Planning for gorilla safari to Africa requires adequate time and while packing, it is always important to bear at the back of your mind what is taking you to a given destination. Mountain gorillas are found only in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park East of the DR Congo. Given the nature of habitat where these unique creatures live, there is need for you to be fully equipped if you are to have the most enjoyable safari in Africa. That said, we have listed some of the items that we feel will play a significant role while you are on your gorilla safari.
Long sleeved shirts/T-shirts
A fact that this lifetime adventure kicks off early in the morning, you will certainly encounter chilly conditions. Long sleeved shirts are significant during this adventure and they can help you remain warm throughout your tracking process. Long sleeved shirts do not only safeguard you from the chilly morning but they can also help to protect your arms from stinging nettles or falling branches, thorns, harmful plant species, vines among others. T-shirts but you need those that can easily dry. The other significant element that you must consider is that, your clothes should be matching with nature.
While trekking gorillas in the jungles, we should bear in mind there are biting ants and getting out on your pants tucked in your long socks is indeed useful for you to safeguard yourself from stinging insects and ants. The guide will also remind visitors to tuck in their trousers. Understanding this in advance is very important other than being taken abruptly at visitor centre when you do not have any.
A Waterproof day pack is perfect and can be of great significance as it will save your luggage plus other items from getting wet just in case it rains in the course of the day while you are in the middle of the forest. It will also help you keep your travel documents, drinking water and snacks.
Unlike other safari activities, gorilla trekking takes you through a dense forest with steep slopes given the nature of habitat, you need water proof hiking boots that are light weight to help you hike smoothly and offer support to ankles as you walk.
Light rain jackets
Rain jacket or poncho ideally should be a must to include in your packing list. Given the nature of the habitat where these unique creatures thrive, expect it to rain at anytime of the day in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park or Virunga National Park. It is hard to tell when it can rain and because of this you need to have a light weight rain jacket to protect you from rain while tracking mountain gorillas in the wild. Although most trekker prefer traveling during dry season (June to September and from December to February) as away of dodging heavy rains in March, April and May, unfortunately/fortunately the gorilla destinations are largely tropical rainforests and it can rain at any time of the day.
You need faster drying pants. Long pants help protect your legs from injuries mostly from the forest insects, falling tree branches, nettles and the thorns. And for gorilla trekking, shorts may not of help to you and even those that are bulky and challenging to dry. When it rains, surely you will face it tough hiking through the steep terrains while on a wet jean or kachi. Jeans take long to dry compared to pants that can easily dry and visitors can keep tracking mountain gorillas in the wild.
A fact that you will be in the jungle, your hands need to be safeguarded from any kind of injuries and that is why gloves are of great significance. The ground can be slippery and you will need to have support and the only option for you is the nearby plant species. The unfortunate bit of it is that, you may land on plants with harmful substances or you encounter stinging insects from the forest and the only way to protect your hands from all these through wearing a gardening gloves.
Gorilla trekking in Africa isn’t only for viewing mountain gorillas but it comes with amazing sights of the forest birds that thrive within the same habitat. And you shouldn’t miss this thrilling experience too. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone consists of 350 bird species and Volcanoes National Park has 200 bird species.
Any safari requires you to carry some money but how safe will it be? A money belt can be the best option for you to secure your cash from those who are hungry to grab it from you a fact that you will put it on and cover with clothes making it hard to be noticed.
Camera and extra batteries
Your experience isn’t only centered at looking at the gorillas but also to take some pictures for your own memories or show to your friends. This requires you to have a camera fully equipped and it shouldn’t have flashlights and if it has, please turn the flashlights off and take photos. This will reduce risks of making the gorilla charge against you in the forest. Also, don’t forget to come with extra batteries to help you replace the one that runs short of power as you take pictures of these amazing creatures.
Gorilla trekking is conducted in dense forests and you will encounter tsetse flies and mosquitoes and insect repellent, can be of great help to you. DEED OR RID. These insect repellents can be purchased online and you can apply with clothes as well. Others include citronella soap that acts as soap and as insect repellent and it is useful since it also acts as an anti bacterial soap to the body.
Come with some anti malarial tablets and malarone, Doxycycline given that you will be in a new environment anything can happen but this should prescribed by doctor. As well, don’t forget a first aid kit.
Water and energy snacks
A fact that gorilla trekking involves hiking and the usual treks last for over 2 to 8 hours or even more, you certainly need to be equipped with energy giving snacks, water to keep boosting energy and at end of day, you will have enjoyable trek.
Hat and sun glasses
These will help protect your head and eyes from the hot sunshine.
Don’t forget a toilet paper if you have a running stomach and given that toilets are far and located around the visitor centre, you may not be in position to come back up to the visitor centre when you are already in the middle of the forest. But you will be advised to burry your waste product in specific depth as directed by your guide.
In conclusion, the above listed items are of great significance as you plan to undertake gorilla trip to Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo.
The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what’s possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.