Packing list for a Gorilla Trekking Safari
Packing list for a Gorilla Trekking Safari: Wondering what to carry with you on your gorilla trekking safari? Here is a brief guide that will help you know what essential items to pack on your gorilla trekking safari.
Gorilla trekking safaris are mainly conducted in three major countries; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, gorilla trekking safaris are conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda are conducted in Volcanoes National Park, which is also known as Pac National Des Volcans in French. Gorilla trekking safaris in Congo are majorly conducted in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
Before embarking on a gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda or Congo, there are some essential items that every tourist should carry along with you during your trip. Items to pack for your gorilla trekking safari include;
A gorilla Trekking Permit:
Before you board that plane to any gorilla trekking destination, you will need to first book your gorilla trekking permit. Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo can be booked online through a trusted tour operator company that are licensed to operate within the country you have chosen to travel to. Some legit tour companies that you can use to book your gorilla trekking permit include Explore Rwanda Tours, Achieve Global Safaris, and Focus East Africa Tours.
Alternatively, visitors planning a gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda, Congo or Uganda can book their gorilla trekking permits directly through the parks’ reservation offices in the respective country that you will be visiting.
Since gorillas live in high altitudes of montane rainforests, you will need to carry a light raincoat or jacket in case it rains. There is no telling exactly when it will rain therefore it is important that you are well prepared on the day that you are set to do gorilla trekking.
Long trousers/pants and long sleeved shirts:
On the day you are set to do actual gorilla trekking, you will have to wear a pair of long trousers as well as long sleeved shirts. The long sleeved shirts and trousers will protect your body from getting scratched or cut by tree branches or figs, protect your arms and legs from mosquito bites and bugs, as well as give you warmth while trekking.
You will need to pack a hat or cap on your gorilla trekking safari. The hat/cap will protect you from the harsh sunshine while you doing gorilla trekking. This is quite an essential item to carry with you especially if you are planning to track mountain gorillas during the dry season.
Long elastic stockings:
Weird as it may sound; long elastic stockings are an essential item to pack during a gorilla trekking safari. It is recommended that you wear elastic stockings since you will have to tack your trousers in your stockings for extra safety reasons.
A good pair of hiking boots:
When planning your gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda, Uganda or Congo, you must pack a good pair of hiking boots. A good pair of hiking boots will come in handy when hiking through the thick and dense forest vegetation. You will also be able to easily navigate the hiking trails in the forest which tend to be steep, muddy and slippery especially during the raining season.
Insect repellent and sunscreen cream:
It is advisable that you pack with you some insect repellent cream as well as sunscreen, when travelling on your gorilla trekking safari. The insect repellent cream will help protect your from mosquito bites while the sunscreen will help protect you from the harsh ultra violet rays from the scorching African sun.
Mineral water Bottle:
Having some mineral water with you at all times will help keep you hydrated throughout your gorilla trekking activity. Always carry a mineral water bottle with you when going on your gorilla trekking adventure.
Packed Lunch and Light Snacks:
When packing for your gorilla trekking safari, do not forget to pack lunch and some snacks for the road. There is no telling for how long you will be out tracking mountain gorillas since gorilla trekking safaris usually take between 5 to 8 hours or even more depending on the location of the gorillas group that you are tracking. Most gorilla lodges offer trekkers packed lunch at request.
Camera and extra batteries:
This is one of the first items that you should think of packing for your gorilla trekking safari. On the day that you are set to do actual gorilla trekking, carry along with you your camera and also an extra pair of batteries in case the ones in your camera run low. You will want to maximize on the one hour that you will be given once you have located a gorilla group, so make sure your camera is set and within arms’ reach.
These are the essential items to carry along with you on your gorilla trekking safari to Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other items that you can pack include; prescribed malaria pills, a personal first aid kit, binoculars and a pair of hand gloves preferably garden or winter gloves.
How much does a gorilla trekking permit cost?
The cost of a gorilla trekking permit varies depending on which country you are going to trek mountain gorillas from. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs USD 1500 dollars per person while in Uganda, a gorilla trekking permit costs USD 700 dollars per person. A gorilla trekking permit in Congo costs USD 400 dollars per person.
How to book your gorilla trekking permit?
You can book your gorilla trekking permit through a trust tour operator company such as Explore Rwanda Tours, Achieve Global Safaris and Focus East Africa Tours. Such trusted tour companies take on the burden and long process of securing a gorilla trekking permit for you. All you need to do is provide copy of your passport which must be valid for at least six months.