What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking Safari

What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking Safari

What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking Safari : The number one advice to what to pack for gorilla trekking safari is pack light and only carry the essentials, your packing list for gorilla trekking safari should have items you absolutely need more especially if you are taking domestic flights. This is because domestic flights have a limit of up to 32 kg per bag and charge for any extra weight.

Mountain gorillas live in the remotest regions with minimal access to modern services and at mountainous altitudes, you will be trekking uneven, steep terrain at 7000 ft – 13,000 above sea level under a thick humid tropical mountain forest.

At night, it gets chilly with morning temperatures below 7 to 15 °C (45 to 59 °F).  So, carry some comfortable and warm clothing, plus waterproof shoes. Avoid clothing that makes you stand out as they can draw unnecessary attention.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park thicket of tangled green with marked walking trails used during gorilla trekking. Whether it rains or not, visitors have to walk early to join other trekkers regardless. Therefore, you should pack for any eventualities.

Because of the recent deadly pandemic, the way people travel has changed. Now, we have to protect ourselves and the gorillas as well from the dangerous transmittable diseases. Your packing list for gorilla trekking will include standard hygiene items for protecting you, the gorillas as well as everyone.

Packing list for health and hygiene

  • Facemasks – by law, you must wear a facemask when in presence of mountain gorillas
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and hard-surface cleaning spray; only if you want to be extra precautious. Use items that are approved by the CDC.
  • Pack your prescription glasses and bring a floating strap if you will use them while trekking the gorillas.
  • Carry sunscreen for protection from the tropical heat, please choose one that is water-resistant and reef – friendly. However, always remember that nothing can protect you against the sun better than clothing.
  • Essential prescription, medications and vitamins
  • Insect repellent will help you keep the bugs away during the hike in the woods
  • A tiny traveler’s first aid kit


Clothes to pack

  • Long-sleeved shirts for forest trekking and sunburn protection, a couple of regular T-shirts, blouses or dress shirts
  • Two pairs of long pants, something dressy and something for the forest hiking
  • A pair of hiking gloves, you need them to protect your hands when you touch thorny branches and vines in the woods
  • Underwear and comfortable socks
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket or raincoat that will keep you dry or warm when the temperatures drop
  • Sunglasses and hat or baseball cap
  • A pair of getters and outside cloves


  • Lightweight hiking or walking shoes, more preferably waterproof and make sure they are well fitting
  • Closed sandals or crocs and a pair of long, warm socks
  • Retractable trekking holes and hiking staff – usually you can get a free wooden walking stick at the park office, it could turn out to be heavier than your foot.
  • boots for gorilla trekking

Books and documents to pack

  • A good travel book about Uganda or Rwanda are perfect for learning about the basics of the destination you are visiting
  • Pack some reading materials like ebooks, magazines, novels or a travel blog with great content about Uganda safari experience.
  • A passport that has at least more than three months before expiry and three empty pages, have photocopies (paper and digital).
  • Identification cards (driver’s license) and insurance cards with emergency contacts, make paper and digital copies.  
  • Credit Cards – most international debit cards and credit cards are accepted in Uganda and there are Banks / ATMs in major towns en-route to the gorillas. Only carry small amounts of cash for souvenirs, street foot, bus/taxi fare and tipping. Most people and lodges in Uganda and Rwanda accept US Dollar bills not older than 2006.

Packing list for toiletries

  • Razors
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, you may not find these at your gorilla lodge
  • Pack small bottles of shampoo and body soap if you dot want to use your lodge’s complimentary toiletries
  • Brush or comb
  •  Cosmetics and other beauty items such as body lotion, anti-bacterial wipes among others
  • Sanitary pads which you can also buy either in Kampala or Kigali when you land

Miscellaneous things to pack for the gorilla trekking safari

  • Ziplock bags
  • Your favorite long-lasting energy snack for hiking, a mix of dried fruit and nuts is a great energizing snack. You can also request the chef at your lodge to pack your favorite snack in your ziplock.
  • A small flashlight for late-night walks to your cottage
  • A pair of binoculars for bird watching
  • A tablet or light laptop
  • Camera or cell phone for photography, you may find Wi-Fi at the lodge to connect with your family and friends.
  • A waterproof daypack or backpack for daily activities is handy
  • Chargers for your gadgets with a socket adopter
  • Headphones for quiet – me time
  • Emergency, friends and family contacts

Essential items you must have for the gorilla trekking experience

  • 2 facemasks & hand sanitizer
  • Reusable drinking water can/bottle – you’ll need a lot of drinking water
  • Long sleeve shirt or T-shirt
  • Long pants
  • Walking/hiking boots
  • Long socks
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Drinking Water
  • Snacks
  • Lunch pack & snack

Luggage packing tips and tricks

Fit more into your luggage – the best way to get more space in your bag is by rolling your clothes and you will make less luggage and likely not have to pay extra luggage fees on your flight.

Buy stuff at your destination – Entebbe and Kampala in Uganda as well as Kigali City in Rwanda have travel stores where you can buy things you will need on your gorilla trekking safari.


packing list for gorilla trekking

Note: please pack only the essentials and then ask your tour manager to help you make a list of the things you can get when you arrive.

In Uganda and Rwana, we have two seasons that is June to August and December to February which are dry seasons, this season is considered the best time for gorilla trekking and safari in these two beautiful countries. The heat makes for an excellent gorilla trekking experience under the humid jungle canopy, but you should pack light clothing for the trek and something to protect yourself against the sun outside of the rainforest. Bring sunglasses and tropical – friendly sunscreen. March to May and September to November is the rainy season, there may be unexpected rain outbursts for a couple of hours a day and a cloak can come in handy.

Layer up – avoid the bulky, heavy clothing that takes up space. Bring lighter clothes that can layer up to stay warm. For example, instead of that bulky sweater. It is best to wear a Merino wool tank or t-shirt with a lighter long-sleeved top.

Carry heavy clothing on you, you can wear heavy clothing during transit, to free up some parking space to carry snacks or something to give away like “Pack For A Purpose” items. You will have that space available when flying bac home, it is common to see someone in transit wearing a jacket or hiding it, a thick pair of jeans and sturdy boots.

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