jacket in your gorilla trekking pack list as it is very crucial in as far as gorilla trekking gear is concerned. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a tropical rain forest and as such, rain is received through out the whole year. You can never tell when it is going to rain so you need a rain jacket in order to be protected from rain. Many tourists 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 being a tropical rain forest, it can rain any time. When deciding on what to pack for your gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Volcanoes National Park, a Rain jacket or Poncho should be included.
You are required to pack gloves in order to protect you hands during your gorilla trek. As you move in this forest, remember that it can get slippery and somehow you need to hold on something just in case such happens. If you happen to touch some itching plants, trees or even climbing trees, you may be harmed. These gloves will therefore protect you from germs and other items that may scratch your hands. Consider including Garden Gloves in your gorilla trekking packing list.
You are supposed to pack up shoes that will help you in trekking while in the jungle. The local park rangers wear gumboots and for your case you can pack waterproof hiking shoes. These serve the main purpose of keeping you warm even to cross rivers and have the necessary grip and shape to walk in mud, the sliding soil in the jungle. Your feet need to be protected from the many stinging plants, branches and insects which inhabit the rich eco system.
You are required to have long sleeved trousers/shirts/blouse for your gorilla trekking. Please ensure that you tack in your trousers in your hiking boots to avoid insects such as safari ants entering your trousers. Jeans and Kachi trousers can do this better. For this reason pack clothes that are friendly to natural environment so that you blend in with your surroundings. Go with greens, grey and brown clothes. Avoid camouflage, don’t wear animal print as gorillas may become alarmed at seeing a leopard.
Photography is an important component in your safari therefore 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 be tracking gorillas. But make sure that you switch off your flash while taking gorilla photographs.
If it is hot, dont forget to carry a hat to protect you from the strong sun rays. You may also need to carry some sun glasses too. These are extra optional.
Don’t forget that you are on safari and you want to have clear views of each and everything. Bwindi Impenetrable National park is home to over 350 birds, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys among other primates, forest elephants and buffaloes so during your trek in search for the rare mountain gorillas, you will have a chance to spot some of the above. This is the same while tracking from Virunga National Park.
Gorilla trekking can take from 30 minutes to eight or so hours and that’s why a certain level of fitness is required. To add on that, we advise that you carry some energy giving snacks as supplements. Before departing from your lodge, you need to carry your packed lunch and lots of drinking water as you never know when you will return back. Energy giving foods can be bought in Uganda or Rwanda.
Although not essential for all, trekking poles are great in providing extra balance and support. Don’t forget to pack them before tracking.