Packing and Wearing the Right Clothing for your Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda
The Right Clothing Protects you – The Best Advice as to What to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Rwanda
The word Bwindi means Impenetrable – in reality – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is doubly impenetrable meaning that one has to be prepared for the Gorilla Tracking Adventure you are about to embark on. Preparation means packing and wearing clothing, footwear, hat, socks that will protect you on your gorilla trek
What to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Rwanda -Dressing for your Rwanda Gorilla Trek in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is the same – though the landscape is different, the clothing needed for Gorilla Tracking is the same.
The right Clothing and Footwear on a Gorilla Trek protects you from Nettles, Thorns, Branches and even pesky flies, soldier ants, spiders, and more.
When going on a Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda – the same clothing applies, except you will need 3 liters of water.
What to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Rwanda:
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when going gorilla tracking and is not being dressed right, they wear sandals (one man wore Flip and Flops and it took two porters to help him), wear shorts, wear just a T-Shirt, have no daypack, no water.
Going Gorilla trekking is not a trip to a park for a picnic – it takes some forethought and planning, especially when it comes as to what to wear and bring while going on a gorilla trek.
While preparing – packing for your Gorilla Trek, keep in mind that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Volcanoes National Park. remember are at higher elevations and it gets cold here at night, bring a sweater, or use your light rain jacket.
You are not hiking on comfortable paths, but small trails or “no trails at all”, some of them freshly blazed by the Rangers – you have to wear the right clothing – it means dressing for the occasion and the occasion is a Gorilla Trek – a once in lifetime activity for most and it is best to wear the right stuff for your Protection or as Ugandans say in Ugandan English (Uglish) – Dress Smart.
Pack right – Here are our recommendations as to “What to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Rwanda”
A pair of waterproof hiking boots is needed. The trails can be slippery in the early mornings especially if it rained. Trackers, Rangers here often wear gumboots, rubber boots – but you do not see any of them wearing sandals, white sneakers, or some other footwear that will not be comfortable and inappropriate and harmful to you as you track the Mountain Gorillas.
The Plus about Wellies – Rubber Boots: They cover you up to almost your needs, are easy to clean and give you traction if they have tread – they are used by most Rangers and Trackers – some tourists have started to use them.
Hiking boots give you good ankle support, traction, stability and balance, all important while Gorilla Tracking and don’t forget good- thick socks. For added protection, you can tuck your trousers into your socks and protect yourself against insects.
Clothing – Long-Trousers-Long-Sleeved shirts- light-Rain Jacket – Hat:
Long Trousers – they can be jeans – khaki zip-up trousers – but they have to be long-sleeved. A long-sleeved shirt is also necessary. Both protect you against nettles, branches, thorns and anything else that can scratch you.
Tug your pants into your socks to protect from fire-ants – it may not look fashionable but it is practical.
Many Gorilla Trek visitors will ignore this advice and come in shorts and tank-tops – look at their exposed skin at the end of the gorilla trek and you will find scratches and nettle burns. It is best to cover yourself up with a long sleeved shirt, trousers r jeans.
Cotton undergarments will keep you comfortable and women need to pick comfortable bras for a hike that can be tough.
A hat comes in handy to protect your head from the elements – may it be sun or rain. Just remember shorts and short-sleeved tops will get you all scratched up, bitten by insects and possible infections. A Wide brimmed hat is best for protection against the sun.
Put a Rain-Jacket or poncho in your daypack – unless it is raining – all part of “What to wear while Gorilla Tracking.”
Tough Gardening Gloves:
Take along some Gardening Gloves – are you kidding me?
Yes, you read right – sturdy Gardening Gloves – no you are not going gardening but on a gorilla trek and the gloves allow you to pull yourself up on vines, branches and once again not get scratched.
Those that use them are quite glad that they did since you often go off of the trail and simply enter the bush where the gorillas are in order to spend your hour with them.
You can take your gloves off when you are with the gorillas in order to take pictures. Gardening Gloves – bring them along – they might come in handy.
Wear lots of Insect Repellent, a good DEET product is fine for Gorilla Trekking. If you combine a Savanna Park we recommend RID which you can buy online and it is made in Australia.
While Gorilla Trekking you come across flies, there are no mosquitoes here but pesky flies.
Simply wearing an insect, good repellent does the job. You will also need to apply sunblock to your body that is exposed.
If you are on a Gorilla Habituation Experience which is an all-day trek, bring the spray along with you in your daypack, be sure to put it into a ziplock bag.
The Extra things to have for your Gorilla Trek:
You will need a good waterproof daypack in which you can pack the things you will be bringing along.
Wrap Camera Equipment in Plastic Bags to protect it, a small first aid kit with band aids, insect repellent – during the day there may be a lot of flies present.
Binoculars will not be necessary unless you are a Birder.
Your packed lunch and at least two liters of water – some granola or energy bars may come in handy. On a Gorilla Habituation Experience, you will need 3 liters of water.
Pack a light rain-jacket or poncho – you are tracking Gorillas in a rainforest.
Extra things – Swiss-Army Knife – First-Aid Kit- Insect Repellent mostly for flies – Sunglasses may come in handy.
Use Ziplock Bags to cover anything you are trying to protect from water.
Porters are readily available both in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and in Rwanda at Volcanoes National Park.
Some feel that it is demeaning to use a porter – not realizing that porters make a decent income which pays for homes, school fees for children, food, medical care and more.
You benefit by being free to move around and take pictures without the weight of the daypack.
Using a porter, it is a win-win situation for all – the porter benefits and you benefit.
Porters are available both in Uganda and Rwanda at each Gorilla Trek trailhead and in some cases they have carried people with disabilities on a stretcher like contraptions to see the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda.
Walking Sticks come in most handy as you traverse the difficult terrain while tracking Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda.
Most people use the plain tall walking sticks which can be purchased and at times are furnished by lodges, etc.
You can also buy a carved ornamental walking sticks that you can buy to take home as a reminder of your eventful day spending one hour with the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda or Rwanda.
When you buy such a stick you support the local economy and help a Ugandan or Rwandan family – once again a win-win situation for all. They make an honorable income and you take home a reminder of your Gorilla Trek.
You have a dilemma – you flew into Kigali or Entebbe and your luggage is lost, missing, delayed and your gorilla Trek is beginning soon. Let us give you a Plan- B – where you can still enjoy your Gorilla Trek while we worry about getting the lost luggage to you.
Wear the Trek Clothing on your flight, including boots, use a carry-on luggage and a daypack and for the most part, you are set for Gorilla Trekking.
When you return from your trek, your luggage most often will be there and you can continue your safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Lost Luggage rarely happens, but it does happen, be prepared and do not miss out on your safari.
What to wear while Gorilla Trekking? Simple, follow the above advice you just might hear from a porter, tracker, ranger, guide – “You are looking smart.” Meaning in Uganda or Rwanda that you have dressed right for the occasion.
Enjoy your Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda by dressing right, dressing smart…If you continue your safari after Gorilla Trekking and visit Savanna Parks – here is what to wear on such a safari.
If you have any questions about Gorilla Trekking in Uganda- Please contact us