The Right Gorilla Trekking Wear and Gear for Uganda-Rwanda
Gorilla Tracking in Uganda-Rwanda What should I wear Gorilla Trekking? What Gear should I bring?
What should I wear for Gorilla Trekking? What Gear should I bring? The right Gorilla Wear and Gear will make your time on the Gorilla Trail a lot easier and definitely more comfortable.
Gorilla Trekking, whether in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda,, is no stroll in the park.
Gorilla Trekking may begin on a trail but ends up off-trail cutting the way through thick underbrush where if you do now wear the clothing or have the right get,, you can get scratched and bruised.
The right clothing and gear protect you,, and the right gear keeps you steady on muddy, steep trails as you head for your encounter with the Gentle Giants of the Forest, the Mountain Gorillas.
How many times have we as a gorilla tour operator see clients show up for the Gorilla Trek wearing shorts, halter tops and seeing them with nettle burns and all scratched up as they returned from what was to be one of the highlights of their lives, the encounter with the gentle giants of the forest. They obviously did not read this helpful gorilla wear and gear, though we recommended it.
When you do not wear the right gorilla tracking clothing, your mind will not be on what you came for, the gorilla encounter, but on the discomfort, the wrong clothing and gear is causing you.
What should I wear for Gorilla Trekking? What Gear should I bring? We suggest that you continue reading and find out. The same clothing recommendations apply to the longer, with fewer participants Gorilla Habituation Experience in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
COVID-19 Has changed how we trek Gorillas:
Uganda is welcoming tourists from around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, especially in the world of travel. Sensible COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures have been put into place for your safety and wellbeing.
Gorillas are some of our closest relatives, with a DNA similarity to humans of 98.4%. That is remarkably close to Human Beings. Diseases such as COVID-19 can be transmitted to the gentle giants of the forest.
A COVID-19 outbreak among the Mountain Gorillas would be disastrous and result in many of them dying. The COVID-19 protocols will prevent such an outbreak.
Protective Face Mask is now a must. You will need two of them for a trek. If you are on a safari with us, you will be supplied with masks by us. For further reading on the protocols – click here.
What should I wear for Gorilla Trekking? Uganda or Rwanda
Since the COVID-19 wearing a face mask while gorilla trekking has become mandatory. It makes common sense and protects you and the endangered mountain gorillas from respiratory ailments.
Protective Face Masks may not be the best garment for selfies, but the mountain gorillas’ well-being is more important than a selfie. It is not only about their health but yours. A mask protects you from diseases that they might be carrying.
Wwearing a face mask is the right thing to do. At present, it is still voluntary. That, however, might soon change and again because of the coronavirus spread.
You are required to have two face masks with you for the gorilla trek.. The masks have to be worn on trek from beginning to end. Breaks will be taken due to discomfort of mask while trekking.
Be proactive and protect yourself and the Gorillas by wearing a face mask.
Waterproof Hiking Boots and thick Socks:
You will need A pair of waterproof hiking boots with ample tread on them for traction on the trail. Do not arrive with boots that you have never worn.
Hiking boots give you the needed ankle support, traction, stability, and balance, all important while Gorilla Tracking and don’t forget a pair of thick hiking socks.
It is best to tuck your trousers into your socks and protect yourself against insects such as ants.
The alternative to Hiking Boots is what the rangers wear – Rubber Boots: You will notice that Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers wear rubber boots, also called Wellies. They are waterproof, give you protection almost up to your knees and give you traction since most have good tread on them. They do not give the ankle-support, something most trekkers want.
Waterproof Hiking Boots and thick Socks give you comfort, support, and protection during Gorilla Trekking.
Hiking – Trekking Socks- the Perfect Companion for your Boots:
The secret to getting the best performance from your boots depends on the socks that you wear. You can either enhance or ruin the performance with the socks that you will use. some can put on almost any socks and they will be fine, while most must wear the right companion socks to their hiking boots to prevent blisters, overheating, and plain discomfort.
Wool, especially the popular Merino wool that does not have the itch that normal wool has. Merino wool has become the most popular hiking sock material and the one that our footwear specialists recommend above all others.
It regulates temperature well to keep your feet from getting sweaty and it provides cushioning. Another plus is that wool is naturally antimicrobial, so it tends to retain smells less than synthetic fabrics.
Your Boots need the right companion – good wool hiking socks. Invest in a few pair before your safari.
Wear the right Clothing for Gorilla Trekking – Long-Trousers and aLong-Sleeved Shirt:
Why should you wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt on a gorilla trek in equatorial Africa? The focus is your protection. You need to protect yourself from scratches caused by thorns, and thick underbrush. You also want to protect yourself from stinging nettles by covering your skin with long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt.
Gorilla Trekking takes place in the so-called Gorilla Highlands of Uganda and Rwanda. It does not get hot here as it does in savannah park. Wearing long trousers and long-trousers is not uncomfortable. Just look at the rangers leading you on the trek, they are wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts
Avoid wearing bright colors and white since they can distract animals. Jeans, though blue work quite well since they are tough and rugged.
Tug your pants into your socks to protect from fire ants. It may not look fashionable, but it is practical and protects you.
Cotton undergarments will keep you comfortable, and women need to pick comfortable bras for a hike that can be tough.
Dress Smart – Wear the right Clothing for Gorilla Trekking – Long-Trousers and aLong-Sleeved Shirt:
Wear tough Gardening Gloves:
Gardening Gloves on a on a Gorilla Trek, are you kidding me? Yes, you read right – sturdy, leather Gardening Gloves is part of your gorilla wear.
No, you are not going to do some gardening chores but you are on a gorilla trek and the gardening gloves will be useful.
The gloves allow you to pull yourself up on vines, branches, even thorny bushes and not get scratched.
Nettles, yes, Nettles are present, and they cause a lot of discomforts if you touch them. Gardening Gloves will give a trek without nettle stings on your hands.
Those who use them are glad that they did since you often go off the trail and enter the bush where the gorillas are to spend your hour with them.
Sturdy Leather Gardening Gloves are in fashion while gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda
Wear a Hat and protect yourself from the sun:
A hat comes in handy to protect your head from the elements whether it be sun or rain. A wide-brimmed hat is best for protection against the sun.
At the least, wear a baseball cap, but it does not protect your neck against the tropical sun that comes out after the morning mist has lifted in the mountains.
You do not need an expensive Tilley Hat, a wide-brimmed hat will be just right The alternative is a baseball hat.
or purchasing a hat in Uganda or Rwanda, and there is a wide range available in local markets, including Craft Markets.
Wear a Hat – you will be glad that you did by the end of the Gorilla Trek.
You will need a Light Rain-Jacket with Hood or a Poncho:
You are trekking Gorillas in the Rainforest, and often in the morning, there is the “Gorillas in the Mist” cloud cover and fog at times accompanied by a light rain.
You are tracking the gorillas in aRain Forest where it can and does rain at any time no matter what time of the year it is. There are two rainy seasons. The first are the so-called long rains from April to mid-June and the second one called the short rains from late October to early December.
Most often it rains at night or during the early morning hours near dawn. The sun still comes out most days and trekking takes place come rain or shine 365 days of the year.
It is best to pack a light rainjacket with hood in your daypack. The other option is to use a poncho as many rangers use in the case of rain on the trek.
You are in a rainforest, be prepared and have a rainjacket or a poncho with you
A Sweater or Sweatshirt for Cool Nights and Early Mornings:
Yes, a sweater in Africa. It is not an accident that Luxury and Upmarket Lodges have fireplaces in the rooms or cottages for your comfort in the gorilla highlands.
It gets cold here at night. In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, The temperature gets down 11°C/52°. Near Volcanoes National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla Park, 10°C/50°F, even lower at times. That for Tropical, Equatorial Africa is cold. For visitors from colder climates to the area, it may just feel right and comfortable.
Even though you are close to the equator, it might behoove you to bring a sweater or cardigan. Many lodges give you a hot water bottle for your comfort for your nighttime comfort.
Yes, Bring a Sweater or Sweatshirt for your Gorilla Trekking Safari and stay comfortable.
Wear lots of Insect Repellent, and the right DEET product is excellent for Gorilla Trekking. If you combine a Savannah Park, we recommend RID, to buy online and is made in Australia. (We have no connection to RID besides it being effective and our clients love it
Presently it is not sold in North-America, making it a bit harder to get, but that effort is well worth it.
While Gorilla Trekking, you come across flies. There are not many tsetse flies or mosquitoes here but pesky flies.
Only wearing a good insect 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, an all-day trek, bring the spray along with you in your daypack, put it into a ziplock bag since it contains DEET.
Using an Insect Repellent will keep the annoying flies away from you
The Extra things to have for your Gorilla Trek:
You will need an excellent waterproof day pack to pack the things you will be bringing along.
Wrap Camera Equipment in Ziploc Bags or Shower Cap to protect it, a small first aid kit with band-aids, insect repellent – during the day, there may be many 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.
Other things – Swiss-Army Knife – First-Aid Kit- Insect Repellent mostly for flies – Sunglasses may come in handy.
Use Ziplock Bag to cover anything you are trying to protect from water, plus to keep the Deet Based Insect Repellent from spilling in the bag, other items.
Use a Porter to carry your Daypack and to assist you:
Porters are readily available both in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Rwanda at Volcanoes National Park.
Some feel that it is demeaning to use a porter – not realizing that porters make a decent income that pays for homes, school fees for children, food, medical care, etc.
You benefit by being free to move around and take pictures without the weight of the daypack.
Using a porter 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. In some cases, they have carried people with disabilities on stretcher like contraptions called sedand chairs to see the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda.
COVID-19 Protocols cancel the use of porters for gorilla trekking until further notice: Uganda Wildlife Authority in an attempt to reduce the number of people in the presence of the gorillas wants you to pack it light and carry your own daypack for the encounters with gorillas. Non-Gorilla Trek Hikes, climbs, nature walks are not affected.
Gorilla Trek Walking Sticks steadies you on the Trek:
Walking Sticks come in most handy as you traverse the problematic terrain while tracking Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda.
Most people use the local, tall bamboo walking sticks,, which can be purchased and, at times, are provided for by lodges.
You can also buy a carved ornamental walking stick 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.
Walking Stick steady you on the Gorilla Trail and other hikes
Protecting your Camera and Lenses on a Gorilla Trek:
Those wanting to trek Gorillas are always looking at our “Best Time for Visit for Gorilla Trekking” Page, and here you are now in December during the Dry Season, and yet as you head out on the Trail for your Trek, it is raining.
How you best protect your Camera Gear – Ziploc Bags, large ones do the job. Commercial products on the market cost a lot more money, but a simple large Ziploc Bag will do the job.
What about Rwanda’s Ban on Plastic Bags? – if officials see that you are protecting something, like keeping insect repellent in a Ziploc bag,, they usually allow it since they figure that you will take the bag back with you. The same applies to Camera Equipment Protection. You can also use a shower cap, yes, a shower cap to protect your camera and lenses.
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 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.
Download your Gorilla Trekking Packing List
Here is a list of what you need to pack, things need to bring, and what you need to have on the Day of your Gorilla Trek. It will come in handy as you prepare for your Gorilla Trek in the Heart of Africa.
[embeddoc url=”http://kabiza.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/gorilla-gear-list.pdf” download=”all”]
What should I wear for Gorilla Trekking? What Gear should I bring?
Simple, follow the above advice and you 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, your Encounter with the Gentle Giants of the forest.
Enjoy your Gorilla Trek in Uganda or Rwanda by dressing right, dressing smart for the occasion, which is Gorilla Trekking. If you continue your safari after Gorilla Trekking and visit Savanna Parks – here is what to wear on such a safari.
We suggest that you download our handy list that will help you to pack the Right Gorilla Gear for your time at Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.
Comfort and protection is the goal. That means long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt may seem not the right stuff for hiking on a Trek in Africa. They do, however, protect you from nettles, thorns, bushes, and insects.