What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking. 15 Important Items Everyone Should Remember

What to pack for gorilla trekking? A personal encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas is one of the great experiences you can enjoy on a trip to Africa.

The fact that these gentle giants only exist in the natural rain forests of Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo means that they are not the easiest apes to explore if you are not in East Africa.

The activity of tracking mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is not a walk in the park. It is a tiresome and unpredictable activity as the lucky visitors weave through one of the world’s thickest rainforests.

After reaching and spending an hour with the gorillas, the tiresome trek doesn’t only seem worth it but also enhances the experience. This gives the total feeling of accomplishment.

With all that in mind, it is important to pack right for your gorilla trekking adventure. Below, we outline some of the things you should consider adding to your packing list if your trip with us involves some gorilla trekking days.

Gorilla Trekking Packing List

1. A pair of sturdy hiking boots.

They are called mountain gorillas because the hills these great apes live in are very steep and varied. This calls for strong boots with a good grip, that can handle the stress of climbing for a couple of hours. If you have such ‘tough’ shoes with you already, you might consider packing them.

This saves you some money and adds to your memories of such a treasured pair.

2. A pair of garden-type gloves.

As you ascend and descend through the thick rain forests, you will need to hold on to some branches and twigs to keep your balance during the trek. A nice pair of garden-style gloves shall be very handy for this.

This is because some plants have thorns and some could cause allergic reactions to your hands. If you already have a pair of such gloves, remember to throw them in the bag with your other things.

3. A poncho or rain jacket.

In any of the national parks where you will find mountain gorillas, the weather can change at any moment and rains are very frequent and with a short time of notice. This is why carrying a light rain jacket (poncho) is a good idea since the rain can be a lot and capable of drenching you in just a matter of minutes.

4. A long-sleeved shirt or blouse.

A long-sleeved shirt/blouse will protect your forearms from some biting and stinging insects. The long sleeve will also keep you from scratching when you brush against the various plants along your trek.

5. A few energy-giving snacks.

Gorilla trekking is an activity that lasts a couple of hours – sometimes up to 8 hours. Carrying an energizing snack helps you when the trek starts tiring you out. Remember you can’t litter with snack wrappings as it is bad for the environment and the animals that stay there.

6Cameras with extra batteries & memory cards.

Whether you are into photography or not, it is a good idea to carry a camera with some extra batteries and memory cards. An hour spent with gorillas is a great opportunity for photos that you will share with your people back home.

You could even look online for some tips and tricks about photography and make sure that your skills are sharpened for this.

7. A wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses.

A hat and sunglasses are important in protecting you from the force of the sun. Gorilla habitats are close to the equator and this means stronger rays from the sun for a big part of the day.

8. Insect repellant.

Insect repellant to keep the bugs and insects away is another good thing to pack. There are thousands of insect and bug species in these rainforests, and it is better to keep them at bay for a trouble-free tracking exercise.

9. A pair of waterproof pants/trousers.

Cargo pants or jeans will provide the best pants option for gorilla trekking. The rain forest will have so much dew and perspiration on the plants and any pair of pants that easily soaks up will not work to make your experience smooth.

10. Any of your regular medications.

If you have regular medicine that you take – as prescribed by your doctor, remember to pack that for your trip. This is general for any safari you take (even if it isn’t with us) but we put it here because it is very crucial.

Talk to your doctor about any details that might be important for this to happen. Additionally, get professional advice in case the medicine is strong because you will still have a rough hike to the gorillas.

11. A Longer pair of socks.

You should have a pair of long ‘tuckable’ socks. Before setting off to start the trek, the guides will advise you to turn your pants into your socks properly. This is to help keep safaris ants from creeping into your pants and shoes.

12. A warm sweater.

Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning when it is very chilly. The high altitude and plentiful rain contribute to the low evening to morning temperatures. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, for example, the night temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).

Your choice of sweater should be light because once you start to feel hot from the hike, any heavy clothing becomes a distraction from enjoying your time in the forest.

13. Bottled water.

Going through the forest as you look for gorillas is a tiring process that will leave you thirsty. That is why bottled water is a good idea for this kind of adventure.

14. Sunscreen.

To protect your skin from the sun and heat you aren’t used to, it is a good idea to pack sunscreen. This will keep the discomfort of sunburns away, and allow you to fully enjoy your stay in Uganda or Rwanda.

15. A pair of binoculars.

As you sift through the lush forest cover, you will come across various primates, birds, insects, and other wild animals. Your guide will tell you all about any of the wildlife present. Binoculars give you the extra birding opportunity to see some Rift Valley species that are not in any other place on Earth.

Final Thoughts

Our goal with this list is to make sure that you get the right content to help you as you prepare for a gorilla trekking safari. This list is specific to the gorilla trekking activity. There is another list of general safari requirements that apply to other safari activities.

More than 80% of all Uganda Safaris combine gorillas with other activities such as wildlife or chimpanzee tracking tours. The above packing list will work for most of these tours as some items are pretty standard.

Whenever you reach out to us about your safari, our reservations team will make sure to give you a packing list that is customized to your needs and preferences. This serves to give you a generalized idea.

If you have any questions (or suggestions) about this specific article (or any other content on our website) do not hesitate to reach out to us. We shall be happy to hear from you and even happier to assist. We also invite you to look through our gorilla safari programs to see which one would best suit your interests.

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