You have already paid for your gorilla tour, gorilla permits, transport and accommodation. The next very important thing is to make sure that you have packed the right gorilla trekking gear for your gorilla safari. Gorilla trekking clothes are the same for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park as well as Volcanoes National Park So, the next question to be answered is what to pack for a gorilla trek. What we have advised below is for gorilla trekking but if your gorilla tour combined with wildlife safaris you might need more.
One of the most important items that should be included in your gorilla trekking gear are hiking boots. 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.
You will be required gloves 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.
Consider including a rain jacket or poncho in your gorilla trekking packing 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 will never tell when it is going to rain so you need a rain jacket in order to be protected from rain. 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 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.
Long Sleeved Shirts / Blouse
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.
Energy Giving snacks
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. Energy giving foods can be bought in Uganda or Rwanda so contact or ask your guide to take you to a nearby super market.
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 sun rays. You may also need to carry some sun glasses too. These are extra optionals.
Pair of Binoculars
Don’t forget that you are on safari and you want to have clear views of everything. Bwindi Impenetrable National park is home to over 350 birds, chimpanzees, black and white colubus 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.
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.