What to Pack for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

Are you wondering about what to pack for a gorilla trekking safari or tour in Rwanda? Do not fret, we have a whole article about the best packing list for gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda. Gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda take place in the Volcanoes National Park. Gorillas in Rwanda dwell in the rainforests of the Virunga Conservation Area. The area comprises thick vegetation characterized by thorny plants and rocky landscapes. This is why having the right things on your packing list is important for gorilla trekking tours in Rwanda. Below is a complete packing list one should consider when planning for a gorilla trekking tour to Rwanda;

Pack for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Valid gorilla permits & passport

A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda refers to the document or permission from the authorities that allows travelers or trekkers to take part in the amazing gorilla trekking adventures in the Volcanoes National Park. A passport on the other hand is that travel document that allows you to travel from one country to another. Like any other gorilla trekking destination in Africa, Rwanda requires one to have a valid gorilla permit before they take on a gorilla safari. This implies that one must put a gorilla trekking permit on top of the things they need to pack for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda can be booked through a reputable safari company like Native Africa Tours. All you have to do is send us an inquiry now and follow the steps. Gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda are available any time of the year. However, it is important to book your Rwanda gorilla permits ahead of your trip.

Yellow fever vaccination card

A yellow fever vaccination card is necessary if you intend to have a gorilla trekking holiday in Rwanda. This means you should take a shot before you consider taking a flight to Rwanda for actual mountain gorilla exploration.

Waterproof hiking boots

Waterproof hiking boots are useful for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. The nature of mountain gorilla habitats isn’t the same as the savanna parks, and higher chances are you will bump into the muddy ground and steep slopes. The hiking or trekking boots you opt for should be waterproof, lightweight, and offer ankle as you walk through the forest in search of a family of mountain gorillas.

Comfortable clothes

You require long-sleeved shirts which can protect you from the scratches from thorny plants. The color also matters a lot and most preferably, we recommend that you come with environmentally friendly clothes for your gorilla trekking adventure. At all costs, avoid brightly colored clothes because they are known to scare away gorillas.

Rain jacket

While on a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, you should expect rain at any time of the day. This is why a rain jacket is one of the essential things to pack for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda. The jacket will protect you from the heavy downpour while you walk through the jungles of Volcanoes National Park.

A sweater

You need a good and comfortable sweater to put on to protect you from the cold while at your destination.

Gardening gloves

It is such an important thing to add gardening gloves to the things to pack for a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda. They help protect you, especially when you get hold of thorny plants/trees, itchy tree branches, and other different vegetation when in need of support. They can also safeguard you from insect bites and many other incidences that may occur while you are on a search for mountain gorillas in the wild.


Toiletries are essential for anyone intending to travel to Rwanda for gorilla trekking safaris. These comprise of toilet paper, deodorants, hair conditioner, shampoos, lip balm, sanitary pads for ladies, wipes, hand sanitizer lotions, etc.

A camera

A good camera is required and should be a must-have for your gorilla trekking adventure in Rwanda. When choosing the camera to use, it is important to consider one with no flashlight. This is essential for photography, especially during the one hour that visitors are guaranteed when they come across a family of mountain gorillas assigned to them.

Extra batteries and storage

Additional camera batteries and storage are essential. These can save you from getting stranded at the time when the original battery in the camera runs out of power or when the storage gets full and you have no replacement to continue with the photography moment.

Safari hat

To protect you from the scorching sunshine, a safari hat is needed. Especially if you plan to be in Rwanda for gorilla trekking during the dry season. It should be noted that the weather conditions in Rwanda may not be the same as those back in your home country. Having a safari hat included on your packing list for gorilla trekking is a great idea to avoid taking you unaware.


You require some sunglasses to put on to protect your eyes from the sun rays/even dust, especially for visitors with plans to travel for gorilla trekking during the dry season.

Energy-giving snacks and bottled water

A pack of energy-giving snacks and bottled water shouldn’t be left out when considering what to pack for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The snacks help boost your energy levels when exploring the jungles in search of mountain gorillas. On the other hand,  water will help keep you hydrated throughout the entire gorilla trekking session.

First aid kit

Among the items not to be left out of your packing list for gorilla trekking are the first aid kit or medical kit. This should comprise some painkillers, anti-bacterial tablets, anti-diarrhea, and anti-malarial tablets, plasters, and more. They are essential, especially in cases of emergencies.

A pair of socks

On the actual day of trekking gorillas, you will be required to tuck your trousers into socks to prevent crawling insects from entering. Carry good socks for your gorilla trekking adventure preferably those made of cotton material, and should be fast drying when washed.

A pair of binoculars

There is plenty to explore while on gorilla trekking besides mountain gorillas. Rwanda is a destination with diverse birds, and even on a gorilla trek, you may come across some. About 200 species of birds live in the varied habitats in Volcanoes National Park, Northwestern Rwanda.

Walking stick

You do not need to purchase a walking stick from your home country. You can find one at the park head offices on a briefing day or request one from the safari lodge.

Hiring a porter for a gorilla trekking expedition

Aside from securing the essential items for your packing for gorilla trekking, hiring a porter to assist you. Especially if you have heavy luggage can save you on an actual trek with gorillas. Gorilla trekking is unpredictable and with heavy luggage, you may not concentrate, a reason you need porter services available for hire at around USD 15-20.

Where to go for gorilla trekking in Rwanda?

Volcanoes National Park is the only National Park in Rwanda where gorilla treks are done. Today, the compact 160 sq. km Volcanoes National Park is home to over 12 habituated gorilla families. These are available for gorilla trekking and include the Susa A, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Humba, Ugenda, and others.

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