I’ve fallen in love with exploring the great outdoors. I’ve seen amazing sights, like national parks around the world, and unforgettable dives in places like Hawaii.

Of all these magical excursions, going on a gorilla trek in Uganda is one of the experiences that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart.

The things I would suggest packing for a gorilla trekking adventure are listed here.

You Can Pack Really Light

Keep it simple! You are going to find weight restrictions on the small planes that take you out to the best trekking spots. In sub-Saharan Africa, bush flights mean small planes (I mean really tiny).

On flights from Entebbe to Kihihi, there are weight and size restrictions on baggage. The Aerolink Uganda baggage policy says that you can only bring soft-sided luggage up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds).

I’d heard that you get so close to the gorillas that you don’t really need a zoom lens, but I brought mine anyway.

If you are traveling alone or plan to take nighttime pictures, you might want to bring your tripod.

Helpful Tip:

The weather in Uganda is different at different times of the year. Check out the Best Time to Travel to Uganda to know what to expect.

Photography Gear

I took photos on my FUJIFILM X-T4 and used my 35mm prime lens for most shots. I also used the FUJIFILM XF 50-140mm Telephoto Zoom F2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens, which was perfect for capturing close up shots.

A zoom lens (16-55) will work great for close-up photos of gorillas. The full article can be viewed here: http://www.gimkf.org/blog/2009/11/18/i-spoke-plainly-to-my-second-grader/.

On our trip, I found myself reaching for the 50 to 140 mm lens time and time again. The 2.8 ability to stabilize the images helped me capture better photos and videos.

With my lens I was able to get gorgeous portrait shots because of its fixed aperture of f/2.8. While it is a big lens, it was well worth it.

Similar Boots for Trekking

  • Danner Adrika Boot – SHOP HERE
  • Sorel Ainsley Conquest – SHOP HERE

Sturdy Footwear

This is one walk through the park that will definitely give you a serious workout. We are talking several hours of uphill hiking so come prepared.

Look for waterproof hiking boots or rain boots that have ankle support or toe protection.

If you don’t bring the right footwear, you can rent rain boots at the park headquarters. It’s only a few dollars and far better than slipping around in sandals.

If you are going on a trip, I highly recommend that you buy your shoes and boots in advance. Browse my rundown of the best shoes for travel then wear them a bit before you arrive so they will be comfortable.

On top of my hiking boots I noticed a few other hikers wearing waterproof ankle covers that are available in any outdoor sports store.

After hiking in my boots all day, I was pretty caked in mud by the end of the day.

Wear clothing made for the rainforest. Wear clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, since they are durable and will not decompose. Do not wear any clothing that includes synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, since these materials can be harmful to the environment.

Even if the weather is rainy and cold, plan for a long day outdoors. Here’s a checklist:

Sturdy Footwear

Before you buy your new boots, walk in them for a few hours. This will help you decide if they fit and feel comfortable.

Long Socks

I found a pair of socks that are called “bug repellant” and they really work to keep bugs from penetrating them.

Stretchable Pants

Choose thick fabrics, as you will be walking by sharp greenery and be surrounded by bugs. Be sure to test the height of your knees so that it is comfortable for you.

While I was fairly happy with my trekking style, I wish that my pants had a bit more stretch. Yoga pants might be a good choice, but make sure they don’t snag easily.

Long Sleeve Athletic Top

Your shirt doesn’t have to be super thick, so look for moisture-wicking material that will keep you cool. I could go on and on with the examples of how simple it is to teach a second grader to read well without dumbing down his language using text books filled with fluff and useless information. But I want to show you an example of what we accomplish in our homeschool. I asked my son: “What do these words

Sunscreen

Even if it looks overcast, don’t underestimate the sun’s power. Put on sunscreen in the morning before you get dressed to make sure you start with a complete layer of coverage. It’s very sunny in the wide-open areas.

Bug Repellent

Do check with your guide on this one.

Do not wear bug repellants in Uganda. Bug repellants are not safe to use during the trip because they can attract wasps, which are much more damaging than mosquitoes.

This could be something particular to the time of year (early February) so be sure to ask. Things may be different in Rwanda or DRC.

Hat

I was in the sun a lot, and I had a hat that made a big difference. A scarf around your neck and head can be helpful too. I was incredibly sweaty and getting any bit of my skin out of the sun helped.

Select a hat that protects you from the weather. Choose one to cover all your bases.

Gardening Gloves

It’s easy to accidentally grab a nettle. When we go on a hike, bring a pair of thick leather gloves for extra protection against stinging nettles.

Rain Jacket

Bring a raincoat if it is forecast to rain. This will keep you relatively dry.

Flip-Flops

After the hike, it will feel oh-so-good to kick off everything and slide these on. Flip-flops are worth packing in if you have the space.

Binoculars

This is another one for the maybe list. You will be close enough to see them all without them, but do bring binoculars if you are already going to have them on the trip.

Once you’ve chosen your accommodation option, touch base to check what they provide. At Sanctuary Retreats they provided walking sticks and gloves for us to borrow.

Planning your Bag

It is best to have a small waterproof backpack for your belongings. Ideally each person will have their own bag, though it may be easier to bring one bag per person. It is also important to pack a lunch in the bag, so you can eat when you are on the bus or train.

Before you eat or drink, make sure your accommodations are happy to provide you with food and drinks. Also, take at least one liter of water with you.

Helpful Tip:

I got the worst blisters from this hike! Luckily I always pack moleskin and blister pads. Since it is such a long day of hiking, I’d recommend wrapping moleskin around your heels before you go out.

Want to do a gorilla trekking trip? Be sure to grab my Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Uganda before you go.