Mountain gorilla trekking: Do I need a potter? : When going for a mountain gorilla trekking trip, trekkers ask a number of questions from what is required, what to carry, when to trek, safety and many more questions. One of the most of questions trekkers ask is “do I need a potter?”
We cannot answer yes and no, but we can do is give you some information about potters and then you will decide if you need one or not.
Who is a porter?
A porter is a person hired to trek with you on your mountain gorilla trekking experience for the purposes of helping you carry your Gorilla trekking gear and other things you taking up the trek.
Porters are usually locals or persons from the nearby local community. The communities that stay near and around the mountain gorilla trekking park.
A Porter as stated is hired his or her services are paid for and not voluntary.
Most of the porter are familiar with the trekking trails and actually can work as guides in some instances when they are called upon, so they can easily jump on the trek with you with no difficulty.
Also the use of porter during mountain gorilla trekking, is another way of conserving the mountain gorillas by giving the locals something to do to earn a living and in turn they support all programs to keep the gorilla habitat and the gorillas safe.
Also the porters being able to trek and see the gorillas, they learn more about the gorillas and their importance to the ecosystem. This helps them appreciate the trekking experience and support it even more.
So what does the porter actually do on a mountain gorilla trekking experience?
- Help you carry you trekking luggage
When people are going to trek, they usually carry different things which become your trekking items o r luggage, for each person this luggage is different – some its big bags, with water bottles, packed food, extra gear, binoculars, camera etc.
Well because all this luggage you may become overwhelmed with it on the way up. Hence the porter helps you carry it, and then you trek with nothing to wear you down on the trek.
- Offer you support in the trek
The other thing is the porters can be a get support in getting up the forested mountain and down. You can hold on to them for support and keep going or in some cases, the porters have been known to carry people you have become extremely tired on the trek.
- Ranger duties for you
Especially if you are slow trekker, the porter can be point person guiding you to follow the trekking ranger’s directions or they can be re echoing the directions to you as you go on. All in all them making sure your following all the rangers’ directions helps you stay with the group and enjoy your trekking without much hassle.
This are the main roles of a porter, but during the trekking experience porters can do other things or more that can help you enjoy your trek.
Mountain gorilla trekking happens in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo, on a daily basis all year round in the different parks which are: – Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic republic of Congo.
Permits to these trekking experiences cost 700 USD for Uganda, USD 400 for the Democratic Republic of Congo and USD 1500 Rwanda.
Porters’ service fees vary for each park but range between 30 to 50 USD.