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Useful Information

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Gorilla Tracking

Can I track the gorillas?

In order to track gorillas and really enjoy the experience, we recommend that our guests are fit and in good health.  Tracking in thick forest at heights of up to 3,000 metres, traversing steep-sided mountains and ravines, can be arduous, especially if it is wet. To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 are allowed to go gorilla tracking. Being in good health is not simply something that will ensure a more enjoyable experience – people who are ill on the day of the tracking may be not be allowed to track. Please do keep us informed should you any health concerns.  To minimize the possible transmission of human diseases, visitors are asked to maintain a distance of about 20 feet from the gorillas whenever possible.

Gorilla tracking permits 

Only a limited number of permits are available in each gorilla park. It is therefore essential that we book your safari well in advance. Permits need to be paid for at the time of the initial safari booking so that they can be purchased immediately. A delay in payment can result in permits not being secured for the intended dates. A percentage of the gorilla permit fee goes to communities living around the gorilla parks.

Gorilla tracking rules

At the National Park headquarters (or at your lodge for private tracking), ranger guides will explain the rules for tracking gorillas. These rules are designed to protect both you and the gorillas and you will understand why they must be adhered to.

Once the gorillas have been located, the group is allowed to spend an hour with the gorillas. Flash photography is not permitted, so fast film is useful (400-1600 ASA) or appropriate digital camera settings. It is such an exceptional experience and we do encourage personal video cameras to capture the moment.  Professional filmmakers, however, require permission to film in the National Parks and need to purchase filming permits.

 

Essential items to pack when tracking are highlighted here ——————->

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What clothing to pack for safari

A broad guideline for Africa

The weather in most of our safari destinations is generally pleasant throughout the year – warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights – with the Southern Hemisphere summer (September to April) being the hotter months. During the winter months however (May to August), it can get really cold at night and in the early morning, particularly when on safari, so we would like to suggest that you pack accordingly.  Here is a list of generic items that we recommend you pack…

Good to know:  Bright colours and white are not advised whilst on safari.

  • Sun hat / bush hat
  • Headscarf / bandana – particularly for dusty dry regions
  • Golf-shirts and / or T-shirts – preferably with a sleeve to protect your shoulders from the sun
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Short pants
  • Long trousers / slacks
  • Pyjamas – lightweight for summer and warm / thermal for winter
  • Socks – thermal options are recommended for the winter months
  • Good closed walking shoes (running / tennis shoes are fine)
  • Sandals – preferably low heeled or flat if you are going on safari
  • Swimming costume
  • Lightweight jersey or fleece in summer
  • Light rain gear or jacket for summer months
  • Warm jersey or fleece plus anorak or parka in winter
  • Additionally, a scarf, gloves and beanies / woollen hats for the cold winter months
  • More formal attire for your stay at prestigious city hotels

 

Things to pack when tracking gorillas…

  • A medium sized daypack (20L – 30L)
  • Water bottles (take 2 bottles and / or a hydration pack)
  • Gaiters (whilst some lodges offer these, its best to bring your own)
  • Lightweight rain coat /poncho
  • Gloves – gardening gloves are best
  • Antihistamine cream for the stinging nettles
  • A hat, sunscreen and some mosquito repellant
  • Energy bars

** Porters are on hand to carry your bag and help you up the steeper sections for a nominal fee.  We recommend this both to make your trek more enjoyable, and also as a positive contribution to job creation.

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Useful equipment for safari

Good to know:  There is very often a restriction on luggage limits on your safari – please ensure that you check the details from us in this regard as they do change according to your itinerary. A good rule of thumb is 15kg’s per person, in a 60 – 90L soft duffle bag.  This weight limit particularly applies when traveling on light aircraft, but may vary from country to country.

  • Good quality sunglasses, UV protected, preferably polarised. Tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light.
  • If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses in case you get irritation from the dust
  • A good bird guide book if you are a keen birder
  • Personal toiletries (basic amenities supplied by most establishments)
  • Malaria tablets (if applicable)
  • Antihistamine tablets if you suffer from any allergies
  • Anti nausea tablets if you suffer from motion sickness
  • Moisturising cream and suntan lotion – SPF 50 or higher recommended
  • Insect repellent for body application, e.g. Tabard, Rid, Jungle Juice, etc.
  • Basic medical kit (aspirins, plasters, Imodium, antiseptic cream and antihistamine cream, etc.)
  • Tissues / Wet Wipes
  • Visas, tickets, passports, money, credit card, insurance details, etc.
  • Camera equipment including spare batteries, chargers, film, flash cards, memory sticks, etc. 
  • Waterproof/dustproof bag or cover for your camera
  • Click here for more on photography.
  • BINOCULARS – we highly recommended that you bring your own pair for viewing both wildlife and birds. 8×40 and 10×42 are the recommended general purpose binocular specifications

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