Prepare for Gorilla Trekking: What to Pack

by MMC
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You’ve watched the movie “Tarzan” more times than you can count, and Phil Collins’ “Son of Man” is part of the soundtrack to your life. And now it’s finally going to happen… You’re going to gorilla trekking with precious primates! However, surely such a unique experience requires very specific takeaway items? This is where we come in! We’ve compiled the ultimate list of what to pack to make the most of your gorilla trek. adventure. So it’s time to channel your inner Tarzan or Jane and start packing your bags for the thrilling experience that is gorilla trekking.

Prepare like a pro for your gorilla trekking adventure

Extinct Gorilla Trek

But before we dive into what to pack for gorilla trekking, let’s take a quick look at where you should go for this bucket list experience. Here are some of the tried and trusted favorites from our travel experts.

The land of a thousand hills, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places to go gorilla trekking. Rwanda. It’s here, in the Rwandan section of the Virunga Mountains where Dian Fossey began her research. Additionally, it is the setting for the novel and film “Gorillas in the Mist.”

Where to stay in Rwanda

Mother gorilla with baby on her back

Observe mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, image credit: Singita

African rainforest, Republic of Congo

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, go on a gorilla trek in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo is an excellent choice. What makes it ideal for gorilla trekking is that it is less known than other primate trekking destinations, offering more exclusivity and greater availability.

Another key difference concerns the gorillas, with the Republic of Congo being home to lowland gorillas instead of the mountain gorillas found in Rwanda. Mountain gorillas tend to be larger, with longer hair and shorter arms and can only survive at high altitudes. Lowland gorillas, on the other hand, prefer to live in flatter, more densely forested landscapes.

Where to stay in the Republic of Congo

The stunning landscapes of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, image credit: Odzala Discovery Camps

The Ultimate Gorilla Trekking Packing List

To get the most out of gorilla trekking, you need to bring a few essential items with you. Because you will be hiking through forested terrain, it is essential to have the right equipment so that nothing stops you from meeting your gorilla cousins. Here’s what you should pack for gorilla trekking in Africa.

Soak up rainforest views on a gorilla trek

1. Long-sleeved shirts and jerseys

Long-sleeved shirts and jerseys are essential to protect your arms from scratches as you make your way through lush rainforests. Opt for breathable fabrics with a color palette that leans toward light greens, browns, and khakis. Avoid bright colors as well as camouflage and animal prints.

Who says you can't look good while hiking with gorillas?

Who says you can’t look good on a gorilla trek?

2. Long, waterproof pants

Just like your arms, your legs will thank you for the extra protection, especially if they’re waterproof. The rainforests of Rwanda and the Republic of Congo have very humid climates, and wearing waterproof fabrics will help keep you dry and comfortable during the trek.

3. Good, sturdy hiking boots

As the song says, “These boots were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do.” A pair of good quality, waterproof hiking shoes will go a long way in keeping your feet happy during your hike. Don’t forget to splurge on a pair with good ankle support. Also get gaiters – sleeves to protect your boots from dust, debris, moisture and bugs that get into interesting places.

A gaiter keeps your boots and feet clean and dry.  Image credit: Wilderness

Gaiters will keep your socks clean and dry, image credit: Wilderness

4. Rain jackets

You will be in a rainforest, so it is important to prepare for precipitation. A rain jacket will go a long way in keeping your layers dry so you’re never soaked and shivering. If the jacket is lightweight, it will be even better because you can store it in your backpack until you need it without adding a lot of weight to your back.

A lightweight rain jacket can easily be stored in a backpack, image credit: One&Only

5. Sun protection

The sun can be very unforgiving in Africa, even though you think it hides behind the clouds. Therefore, you must protect yourself whenever you go out.

Don’t forget to pack a wide-brimmed hat to keep you cool and protect your face, neck and ears from the sun. Sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory but they prevent you from squinting and protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. And finally, to ensure you don’t ruin your time in Africa with painful sunburns, apply a little sunscreen and reapply it frequently.

6. Backpack

You’ll be spending a lot of time in the rainforest looking for gorillas, so invest in a comfortable backpack that you can carry easily and keep your belongings like reusable water bottles, snacks, sunscreen and everything other item of your choice. to take with you. Some luxury lodges will provide you with a backpack.

Felix Studios Gorilla Trek 2021

Keep the essentials close at hand in a backpack

7. Camera

To ensure you capture the great moment of your gorilla encounter, bring your camera. It will allow you to relive the memories long after the day is over and you will be the center of attention at your next dinner party when you show off your snaps to friends and family. However, to avoid disturbing gorillas and other wildlife, flash photography is not permitted during gorilla trekking.

Gorilla nest lifestyle

Bring your camera to capture every moment, image credit: One&Only

8. Thick gardening gloves

Yes, you read correctly: gardening gloves! While our gorilla cousins ​​have evolved appendages that allow them to grip surrounding slopes and branches, humans have not. So, to best protect your hands when using them to climb up and down steep forest slopes, a nice pair of thick gardening gloves will come in very handy!

9. Insect repellent

Even though your eau de parfum probably smells good, we suggest replacing it with insect repellent eau de parfum. Spraying insect repellent before and during your gorilla trekking excursion will help keep these creepy crawlies and their flying friends away from you for a comfortable trek.

Guides are present throughout the tour, providing information and ensuring the gorillas are protected.

Keep insects at bay with insect repellent, image credit: Odzala Discovery Camps

10. Don’t forget your license

While encountering various other animals, like golden monkeys, during your gorilla trekking expedition will undoubtedly be a pleasant surprise, forgetting to complete some important administrative tasks will not. To go gorilla trekking, you need to obtain a permit which, depending on your destination, can cost between $700 and $1500. But don’t worry, that’s where we come in! We’ll take care of all the details so you don’t have to.

Golden monkey playing hide and seek, image credit: Singita

Your Gorilla Trekking adventure is just a click away…

Our seasoned travel experts have traveled far and wide across our beautiful continent so they can guide you to experience only the best. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to turn your dreams of hiking with gorillas into reality!

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