A gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda is an unforgettable experience, and to ensure success on your trek, we have crossed all the Ts and dotted the Is for you…here is a list of great tips for a successful gorilla trek.
Dress for success
Be prepared for muddy trails and changeable weather so dress in layers, ensuring that the outermost layer is rain proof as rainstorms can happen at any time. Opt for long pants rather than shorts, and tuck pants in socks to avoid ants (it is common to find red ants along the trail).
Your footwear needs to cover your ankles as you may have to wade through ankle deep mud, so get a pair of high hiking boots with good traction. Wear gloves to protect you from insects and the nettles and also to help grip the vegetation. Carry some insect repellant.
Carry some food & water
Once you enter the park, there is no place to buy food or water so make sure you carry some snacks (i.e energy bars) and water in a small backpack. Some treks last well into the afternoon so you will need some snacks to keep you going.
Communicate your fitness level to your guide
Rwanda is situated on a high altitude (1500 m above sea level), and the hike can take you to over 3000m. The treks are anything from an hour to over 8 hours so communicate your level of fitness to the guide to ensure you are placed in the right group. This will avoid you slowing down the group and struggling to keep up. Having said that, expect a long hike so be in the best physical shape you can be before the trip. Most people ask to trek to the Susa group as this is the group that Dian Fossey studied, but it is the most difficult one to trek to.
Hire a porter
Porters can be found at the trek starting point and you can hire one for about US$ 10. Not only will they carry your bag, but they will help you navigate the steep & slippery slopes.
Ensure your camera is ready
Flash photography is not permitted as it disturbs the gorillas to make sure you know how to turn this off. Understand your camera well so as to give you the best pictures possible – photos of gorillas in the forest tend to turn out dark due to underexposure, so you need to shoot with a high ISO. Carry your camera equipment in a waterproof bag to avoid it getting wet.
Now that you have everything in place, you can comfortably book your gorilla safari.