Therefore, the visit to Virunga National park require warm clothing, wet gear, in case of gorilla tracking and chimpanzee habituation walk, you need thick pants, long sleeved jacket or sweater, wellington boots or hiking shoes, sleeping bags for those hiking Mt.Nyiragongo. Below is a detailed guide to the best things to pack for a gorilla safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla Permit and Passport: These two documents must be with you at all times. The gorilla permit and passport must be present at the head offices for verification so that the authorities can ascertain whether a traveler is eligible to track the gorillas. The passport is presented to the park officials to know if the permit is yours and that you are old enough to track the gorillas. According to the gorilla trekking rules, one needs to be at least 15 years to track gorillas. Gorilla groups are allocated based on the age and the physical fitness of travelers. A passport will therefore help determine if you get an easy or harder trek
Insect Repellents: Mountain gorillas live in countries lying in the tropics with many irritating insects like mosquitos. We recommend that you carry an insect repellent to protect yourself from insect bites. Try to pack deodorants, perfumes, shavers and hand sanitizers so that you can look and smell good during your trip. You should even consider packing toilet paper, wipes, tooth paste and a tooth brush.
Snacks, packed lunch and drinking water: Gorilla trekking takes between 2 to 6 hours depending on the group you will be tracking. You might find yourself exhausted, thirsty and hungry. You will therefore need drinking water, energy drinks and light snacks for lunch. The packed lunch and water can be arranged from your lodge but if that is not possible, then you can buy them from a supermarket in the nearby towns.
Walking stick: Gorilla tracking is very unpredictable depending on which national park you visit. The trails are not demarcated and you will find yourself hiking through thick forests, mountain slopes, river streams and valleys. We recommend that you acquire a suitable hiking stick to support and help you hike through hills and valleys. Basic walking sticks are given free of charge at the starting point but you can acquire higher-end ones at a cost.
Camera with a great focus, strong battery and memory: Why would you go for a gorilla trekking without taking any photos. Gorilla trekking is a very special wildlife experience and you need to have both mental and physical memories that you can show your friends/family. A very good camera is important to capture the primates but also the beautiful volcanoes and forest creatures. Do not use flash cameras while with the gorillas.
Binoculars: Gorilla trekking is not all about gorillas. You will be encountering pristine wilderness with an amazing collection of wildlife including small primates, butterflies, moths, birds, antelopes, forest hogs and much more. A binocular will help you spot all these creatures as you search for the gorillas.
Phone simcard: In order to keep in touch with your friends and family while in Africa, you need to acquire a local simcard. The simcard will help you make calls back home and also gain access to internet even while out in the jungle.
Other essential items for packing: Apart from the items we already mentioned, there are some other essential items that you should consider including in your gorilla trekking packing list. They include travel maps, a guide book, an itinerary from your tour company, cash or a visa card for buying souvenir. A traveler should also consider traveling with a first-aid kid and medications for any lifestyle diseases they have.
In Summary, Essentials to pack for a gorilla safari include insect repellant, sun glasses, hat, gardening gloves, stockings, which are all aimed at making your visit to Virunga National park very comfortable.