Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda has of recent become Africa’s most popular tourist activity. Mountain gorillas stay in the jungle and always not easy to access them, but the common mistakes that trekkers make is dressing inappropriately, some put on sandals, shorts which are not recommended for gorilla trekking.
All the mountain gorilla sites in Africa like Bwindi Impenetrable, Mgahinga gorilla in Uganda, Volcanoes in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR Congo are all located on higher elevations making it rainy, humid and cold especially in the nights and mornings.
It is true that trekking for the gorillas it is not a comfortable trail, even sometimes trails are not there but in most cases trekkers hike through small trails that can lead to the gorillas. Therefore, as you plan for the gorilla safari in both Uganda and Rwanda, it’s vital to plan with the right clothing to protect yourself from Coldness, thorn pricks, nettles or insect bites.
The following are some of the right gears recommended during a gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo.
Dress in a long sleeved shirt.
Trekkers are advised to put on long sleeved shirts and trousers or pants, these can be either Khaki zip-up trousers or even jeans. The best is having a waterproof trouser that can’t allow water penetrate through.
The long trousers or pants and the long sleeved shirts protect trekkers from nettles, thorns, insects and anything that can easily prick the skin of the trekker. Visitors are at least advised to have cotton undergarments, for the ladies at least ensure you have a bra to be comfortable because the hike is not an easy one.
Put on waterproof hiking boots.
The hike trails are too slippery especially when it rains; therefore it is important to have a pair of waterproof hiking boots to handle the nature of the trails. Make sure you are comfortable with the boots but rangers usually put on rubber boots or gumboots.
Sandals, snickers are not advised at all for gorilla trekking. Hiking boots are good for stability, balancing, tracing and covering the ankles plus the woolen socks. The rangers recommend that all trekkers tuck in the trousers in to the socks to protect from safari ants, fire ants and many other insects.
This is one of the most recommended gear for gorilla trekking in all mountain gorilla destinations. These gloves help to give support for the trekker when holding on branches, vines and it offers protection from the nettles not avoid being pricked. When meeting the gorillas trekkers can take off the gloves to enable them take the best photos.
Don’t wonder why a sweater, in Africa? It’s one of the requirements and very important not to miss carrying it, because especially in the night it is absolutely cold. The high elevation of the entire gorilla area, temperatures can be low at night making the area too cold. In Mgahinga national park temperatures can go as low as 10̊ C and Bwindi it can be 11̊ C and sometimes even below that.
However, most of the lodges in the gorilla sites have fire places in the cottages and rooms. Some lodges give the guest hot water bottles to warm them at night.
It is notable that gorillas inhabit rainforests and usually trekking is done in the morning hours, it is with no doubt anytime rain can fall no matter the season whether dry and rain seasons. For that reason it is a must that all trekkers are supposed to have rain jackets for safety.
Some people use a poncho which is allowed but should be a light one that can be folded and can be kept in the bag pack.
Put on a Hat.
A good and wide-brimmed hat can protect the head and the neck from sun and rain. It is true that some can decide to go with a baseball cap but the problem is that it will not protect the neck from the sun when the mist disappears in the forest.
For those who might not carry the hats still have a change to buy a local one from the local craft shops in the country where they will be trekking the gorillas from.
Put on enough insect Repellent.
Definitely as trekkers embark on the search for the gorillas they encounter different insects, so it is vital to wear enough of insect repellent which can protect the body. For those with sun block cream can apply it on the exposed parts of the body. For trekkers that are having gorilla habituation Experience which is almost the whole day are expected to carry on with their repellent in the day back pack.
Trekkers are expected to have a walking stick that can support them in the process of hiking. The trails are normally small that trekkers can use the sticks to clear a way where they can pass and also to support when climbing the steep slopes.
It is not a big deal that one should worry about because the sticks can be got from the parks’ headquarters or from the craft markets around the park at a fair price.
To embark on a gorilla safari it requires some preparations which include some of the above gears in order to have the best of the gorilla safari in any of the mountain gorilla destinations in Africa.