The Pregnant Mama’s Guide to Gorilla Trekking

Trekking to see mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is undoubtedly the most exhilarating experience but it is also very accommodating that even persons with disabilities can take part and so are the pregnant women. It is possible to go on a gorilla safari in the wild even when you are pregnant but in order for you to get the best of this, it requires one to have a good plan as it involves so many risks.

Guidelines for expectant women to have a complete and successful gorilla trek

Inform the park warden/official or tour operator early enough

In case you have any plan to trek gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda and you are pregnant, make sure that you let the respective park wardens or tour agency you intend to deal with know earlier to give them adequate time to plan for your trip. Planning a gorilla trekking trek requires adequate time as a number of things have to be brought together to make it complete. Among other things to consider when planning for gorilla trekking include finding a good driver guide, means of transportation, the habituated gorilla group, accommodation to mention but a few.

On your actual trek or pre-trekking briefing on the set safety measure for gorilla trekking and at the start of assigning visitors gorilla families, you are advised to inform the park official about your health conditions. Note, gorilla groups are allocated to trekkers based on a number of factors which include among others your physical wellness, age, pregnant women to mention but a few. Trekking to view mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or DRC involves hiking through a dense rainforest and steep slope and it all requires you to be physically well. When assigning gorilla families to track, visitors who are physically fit or need to challenge themselves are assigned to challenging family to trek whereas the old and the vulnerable group are assigned to easy to track gorilla families.

 Use sedan seat stretchers

In case the hike or trek becomes more challenging, it is advisable that you make the best use of the sedan seat stretchers that is if you are about 7 to 9 months pregnant. For this case, pregnant woman is carried by 4 porters on a sedan stretcher into the jungles either in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park southwestern Uganda; Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda or the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo. However, this will cost you about $400. When you find a gorilla family, you will be put down to allow you have magical view of mountain gorillas, take their photos and explore their behaviors as well as body gestures.

Take a flight to a respective gorilla national park

Pregnant women are advised to take a flight to and fro the park. If your plan is to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda and you are pregnant, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park are the two destinations available for you. To get to Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park, you can embark on a road trip or take a flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi or Kisoro airfield then connect by road to your preferred park. By road, you need a comfortable four wheel drive safari car and to get to Bwindi National Park or Mgahinga National Park, it will take you about 8-10 hours.

Have adequate drinking and energy giving snacks

Trekking mountain gorillas is a strenuous experience and it requires you to be physically well. This requires you to have adequate water and energy giving snacks to boost your energy while on a hike through the dense rain forest and steep slopes to search for these creatures.

Practice before the actual trek

Regardless of the gorilla family that you intend to track, it is important that you do some physical exercise before embarking on actual. This is because mountain gorillas live in high elevation. However, be mindful of the possible risks especially if you are pregnant for instance miscarriage. You can walk, do some sit ups and others to make sure that you are physically fit.

What to pack on gorilla trekking?

Your packing list for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or DR Congo should include water proof hiking boots, snacks, water, gardening gloves, camera with no flashlight, sweater, rain jacket or poncho, hat, long sleeved shirt/t-shirt, long pants, sunglasses, insect repellents, first aid/medical kit,  hat, socks, trousers, walking stick that you can find at the park headquarters or at your safari lodge.

Hire a porter

Hiring a porter is usually considered optional however, it is a good idea that to hire one if you are pregnant. Porters assist visitors carry heavy luggage that is drinking water, cameras, snacks to mention but a few. Porters in Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park or Volcanoes National Park can be hired at $15 to $20.

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