What to wear for Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda & Rwanda
Gorilla trekking is a very exciting activity that is carried out in both Uganda and Rwanda. Many tourists have made a mistake with dressing while going for gorilla trekking in the respective forests. Most tourists dress inappropriately and this affects them as they trek these endangered species. Some of these wear sandals, shorts and these are not right for any trek in Uganda. The land scape of bwindi forest is so hilly since it’s located at a higher elevation hence making it rainy, humid and cold at the same time. This therefore means that when planning your gorilla safari, you need to wear the right clothing to protect you from the thorn pricks, insect bites and the solider ants. Below are some of the recommendations on what to wear for a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Wear long sleeved shirts and Trousers;
These have to be long and Khaki zip up trousers or jeans. If you can get water proof trousers and shirts, it would be better. These long sleeved shirts and trousers protect you from branches, nettles, thorns or anything else that can prick or scratch you. The cotton undergarments are also recommended especially for the ladies to ensure comfort ability due to the tough hike.
Always wear waterproof hiking sturdy boots;
The hiking trails can be so slippery especially when it rains therefore a pair of waterproof hiking boots is needed. These shoes should be comfortable for you and these should be rubber boots or gumboots. The hiking boots will give you good stability; traction and support to your ankles, with these also wear good and thick socks. It’s vital to always tuck in your trousers into the socks to protect yourself from fire ants.
Sturdy Gloves; these should be strong gardening gloves that are used while gorilla trekking. These help you support yourself from branches or vines, the gloves offer you protection against nettles.
A rain Jacket; the mountain gorillas are trek in rain forests and it can rain any time of the day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dry or wet season of the year. This means that a rain jacket is so essential when gorilla trekking. The poncho can as well be worn; most trackers, rangers and porters wear it. This must be light enough which you can easily fold and kip in your bag until you might use it the next time.
Always wear a Hat; the hat will protect your head and neck from rain of the sun. Choose not to wear a baseball cap but won’t protect your neck from the sun after the mist in the mountains has disappeared. You can as well buy a hat from any local craft markets in the country where you will trek the mountain gorillas from.
Wear insect repellent: during the trek, you come across many different insects and it’s important to wear the insect repellent which will protect you from the direct sun shine. Apply it on your exposed body parts. Those travelers going for gorilla habituation experience which takes many hours are advised to carry the insect repellent in their day pack.
A warm sweater; it’s vital that you carry one a sweater to be worn in the early mornings and cool nights. Its gets so cold at night in the game reserves mostly in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga National Park. This is why luxury lodges have fire places in cottages or rooms and other lodges offer the visitors hot water bottles for comfort throughout the cold nights.
Choose the right color of your safari clothes; bright colors should be avoided during safari activities but can be fit for dinner time only. The neutral colors like light brown, green, Khaki are good for safari activities during the day and they are highly recommended all over Africa. Black and blue shirts are not good for the jungle since these attract tsetse flies and other insects. Some of these clothes include; long sleeved tops or safari shirts, long trousers, shorts, safari boots, safari socks, under wears, African safari Hat, safari jacket, swimming suit, pajamas, outing clothes and the light sweaters.
The items that are so important for usage during your safari in Uganda include; citronella soap that acts as soap and as an insect repellent, insect repellents and these work on both mosquitoes and tsetse flies, sun blocker creams that will help you protect your face and eyes from the hot sun, Hand wipes to help in preventing germs, sun glasses to protect your eyes from direct sun rays, Malaria medicines , a packet of toiletries and the First Aid box in case you get injured from the forest.
The important safari gadgets and equipments required for any safari include; camera and the accompanying equipments. Enough batteries, Binoculars, camera memory card, Journals, flash light as well as the Electric items.
You also need to note that Rwanda doesn’t allow plastic bags and you can be charge for dropping them around. Uganda is also against plastic bags though they are still in use. In case you have space left in your luggage, carry some souvenirs like the balls, books, t shirts to offer to the nationals while on the safari.
The light bags are also good for an African safari and always end ever to carry specific day packs to be able to engage in nature walks, chimpanzee treks as well as mountain gorilla treks. The bulky bags and suit cases are a discomfort and will make your safari very difficult most especially with carrying the bags to the safari vehicles and to the lodges.
The activity determines which gadgets a traveler will need to pack and this helps in avoiding the unnecessary packaging which is done by most of the tourists. Many different safari activities like hiking, gorilla and chimpanzee habituation, mountain climbing, bicycling and volcanic hiking need different safari gadgets and the tourists should take time and know exactly which activities they are to engage in.
The weather of the destination to be visited should be considered before packing the right gadgets to use. With in Uganda and Rwanda, there are some rainy and dry seasons, so it’s vital to do some research and find out when is the rain and dry seasons in these two countries. Most of the Accommodation facilities in Rwanda and Uganda serve shampoo and the travelers are advised to always carry at least a bar of soap to help with washing personal items.
The travelers are as well advised to carry luggage safari bag; Mobility is so important since it becomes easy when the safari bag is light for the clients. It’s also advisable to use suit case with key combinations instead of those with keys since it’s too easy to lose a key in the jungle. Most tour operator’s advice to the clients to use duffel safari bags since these can easily be stored and offer added valve mobility on any safari.
Having a handy day pack is also crucial; this should be water proof since the weather can change anytime while in the forest. This helps the clients to carry personal items that they need while in the jungle and it’s the main reason it’s called handy.
Remember to carry a money belt or Bag; it’s mainly recommended for the clients since these help with safety for money and it’s advisable that they are made of cotton so as to be able to be carried near the body to avoid sweating. It’s also vital to wear it fast and then put on a safari cloth on top to give more protection to the cash. This bag can as well carry your other important documents like the passport, immunization card, ID and many more.
Above is some of the main requirements travelers need before coming for any gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda.