Wasp Encounters on a Gorilla Trek – A Rarity
Steps How to Prevent Wasp Attacks during Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
How to prevent Wasp Attacks while you are Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Southwest Uganda: Wasp attacks can have serious consequences, as seen in the case of Gloria Sue Miller, an American tourist who unfortunately lost her life due to a swarm of wasps in the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in May 2018. While such incidents are uncommon, they occur in various parts of the world, including the US and New Zealand.
To prevent wasp attacks during gorilla trekking, it is essential to exercise caution. While deaths from wasp attacks are relatively uncommon, it is crucial to know the potential risks. In the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and other areas, wasp attacks are not the norm, but they can happen. There have been reports from visitors on TripAdvisor mentioning the presence of a significant number of wasps in the Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
It is worth noting that thousands of people undertake gorilla trekking without incident, including any wasp attacks or encounters with gorillas. However, regarding animal fatalities, bees, hornets, and wasps are considered some of the deadliest wild animals one could encounter.
It is essential to prioritize safety during gorilla trekking in Uganda or elsewhere. While incidents like wasp attacks are rare, it is advisable to follow safety guidelines and precautions provided by experienced guides. By being mindful of your surroundings, wearing appropriate clothing, avoiding sudden movements, and using insect repellent, you can minimize the risk of wasp encounters and ensure a safe and enjoyable gorilla trekking experience.
How to Prevent Wasp Attacks during Gorilla Trekking
How To Avoid Getting Stung:
1. Use a Deet-based Insect Repellent: While the repellent may not work 100% with Wasps, it seems to help. We recommend the Deet-Based Australian RID product, and WebMD recommended it.
2. Do not use Perfumes, Colognes, and After-Shave Lotion: You do not want to smell like a Flower, and a heavy Scent like a flower attracts Wasps. When you go Gorilla Trekking, please don’t use it.
3. No brightly colored Flower Print patterned Shirts, blouses, or Skirts: Leave your Tropical Shirts at the Lodge; you are not going to a Luau but a Gorilla Trek.
4. If you have long Hair – tie it in a Ponytail: This helps Wasps not become entangled in Your Hari.
5. Take no Sodas on the Trek and stick to Bottled Water: It is Best not to bring any sugary things on the Gorilla Trek
6. Wear the Right Clothing for your Gorilla Trek: Long Trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, a Hat, boots, thick hiking socks, tuck trousers into socks, tough gardening gloves, a Hat, and incredibly tight-fitting caps are suitable. Have a light rain jacket with you. This can cover your face and head should there be a wasp attack. When disturbed, wasps direct their attack against dark-colored objects and stick with a neutral color like khaki.
7. Take a Shower the morning of Trek: Wasps become agitated by the pungent odor of sweat. To keep under their scent radar, freshen up—preferably with unscented soap and water before your Gorilla Trek.
8. On the Gorilla Trek: Stay weary- stay away from Wasp nests and hives—they will defend their territory. If you see a lot of wasps, point it out to the Ranger leading the Trekking Party.
9. Eating your Packed Lunch: Make sure your food is not attracting wasps, and you do not want to bite into one.
10. Look-Out for Wasps on the Trek: Look out for the flight paths of wasps approaching their nests. If possible, detour around them, but one or two people moving relatively quickly can usually pass close to a nest entrance without harm.
11: Stay away from Wasp Nests: We recommend that you stay well away from wasp nests’ Wasps and pheromones act as an alarm. They are secreted by some of the group when they think they are in danger, like if the nest is disturbed or one of them is killed. The rest of the wasps react to the pheromones by swarming out of the nest and attacking the intruder.
In the case that Wasps attack you:
Wasps are often misunderstood and are unlikely to attack unless their nest is disturbed. The scent of wasp venom can trigger a mass attack, so it’s essential not to swat at them or flail your arms, as this will attract more wasps.
If you are attacked, quickly dash through thick vegetation to brush off the wasps, covering your face with your shirt to protect sensitive areas.
Seek medical attention if you’ve been stung multiple times, feel ill, or suspect an allergic reaction. It’s advisable to carry an epinephrine auto-injector if you have allergies.
Wasp attacks can occur worldwide, not just in Africa or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where unfortunate incidents have happened. Your gorilla trek guides prioritize your safety and are familiar with the forest to avoid areas with wasps. Bwindi Community Hospital provides emergency medical care and is well-equipped to handle various conditions.