Gorilla trekking safari is a sensitive African adventure activity especially when it comes to health related issues. Mountain gorillas have a DNA of about 96% human so very much susceptible to human infectious diseases.
You need to stay healthy to be allowed to do gorilla trekking so that you do not transmit any communicable infection to the gorillas that would lead to there massive death. Conservation of the mountain gorillas has come a long way.
The most prominent mountain gorilla conservation advocate was DR. Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to conserving the mountain gorillas. After realising how delicate the life of mountain gorillas had turned out to be, she staged her work in Rwanda Karisoke Research Center in 1967. Before her murder in 1985, she had brought the plight of the mountain gorillas to the world conservation community. Her work gave birth to gorilla trekking.
As a person safari memories are a lifetime dream so you need to stay healthy to make the best out of your gorilla trekking tour. Having unhealthy body and mind deprives you the chance to capture the best moments of your gorilla trekking safari. At some extreme you may stay bedridden and miss out on the most interesting activities of your holiday.
Pack right gorilla trekking gears
Have some fitness before gorilla trekking
Immunize against all possible recommended diseases at the destination
Eat from designate places while on gorilla trekking safari in Africa
Follow instruction from the ranger guide during briefing before gorilla trekking
Sleep under a mosquito net all through your safari nights in Africa.
Take enough Water during gorilla trekking
Hire a porter to carry your belongings during gorilla trekking
Carry Personal Medication Before Gorilla Trekking Safari
Pack Right Gorilla Trekking Gears
Having a packing lists of the gorilla trekking gears required for use during the safari saves you the burden of borrowing from unknown people or even not having. Tracking boots help protect your feet from the mushy soils and sharp surfaces in the forest. Insect repellants protect your skin from stinging insects, long shirt and long trousers defend your body from stinging nettles. First Aid kit in case you get an accident while trekking to locate the mountain gorillas.
Warm wear to cover you from getting cold since the Virunga area experiences very low temperatures that can drop as low as 7 degrees centigrade. Know your body reaction to change in Altitude because the gorilla trekking area altitude drops at some point. Rain coat or poncho to cover your body from severe rain that falls without warning.
Whether gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda or D.R. Congo, hiking is inevitable during gorilla trekking. Some level of fitness before gorilla trekking is necessary if you are to personally do the trek.
In case you are physically impaired, you need a sedan chair or a carrying basket to get you to the mountain gorillas.
You do not need to do heavy physicals but even daily walking or simple exercises to keep your muscles fit for the hike to locate the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas live on steep slippery slopes, ridges and the terrain is a times quite hard to negotiate. READ MORE
Immunize Against All Possible Recommended Diseases At The Destination Before Gorilla Trekking
Mountain gorillas are highly susceptible to human infections because of there DNA resemblance to that of humans. This is why one of the rules of gorilla trekking states that No one with a communicable disease such as covid-19, flu, diarrhea is allowed to visit the gorillas.
Take the full corona Virus shot and have a valid certificate to back it up before gorilla trekking or check for Covid-19 atleast 72 hours before gorilla trekking. This is to ensure that you are fully free of any of the communicable infections that can possibly be transmitted to the mountain gorillas.
Swallow anti-malarias even if the gorilla trekking area is thought to be malaria free. Uganda, Rwanda And D R Congo are tropical countries where malaria is rampant. Give no chance to catching malaria that would cause you to miss the mountain gorillas.
Eat From Designate Places While On Gorilla Trekking Safari In Africa
To prevent yourself from having food poisoning, eat from food points that are designated not everywhere. Ask your driver guide for help because they know the most suitable local food restaurants.
Buying food from the streets or unhealthy food centers along the road may cost you your dream come true experience in case you get ill.
Follow Instructions From The Ranger Guide During Gorilla Trekking
Keep the forest healthy too so that other trekker find it hygienically comfortable. Try not tospit on the leaves and carelessly on the ground. This looks disgusting and unhealthy to the mountain gorillas and other trekkers.
Imagine if other trekkers did spit on the path before you passed. The gorillas and other forest dwellers feed on what the forest provides and spitting on there food may pass infectious germs to them.
In case you wish to take a long call, ask your ranger guide to dig a hole of about 30 meters deep and cover everything beyond recognition. This prevents the gorillas or any other forest habitats from exhuming what is buried.
Range guides instruct you not to touch the mountain gorillas when you meet them and give a distance of about 8 meters apart from them. This is to reduce on the chance of acquiring any infection from them or you to them. Mountain gorillas may appear adorable to caress but they are wild animals.
Sleep Under A Mosquito Net All Through Your Safari Nights In Africa
Even if Virunga area is thought to be malaria free because of the very low temperature that it experiences, give no chance to mosquitos to deny you your gorilla trekking experience. During gorilla trekking, you need to have a healthy body and mind to hike.
In case you catch malaria, your body gets weak and so you may not be in position to do gorilla trekking. Your hard earned money and savings for gorilla trekking adventures go into the gutters. This is sad so to prevent this sleep under a mosquito net in Africa no matter where you are.
Take Enough Water During Gorilla Trekking
Water is life so during gorilla trekking, you need to keep hydrated so that you can get to the gorillas with a healthy body. Pack a water bottle to carry drinking water in during gorilla trekking.
You can also add some glucose for to give you more sugars that can help you persist in the forest before locating the mountain gorillas. The time of finding and where to find the gorillas is unknown because of different conditions in the forest.
Hire A Porter To Carry Your Belongings During Gorilla Trekking
Hiring a porter to carry your belonging while gorilla trekking weighs you off the burden of losing energy carrying baggage on your back. The porter may give you a push in case you get tired while hiking to locate the mountain gorillas. The Rwanda gorilla trekking experience is more tiring because of the very steep slopes with in the Volcanoes National Park.
Carry Your Medication Before Gorilla Trekking
In case you have any personal illness, visit your personal doctor before heading for gorilla trekking. Diseases like diabetes, hypertension and so many others that may turn your gorilla trekking experience into a nightmare.
Carry some of the documents that bare ideas about your sickness and in case of any attack, you can get first aid quick.
Having travel insurance before gorilla trekking and knowing the premium it covers saves you the burden of worrying about who will take care of your health bills.
Have your possible dates and number of people travelling with first and then inquire about gorilla trekking permits.
Our safari consultant has to check availability of gorilla permits from the Uganda wildlife Authority or Rwanda development Board. Because they are sold per day. Because a few permits are released each day for public booking once availability is positive you need to book as soon as possible
This is because gorilla permits get sold out quick and yet first come first served basis is used to sell them. The scarcity of gorilla permits is due to that fact that only 8 people per day are allowed to visit the gorillas.
The Uganda gorilla trekking permits costs $700 while in Rwanda the gorilla trekking permit costs 1500 per person per trek.
You are required to provide some personal details in order to collect your gorilla trekking card from Uganda wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board.
What Is the Best Time To Trek Mountain Gorillas in Africa
Any time is gorilla trekking time in Africa but during the dry seasons, the forest conditions are more favorable and interesting. The gorillas feed from the ground more during the dry seasons and plenty of food is available too. Even provides more favorable conditions for taking photos of the mountain gorillas producing clearer and nicer photos. June to July and December.
The wet seasons march to May and November have boggy ground and the forest is so cold., Mountain gorillas keep to the slopes as the ground is normally soaked in rain water and river volumes higher.
Packing list For Gorilla Trekking Safari In Africa
First Aid Kit
In case you get any injury while in the wilderness, you need to get some first aid before heading for the hospital in case it’s a serious issue.
Long shirt and trousers
Packing wilderness friendly clothes like khaki to wear during gorilla trekking protects your body from harsh forest conditions. The forest has some stinging nettles and sharp surfaces that may have outgrown and blocked the trails yet you have to by pass them. Your long trouser and shirt have your back.
The Virunga area is one of the thick forests that survived the arid conditions of ice age period so many insects found refugee here. You need to protect your skin from stinging insects. Pack a repellant that comfortable with your skin.
A poncho or rain coat
Virunga area receives rain that may fall all day in small drizzles that may get you wet. You need a rain proof gear that covers you from dead to at least knees.
Protect your feet from pricking surfaces in the jungle by wearing comfortable tracking boots that will withstand slippery slopes. The volcanic soil is normally soft yet the dense network of rivers keeps the ground humid plus regular rains that fall almost all day.
A fleece or sweater
The Virunga area receives rain of about 2390mm per year and this is received any time. This is one reason why temperatures are always low plus the presence of a series of mountains. When it gets so cold you need to warm yourself so you need a sweater. Some lodges also provide fire places to keep the lodge warm but Some warmers for the day will make it more comfortable while in the wilderness. It gets cold when it rains making it uncomfortable for most trekkers so pack some warmers.
Protect your palms with a pair of comfortable gloves because tripping while you walk may be unavoidable. Gripping on to the tangled vegetation or digging your fingers into thick layers of linchens on tree trunks is possible. Use your gloves to grasp a tighter grip
A pair of stocking
Tuck in your long trousers to prevent any insect that may fall into your boots and hurt you.
Capture the most beautiful moments with the mountain gorillas to store as memories to fall back to when you cannot travel anymore. It must be a soundproof and flash-less too because strange noise scares the huge apes
A pair of Binoculars
This gives you better vision of the hidden forest dwellers that you pass by during gorilla trekking.
A light water proof bag
No one wants to lose their property in the jungle. You need to cover up all your belongings and protect your photos from water dripping from the leaves.
To keep up with the jungle, you need extra energy apart from breakfast and packed lunch. Some snacks keep you going and energetic to walk over creeping plants.
The excitement you meet in a gorilla family with a new infant is different from the family with a pregnant female or one that has lost a family member or a gorilla family that has lost in a battel.
The major connection is standing face to face with the huge primates yet serene in nature.
The cost you spend on booking a gorilla trekking permit also makes the difference like in Rwanda the gorilla permits cost $1500, in Uganda the gorilla trekking permit costs $700 and in D.R.Congo the gorilla trekking permit costs $450.
The distance travelled from the Airport to the trekking park is a factor to consider where by in Uganda you tale about 8 hours to arrive at Bwindi Impenetrable national park, In Rwanda the distance from Kigali Airport is about 3 hours from Kigali to Volcanoes National park
Is Gorilla Trekking In Africa Safe
Rwanda and Uganda have tight security for the gorilla trekking area and in D.R.Congo, sometimes civil unrest causes the gorilla trekking experience a little scary but fun
How Aggressive Are The Mountain Gorillas In Africa
Mountain gorillas are generally serene primates whose faces look fierce. Many films have portrayed them as aggressive and tough but they are shy apes despite there fierce body structure.
When you meet them, do not try to imitate or provoke them because they will get aggressive by beating there chest, pull some vines and so much more.