In order to have the best possible gorilla watching experience, you will be presented with an opportunity to hire porters to help with your luggage and extra equipment. Gorilla tracking involves going through steep slope and sometimes muddy terrain as you look for a Gorilla group. Porters have experience and knowledge of the terrain and can help you carry your luggage, snacks, cameras and other heavy gear you wish to carry along. Using porters during gorilla tours is one good way of giving back to the local community and ensuring that they benefit from mountain gorilla conservation efforts.
Many of the park guides and porters are former poachers and the opportunity to earn something as porters and guides keeps them away from hurting the gorillas. You will not only be helping the porters, but also their families and the nearby communities at large. A Porter costs between 10-15USD. Tipping the guides and wardens is optional but a wise decision that can enhance your experience. They could go the extra mile, give you a special treat and show/share with you things that weren’t planned – especially if you are a second day tracker.