When considering what to pack for a Rwanda gorilla trek, it is important to look out for essentials first. Gorilla trekking has become the main highlight of every safari among travelers visiting East Africa today.
The nature of landscape of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is a bit different from the usual savanna plains. This requires you to pack well, and your packing list for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda should comprise of;
What to carry for gorilla tracking Rwanda?
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Camera – good for photography but free of flashlight
- Long sleeved shirts
- Insect repellents
- Bottled drinking water – carry enough to take you till you return to the lodge
- Sunscreen lotion
- Safari hat
- Pair of cotton socks and more.
What to wear?
Once you have understood when best to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking, next is to plan or consider what items to pack. What you plan to wear for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is key and here are some essentials: long sleeved shirts, long trousers, waterproof hiking boots, rain jacket, sweater, pair of socks, safari hat, daypack and many others.
Long sleeved Clothing
Long sleeved shirts and trousers play a vital part when it comes to gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda or Rwanda. You need long sleeved shirts to cover your hands and protect them from falling tree branches, trousers to safeguard you from biting insects, thorns, etc.
The vegetation cover in Volcanoes NP is lush, high and features plants, tree, bushes and navigating through it while on search for gorillas can be challenging. Long trousers come handy when packing for safaris to Volcanoes N/Park. They help protect you from scrawling nettles/insects. Before you hit the jungles to see gorillas, you will be advised to tack in trousers to your socks.
Long sleeved shirt
Long sleeved shirts are ideal considering unfluctuating weather conditions. It can get cold as you hike to the higher elevation and long sleeves are essential. Besides, your hands can be protected from insects, branches, vines, nettle, etc. Preferably, find environmentally friendly clothes/long sleeve shirts, and avoid shouting colors which can scare off gorillas.
Safari hat, sun screen, sunglasses
These play a vital part especially in protecting you from sun heat. This is for visitors with plans to travel for gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda during the dry season/peak season.
Wide-brim hat is another item you should consider on your packing list for PNV. This is to protect you from the hot sunshine especially for guests with plans to visit Volcanoes National Park during the dry season.
Pair of socks
Cotton socks are vital on any gorilla safari in Africa. Before you set foot into the jungles, you will be reminded to check if you have tucked the trousers into the socks to avoid insects from entering.
Thick socks come hardy for Volcanoes National Park trip. During the morning gorilla trek, all visitors will be reminded to tuck in trousers into their socks. This is all aimed at preventing crawling insects from entering inside your legs.
Visiting gorillas isn’t the usual savanna plain game drives. You will wind through the jungles with thorny trees, itchy plants etc and in case you want to get support due to muddy ground, your hands must be protected and this is only possible with strong gardening gloves.
A pair of strong gardening gloves is essential on safari to the Volcanoes Park. This is ideal for guests going for gorilla trekking or guided golden monkeys. Gardening gloves are good for protecting your hands from thorns, vines and itchy plants when you get hold of them for support.
Sturdy hiking boots
The hike to see gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda involves navigating through the jungles, steep slopes and you need strong and waterproof hiking boots or shoes. They should be comfortable and provide ultimate support to your ankle when walking.
The fact that your trek to see gorillas or golden monkeys involves moving through the forest, steep slopes and perhaps on muddy ground, sturdy waterproof hiking boots should be a must-have items. The nature of environment at Volcanoes Park is completely different from the normal savanna protected areas. When choosing footwear for Volcanoes N/Park safari, avoid sneakers- they shouldn’t be part of your packing list except if you want to wear them around the lodge.
Rain coat or jacket/poncho & sweater
Gorilla trekking is done in different tropical rain forests not the savanna grasslands! Therefore there are higher chances are rains can begin to fall at any time of the day. Early preparation is required and a good rain coat or jacket or poncho is essential to have yourself protected from the down pour.
In addition to that the Volcanoes National Park experiences rains at any time of the year. Because you can’t predict what will happen during your day activities, a rain jacket or poncho is essential for all your tour in Volcanoes National Park. This is what will help protect you from rains and also some of your documents.
Waterproof daypack is essential for all trips to PNP. A daypack can be used for carrying your essential documents and other items. When choosing a daypack, we encourage you to carry a waterproof one.
Valid gorilla permits, passports
Valid gorilla permits, visas and passports are essential for all gorilla safaris in Uganda or Rwanda. They are some of the essentials you should have to be allowed to visit mountain gorillas in both countries. In addition, yellow fever vaccination certificate is another important document you should have.
Toiletries may not be good for a gorilla trek, but in any safari in other parks. Toiletries come in a long list including toothbrushes, toilet paper, deodorants, shavers, hand sanitizers, wipes, lip balm, lotions, etc.
First aid kit
First aid kit/box plays an important part when it comes to gorilla trekking or volcano climbing in Rwanda’s Volcanoes Park. The first aid kit should contain essentials such as bandages, plasters, anti-malarial tablets and other items in case of any emergency. On your packing list, you may also consider carrying sunscreen, sunglasses, toiletries, sweater and others.
Gorilla trekking is done in the forests and they harbor variety of insects. The insect repellent shouldn’t be left out if you are to have yourself protected from biting insects and preferably, carry DEET. An insect repellent comes handy during tour hike. This is to help protect you from biting insects, and they are unavoidable given the nature of the environment.
Cameras are must-have for most African safaris. Choose a good camera that is flashlight free and consider packing extra batteries and memory cards just in case the camera battery runs out or space gets filled.
A good camera is one item that shouldn’t miss out on your packing list for Volcanoes National Park. Every safari activity you engage in while at Volcanoes Park comes with opportunity for photography. This is why you must have a good camera, and if you are heading for gorilla trekking, you should have non flashlight one or turn off the flashlight before taking photos of gorillas. You should also have extra battery and memory for your camera since you have a lot to photograph.
Things to Eat
Bottled water, snacks
Bottled water and snacks are essential for your gorilla trek in Uganda or Rwanda. They are important for keeping you fit on a trek to see gorillas. Tracking gorillas takes energy because you navigate through the jungles, steep slopes, muddy floor, etc before coming across these large apes.
A pack of snacks is essential since they serve as energy boosters. It will be a long day exploring Volcanoes N/Park during gorilla trek or golden monkey tracking/hiking, and to enjoy your adventure, you will need some snacks.
The energy giving snacks should be accompanied by bottled water. The two items are significant when it comes to gorilla safaris, golden monkey tours or volcano hiking/climbing in Volcanoes National Park. They help you keep fit throughout your adventure.