Top 5 Primate Trekking Tips

13th February 2024


Top Five Primate Trekking Tips


Primate trekking – whether it be gorillas or chimps – is truly unforgettable. Picking up on the subtle traits you always thought were exclusively human in primates is truly a grounding experience. Due to their small population and vulnerability, it can also be expensive. It’s important to prepare for your trek, so you’re not distracted from the magic of the day, which we promise, you will never forget. 

Top 5 Primate Trekking Tips

Gorillas are fascinating to watch. © Nkuringo Lodge 

Firstly, you must – must – wear comfortable shoes for your excursion. To see any primate requires a trek into the jungle, often up a hill,so some level of fitness is required. You might find them in fifteen minutes, or it could take you an hour. Make sure you’ve worn in some walking boots for the occasion if you’re not used to hikes. You don’t want to miss something spectacular because you’re thinking about how much your feet hurt. 

Top 5 Primate Trekking Tips

Take in the moment, but don’t forget to capture a memory or two! © Nomad Tanzania

Living in the moment is what safari is all about. But many people enjoy capturing these fleeting moments of natural wonder on camera. Even if that’s not your bag, bring a decent camera, whether that’s your phone or a digital number. Filming or photographing the experience cocoons your memories into something tangible. You might regret it if you come back home and have nothing to reference for friends and family who just might not believe their ears. 

But just as importantly, if you do take a camera or a phone. Make sure you put it down and take it all in. Live in the moment!

Listen and learn from your guide. Most have known the primates for decades and have worked with the most famous conservationists on the planet. They can sense the primates’ emotions and will guide you on whether it’s safe to approach, or if it’s time to back off. They may also have insights into the character of each animal, what their various behaviours mean, and even their family history. As with a game drive, you have the best information resource in the world, who delights in answering all your questions: your guide. Use them. For these wildlife fanatics, there’s no such thing as too many questions. 

guide briefing primate treking mahale

Nomads guides in Mahale are some of the best in the business! © Nomad Tanzania

If your sights are set on gorilla trekking, why not tack on a Tanzania safari? Flights from both Rwanda (gorillas) and Uganda (chimpanzees and gorillas) are set up to cater to this itinerary. Time it right, and you could see a silverback gorilla and the Great Wildebeest Migration in The Serengeti all in one week. Then why not head over for a bit of R&R on the beautiful beaches of the Zanzibar Archipelago? That’s certainly not a bad trip!

Here’s a look at Africa Expert, Sam, explaining what a gorilla trekking experience is like: