Gorilla Trekking for Pregnant Women – Tips & Advice
It is common for pregnant women to wonder whether they can go gorilla trekking. Yes, it is possible for pregnant women to trek mountain gorillas especially during the early months of the pregnancy. It is possible for pregnant women to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda without difficulty. Pregnant women can trek with their partners or without their partners and the park management will ensure to allocate them a group that is easy to find. Being pregnant should not be a hindrance to mountain gorilla trekking that is done in three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda or Congo. However, before a pregnant woman decides to go gorilla trekking it is wise to first consult with your doctor. To prepare for a gorilla tracking tour here are some of the factors that pregnant women should consider;
- Communicate early
A pregnant woman should communicate early to their gorilla safari company about their condition and inform the park wardens on time. When you communicate to the safari company early, it is easy to make your bookings in a suitable way, allocate a recommendable driver guide, book comfortable accommodation and vehicle.
Informing the park wardens early enables them to allocate a suitable gorilla family that suits your condition. In most cases, the park wardens allocate gorilla families according to the individual’s ability to hike. The elderly and persons like pregnant women are allocated gorilla groups that are nearby. On top of ability to hike, each group treks according to the pace of the slowest hiker therefore, it is not possible to be left behind. Gorilla trekking isn’t actually as intense as hiking mountains and can be undertaken by any person who can just maintain walking for several hours.
- Book a sedan chair or porters
In case you have been advised by your doctor not to hike certain altitudes or go gorilla trekking but you still would want to trek then opt to book a sedan chair. A sedan chair is a metallic seat that is used especially by persons who have mobility problems but want to trek gorillas. To book a sedan chair you should do this early by informing your travel agent then they make bookings early. This is booked at an extra cost.
A sedan chair operates in a way that you sit in the middle of the strong chair and are carefully carried by four porters in each corner They carry you from the trek start point through the forest till you reach where the gorilla family is spending its day. When you get there, you are placed down to take photos and watch the gorilla group. After the allocated one hour, you sit back on your sedan chair and are carried back to the trek start point.
If it is okay for you to trek, then it is also advisable to hire a porter to carry your back pack. You can hire someone to carry your backpack and offer a little support when require at a very small cost. The porter can help you carry your snacks and enough drinking water to keep you hydrated during the trek.
- Carry enough drinking water & snacks
It is very important to keep hydrated during pregnancy therefore carry enough drinking water, which you porter can help you carry. Mountain gorilla trekking is strenuous and may get an individual hungry and thirsty. Remember to pack enough snacks in your lunch box especially energy giving snacks. This will make your gorilla trekking experience very comfortable.
- Choose comfortable means of transport
On arrival to the international airports either in Uganda or Rwanda, you will travel to the gorilla habitats by a chosen means of transport. For Rwanda gorilla tours, travelling by car isn’t hectic since Volcanoes National Park is only about 2 hours’ drive from Kigali International Airport. It is only a matter of booking a comfortable luxury vehicle.
However, for Uganda gorilla safaris, if you arrive to the country via Entebbe International Airport, it is about 8 hours and more to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This means almost a full day drive. It is recommended that if a pregnant woman cannot bear all these hours in the vehicle then they should opt for charter flights. You can have a charter flight from either Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi.
The other option for those interested in trekking gorillas in Uganda because of the cheaper permit than Rwanda then you can arrive via Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport the transfer to Uganda. This may take about 5 hours or less.
For any pregnant woman wishing to have a gorilla trekking experience, do not miss out the experience, just do the necessary.