Essential Gorilla Trekking Gear
Essential gorilla trekking gear are those items that are deemed important for a successful gorilla trekking adventure. Without these essential gorilla trekking gear, travelers end up getting bad experiences given the terrain and nature of the gorilla trekking destinations. Gorilla trekking is an activity that involves travelers walking deep into the lush verdant forests and steep-sloped gorilla parks that inhabit the endangered mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas are an endangered ape specie that can only be found in the Virunga Conservation Area that encompasses Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda; and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. These gorilla destinations are very steep, slippery when wet and muddy when it rains. For this reason, travellers are encouraged to carry essential gorilla trekking gear, as listed below;
Comfortable hiking boots with a grip
Comfortable hiking boots with a grip, and preferably waterproof are a must carry. These shoes must fit you well and not so heavy that you’d feel burdened during the trek. Hiking boots with a grip will help you stay firm on the muddy and slippery ground or paths of the jungles that have rain falling almost every other day. Also, having the hiking boots waterproof would help to keep you warm and dry when you step in water puddles, mud, when crossing small rivers or when it decides to rain.
Thick socks and gaiters
If you are doing gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, thick socks are a must carry due to the abundancy of crawlies. These crawlies say red ants, can climb up onto you so fast in a matter of seconds when you stand still, and are very reactive and sting so hard. Make sure to put on the socks and have them tacked into your pants, leaving no space at all. Gaiters, which are worn over the shoes and pants are especially recommended when gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda.
Long trousers that can easily stretch during the trek so as not to limit your movement up and down are advised. Given the lush vegetation cover of the gorilla parks, having short trousers could have travellers being exposed to reactive plants that will scratch and bruise you all over. Travellers are also advised to pack appropriate colours that could blend in with the surrounding, say kaki or dark green colours.
Long sleeved shirts or t-shirts
Long sleeved shirts are advised to carry because they would protect travellers from getting scratched by the lush vegetation cover that is sometimes too thick that rangers need to clear the way. When choosing the shirts to carry, consider those that would keep you not only warm when it is extremely cold but also not suffocate you when the weather is warmer. Pay attention to the colours too.
Waterproof jacket or raincoat
Given that gorillas live in mountainous and thick-vegetation areas, weather in these places tends to change drastically, that is, it could rain even during the dry season. It could be hot and dry in the morning and then it rains in the afternoon. With this changes in the weather patterns by the hour, packing a waterproof jacket or raincoat is very important. Make sure to not have the jackets very heavy, and neither should the raincoat be too light that trees and branches could prick and tear it into pieces. Also consider waterproof jackets or raincoats with a hoodie to shield you from the rains.
A hat will shield you from not only the scotching sun but also the rains when they fall. Having it waterproof comes in handy when it rains for your head will be kept dry despite the rain.
Travellers are encouraged to carry waterproof backpacks so as to safe-keep your treasured items like cameras, phones, documents and the like from getting wet during the trek.
Gloves are also considered essential gorilla trekking gear for they help travellers to have a strong grip on the hiking stick or vegetation during gorilla trekking. Also, gloves protect travellers from reactive plants that they might touch or hold onto while gorilla trekking.
Insect repellent cream
Travellers are encouraged to carry insect repellent creams that can keep insects like mosquitoes at bay.
Given the ever changing weather patterns in these gorilla destinations, sunscreen could come in handy when the sun is too hot.
Energy giving snacks
The altitudes terrain of these gorilla national parks are quite high and hard that gorilla trekking becomes strenuous on a traveller. Carrying energy giving snacks like chocolate is important for they will help you to regain lost energy. Remember to not eat anywhere near the gorillas.
A hiking stick which could be got from one’s lodge of stay or at the start of the trek, as well as a porter to help carry your luggage, should be considered as well. Items of personal nature should not be left out, remember to carry them. Clad with the above essential trekking gear, travellers should be able to have a successful gorilla trekking in Africa safari.
To be able to take part in gorilla trekking, travellers need to purchase gorilla trekking permits that vary according to gorilla destination. In Rwanda, a gorilla trekking permit costs $1,500 while in Uganda a gorilla permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents while East African citizens pay ugx250,000 only. A gorilla trekking permit in Congo is at $400 only. Gorilla trekking is a much sought after activity and given that there are limited permits available per day, travellers are advised to book their gorilla trekking permits way in advance, at least 3-4 months.
Along with your essential gorilla trekking gear and gorilla trekking permit, be sure to have a successful gorilla trekking experience. Get in touch with a trusted tour operator to help you plan the best gorilla trekking safari fit for just you.