Aug Sept 2023 Questions

We are booked for the trip that starts on Aug 31st. Should we do the malaria routine ? Also a friend who saw the gorillas in Rwanda a few years ago in Feb said it was very muddy. We will be there at maybe the beginning of the rainy season. Do we really need hiking boots?

Any other tips from someone who made the trip this time of year.



  • I did the gorilla hike with Tauck in late December 2019 and was SO glad to have good hiking boots. We passed through streams, all kinds of foliage, lots of mud, gorilla poop, etc. (easily five to six inches high in some places so general athletic shoes just don't work) I would not think of doing that trek without a decent pair of boots. By the way, when we returned to the lodge, Tauck had arranged for people there to clean the boots prior to our return home. I swear they were cleaner than when I bought them! And yes, I would definitely do the malaria routine. Some times of year are worse than others in terms of this problem, but I would not take a chance with something so dangerous. Seeing the gorillas is something you will never forget!

  • We were on that same tour with Smarks, hello Smarks! I have a great photo of the two of us on the trail!
    I agree with everything she says, mud and Malaria. You may also get downpours. We didn’t, but it is a great possibility. I think Smarks will agree with me that it’s quite a challenge with the humidity and high elevation and the guide set quite a fast pace.

  • Thanks. I think your trip was in the rainy season We are going at the tail end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season so we should encounter less mud etc.

  • edited April 12

    Acfually, it was the very end of December and the short rains have usually ended by then but it was an exceptionally longer season and we encountered rain and floods particularly in Kenya. Global warming, everywhere we have been in the past couple of years has had unseasonable weather. You enemy might be the higher temperatures and humidity. Plus we were told to expect rain any time, it’s rainforest, so you should be prepared. When you see how green, tall and lush the vegetation is, you will see what a I mean.

  • Hi British. Yes, I agree with you about the challenge of this tour. For several months prior I had been hiking almost daily on the hills in my neighborhood and I was still really struggling on our tour. I underestimated the effect of the altitude and how breathless that can leave you. Plus, as you note, we had a fair amount of rain in the days prior and the ground was difficult to navigate. The original question was whether boots are necessary / helpful and I stand by my answer. Do you remember the guest on our trip who showed up with rubber flip flops for this hike - the guide took her to a shoe store for decent boots or said the guest could not go on the hike as it would be too dangerous. The guest wanted a "surprise" on the hike but risking your health isn't the kind of "surprise" I appreciate on my tours. I am off to the Japan / Korea Tauck cruise next week so getting ready for that.

  • We are booked for this trip in September — very excited! We are arriving two days early in Arusha. Does anyone have any activity recommendations for our pre-trip days?

    I am also confused a bit about our attire during the trip. I am set for the game drive portions, but what about in Arusha, Zanzibar, and the various activities outside of the safari portions? Am I correct that these are Muslim countries, so conservative attire everywhere, i.e., no shorts? (Google leads me to believe it is about 30-40 percent Muslim.) Is safari attire acceptable and expected everywhere? I read somewhere (outside of this forum), that safari attire was frowned upon in the cities.

    And finally, thanks to those who contribute to this forum. Quite helpful information!

  • Arusha is barely what we would consider a town, never mind a city. You can see all you need to see from a vehicle and it’s not somewhere you go to dinner.
    it’s mainly Zanzibar that is Muslim, but all the country is very conservative with dress, so no short shorts. But quite honestly, I keep covered up when I go to avoid the harsh sun at the equator and the mosquitoes. I avoid having to put Deet on large portions of skin, I prefer clothing to keep me safe.
    I don’t really recall any non safari portions of the trip. These Africa tours we find the easiest to pack for, few dress up clothes required. Maybe an outfit for dinner in Zanzibar, they use a much fancier bottle now than we went to Zanzibar.

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