Saturday, August 29, 2015

WHAT TO WEAR WHILE GORILLA TREKKING UGANDA-RWANDA

WHAT TO WEAR WHILE GORILLA TREKKING UGANDA-RWANDA

Gorilla Tracking takes place in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda at altitudes of about 2000 Meters above sea level. Both places experience a modified equatorial climate, which is kind of moist and often cooler. The grounds are usually wet and the paths are full of stinging plants-nettles. Besides, the rains are random. 








trekking is done in impenetrable  forests while finding the right clothes for your gorilla safari to Uganda and Rwanda is not always very hard, but it's equally important to remember that this is Africa and the mountain gorillas live the Bwindi Forest or the Volcanoes in Rwanda where the weather is very unpredictable where it almost rains every now and then. So you can imagine the steep and often slippery hills…you get the idea

A denim shirt is recommended  or something long enough to cover your arms from the wild plants and anticipated bush thorns,remember you wake up early to the mist or morning chill, insects and so you need to have your arms covered to avoid scratches.

  Rain Jacket On A Gorilla Safari
A Rain Jacket or fleece should be on your top priority as it rains almost all the time here in Bwindi and Volcanoes National Park. I have seen some tourists come up with a cheap poncho…very useful. Please consider carrying a light weight jacket for just in case.

 Long Pants or Trousers On A Rwanda-Uganda Gorilla Trek

Long pants only this area short ones not, We do not recommend jeans since everything here gets wet, am sure you wouldn’t love those bulky tiring wet jeans as you look out for the gorillas. The quick dry pants are recommeded you will have guaranteed protection from branches, nettles and the thorns.

 What Shoes to Put On While on A Track

We recommend boots for foot wear, since you need to cover above the ankle. There are some deep mud as you trek in the impenetrable forests. In Uganda or Rwanda, you can ask for knee-high rubber wellies, called gum boots. Hiking boots are good for the steep terrain sometimes full of vines depending on the gorilla family which you are visiting. Even the gorilla rangers in Uganda and Rwanda will be covered in rubber boots, locally called the gum boots..so do not think about the sandals, cool white sneakers or trendy shoes, they just wont survive the forest, Take note that the boots should be light weight for the sake of stability on the steep hills as well as support and traction. Please note that when you do not put on the recommended shoes, its easy to hurt yourself by sliding all over.

Anything woolen is cool socks is fine.


Covering Hands

Usually building gloves are the best..you can as well try the gardening gloves particularly made of cotton. Please note that these must be padded on the fingers and palms, sometimes you have to cling unto those wet vines!
 
Enough water

Minimum of 2 litres of drinking water to avoid dehydration. Carry four just in case the hike proofs longer than expected. Sometimes it can be 8 hours.

Binoculars.
If you are interested in birds, you can bring Field guide to birds of East Africa by Fanshawe and a pair of binoculars. 

Summary of Packing List

  • Lightweight raincoat
  • Hiking boots
  • Cap/hat
  • Sweater (chilly evenings)
  • Camera (no flash)
  • Waterproof plastic bag (to wrap your camera and film in)
  • Putting on the right clothing to see the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda is always necessary if you are to have the maximum fun while visiting the gorillas. you should be well equipped to have the gorilla trekking experience in Africa.
We offer several mountain gorilla trekking packages both in Uganda and Rwanda for example:

9 DAYS UGANDA RWANDA GORILLA TREKKING SAFARIS, PARK DES VOLCANOS

14 day Uganda-Rwanda gorillas, primates and wildlife game Safari 

5 days Gorilla and Chimps trekking in Uganda 


9 Days Uganda National Parks Safari

Sightseeing in Uganda Scenic Safaris, Wildlife Tourism Vacation in Uganda 8 days

6 Days gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla safaris,African gorilla tour,Uganda-Rwanda safari 

8 Days Uganda Gorilla trek and Game safari to Lake Mburo, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

7 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trek



Uganda and Rwanda Introductory Travel Tips Guide:


Our guide(s) is thorough English speaking professional guide and navigates all through.

Meals:

Most of the breakfast served in Ugandan Hotels is English breakfast. Lunch and Dinner in some hotels are based on set menu but most hotels meals are on Ale carte. All hotels included in the Itinerary offer traditional/cultural music shows on request.

Hotels:

We have talked about all the hotels used and their description in the Itinerary: However, not

all hotels have Bathtub but you will find clean warm shower facilities Ensuite. Some lodges

offer Air conditioned rooms while other haven’t. However Uganda climate is renowned for

moderate temperatures which range between 18 to 28 degrees centigrade throughout the year.Safari:

You are on Fullboard(FB)/ Half board(HB) however this doesn’t stop you from buying anything of your interest. 

Porter Service

Services are paid for or tip is given to hotel peg-boys and porters in parks who may assist in any service offered. (see details of recommended tips).

Open Close Status in General:


All public Tourism sites are open daily from 0700 in the morning to 0700 in the evening.

Seasons

We have two dry seasons a year. All Ugandan roads are good for road transportation all year

round.

Dry season: [June, July and August]; [December, January and February]. The rest of the

Months fall in rainy season.During rainy season activities drop by about 25%.

What vaccinations do I need?

A yellow fever vaccine is essential – bring your certificate with you.

Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended.

A Rabies vaccination is recommended for anyone who expects to be in close contact with

animals or in a remote area.

Be aware that some of these require a course of injections, and others take several days to take

effect. So you should visit your doctor or travel clinic as soon as possible before you travel.

Should I bring any other medications?

Anti-malarial tablets are recommended throughout Uganda – visit your local travel clinic to

determine which type is best for you. Note: Chloroquine does not protect against malaria in

Uganda.

Bring all prescription medications with you – they may not be readily available in Uganda.

Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you begin your trip, including medical evacuation in

case of an emergency.

What Other Healthy Risks Are There?

Even if you are taking anti-malarials, you should still wear an insect repellent, long-sleeved

shirts, long trousers and closed shoes. This will also help protect you from other diseases

carried by mosquitoes, and other insects such as tsetse flies.

All accommodation in high-risk areas will have mosquito nets - be sure to use them.

Avoid swimming in Uganda’s lakes – they carry a high risk of bilharzias.

Tap water is not suitable for drinking, though bottled water is readily available throughout the

country.

Tips:

The question of when and when not to tip can be difficult in a foreign country. In Uganda and

Rwanda, it is customary to tip your driver/guide at the end of a safari or hike, as well as a cook

or porter that accompanies you. A figure if roughly $5 per day would be a fair benchmark,

though check this with your safari company in advance. I see no reason why you shouldn’t give

a bigger or smaller tip based on the quality of service. It is not essential to tip the guides who

take you around in national parks and other reserves, but it is recommended, and the money

will be greatly appreciated by the recipient.

The thing to remember is that whoever you tip in USD will not get the sum of money you intend

to give. The exchange of USD is not an exact science, the rate given depends on both the age of

the note and the size of the note. The newest and biggest denomination note will attract the

best rate. A $1 bill will attract an absolute rubbish rate no matter how many you have. A

Rwandan / Ugandan will be happy to receive a tip in whatever currency you want to use but for

day to day living they prefer their local currency. If you tip them with dollars the first thing they

do is go to the forex to negotiate the best rate available, either that or try and sell them to back

to you.

So at the end of the day if all you have is USD or GBP or Euro then use that currency but the

best option for the recipient is the local currency (Uganda Shilling or Rwandan franc).

But please pleaseplease don't do what some people do, tip using foreign coins, particularly one

pound or one euro coins as they have no value at all and yes some people do it.

It is customary to tip for service in local bars and restaurants, though you may sometimes want

to leave a tip (in fact, given the difficulty of finding change in Uganda), you may particularly be

forced into doing this in some circumstances. A tip of 5% would be very acceptable and 10%

generous. Generally any restaurant that caters primarily for tourists and to wealthy Ugandans/

Rwandese residents will automatically add a service charge to the bill, but since there’s no

telling where that service charge ends up, it would be reasonable to reward good service with a

cash tip.

The following is a guide to tips:

Local guides/porters in the Hotel/ parks US$ 05-10/porter,

Gorilla guides in the park US$ 20-50

Chimpanzee guide in the park US$ 10-30

Game drive guide in the park US$ 10-30

Drivers or Tour Guide US$ 25 per day

Foreign currency exchange, Using credit cards, Bargaining/ Shopping in Uganda

What is the Currency?

The Ugandan Shilling. This cannot be purchased outside the country.

How do I Exchange Cash?

US Dollars, UK Pounds and Euros are accepted by UWA for gorillas/ chimp tracking permits and

park entry fees. Many larger hotels will also accept US Dollars and Euros – though you should

check in advance.

Note: All US dollars notes must be printed post-2006, and should not be damaged in any way.

Higher exchange rates are given on larger value notes ($50 and $100). Banks and Forex bureaus

will exchange cash, alternatively us can use ATM machines – common in the major towns. They

should accept Visa Debit and Credit Cards.

Can I use Credit or Debit Cards?

Visa is more widely accepted in city hotels and stores, followed by Mastercard. Other Credit

cards are unlikely to work.

Alert your bank before using you card abroad to avoid it being blocked.

Can I bargain When Shopping

Prices are fixed in shops, but food and craft markets will be more flexible. You stand a better

chance of getting a reduced price if you purchase several items from the same seller.

Prices are generally very low – so do consider if what you are asking for is fair.

Agree on charges for minibuses (matatus) or motorbike taxis (boda-bodas) with your driver

before hiring.

Uganda Travel Tip -Use a Visa Card for ATM machine-
Americans can use Bank of America Debit Cards at Barclay and pay no fees, you can withdraw at

most banks about 190 usd in shillings 500,000 shillings- at Barclays Bank take out 400,000

reinsert card and another 400,000 - 350 360 usd depending on exchange rate given by bank.

Do not use your card at a bar where ATM machines are showing up- you will be a target of one

kind or another.

What to wear and take when trekking to see the gorillas?

Put on your sturdiest walking shoes, and thick trousers and a long-sleeved top as protection

against vicious stinging nettles. It’s often cold when you set out, so start off with a sweatshirt or

jersey (which also help protect against nettles). The gorillas are thoroughly used to people, so it

makes little difference whether you wear bright or muted colours.

Whatever clothes you wear to go tracking are likely to get very dirty as you slip and slither in

the mud, so if you have pre-muddied clothes, you might as well wear them. When you are

grabbing handloads of thorny vegetation, a pair of old gardening gloves are helpful. If you feel

safer with a walking-stick, you will be offered a wooden one at the start of the ascent.

Carry as little as possible, ideally in a waterproof bag of some sort. During the rainy season,aponcho or raincoat might be a worthy addition to your daypack, while sunglasses and a hat are a good idea at any time of the year. You may well feel like a snack during the long hike, and should certainly carry enough drinking water - at least one litre, more to visit the Susa Group.

Bottled water is sold in Ruhengeri town. Especially during the rainy season, make sure your camera gear is well protected – if your bag isn’t waterproof, seal your camera gear in a plastic bag.

Binoculars are not necessary to see the gorillas. In theory, birdwatchers want to carry binoculars, though in practice only the dedicated are likely to make use of them – the trek up to the gorillas is normally very directed, and walking up the steep slopes and through the thick vegetation tends to occupy one’s eyes and mind. If you are carrying much gear and food/water, it is advisable to hire one of the porters who hang about at the car park in the hope of work. This costs Rfr5,000 per porter. Locals haveasked us to emphasize that it is not demeaning or exploitative to hire a porter to carry your daypack; on the contrary, tourists who refuse a porter for ‘ethical reasons’ are simply denying income to poor locals and making it harder for them to gain any benefit from tourism. 

 
 
3 Days Gorilla Trekking Tours Uganda




 
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