Hiring Porters for Gorilla Trekking

Hiring Porters for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest or any other Gorilla Park

Hiring Porters for Gorilla Trekking is an important undertaking for the vulnerable people including the elderly, disabled, weak or teenagers. The porter charges a simple fee of USD 20 for carrying vital items needed during gorilla trekking. Trekking gorillas is more enjoyable  especially when one is with porters. These supporting persons help in giving easy move through the thick vegetation, slippery terrain and the muddy jungle. The majority of the porters in Bwindi are the native Batwa and others are former poachers that changed to become good people who mind about gorilla conservation.

Benefits of having a Porter during Gorilla Trekking

Porters are people hired at the park headquarters in Bwindi forest to assist tourists with their backpacks, cameras, water, snacks plus other essential items. Porters also help visitors to hike through the challenging terrain as they search for gorillas in the forest. Gorilla trekking is a strong activity that involves hiking within the thick jungle in the search for mountain gorillas. The activity may last between 2 to 7 hours basing on the location of the gorilla family you are searching for on that day. Trekking Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo may be steep, muddy or slippery most of the times and therefore requires helpers like porters through any hiking challenges.

Your backpack sometimes becomes too heavy for carrying during Gorilla Trekking encounters and in such scenarios, the porter shares your heavy load.

Many of the porters in Bwindi do not have jobs so they earn a living by offering porter services to visitors and will be more excited and delighted if they earned an extra tip from the visitors.

The porters are well versed with the geography and terrain of the park and this will add a good experience to the trekking adventures.

Besides carrying heavy luggage, porters offer aid to the weak, elderly and disabled during the trekking exercise. On top of a porter, you may also request for a walking stick to help during hiking. In some cases, porters may even carry weaker visitors in sedan chairs or local bamboo stretchers on their shoulders. Carrying visitors on stretchers is rare and only offered to the very vulnerable like the pregnant women, frail elders or strongly disabled people who do not want want to miss out on seeing gorillas in their lifetimes. Note that the price of hiring sedan seats or bamboo stretchers in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park vary between USD 200 to $450 depending on location, terrain and distance among others.

Cost of Hiring a Porter

Porters in Bwindi or any other gorilla parks are not a must but if you realize you can not trek with your possessions, you may hire a porter at little fees ranging between  USD 15 to 25 per trek. The porters in Bwindi are always available for hire in the morning at the park offices so its better you support them by using their services so that they get fees, pocket money and cash for food items and general upkeep. Its not easy to get porters along the way so it is better to get them early at the briefing point and start the hiking together.
During the booking process, it is vital to notify your safari organizer about the need for a porter so that you know the costs invloved as porter fees are usually not included in the trip prices.