How to plan for a Rwanda Gorilla trekking safari
Wondering how to plan for a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari and what to expect? Don’t get on the move before you read this.
Mountain Gorillas are known to be only in three African countries of which are Uganda, Rwanda and Congo with a total number of up to 1,004 gorillas. Mountain gorillas live in high steep mountain tropical forests of up to 4,500m above sea level. With this altitude, if you are planning to go for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park then there’s need to be physically fit and be ready for the cool environment.
To have a gorilla trekking experience, you need a Rwanda gorilla trekking permit that costs USD 1500. It’s advisable to book your permit at least 6 months before the actual Rwanda gorilla safari. Booking for a gorilla trekking safari is best done by a local tour company.
What to wear / carry for a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari
Gorilla trekking is done in high altitude areas of Volcanoes National Park therefore you need to carry warm clothing that is also water proof because there are high chances of rain. Carry a rain jacket for the altitude, remember your trekking in a tropical rain forest. Long sleeved shirts and trousers are appropriate for the trek.
Wear long sleeve clothing from shirts to trousers. This guarantees your protection from thorns, nettles, scrub and insects like soldier ants.
For hand protection, wear leather or gardening gloves. As you trek up hill, there could be need to hold on stems and to avoid the discomfort of nettles pricking your hands, the gloves help out.
Wear a bush hat with a brim for sun protection as the day goes on and protection from anything that would fall from the branches.
Water proof quality lightweight hiking boots as well as a pair of gaiters or heavy stockings are recommendable for a Rwanda gorilla hike. When trekking you can tuck your trouser in to your socks to avoid anything from getting in to your trouser. Hiking boots give good ankle support, grip, stability and balance as you trek to the mountain.
On the lower slopes before actual trekking, light natural colored safari clothing is appropriate, Short sleeved and fast drying clothes are appropriate. The clothes should be loose fitting and relaxed.
Do not carry a lot of clothing since most hotels and Rwanda safari accommodation facilities offer hand washing laundry services for clients at a very minimum fee.
Extra things to pack for other Rwanda safari activities
Carry along casual clothing like long light trousers, shorts and short sleeve shirts for the men and a dress or jeans for ladies. In the evening you could decide to sit at the hotel fire place or have time with other tourists.
Carry a light sweater, at the foothills of the mountains its cold.
For comfort after the trek, carry light casual shoes for the evening, 1 pair is enough.
Carry a small light towel. These are provided in hotels but if there be need, carry a personal one.
Sunscreen and moisturizing cream are necessary, this is Africa and during the best time for a gorilla trekking safari it could really get hot.
Recommendable insect repellent is need, this should not have any side effects since the mountain gorillas are highly susceptible.
Since the jungle has very many other species, ear plugs are recommendable.
Wipes or antibiotic tissues will do great work in hand cleaning.
Carry camera batteries, extra fast film, charger
For your back pack
A simple large zip lock backpack is useful for a gorilla safari. In here you can put your camera, film, water, packed lunch and binoculars. This is the best way to protect your gear.
In case of health issues, carry along personal medicines and Prescription for instance altitude sickness tablets.
In Uganda, mountain gorillas (half of the total mountain gorillas) are found in two national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where Uganda gorilla trekking safaris can be done. The other mountain gorillas are found Virunga National Park of the Democratic republic of Congo.
Whatever you plan to carry for your Rwanda safari, remember to remain comfortable.