Mountain gorillas live in mountainous tropical forests in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo which makes the activity of searching on foot with wildlife rangers for them a true natural challenge. If you are thinking of a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park or Virunga National Park, you should expect to find hot and humid weather conditions, thick forests and steep terrain in the gorilla parks mentioned above.
For that matter, you have to come prepared with the right gear and clothing to enjoy your gorilla safari. The list of items listed here takes into account the dry season (from December to February and June to September) and the wet season April to May and October to November.
Some of the items like a scarf, and sun hat you can get in some craft markets and shops in most parts of Uganda and Rwanda.
Finally, remember to have neutral colours, quick dry and light clothes.
Tropical forests such as in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park have very thick undergrowth, the terrain is steep and trails can be muddy and slippery in any season. It’s therefore very key to pack a pair of hiking shoes (waterproof or not) that are long enough to support your ankle and also feel comfortable wearing in case your gorilla trek gets longer. It’s nice to test the sturdiness of your shoes after buying them to avoid swelling while in the forest searching for gorillas. Alternatively, you can hire gumboots always available at the gorilla park visitor centre.
On top of hiking shoes, of course, you will need pairs of socks that are made purposely for hiking and also, an extra pair of your choice to wear after finishing the gorilla trek.
Gaiters are most helpful when trekking gorillas in the rainy season because tropical forest trails, especially in Uganda, will have a lot of mud due to water and thick undergrowth. So, you will want to keep your legs safe by covering and putting gaiters on top of long pants. In the dry season, you can do the trek without gaiters in Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Stinging nettles, wasps, thorny plants, mosquitoes and all biting insects you can imagine of are pretty common for instance, in Bwindi forest and Virunga. Therefore, the pants and shirts to wear for gorilla trekking must be long to cover your legs and arms too. The ones we recommend are made of light and quick-drying stuff. Though this will depend on your preference for changing clothes or washing what you wear after finishing gorilla trekking.
Though some people wear t-shirts, it’s not advisable to leave your arms exposed unless you are used to east African tropical environments. If you want to wear t-shirts, the insect repellant will help to keep insects away but it won’t stop the thorny bushes. The choice falls on your shoulders. Always keep your pants tucked into socks to keep off safari ants from entering you.
This is obvious even if you want to trek in the dry season which is the best time to see gorillas because most people are made to think there’s little rainfall. It can still rain heavily in places like Bwindi forest but most likely light and humid showers. So, you have to get a rainproof raincoat that is foldable to fit into your backpack.
You need a day pack or backpack which you will use to keep camera gear, drinking water, a lunch box and all that you need while in the forest including extra clothes.
One of the awesome things to do is to take hundreds of photos of mountain gorillas. So, get ready your camera for those magical moments with gorillas for 1 hour or 4 hours during habituation experience in their natural habitat.
However The Above are the Most Essential Items to Carry while on your safari while preparing for your gorilla trekking experience with us.
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