Gorilla trekking fitness level
Gorilla trekking fitness level is one of the frequently asked questions that several travelers into Africa on a gorilla trekking adventure usually ask. Does gorilla trekking require a particular level of fitness? My answer is yes, gorilla trekking is an interesting yet tiring activity that requires a particular level of fitness in order to be in position to move at the same pace with the rest of the trekkers allocated to a particular gorilla family. This is because, mountain gorillas prefer to spend their day hours moving up and down within the forest as the do their day to day activities such as hunting for food, mating, breastfeeding and on a lucky day, trekkers have been able to witness gorillas as they make their nest up in the tree branches for an overnight stay.
Back to the level of fitness for trekkers, mountain gorillas usually reside in places of high elevation ranging from an altitude between 2200 to 4300m high. This therefore calls for a fit person to be in position to follow up these endangered mountain gorillas during the gorilla trek. Travelers planning a gorilla trekking are always advised to do so physical exercises such as running, jogging, and even hitting the gym if possible in order to get used to long hour trails and become fit.
What are the exercises to enhance fitness level for gorilla trekking?
While you are planning a gorilla trekking safari, here are some of the exercises that can enhance your fitness level and make the gorilla trek more enjoyable with less fatigue and strain. These exercises can be done either at home, in the office or at the gym and they include;
- Hiking exercise: this is one of the best and simple exercises that can be done at any given period of time. For instance you may opt to have some hike up in the hills nearby home, have a walk from home to work, walk within the nearby communities at least daily. Hike up and slope down the hill among others
- Stretching: in preparation for gorilla trekking, you may opt to stretch your arms, legs and generally the entire body in order to make the muscles used to the strain in order to avoid muscle pulls during the gorilla trekking adventure.
- Squats: Do some squats also to enhance the hips, thighs and other lower body parts.
Factors that make gorilla trekking a physical challenging activity
Here are some of the factors that work hand in hand with fitness and these include the distance moved by the gorillas, the allocated gorilla family, the nature of the forest, among others
Distance moved by gorillas: the more the gorillas move, the more the trekkers have to follow thus if the gorillas moves really longer distances, the trekkers will require to be fit in order to follow the gorillas up until they settle down. Physically fit people are in position to enjoy the trek as they spend an entire day following gorillas
- The allocated mountain gorilla family to be trekked: some gorilla families are known of spending most of their day hours very far up in the hills and down in the valleys thus to trekking them requires high levels of persistence to hike through hills, mountains and thick blush.
- Climatic conditions and the nature of the trails: change in climatic conditions can also work hand in hand with fitness level. For instance during the rainy months, the trails in the forest tend to be muddy, slippery and the forest tend to be more thick and marshy making it difficult for trekkers to penetrate. This is the time where a trekker needs to be real fit and even hire a porter for additional support.
Can the unfit, adults and disabled person trek gorillas?
However much gorilla trekking is considered to be a difficulty and physically demanding tourist activity, it shouldn’t scare away the unfit and the disable Travelers from encountering the mountain gorillas in their natural habitats and the park management always have options for such people and at the end of the day all trekkers whether fit or un fit have to spend a maximum duration of one hour in the wild amidst gorillas.
People with disabilities are always advised to hire the chair that is well designed in such a way that a disabled person sits appropriately and then be lifted by a group of porters to the trekking point where they spend an hour watching gorillas and taking as enough photographs as possible.
Also the elderly and unfit people are always allocated the mountain gorilla families that are close to the lodges such that they trek for a few minutes, then spend one hour with gorillas and return to the lodge. The same applies to the breastfeeding mothers and other people with special requests. However, such people have to communicate in advance in order to have their gorilla families’ well reserved specifically for them.
Apart from fitness, what are the other requirements for gorilla trekking?
There are other things required while preparing a gorilla trekking adventure and these include;
The gorilla trekking permit which goes for $600 in Uganda, but this cost will rise to $700 per person with effect from July 1st 2020. The cost a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs $1500 and finally in DRC, a gorilla permit goes for $400 during the peak season and $200 during the low season.
The minimum gorilla trekking age limit which is 15 years as of now for all gorilla trekking countries including Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.
The gorilla trekking gear including long sleeved, warm sweater, garden gloves, sunglasses, and good water proof hiking shoes.
On the trekking day, obtain a hiking stick at the park headquarters, remember to hire a porter, pack enough snacks and enough drinking water to keep you strong and hydrated through out the long trek.
Conclusion: Amongst all the asked question, gorilla trekking fitness is always the frequent question and I am sure you got the answer for it. Plan your gorilla trekking safari now with Achieve Global Safaris to experience the unbeaten adventure in Africa. Since gorilla trekking in Africa is basically done in Uganda, Rwanda and Drc, one has an opportunity to choose which destination they would wish to visit for gorilla trekking depending on the cost of the permit, the safety and security of the country and many more.