Gorilla Trekking Fitness
Gorilla Trekking Fitness is one of the key requirements that a traveler must have because the trek is kind of tiresome and someone who ain’t fit might have a hard time. Most travelers into Africa always ask a similar question about how fit should one be to trek Gorillas? What is the fitness level for gorilla trekking? Am I fit to trek gorillas? and many more. Below you will find some answers;
Taking into considerations that in Africa, mountain gorilla trekking is carried out at different costs in three countries which include Rwanda, at $1500, Uganda at $600 and Democratic Republic of Congo at $400 and at times $200 during low seasons which makes gorilla trekking in DRC the cheapest ever in the entire Africa.
Trekking mountain Gorillas in Africa requires a certain level of fitness that can push on the trekker to endure all the challenges involved in the activity this is due to the fact that Mountain Gorillas prefer to inhabit highly elevated landscapes of an altitude ranging from 2200m (7200ft) to 4300m (14,100ft) above the sea level which makes trekking them one of the most tiring adventure both worth it as it rewards the trekkers with everlasting memories as soon the gorillas are spotted.
Gorilla trekking in Africa involves hiking via different trails that involve climbing up the hill, sloping in the valleys and even falling in muddy terrains filled with thick blush in search of the gorillas. Trekkers alongside the armed rangers and guide penetrate deep into the forests as they follow up the gorillas which are always on a move in search of food within the jungle this is the major reason as to why fitness is always considered as a requirement in Gorilla trekking. Trekkers who are physically fit normally find gorilla trekking a bit easier and such a fascinating adventure as they climb up to the hills, slope in the valley, and trail through thick blush until the gorilla family is spotted and here an hour is spent in their presence intimately learning different habits expressed by the gorillas such as feeding, mating, copulating, and admiring the creature that shares almost 97% of the DNA with Human while taking as enough photographs as possible.
However much gorilla trekking is referred to be a physically challenging activity, it doesn’t mean that it must be done by the fit only but for anyone that has a dream of encountering them in their natural habitats including the people with disability as long as they are mentally stable, the lame and the people aren’t fit for the hike, are provided with special chairs that costs $500 that enables everyone to have the same encounter like the rest of the trekkers. Eight porters are responsible for carrying the sedan chair and their cost is also inclusive in the chair fee so once a $500 is paid, the trekker needs no extra costs to pay the porters unless its tip from the heart.
However, there are other factors that work hand in hand with fitness thus making gorilla trekking a tough but yet an adventurous experience other than relying on personal fitness only though fitness level always remain as the topmost factor to consider in order to have maximum enjoyment while doing this breath taking activity and other factors include;
The distance moved by the gorillas: Sometimes gorillas tend to move to the further and extreme end of the park, climb up on a hill and even hidden within the thick blush. This makes the trek very long as the trekkers have to persist until they finally encounter the gorillas. In some cases, some trekkers have been allocated a nearby gorilla family but unlucky, on the trekking day, the family decided to move very far and trekkers had to follow it up until it stopped but trust me if they were not fit, the trek could have drained them off
The gorilla family to be trekked: There are specific gorilla families that are well known for being very stubborn and enjoy spending most of their day hours up on the hill meaning that trekking such families requires really trailing, hiking and climbing up to come in close vicinity with them. In most cases, such gorilla families are always allocated to trekkers who are adventurous and really love longer and more straining trails thus it is always crucial for the trekkers to specify the kind of trek they need in order to meet with their expectations or in case of any urgent attention needed, then such trekkers have to raise their issues on the trekking day during briefing such that they are allocated the families which reside near the lodges within the park.
Climatic conditions: Sometimes, the climatic conditions tend to make the trekking trails more straining especially during the rainy seasons. so once it rains while in the jungle, trekkers have to endure the slides, falls and serious rolling in the muddy trails, that makes the trek somewhat challenging but for the fit people, they will grab on their hiking sticks, and pull or push one another and even involve in the porters for extra assistance until the dream of encountering the gorillas is achieved.
The nature of the forest and trekking trails: since gorilla inhabits forested areas, sometimes the nature of the forest tend to be marshy with different plant species including the rough one, thorny and nestles that all makes trekking a toiling adventure but all in all if you are fit, you slowly by slowly trek your way out.
Exercises to enhance fitness in preparation for Gorilla Trekking
There are some important exercises that should be considered by the travelers in preparations to gorilla trekking safaris and these enhance the fitness levels allowing the trekkers to be physically fit, able to move faster and strong to manage moving high trails with the help of the hiking stick, and even trail for longer hours without any complications. Making these exercise can either be done in the gym, or at home just making some movements outside the home, even climb some hills, visit the valleys, and many more as long as it can enhance your fitness level and these include;
- Squats to enhance the flexibility of the hip bone, thighs, arms, legs and the entire body in preparation to gorilla trekking safari
- Stretching to make the muscles flexible and bones compatible thus during the trek, the body will be used to endure the stretch and strain from the long walks hence less fatigue.
- Walking and hiking exercises is yet another crucial thing to practice in preparations for the adventurous experience of encountering the mountain gorillas. Travelers planning a gorilla trekking safari should try as much as possible to do some long walks and if possible hike through the forests, mountains, and hills via some thick terrains while wearing the real trekking gears in order to maintain some fitness that will enable them to trek mountain gorillas easily.
Trekking mountain gorillas is a physically challenging adventure, however, it is always advisable to communicate in advance in order to be allocated to the Gorilla family that suits your expectations and of course whether you opt to trek a closer family or a further family, at the end of the day once you encounter the allocated gorilla family you will realize that the experience is the same
And on the trekking day, don’t forget to take a heavy breakfast and pack enough snacks to push you until the trek is done without forgetting enough drinking water to quench the thirst during the trek and then you encounter with the mountain gorillas will just be as awesome as expected. Good luck!!!