Gorilla Trekking may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but taking a hike or trek through the wilderness is a great way to get away from it all and experience nature. Before venturing out on a trek may sure you are prepared. Here are some tips to help you prepare for gorilla trekking, Including all the things we learnt from our personal experience.
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#1. Get In Shape
While this may seem like an obvious one, preparing for any type of hike or trek is very important. We started preparing many months before we set off by doing short walks around our neighbourhood and longer hikes on the weekends to higher elevations. Start small, but give yourself a good 6-12 months of training with increased duration and intensity. While we are both in moderate shape, the uneven and slippery conditions were even a struggle for us!
#2. Invest In a Good Pair Of Hiking Shoes
This is one thing not to skimp on. The terrain on these treks is always unpredictable and you never know how long you will be out there for. Make sure you have a shoe that is comfortable, gives you the right support and, if possible is waterproof.
#3. Wear Light Weight And Light Colored Clothing
From our experience, the weather in Uganda changed dramatically throughout the day. We had a cool morning and then in the afternoon the monsoons came and then hit the humidity. We recommend that you wear long pants and a long shirt. We choose material that was super light and quick drying so that we could regulate our body temperature. We also wore a wicking shirt underneath in case the long shirt became too uncomfortable. Make sure to include in your backpack a rain jacket as you may need it in the afternoon when the rains come in. We picked up most of our clothing from the outlet malls, online shops and second-hand thrift store. You need to be comfortable, but you don’t need to spend a fortune. Check out the options online before you spend big at department stores.
#4. Bring Gloves
This was one thing we didn’t take, and we could have used. Most of the terrain is quite steep and is not on a path that has been formed. You are going to want to put your hands out for support and not only can it be muddy, there some of the tree branches are quite sharp.
#5. Have Mosquito Repellant
A must in humid climates and with the risk of Malaria in African countries, make sure you have this stuff on and reapply throughout the day to avoid being bitten. We recommend that you get all your vaccinations before leaving and then twice daily apply a lotion with DEET. We used Watkins Great Outdoors Lotion and have zero bites.
#6. Drink Water
Seems like an easy one to remember but if you can, bring extra. You don’t realise how much you sweat during the day and you need to keep hydrated to get you back to the lodge! Most tours will provide water to be extra safe you can choose to take a filtering reusable water bottle. Just remember to empty it before you get to airport security.
Those are a good starting point. What hiking tips do you have? Share them below in the comments
Read about our Gorilla Trekking experience in Uganda
See our three days Uganda Itinerary
Take a virtual tour of Bwindi Lodge