What can I expect on a Gorilla trekking expedition?

By Catherine Soares de Melo  |  Last updated at 29 March 2019, 14:30
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If you’ve ‘locked in’ your gorilla trekking expedition to Rwanda or Uganda and are ecstatically counting down the weeks, you might really be starting to think about what’s in store, in terms of your actual experience ahead… Let us now focus on the more intricate details of the trek.

What should I pack for the trek itself, and while I am hiking?

Let’s get down to some of the basics. While a new pair of fancy trekking boots is not one hundred percent necessary – a good fitting, (ideally, worn-in) pair of sneakers or sports shoes with a decent grip will help in your quest to reach the family in the most comfortable manner possible.

1. A solid pair of gardening gloves can help to move thick foliage out of the way when you are tearing through impenetrable montane forests…. Maybe also think about bringing along some “gators” or tucking your trousers into your socks to make sure not creepy crawlies from the jungle find their way to your toes.

2. A waterproof bag for cameras and a light weight raincoat or anorak for yourself is a good idea in case of extreme humidity or rain….

3. A couple of energy bars might be wise because as there is no way of telling just how long you may trek before finding the gorillas… 2 to 4 hours could pass before they are located, depending on a number of factors. Make sure you fill your water bottle at the lodge before setting off as hydrating throughout the trek is important.

4. A lightweight medical mask is recommended to safeguard the spread of any human germs or viruses to the gorilla families

What assistance is available if I am feeling tired half way?

A team of very strong and able porters accompany each group of trekkers. They are locals that know the mountains well, and they are there to guide the way, watch your back, or if push comes to shove (excuse the pun), extend a bit of their muscle in terms of getting you to the point that you need to be!

They’ll also offer hand-made trekking poles for rent (around $5). These can be very useful and we’d recommend grabbing one or two each.

A small token of gratitude should be extended for their efforts at the end, as you make your way back down for a boot buff and an ice cold beer…

 

Author

Catherine Soares de Melo

Catherine Soares de Melo

Born in Cape Town, Catherine, our Senior Safari Specialist, has spent a lifetime exploring Africa.
Find out more about the Planet Africa Safaris team.

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