What should I pack for a Rwanda safari holiday? When planning a successful safari in Rwanda, how and what you pack plays an important role. The items you choose to carry should be simple and always avoid bulky stuff. There are different reasons why tourists travel to Rwanda including mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, game viewing in Akagera National Park, chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Gishwati-Mukura National Park.
Depending on your reason for travel, it is always important to pack wisely and consider essentials first. Whether you are traveling to Rwanda to track mountain gorillas or birding, no need to carry everything in the house. Keep your pack/baggage less than 10-20kgs and here are some of the items to consider packing;
Cameras are an important item worth considering packing for any trip whether you are visiting Rwanda for gorilla trekking or birding or cultural safaris. For primate lovers visiting Rwanda, you need a good camera but should be flashlight free to have the best shots of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, or chimpanzees while in their natural habitat. Even during the normal guided game drives, a camera is needed to enable you to capture great pictures while in Akagera National Park in Eastern Rwanda.
Pair of binoculars
A pair of binoculars is ideal for your Rwanda safaris. If you don’t have any, you can borrow or purchase them. This is ideal for visitors on the Rwanda tour who are interested in guided birding safaris, game viewing, and more.
Hiking boots or shoes
Rwanda is known as the Land of a Thousand Hills for a good reason. In the nature of the habitat where most safari activities such as mountain gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking, or golden monkey tracking, waterproof hiking boots are essential. The hiking boots should be comfortable and provide ultimate support on the ankle when walking.
Rain jacket or poncho
The weather conditions in Rwanda keep fluctuating and being unpredictable, it is important to be fully prepared and this will include carrying waterproof hiking boots or poncho. This will protect you from rains and also cover other items from getting wet say while on gorilla trekking or chimpanzee tracking.
By nature, the kind of destinations where Rwanda safari activities are conducted, you should be prepared enough and this includes picking long-sleeved shirts. A long-sleeved shirt is important to help cover the hands from biting insects or tree branches.
Pair of socks
Pair socks are essential for all safaris in Rwanda. While on gorilla safaris, socks play an important part because first, you need to tuck the trousers into the socks. This is to help protect insects from entering the trousers or legs.
Safari hat or cap
A Safari hat or cap is important whether you are on a gorilla trekking safari or game viewing/game drives. Safari hats can be used to protect you from the hot sun heat.
Insect repellents are essential for you to protect yourself from biting insects. Safari activities like gorilla trekking or wildlife viewing are done in the wild and different creatures are inhabited including biting insects.
Toiletries are essential including mouthwash, toothbrush, dental floss, lotion, sunscreen, deodorant, and toothpaste. The toiletries package should also include other important personal amenities.
A waterproof daypack lightweight is essential on your packing list for Rwanda safari tours. It helps you pack small items, cameras, water, etc which you require while on a safari in Akagera, Volcanoes National Park, or Nyungwe Forest National Park.
The sun heat in Rwanda isn’t predictable regardless of its strategic location along the Equator crossing. sunscreen can be applied to your skin to protect the skin from harsh sun rays burning you.
Your health is important on a safari in Rwanda and for any emergencies, having some medication in your basic first aid kit is key. Consult your doctor for guidance on what medication to have for the flue, anti-malarial tabs, diarrhea, and more.
Gardening gloves are essential, especially for visitors on tour in Rwanda and who are interested in gorilla trekking or chimpanzee tracking. Garden gloves at hand will help protect you when holding tree branches with thorns, itchy plants, etc.
Other things to consider packing for Rwanda safaris include maps, traveling pillow, notebook, extra batteries, playing cards, cash, headlamp, electricity adapter, etc.
Valid documents such as passports- scan the passport; yellow fever cards, medical and travel insurance, address book.
When to travel to Rwanda?
Trips to Rwanda can be organized at any time of the year, but, the dry season is the best to go for mountain gorilla trekking, wildlife viewing, or chimpanzee tracking. The dry period occurs from June, July, August, September; December, January, and February. The rainy months from March to May/October to November – are ideal months of the year to consider for birding.