Can you go on a safari when pregnant? I have seen many kinds of people trek gorillas. These include the handicapped, the lame and many more. So how about pregnant mothers? Can women go for gorilla trekking when pregnant?
I will try to talk about the possibility, the risks involved and probably give some advice. But for now, my answer is a yes. This applies for both Uganda or Rwanda.
A pregnant woman can go gorilla trekking but good planning has to be made before.
Look, there are lots of risks involved in pregnancy and you should be knowing the risk factors of miscarriages.
Good thing is i am here to advise you on the best way you can plan your gorilla trek even when pregnant.
Now lets look at some of the important things you have to consider. But my advice is, be ready to spend as much money as you can because its for your own good.
If you arrive through Entebbe International Airport, i suggest you use a scheduled flight to Kisoro Airstrip or Kihihi Airstrip depending on where you are departing to.
A ticket costs approximately $350 each one way. If you want return flights too then you will have to pay about $700 each. The flight only takes 2 hours and will save you lots of driving time.
The drive from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park takes 8 to 10 hours with a few stopovers.
For ground transportation when you land, make sure you book a Land Cruiser with hydraulics as they are much more comfortable.
An operator will charge you between $200 to $250 per day for this. Do not hesitate to pay for it. Its better to pay more but play safe.
Bwindi’s roads have several humps and as you may know, its not good for a pregnant woman to under go a series of bumps while travelling on road. It can easily cause a miscarriage.
If your car has hydraulics, you will not feel the humps on the road. You will feel much more comfortable.
Couple who cannot afford flights can arrive through Kigali and transfer to Bwindi for gorilla trekking. So many clients nowadays book Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking to cut on distance and save money too. The drive is only 4 – 5 hours with a stop over on the road.
Even when you opt for this option, ensure to pay for a Land Cruiser with Hydraulics.
Choice of Gorilla Trekking sector (For Uganda)
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four sectors. Sectors like Nkuringo and Ruhija are hard to trek in. Endeavor to request your tour operator to book you in Buhoma or Rushaga sector.
This way, you are likely not to take so long to see gorillas.
If gorilla permits for those 2 sectors are already booked out, you can opt for Ruhija sector. Nkuringo sector should be your last option.
Nkuringo not only has groups that are hard to trek, but the road going there is so bad. It is also kinda far and hard to access.
Communicate your condition to the tour company and park wardens
Some ladies fail to communicate their condition to their tour company or park wardens which is bad. This should be the first thing you mention to them.
On the side of a tour operator, the best they can do is advise you on how they should book your safari. They will always take the necessary precautions and also inform your tour guide to be extra careful whilst driving.
As for the park wardens, i will tell you something vital that you need to know.
I guess you have heard about the gorilla trekking allocation process. If not, i’ll try to explain to you.
Before you begin your trek, there is a 30 minutes briefing meeting that takes place. During this meeting, they advise you on the do’s and dont’s of gorilla trekking. Its also a great platform for you to ask any questions.
During this time, they be allocating you to groups. This process puts a number of factors into consideration. Some of these include physical abilities of clients, their age, health conditions, pregnancy in women among others.
Special case clients are always given easy groups to trek where as clients in the best physical state take groups that are challenging to hike to.
Communicating your condition to the tour company and park wardens prior will help you get an easy trek for yourself. That way, you will not take too long to find gorillas.
Use Sedan Seat Stretchers where possible
Gorilla trekking can be a great exercise especially for pregnant women only that sometimes it becomes too hard and instead turns out to be a threat.
Sparing $400 bucks for a Sedan Seat Stretcher wouldn’t hurt so much. You get carried all the way with your luggage to the gorillas and back to the starting point.
You will only get to touch the ground during your magical hour with the gorillas.
These Sedan Seat stretchers need to be booked in advance as they get sold out quickly.
Visit during dry months
Timing should be everything when planning your gorilla trek. Trekking during rainy seasons can get complicated at times because you can easily slide while moving on trails. You wouldn’t want to go through this. Trust me!
Much as you are given walking sticks, you could still slide and hurt yourself.
Besides, the weather alone cannot be favorable for you. Read about the best time to visit Uganda here. Uganda and Rwanda share the same seasons hence, can be visited at the same time.
Accommodation & Meals
Staying in luxury accommodation facilities will offer you a great state of comfort. Some mid-range lodge also offer very comfortable accommodation facilities. Your tour operator will advise you best on this but please, stay away from budget accommodation.
When you communicate your condition to your tour operator, they will pass on the same communication to the lodge so that they arrange for you a very comfortable mattress and get you as many soft pillows as possible.
They will also organize for you meals that are recommended for pregnancy. In some cases, they will go as far as asking you what you are craving for and they will try to cook that for you.
The actual experience
You do not have to worry about gorilla trekking. A gorilla trekking group usually moves at the pace of the slowest person hence, if you are the slowest, they group will adjust to your speed so that you are not left behind.
The difficulty of gorilla trekking is not so hard like it was before. Nowadays, park rangers move ahead and locate the gorilla families before then guide your group leader towards the right path.
This way, you do not take a lot of time trying to find the gorillas.
Are you a pregnant mother that wants to see gorillas? Book a lifetime gorilla tour with these gorilla trekking companies.