What is needed for gorilla tracking

IMPORTANT NOTES

 

1. AGE RESTRICTIONS

Please note that all passengers must be aged 15 years or older (prior to start of travel) to go on this tour - there are no exceptions to this as it is for safety reasons and strictly controlled by the Government.

 

2. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT

This trip is rated a level 4 physical requirement- travellers should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Please ensure you meet the requirements as described under "physical rating".

 

3. TRAVEL DAYS

Travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Rwanda and Uganda. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.

 

4. WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS

Devine African Safaris can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives.

 

5. ILLNESS

Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas, golden monkeys and chimps. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

 

6. CAMERAS

As it is very dark and damp in the jungle; please ensure your camera equipment is appropriate for such conditions and that you bring dry bags to protect it.

 

7. ELECTRICITY

The power supply in Uganda and Rwanda is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.

 

8. YELLOW FEVER

Please be advised that it will be required to show a yellow fever certificate upon entering Uganda, Rwandaand Tanzania.

 

WHAT TO TAKE

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, of medium size, as well as a day pack.

On this trip you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip.

 

While hiking, your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.

 

CHECKLIST

Documents:

• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)

• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)

• Passport (required) (With photocopies)

• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)

• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:

• Binoculars (optional)

• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)

• Cash, credit and debit cards

• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)

• Ear plugs

• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)

• Fleece top/sweater

• Footwear

• Hat

• Locks for bags

• Long pants/jeans

• Moneybelt

• Outlet adapter

• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)

• Reusable water bottle

• Shirts/t-shirts

• Sleepwear

• Small travel towel

• Sunglasses

• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)

• Watch and alarm clock

• Waterproof backpack cover

• Windproof rain jacket

Gorillas:

• Gardening gloves (Highly recommended for gorilla trekking)

• Neutral coloured clothing (Your clothes will likely get very muddy - therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. No bright colours should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended)

Smart Dress:

• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Trekking:

• Gloves

• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes

• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)

• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)

• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)

• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)

• Walking poles (Highly recommended)

Warm Weather:

• Sandals/flip-flops

• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)

• Sun hat/bandana

 

Note: The climate in East Africa varies between the dry and rainy season. Please ensure you bring a windproof rain jacket if you are travelling between April & May, October & November.

 

LAUNDRY

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge.

 

VISAS

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.

 

East Africa Tourist Visa

An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and a confirmation letter received from the Rwanda immigration department if the first point of entry is Kigali, Rwanda. You should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details.

The cost is 100USD per person.

 

SPENDING MONEY

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping.

 

EMERGENCY FUND

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

 

DEPARTURE TAX

USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.

 

TIPPING

Tipping during your tour is optional, but the gesture is expected as a way to show your satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour.

Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the communities that you visit.

Giving a tip should be seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

 

HEALTH

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.

Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for all visitors over 1 year of age and as the vaccination is not valid until 10 days after vaccination it is important to have this done in good time as this will be checked upon arrival to Rwanda and Uganda.

Please be aware that Rwanda and Uganda have many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics.

Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help, but good, clean, and inexpensive bottled water is widely available throughout the entire trip.

East African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): This is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal without treatment. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent African trypanosomiasis.

Sand flies and Mosquitos: Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Malaria: This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.

 

Precautions against insect bites: 

* Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants at all times. 

* Wear khaki or olive-colored clothing. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors. 

* Use bed nets. 

* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering. 

* Avoid bushes. Tsetse flies are less active during the hottest part of the day; they rest in bushes and will bite if disturbed. 

* Use insect repellent. Although repellents have not proven effective in preventing tsetse fly bites, they are effective in preventing other insects from biting and causing illness.

 

Sun:

It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

 

Hydration

Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

 

Diarrhoea:

It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.