What to Pack for a gorilla trekking Trip
When planning to travel to an interesting destination, there is usually a great feeling of excitement and eagerness as you wait for that unforgettable day. A gorilla trekking excursion to Africa is a different experience full of amazing encounters. The feeling you get when you know you are among the few to participate in this unique and touching adventure leaves you wondering what to expect. Even when you are excited about this captivating excursion, you need to plan ahead of time to be prepared for the activity. Know what to pack for a gorilla trekking trip and make sure not to pack heavy luggage that will make you uncomfortable and end up ruining your excitement. The following are the crucial requirements you need to add in your packing list;
Most importantly you have to acquire a gorilla permit. This is a pre-requirement that will guarantee whether you will be allowed to participate in gorilla trekking or not. However you need to note that having a gorilla permit only guarantees your participation in the activity but doesn’t guarantee you sighting these remarkable mountain gorillas.
Similarly, you should have a valid passport and visa to Rwanda. Australian, Canadian, British, USA and other European Union citizens are required to have passports and Visas to be allowed to travel into Rwanda. All residents of these countries are required to have passports valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Rwanda. You will also need to get 90 day tourist visa (at $50 or £35 or EUR 45) on arrival to Rwanda. Have inoculation certificate against yellow fever. It is also necessary to get travel insurance before engaging in this wonderful safari. Have a travel map that will help in giving directions. Tourists on self drive safaris require a travel map.
Waterproof hiking boots of light weight to allow you maneuver easily though the jungle. These boots should have good ankle support. This will also help you walk through the muddy and slippery trails and be able to hike though the mountain. You also need comfortable, light weight and breathable socks.
A backpack is also essential for carrying your documents (permit, passports, and visas), notebook, money, camera, your packed lunch, binoculars (will need for clearly seeing bird species) and water. A camera (non flash) is required to keep the memories of the remarkable moments alive. Make sure your camera has extra lenses and some reserve batteries to be able to take you through to the last day.
Toiletries like hand sanitizers, hand wipes (moist towelettes), toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, hair gel, deodorant, lip balm, soap, shaving equipments, cosmetics, towel, facial tissue, tooth floss are also important. You will need to put some toilet paper in your backpack. The fact that there are no toilets in the jungle doesn’t mean that you won’t answer nature calls. When you get the feeling of easing yourself, your guide will dig for you a small pit which will be covered after finishing. You will need a toilet paper too when the need arises.
Have a first Aid kit with Anti-malarial drugs, Anti-Diarrhea drugs, disinfectants, cold and flu medication, ailment medicines/liniment for muscle strains after hiking, plasters, and sleep aid (for example melatonin) among others .
You will require waterproof and windproof jacket that you will need when you enter the jungle. The weather cannot be predictable so it can start raining even when it is not expected.
You need long sleeved shirts and long trousers or skirts for women. These protect your hands and legs against stinging nettles, thorns, scratching branches and safari Ants while moving through the jungle.
Add some extra clothing for relaxing around the lodge, hotel or campsite after a long day of gorilla trekking or required when sleeping. These can include short sleeved shirts or t-shirts, shorts, swimsuits, sandals, underwear and sleep wear among others.
Sturdy gardening gloves are also needed because during hiking you will need to support yourself using tree branches, vines which might have thorns, so these will serve to protect your hands from the scratching effect of the thorns.
A sweater is important. This will help you during chilly mornings and evenings. Whether rainy or dry season, the evenings around Volcanoes National Park are usually chilly
Also carry a hat with a brim that will offer protection against the scotching sun. Also have sunglasses with neck strap, to protect your eyes from the sun light.
Pack insect repellants because in the event of tracking gorillas, you will come across flies, tsetse flies, mosquitoes and safari ants. The recommended insect repellant can be “RID”. To avoid them always spray your clothes with this insect repellant especially in the evenings.
Carry a cell phone with electricity adapter, battery backup and emergency phone numbers in case of any unexpected incidents like accidents. Also have a money belt to enable you move with money. Sometimes it is important to move with some money because you will be required to tip the tour guides, porters, waitresses/waiters or even buy souvenirs. LED rechargeable torches with light weight and longer battery life are required.
In conclusion, mountain gorilla trekking is a riveting activity that comes in with a lot of expectation and curiosity from intending gorilla trekkers. In order not to ruin your expectation, it is important to plan for this astonishing activity ahead of time so that you know the right things to pack to avoid disappointment and ruining the experience.