Heading to the interior of mountain gorillas’ unknown impenetrable jungles of Africa can be intimidating, usually when the topography is rugged and unpredictable. Mountain gorillas dwell in mountainous areas, with extremely high elevations on the jagged slopes of Virunga ranges in East and central Africa.
Taking a gorilla trekking holiday in one of the countries that host these magical apes is truly humbling. These countries include Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Trekking Mountain gorillas requires advance booking, and a gorilla permit is issued only upon 100% payment.
Once a permit is booked, real pre-trek preparations begin. Other than planning to get a visa, passport, reserving flight tickets; a traveler needs to keep physically fit for a gorilla trek adventure. The fact that gorilla trekking is a physical-demanding activity, one requires at least average level of physical fitness to be able to accomplish the activity easily.
Pre-Trek Training Tips
Even though some gorilla treks are moderately easy, but physical preparations are highly recommended. Generally, this depends on the region and eventually the gorilla family allocated. Some regions and families are easier to trek than others. But the ultimate physical capabilities of trekkers is all that matters. Simple exercises back home a few months to the trek can help you conquer with ease, what many consider to be a strenuous experience. Here below are some recommendations.
If you are planning to hop on an African gorilla safari, forget about that “driving routine” to work. At least take long walks to work or work outs along the streets in the evenings. This will help you endure extensive walks in the gorilla territories, since trekking time is unpredictable and it may take between 1-8 hours.
Practice long Hikes
You may be lucky that you stay near a mountain or hills, take an advantage and enhance your hiking prowess. Do this several times before the actual gorilla adventure, to gain strength in your muscles and endurance. Dedicate a few hours every day for the training, and increase the distance every time you practice.
Stretching is important before and after every training. When you stretch every time you finish exercises, you limit chances of heart attack, muscle pulls, and enhances flexibility.
Find a coach
Whether it is your home fitness instructor, or hire one specifically to prepare you for this exercise.Fitness coaches help you to only undertake essential exercises, in accordance to the goal you need to achieve.
In conclusion, understand that mountain gorillas live in mountainous and rugged areas, and trekking may be tedious and straining to achieve. Other than adequate training, travelers are advised to pack adequate drinking water, energy giving foods/snacks, insect repellants, appropriate dressing as recommended by respective booking agents, walking sticks and more. Porters are available at the park headquarters to carry your heavy luggage, and can be hired at 15-20$ per person.