The endangered mountain gorillas can be trekked in Virunga national park in Congo, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and the volcanoes national park in Rwanda. The mountain gorillas live at the mountain slopes of the Virunga massif and in Bwindi forest in Uganda.
There are only about 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world. In the 19th century their number was greatly decreasing due to various problems like poaching, human encroachment in gorilla habitats and so much more but today the conservation efforts are helping to the increase in mountain gorilla numbers in the world.
Trekking mountain gorillas is a unique experience you should not miss on your safari to Rwanda, come encounter some time with this apes hat share 98% human DNA. Gorillas live in groups of up to 30 individuals led by a dominant gorilla known as a Silverback because of the silver fur found on its back. The Silverbacks are the oldest males in a given gorillas family. To trek mountain gorillas, tourists will need to pack some things that you might highly need while in the jungles. Some of the required items are as follows.
Unlike wildlife viewing on game drives, mountain gorilla trekking will require you to wear particular clothes like long sleeved shirts, trousers, sweaters and rain coats this is because the mountain slopes are filled with tropical rainforests where you will feel a cold breeze as soon as you start your trek you might also get rained on sometimes while trekking.
While trekking the thick jungles, the guides and ranges will clear way for you though it might become very steep in some terrains and the only way to support yourself is by handling some plants or trees that might be harmful if you’re not protected.
All the national parks with mountain gorillas are not necessarily malaria free so you might just get a mosquito bite during the trek or at the accommodation in the park as fall sick. Despite these lodges providing mosquito nets, it’s advisable to carry malaria pills just in case of any emergency.
Water proof hiking boots
The habitats of mountain gorillas are located approximate to the equator which makes rain unpredictable. Sometimes you might get soaked up in the rain while tracking and you will not love water getting into your shoes so the best way to avoid this is by getting water proof hiking boots. As the terrains get steep, rocks become slippery and you will surely need good shoes for some grip.
The forests are filled with different types of insects not forgetting mosquitoes. A bite from an insect could ruin your whole Rwanda safari holiday so its good to carry repellents like DEET to safeguard yourself from harm.
Though women are always keen on carrying items, men must also have toilet papers at hand just in case you will need to use it. There are no toilets in the forest while trekking gorillas. A ranger guide will only dig for you a hole you can ease yourself from.
The mountain gorilla habitats are not only for gorillas. Tourists always come to spot a lot of bird species. However, they need binoculars to have a good look at the forest birds.
While trekking mountain gorillas, a camera is a must carry item to capture captivating lifetime moments of this great apes. You will not be allowed to use flash lights while taking photos or filming as it can frighten and irritate gorillas. You might just need to carry an extra battery just in case one runs down because you will have an hour of photos and observation.
While going for a gorilla trekking safari, you will meet porters who might want to carry your back packs, incredible guides, waitresses, traditional dancing groups who might love to perform for you, souvenirs you might admire and want to take back home for remembrance. You will make it easy to give tips to locals, pay for entertainment from local dancers and buy souvenirs with local currency.
Trekking gorillas can be very tiresome sometimes and can take 2-8 hours. You will just need some water as you might get thirsty in the forest and there’s no water.
Energy giving snacks
While on the move you might need some more energy and energy giving snacks like nuts and dried fruits will do you well.
Packed lunch is a must carry item as trekking gorillas can take some good hours. Your group will be given some time to sit and have their lunch. Your required not to litter in the national parks by carrying all your rubbish back to the hotel.
Hat and sun glasses
The weather might just be unpredictable sometimes it’s very hot so you will need a hat for shade, sun glasses and sun screen. First aid kit and walking stick can be got from the park headquarters.