WHAT TO PACK FOR GORILLA TREKKING AND CHIMPANZEE TREKKING
While gorilla and chimp trekking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots – with good tread and support. Conditions are generally muddy/slippery. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve shirt and lightweight long trousers to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants.
(Tracksuit pants often get caught on bushes, thorns, etc. and jeans can get very heavy when wet). Gloves are also highly recommended – just cheap gardening gloves will do – this will prevent your hands being scratched when holding onto vegetation for support, through dense parts of the forest. Tuck your long pants into your socks/boots to avoid biting insects. Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state – therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. A poncho or lightweight rain jacket is useful, and a day-pack to carry your lunch, water and camera gear in. Walking sticks are made available at the start of the trek for some of the steeper and more slippery tracks and may prove, Binoculars are generally not needed for gorilla viewing, but very handy if you are a keen bird-watcher, Plenty of water – 1-2 litres per person , High energy snacks in addition to your packed lunch provided by the lodge /Camp
INFORMATION ON TREKKING GORILLAS, CHIMPANZEES AND FOREST WALKS ETC.
Primate trekking timings and conditions vary tremendously as they move continuously through the rain forest. It is good to be prepared and remember the weather can change with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths. It can be very strenuous – it may be just a couple of hours but it can also be for a full day of hiking in hot, high altitude conditions – please be prepared for this by being as fit as possible!
Chimpanzee trekking is generally not as difficult compared to gorilla trekking but still can be a hard hike and requires a good level of fitness – especially if you need to follow the chimps which can move swiftly through the forest.
You will be guided through the forest on your gorilla / chimp trekking by a Uganda Wildlife Authority (or Rwandan ORTPN) guide whom you will meet at the departure point in the morning of your trek. Your guide can help you book a porter (or two!) so that you can trek without having to carry the few essential items listed below in a day pack which you should bring with you. The porters are from the local community and very used to the local conditions and can assist in pushing, pulling and supporting you during your trek, if conditions get touch. They are usually an additional fee, over and above your safari cost, and you should budget on approximately USD15 per porter per day as a fee with additional tipping being optional.