How Fit Should To Be To Trek Gorillas?

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is an activity that requires a moderate level of fitness for anyone planning to get involved. You will be required to prepare for this as you plan your Gorilla safari to Uganda or Rwanda. The habituated mountain gorilla families live in high altitudes in Bwindi impenetrable forest and on the Virunga Mountains covered in thick forest cover.

Preparing for a gorilla trekking trip helps you enjoy your trip with ease and making it more fun because you are familiar with the activity.

Walking

Walking helps you tone your legs and shed excess weight. It is the foundation of gorilla trekking as the major exercise which should grow steadily in distance over time. The largest part on a gorilla trekking safari is on foot in the rain-forest. You are therefore required to practice walking long distance to get yourself ready for this activity.

Jogging

It elevates your heart rate and helps you maintain it at that level. It is an aerobic activity that helps your body get used making it easy to do your trekking and enjoy it.

Squats

This is the best exercise for fitness that promotes your body balance and stability. Squats also strengthen your legs, thighs, hips, buttocks and hamstrings.

Stretch

It is healthy to stretch your muscles after your daily training to improve your flexibility of your muscles. Physical fitness will make your Gorilla Trek more enjoyable. Most often visitors to Uganda and Rwanda plan their gorilla trekking Safari about six (6) months before the safari begins. That is the perfect time to get yourself physically tuned for your Gorilla Trek or Gorilla Habituation Experience.

Hiking

Pushing your body up stair and after stair against gravity is another great body exercise for a trek. Hiking in the jungle is not such an easy activity that needs to prepare for. Practice hiking if you have a chance to be near a hilly area. Ensure that you will increase distance each time you practice and your trip to Uganda or Rwanda will be enjoyable.

Go to the GYM

Build your leg strength with gym work. Leg strength is essential for your trek so in addition to walking training which will strengthen your legs, try and include either gym exercises such as leg presses and weighted squats, or lunges and bodyweight squats. Going to the gym to make their gorilla trek more enjoyable.

Start your Trekking training early enough

You are advised to start your training 6 months before your trip. It’s never too early to get started on your trek fitness program. Look to build your strength and fitness gradually, giving your body time to adapt to the new demands. That way you can enjoy your trek training and avoid risking injury by trying to do too much too soon.

Walking Poles

It is good to practice using walking pole to help you get used to them. Gorilla trekking may require you to have them to ease the load on knees and thighs on descents and give you two extra legs on steep climbs. They can also be used to help clear vegetation and have numerous uses in a campsite. Trying out before the real time is good for you.

Choose the correct footwear for your trek

Select good quality and appropriate hiking boots for your trek and your walking training is essential. A supportive hiking shoe with ankle protection is important but beware of ankle cuffs that are too high as they can irritate the Achilles tendon at the base of your calf. Look for an ankle cuff that is scooped away at the back. Make sure that your trekking boots are thoroughly broken in and your feet have bedded in the time for blisters is now, not during your trek. When purchasing your boots, try to shop in the afternoon when your feet have expanded slightly so that you get the correct size.

Conclusion

It’s true that Gorilla Tracking requires some level of fitness but your fitness level should not prevent you from a gorilla tracking activity. There are easier Gorilla groups to track both in Uganda and Rwanda. The last resort is that you are carried on a Sedan Chair – something that requires 12 porters for the journey which allows people with disabilities to spend time with the mountain gorillas.

Cross River Gorilla Trekking

A side from trekking to see mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas, Africa also offers you yet another incredible opportunity to catch a glimpse at the cross river gorillas. This category comes with a rare appearance though not very different from the rest of the subspecies.

They have robust and powerful bodies with a bit of elongated head and a pronounced brow ridge. Their skulls on the other hand are shorter than those of the western lowland gorillas scientifically called gorilla gorilla gorilla while their mouths are not very big compared to other subspecies. The teeth, hand and feet are shorter than the western lowland gorillas with broad nose, wide nasal passages, fingers, opposable thumbs. The skeleton of these creatures is sturdy with straighter vertebrae compared to those of humans.

 

Males are taller and heavier than the females and in average; they are 1.65-1.75 meters high and have the weight ranging from 140 to 200 kilograms. Females can even stretch up to 1.40 meters and weigh 100 kilograms. However, all of them feature a dark fur over their bodies apart from the face, hands, feet and ears. The cross river gorillas are a subspecies of the western gorillas and today, about 200 to 300 of them still thrive on earth and this makes them a few most endangered apes in Africa.

Where to see the cross River gorillas?

This particular gorilla species thrives within the mountainous areas around Nigeria and Cameroon just at the top of the Cross River where they derived their name. They range within 7770 square kilometers about twice the size of Rhode Island. This means they are mainly inhabited around the most north and western areas. In Nigeria, you can find them at Afi Mountains, the Cross River National Park and in Cameroon in the Mbe Mountains, Takamanda National Park. Like most primates, the cross river gorillas thrive within the mountainous rain-forest and bamboo forest at elevation of about 1500-3500 meters.

 

Just like other primates, the cross river gorillas are equally threatened by a number of factors that include among others poaching as they are hunted severely, habitat loss due to deforestation, human infectious diseases and others. These types of Great Apes belong to family hominidae and order primates.

 

This subspecies of gorillas are largely herbivores and their diet is dependent on leaves, herbs, vines, tree bark and fruits. They enjoy fruits a lot although these are not available throughout and mostly from August to September and then from November to January. Their intestines are very long and can digest plants perhaps a reason why they have large and rounded abdomen and even bigger than the chest. Besides, they also depend on termites, caterpillars.

 

The cross river gorillas live in families of 2 to 20 members with silver-back being the leader of the group. They construct nests on tree branches for them to rest for the night. In the wet season, they construct nests on top of tree branches and during the dry spell they can make nests even on the ground. Much of their time is spent while eating as way to maintain their sizes and strength and they also groom each other. In terms of reproduction, the cross river gorillas have a gestation period of about 9 months and females can breastfeed and take care of the infants.

 

In conclusion, besides tracking mountain gorillas or the eastern lowland gorillas, you can as well embark on cross river gorilla safari that will reward you with amazing encounters. Amazingly, you can combine both adventures and you will have the best of gorilla experience in Africa.