Uganda And Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari Packing List : A Comprehensive Guide : The ultimate packing list for Uganda and Rwanda Mountain gorilla trekking, from boots to gloves and clothing, to ensure you are as comfortable as possible on your gorilla trekking safari adventure.
Mountain Gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! However, in order to fully enjoy the experience, you must arrive prepared with good packing list. Both Uganda and Rwanda have warm tropical climates, but the mountain gorillas live at altitude, where the temperature drops dramatically at night and remains cold until early morning. During the day, it is generally humid and chilly, and mist and rain are common all year.
GORILLA TREKKING IS NO WALK IN THE PARK.
A Mountain gorilla trekking Safari takes you through dense tropical rainforests. So this isn’t a leisurely stroll along well-defined paths. Instead, the guides and porters regularly hack through the jungle with machetes to clear a path for everyone.
Furthermore, the trails are steep and slick. Scramble over logs and rocks, grab onto vines and creepers (which can have thorns), and wade across streams at times. There are also stinging nettles and insects like soldier and fire ants (just the names should give you pause!). As you can see, proper attire is required for your gorilla trekking adventure if you want it to be memorable for the right reasons.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI
Let’s quickly scan the packing list before delving into the specifics of what you should bring on a gorilla trekking tour in Uganda and Rwanda.
ü Two face masks and hand sanitizer
ü A decent light waterproof jacket
ü A pair of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt (t-shirt), and longer socks
ü A pair of hiking gloves
ü A lightweight pair of waterproof hiking boots
ü A tin of insect repellent
ü energy-giving snacks
ü Biodegradable tissue or toilet paper
ü Waterproof backpack
ü Trekking poles or hiking staff
ü Refillable drinking water bottle
There are no walking paths, street signs, or voice directions in the jungle, which is an endless thicket of tangled growth. You need to rise early and obediently follow a local tracker’s directions in order to locate the gorillas’ nest.
Since each excursion group forges its own course, the experience is unpredictable. You could spend hours hiking through the rough terrain, crossing rivers, wading through mud, and climbing over giant tree stumps that had fallen. But there are some things you can count on, like the need for a ton of patience, a sense of humor, and tolerance for the harsh realities of the jungle.
Observing gorillas for the first time is unforgettable! As you get closer, you’ll see dark shapes within the lush vegetation’s deep green. A few seconds pass before you realize that these shapes are actually wild gorillas standing right in front of you. They are remarkably composed. The gorillas may initially give you a quick glance before quickly getting back to work.
It’s thrilling, intense, and exciting. But if the shoe doesn’t fit and you’re covered in mud and rainwater, you won’t get to enjoy any of it. Here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to bring to Uganda and Rwanda for your Mountain gorilla trekking Safari trip.
A comprehensive list of the essential items you need to bring on a mountain gorilla safari in Uganda and Rwanda:
1. Two face masks and hand sanitizer
Every trekker should have a facemask. Since gorillas have a large portion of our genome, they are susceptible to catching any infectious diseases that humans spread, particularly respiratory illnesses. The same is true for humans; these great apes could expose us to contagious diseases.
The experts advise us to wear a facemask and stay at least 10 meters away from the gorillas in order to reduce this. Only when you are spending time with the gorillas will you be required to wear the facemask, not while hiking through the jungle. Therefore, bring a few facemasks, preferably eco-friendly ones.
2. A decent light waterproof jacket
It’s likely that Toto visited Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before they sang, “I bless the rains down in Africa,” as downpours there are sudden and rather harsh. So avoid the discomfort of being wet by packing a small rain jacket in your backpack. Nothing is more uncomfortable than taking a hike in the jungle while wearing wet underwear.
3. A pair of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt (t-shirt), and longer socks
You want to keep yourself covered and as protected as you can. Folks, the jungle can be incredibly cruel to your body. Your guide will insist that you tuck your pants into your socks to prevent red from showing and climbing up your thighs, so be prepared to look like a Mongol soldier.
Additionally, the long sleeves of the shirt will protect your skin from insects and sharp branches. Verify that they are bright and won’t trap heat inside. Avoid using camouflage colors or decorations; they are only appropriate for use by the military or on the battlefield, and it is against the law to wear camouflage in Uganda and Rwanda. Choose some muted hues that will help you blend in with the environment, such as kaki, green, or light colors.
4. A pair of hiking gloves
The guides will do their best to clear a path, but you’ll unavoidably get your hands dirty and will want to avoid getting prickles on your hands while doing so. When you need to clear your path and hold onto a branch to prevent sleeping on steep slopes, hiking or outdoor gloves will be very helpful. Additionally, they’ll prevent you from contaminating the items you touch on your journey with harmful organisms.
5. A lightweight pair of waterproof hiking boots
You won’t be able to trek with gorillas while wearing only long pants that are tucked in, socks, and canvas shoes. You’ll have to put your best foot forward because the jungle floor is a mess and there are no established hiking trails. Your best foot will be in a pair of jungle boots like Indiana Jones, which have a hiking sole, are waterproof, and have good ankle support. Perhaps not so heavy. Before you pack for the gorilla trekking safari tour in Rwanda and Uganda, locate a travel retailer nearby and find out what comfortably fits you.
6. A tin of insect repellent (bug spray)
Keep in mind that you will be staying and hiking in a tropical rainforest, home to a diverse population of insects. And not just any tropical jungle; the African jungle is home to the greatest diversity of reptiles, insects, and other critters on the planet. Most bugs won’t itch you excessively if you use bug spray.
If you plan to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda, pack some bug spray. The best strategy for an outdoor enthusiast to combat the annoyance and risk of a blood-feeding pestilence is a one-two punch of permethrin on clothing and DEET on exposed skin. Douse yourself in insect repellent even in the evenings at the campfire or lounge when you have less cover and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience scratch-free.
7. Energy-giving snacks
You need food for energy as you hike through Rwanda and Uganda’s untamed forests. How long you’ll be in the wilderness before the trackers find the gorillas is unknown. If you sense that your energy is waning, you might want to keep a snack with you.
The bases for this experience are excellent gorilla trekking lodges. The guides typically permit brief snack breaks and usually pack something for lunch or snacks that you throw in your backpack. However, you can bring something recognizable with you, such as an energy bar and at least a liter of water. Throw your trash back in your bag because it’s against the law to leave trash around the pack.
8. Biodegradable tissue or toilet paper
You have to leave when you have to! Since there are no restrooms in the forest and you never know when nature will beckon, bring biodegradable tissue to avoid embarrassment and preserve the forest’s natural beauty.
9. Waterproof backpack and extra batteries
We know you’ll have your camera gear with you, so you can capture these once-in-a-lifetime moments for your family and friends back home. Then, obviously, you don’t want them to get wet.
To shield your equipment from rain or mist from the forest, pack a Ziplock bag that is waterproof or a waterproof backpack. Your phone, snacks, travel documents, and other items you can throw in your backpack to free up your hands will all be kept there. Bring extra memory cards or flash drives, as well as extra batteries for your camera. Too many wonderful memories have been made here to be stored.
10. Trekking poles or hiking staff
When hiking and backpacking, you can use a pair of trekking poles to increase your stability and lessen the force on your knees. Most have adjustable lengths, and some have shock-absorbing internal springs to soften impacts even more.
The hiking staff, a single pole that is also referred to as a walking staff or travel staff, is most useful when used on relatively flat terrain and with little to no weight on your back. Some hiking sticks have a shock-absorbing feature, and they are adjustable.
At your gorilla lodge or visitor center, they might offer a walking stick made of local wood. The hand-made sticks, however, are not made to the same standards and may have negative effects on mobility. The trekking poles can serve as good anchor points to balance against as you descend a steep hill. Similar to this, if you encounter a steep upslope, you can dig in with sticks and pull yourself up.
There’s no denying that swinging your arms back and forth will help you expend a little more energy and make your hike more of a full-body workout. Developing a rhythm while using hiking sticks is also pleasant. Using trekking poles will keep your hands closer to your heart’s level and improve blood flow to your heart if your hands swell while you’re hiking.
11. Malaria prevention medication
High-risk areas for malaria include Uganda and Rwanda. Consult a travel clinic or your neighborhood doctor to determine the best prophylaxis for you. Doxycycline and Malarone are the most widely used.
Other important items to pack for your Uganda and Rwanda mountain gorilla trekking safari experience: In addition to the things we’ve already mentioned above, there are a few other things you should think about packing for your trip to see the gorillas. They consist of a travel safari itinerary from your tour operator, a guidebook, cash, or a visa card for souvenir purchases. Additionally, a traveler ought to think about bringing a first-aid kit and any necessary medications for any chronic illnesses.
What now? Okay, everyone, that’s basically everything you need to bring on your gorilla tour of Rwanda and Uganda’s rainforests. To ease your mind about your luggage on international flights, remember to pack smartly and lightly.
BOOKING A GORILLA TREKKING SAFARI
Focus East Africa Tours together with Achieve Global Safaris is a group of local experts skilled at planning gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. We have experience helping people plan the ideal gorilla safari because we have been doing it for many years now. All ground arrangements, such as lodging, meals, transportation, and assistance with your gorilla trekking packing list, will be handled by us. Get in touch with us to start planning your unforgettable gorilla trekking safari experience, and one of our local experts will be happy to jump in and assist you every step of the way.