What to wear for Gorilla trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking today, either in Uganda or Rwanda is perhaps East Africa’smost popular tourist activity. And one of the mistakes most people have made is to go for gorilla trekking dressed inappropriatelysome wear sandals, shorts which are not the right clothes for such an activity.
The landscape of Bwindi Impenetrable (Uganda) is slightly different from that of Mgahinga (Uganda) and Volcanoes National Parks(Rwanda) but they are all located at higher elevations hence this makes them rainy, humid and cold especially in the nights.Truth is that while trekking you are not hiking on comfortable tracks, but sometimes there are no trails at all or you hike following very small trails.
Therefore as you plan your Gorilla trekking safari in either Uganda or Rwanda, this draws you to wear the right clothing to protect you from coldness, thorn pricks, nettles or insect bites such as flies and soldier ants.
“Pack right-Wear Right clothing”. Below are our recommendations on “What to wear for Gorilla Trekkingin Uganda and Rwanda”.
Wear Long Sleeved Shirts – Long Trousers
You need to wear a long sleeved shirt and Long trousers (can be either Khaki zip-up trousers or jeans) in fact if you can get waterproof trousers wear those. Both long trousers and long sleeved shirts protect you from branches, nettles, thorns or anything else that can prick/scratch you.
Cotton undergarments are recommended, also theladies should ensure that they wear comfortable bras since the hike can be tough.
Some visitors ignore this advice and wear shorts and t-shirts, truth is by the end of the day the exposed skin has scratches, therefore ensure you follow this advice.
Wear Waterproof Hiking Sturdy Boots
The hiking trails can be slippery especially when it rains therefore a pair of waterproof hiking boots is required. The shoes should be comfortable for you, in fact Rangers and Trekkers usually wear rubber boots or gumboots. Therefore you can’ see any one wearing white snickers, sandals or any inappropriate footwear.
Hiking boots will give you good stability, balance, traction and support to your ankles, with these also wear good and thick socks. It is important to tuck your trousers into your socks, this sounds and may look unfashionable but it will protect you against fire ants.
Sturdy Gardenning Gloves
This seems a joke, but it is right. These strong gardening gloves are going to be used in gorilla trekking not in gardening. They will help you support your selves on branches or vines, the gloves also give you protection against nettles such that you don’t get scratched.
You can put them off when you meet the Gorillas inorder to take good photos.
A Rain Jacket
Gorillasare trekked in the rainforest and usually in the morning hours, therefore rain might fall at any time whether it’s a dry season or not, and therefore rain jacket should come handy.
A poncho can also be worn, most trackers, rangers and porters wear it. If you are carrying one, carry a light one which you can easily fold and kip in your bag pack until you need it the next time.
Wear a Hat
All you need is a good wide-brimmed hat on an expensive Tilley Hat, the hat protects your head and neck from rain or the sun. One might choose to wear a baseball cap but it will not protect your neck form the scorching sun after the mist in the mountains has disappeared.
Alternatively, if you don’t come with the hat from home, you could buy one form any local craft markets in the country where you will be trekking gorillas from.
By the end of the trek you will be glad that you wore your hat.
Wear enough Insect Repellent
During the trek you come across different insects therefore wears a lot of insect repellent will protect you, also you can apply a sunblock cream on your exposed body parts.
For trackers who are on a Gorilla Habituation Experience, which takes a full days are advised to bring the repellent in their daypack.
A Warm Sweater
Someone might wonder, a sweater in Africa? Yes, and it is important that you carry one or a cardigan to be worn in the early mornings and cool nights. It really gets so cold at night. In Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Volcanoes National Park, the temperature is at10°C/50°F and in Bwindi Impenetrable it’s at11°C/52°F and sometimesit’s lower than this.
Therefore, this is why the luxury lodges here have fireplaces in cottages or rooms and other lodges give visitors hot water bottles for comfort throughout the cold night.