Gorilla trekking features among the very few most sought after primate adventures by holiday makers to Africa. In most cases, it is best described as a lifetime experience and in order for you to get the best of this thrilling adventure; it takes you time to plan for it appropriately so as to meet all the essentials. Perhaps it is first time that you are planning to take in this experience and what worries you more is what items are required during the trek. While planning for gorilla trekking, you have to be very keen on which items to pack and not to be part of your packing list whether you are a first time trekker or repeat visitor. When considering what items to pack, essential items must come first. Meaning, you do not need to pack the whole house! Once you are done with securing your gorilla trekking permit in Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), these are some of the key items that shouldn’t miss out in your packing list and at the end of it all, you will have best of this ultimate travel experience.
Waterproof hiking boots
Compared to game drives where you view the big game while in the safari vehicle, things are different with mountain gorilla trekking. To trek to see mountain gorillas involves trekkers to hike through the thick rainforest and steep slopes of Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park or the DR Congo Virunga National Park. Given the nature of habitat where these Great Apes thrive, visitors who wish to take part in this life changing experience need to have good hiking boots that are waterproof, light weight for you to hike smoothly through some areas with mud or steep slopes.
The fact that the trek to see mountain gorillas takes you through the dense vegetation of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo, gardening gloves a must to have items. Garden gloves play a great role especially in safeguarding your hands in case you fall and you want to grab the nearby plants or trees that perhaps have thorns or even itch and cause harm to you.
Given the kind of habitat where mountain gorillas live, visitors need to expect rains at any time of the day and the best way for you to get yourself protected against this is by considering a rain jacket or poncho a must in your packing list. For most visitors, the dry season (June-September and December to February) usually features as more favorable and few prefer traveling during the wet season but like already explained, the kind of gorilla habitat rains can come at any time of day which means a poncho or rain jacket should be a must on your list.
Long sleeved shirt/blouse/t-shirt/trousers/long pants
Unlike game viewing in the savanna grassland protected areas, with mountain gorilla trekking, you will set off to the jungles to look out for these most magical creatures in their natural habitat and this requires you to be on long sleeved shirts/t-shirt/trouser. This will help protect you from biting insects or falling tree branches. Most importantly, environmentally friendly attire serves best for this adventure and avoid as much as possible the bright colors.
Energy giving snacks and bottled water
Gorilla trekking is such exhilarating primate experience the fact that it may take you about 2 to 8 hours or even more to search for these amazing primate species. That said, you need some energy boosters and enough drinking water to enable you complete the hike. To be part of this lovely adventure, make sure that you are physically well.
Cameras and additional batteries
When it comes to gorilla trekking, photo taking is one of the fantastic experiences that will leave a lasting memory in you. Not to be disappointed, make sure that you have a good camera with no flash light and some extra batteries just in case the original one runs short of power. With only an hour that is given to you to strike your imaginations with these creatures, the best you can do is simply to have your camera ready.
Before you set off for the actual trek, the park guide/official will remind you to tuck-in your trouser into the socks. This is to help protect you from biting ants, stinging insects.
You also need a waterproof day pack to help you keep your documents, camera gargets, snacks, luggage safe from rain.
The fact that your trek takes you through the thick rainforest higher chances are that there are mosquitoes and tsetse flies that can bite you and the best for you to safeguard yourself from this is by including insect repellent in your packing list. The most important one is DEED/RID and you can buy one online. The others may include citronella soap that serves as soap and insect repellent.
The other important items include anti-malarial tablets, first aid kit, hat, sun glasses, pair of binoculars, walking stick and this can be got at the park headquarters/lodge, money belt, toiletries.