What to take and wear on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari

What to take and wear on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari

February 17, 2014
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According to some tourists (specifically gorilla trackers), choosing what to wear while tracking and what to carry to support them on the trip, is a very hard task. There are specific clothes which tourists should avoid while tracking the gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. The common questions among the visitors include; what should I wear for gorilla tracking? what should I carry on a gorilla Safari?, how should I prepare for gorilla tracking?, are answered below;

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A visitor is advised to put on his/her sturdiest walking shoes, thick trousers and a long sleeved top for protection against stinging nettles .Gorilla tracking is mainly done from cold places and therefore it is a good idea to carry a sweatshirt or jersey. It doesn’t matter what colour you choose to wear (either bright or muted) since the gorillas are used to people. There are higher chances of getting dirty (clothes) while tracking the gorillas due to the continuous slipping and slithering in the mud, therefore, one can carry pre-muddied clothes for tracking. While tracking, there are many instances of grabbing the thorns and to avoid injuries, a visitor can wear gardening gloves. For those who feel safer tracking with a walking stick, it will be provided to them before tracking.

Due to weather changes, it is ideal to carry a waterproof bag for protection in case of rain. In addition, a raincoat and a pocho might be worthy additional to a visitor’s daypack during the rainy season. A hat and sunglasses are ideal at any time of the year. Because of the long distances covered while tracking, a visitor might feel thirsty and therefore it’s ideal to carry some drinking water (at least 1 litre) and a snack.

A visitor should also make sure that the camera gear is well protected and where necessary, seal the camera gear in a plastic bag.

For gorilla tracking, binoculars are not necessary. Binoculars are usually used by birders but this is also theoretical because in practice, only the dedicated are likely to make use of them. Gorilla tracking is normally well guided and visitors are made to climb through the thick vegetation tends to relax their minds.

For visitors tending to carry much gear and water/food, it’s ideal to hire one of the porters who are always at the park with the hope of getting work. These porters usually charge Ush 5,000 per trek. Hiring a porter does not mean that you are demeaning or exploiting as many tourists think. It however provides income to the poor locals and enables them to benefit from tourism.

However, a visitor is required to obtain a gorilla permit before enjoying the activity. In Uganda, a gorilla permit costs US$600 per person, per day, while in Rwanda, it costs US$700 per person, per day. In Uganda, gorilla permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Alternatively, a visitor can obtain a gorilla permit online. A gorilla permit is considered invalid 90 days after its purchase.