Gorilla Trekking is speciously the most captivating wildlife experience in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This great activity takes place in the natural habitats of the Gorillas which is mostly in forests in the high mountains where they live. The Gorillas live in forests where the weather conditions are very unpredictable. It is therefore important to understand the best period for you to visit the Gorillas in their natural habitat. There are two main periods in Uganda and Rwanda for Gorilla Trekking, Peak and Low seasons.
This is also Known as the dry season of the year and is the main Gorilla trekking period. It’s normally between the months of December to February and June to September. There is generally less chance of rain during the Gorilla tracking experience. Forest trails are normally dry making it easy for the visitors to hike with ease. This period is common for both Rwanda and Uganda since we share the same weather conditions throughout the year. The season is normally booked to capacity making it hard for last minute bookings. You are encouraged to book your permits 3 and above months before travel date to avoid missing on this wonderful experience. Being a dry season does not however guarantee no rain at all since the Gorillas live in the forests where chances of rain are always high.
This period is characterized by much rains at any time of the day and this is normally between the months of October to November and March to May. It is also known as the rainy season due to the uncertain rains that come anytime even on a seemingly bright day. Few visitors are seen booking to see Gorillas due to fear of the interruption of the rain. The good news about all the Gorilla destinations however is that even on a rainy day, it will shine soon to dry the ground for you to proceed with the trekking activity. Another great thing about the low season is that you will not meet a big number of guests in the park. Gorilla permits in this season may be a bit easier to get but you must book in time like it is for the high season.
Packing List for gorilla trekking
A number of items are important for you to carry on a Gorilla tracking trip and here are some of those you must never miss;
Hiking boots. You will need a pair of high quality shoes to ensure superior command of the rough terrain of the gorilla home. It is sometimes slippery and a good hiking pair of boots will be your weapon.
Long Sleeved shirt/blouse. A long sleeved shirt/blouse is important to protect your arms from the itchy undergrowth as you hike through to meet the habituated mountain Gorillas.
Rain Jacket/Sweater. Weather in the forest is most of the time very unpredictable, you will therefore need to carry your rain gear to use in case it rains during the gorilla trekking experience.
Garden Gloves. You will at some point need to hold onto the leaves to support yourself as you hike and your gloves will help to help protect your hands from any injuries.
Toiletries. Toilet paper, sanitary towels (for ladies), hand sanitizer and wipes are very important for the long hours of tracking the Gorillas.
Hat. The sun can be hash sometimes and may be too hot for you to bear without your hat on, kindly pack it into your bag because you will need it on a hot day.
Sun Glasses. Sunglasses are meant to protect your eyes from the direct sun rays and flying insects in the forest. Do not forget them on your parking list for Gorillas.
Snacks and Water. You will need to carry enough snacks for the day since gorilla trekking may take you more time that the estimated.
Walking Stick. This will be provided by the guides at the park to help you maneuver through the high mountain treks.
Camera and extra batteries. Memories can only be captured on camera for you to share with your friends and family.
Binoculars. Sometimes the birds and animals are quite distant from you and you may need a pair of binoculars to expand the view.
It must be noted that Gorillas can be visited throughout the year irrespective of the season. The beauty the weather conditions in Uganda and Rwanda is that even after a heavy downpour, the sun soon shines to clear the ground for you to resume your tracking activity.
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