In one of my recent posts I have told about my experience trekking in Uganda to see the mountain gorillas. Now I want to share with you some advice on what to wear for gorilla tracking and hopefully make your experience much easier.
You can really use this list at any time because Uganda’s climate it’s very similar all year round.
Going to trek in the mountains takes some preparation, especially if you are going to such dense ones like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The best advice I can give you is to think carefully about the cloths you are going to wear as well as the materials of it. Overall choose good quality ones, remember, one hour in the forest will seem like five and there isn’t hardly any trails around. It is hard, but you can do it, with the appropriate clothing.
Then, think about the trek stages. Initially it was very hot and humid and I was wearing a t-shirt for almost the first part but once we stopped to see the gorillas I got really cold. This happened because I was at a higher altitude deep in the mountain with no sun light. At that point I put on a long-sleeved shirt. On the way back it started to rain, very heavy for about 30 minutes and I was glad I packed the rain jacket, so another item of great importance. During the trekking you will mostly experience several types of weather conditions so be prepared!
What to wear for Gorilla Tracking
This item is probably the most important on the list. They should be comfortable and waterproof. The trail can be slippery and unsteady. Most of the way you are climbing paths full of vegetation and rocks. So the boots must have a good ankle support and again comfortable!
To complete it don’t forget a good pair of socks. They should be quite thick and fit just right with the boots, again remember to get some above the ankles. A trick that I have learned was to put the socks on top of the trousers to avoid been bitten by ants, apparently they are very common.
The weather is hot but humid. Remember the advices I gave you on how to dress for a safari? They are pretty similar, which means, the t-shirts should be of neutral colours, preferably greens, browns, khakis. Also choose lightweight cotton fabric, this will help with the humidity.
For some parts of the trek I really recommend you to wear a long-sleeved shirt, to avoid scratches along the way were the path gets rougher. Also when you finally sit down to watch the gorillas it can get really cold. I remember I was freezing at one point! Put in the backpack just in case.
You should take this with you, even that the day is really hot and bright and there aren’t any previsions of rain. This is because the weather in Uganda is unpredictable and after all you are going to trek in the rainforest. At any moment can rain. That happened on the way back of my trek; it just started pouring rain and good that I had this jacket with me.
Do not wear shorts by all means. You can seriously injury yourself if you opt by shorts or dresses. It’s really important that you cover your legs as much as you can to avoid scratches, bites from insects or others harms. Choose light materials and neutral colours. Leggings are a good option.
A small backpack will be essential to carry water (at least 1,5L), the packed lunch, camera and some extra layers of clothing as mentioned above. If you can get a waterproof backpack, if not get some plastic bags to wrap around the camera in case it starts raining. Also important to take in the backpack is the sunscreen and insect repellent.
Gloves are optional and I did my trek without it but I strongly recommend you to wear a pair. This is because most of the time you are grabbing anything along the way such as branches and rocks which can harm your hands. To be comfortable get some thick gloves, maybe like the gardening ones. This will keep your hands safe along the way and if you feel like you don’t need it you can just put it way in the backpack.
If you want to bring your own walking sticks because you use them a lot in other treks please do, but, if you are going to buy them just for this activity I really wouldn’t recommend it. In the park they have walking sticks for you for free and it’s one less item you will have to pack. They are really handy and will help you on some parts of the trek but you don’t really have to have it.
Tell me if these advice’s helped you with your adventure in the mountains in the comments below!
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