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Should I hire a porter for my gorilla trek

Should I hire a porter for my gorilla trek?

Hiring a porter means you can pack all your camera equipment, rain gear, snacks and plenty of water without worrying about how you will manage to drag it up a muddy slope through bushy undergrowth!

In areas where the majority of people are subsistence farmers, pottering jobs are invaluable. The day fees for a porter bring in cash – a rare commodity in this remote corner of Africa. By employing someone on a gorilla trekking tour, even for a day, you are reminding people of the personal value to be gained from protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitat. These employment opportunities help reduce encroachment into the protected areas – to set snares or collect timber – where the mountain gorillas live. Employ a porter and you’re not just helping yourself, you are supporting the local community and thus the gorillas themselves.

The cost to hire a porter is $30-50 (plus discretionary $10 tip). Tips should be in small US dollar bills (dated post-2009) or local currency (Uganda shillings or Rwandese francs, depending on which country you are trekking in).

Note that although the rangers will accompany you all the way back to the park headquarters, occasionally the porters leave your group before you reach there, so make sure you have the right money for tips with you, just in case they depart early.