Who is eligible to trek gorillas

Gorilla Trekking Age Limit

Who is eligible to Trek gorillas

What’s the gorilla trekking age limit is one of the frequently asked questions by most people in gorilla tour booking. Are you traveling with kids for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo? First, confirm the true gorilla trekking age limit to avoid disappointments when the time to trek gorillas’ come. Families traveling to trek gorillas with children are always advised to first check and confirm the age limit for the kids before buying expensive gorilla permits which may not be allowed if the children is underage. In all gorilla national parks, the legal gorilla trekking age limit is 15 years. Anyone below 15 years is therefore not allowed to trek gorillas no matter what. 15 years was put as a standard gorilla trekking age limit given the fact that the child, not a minion Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. However in cases where a child is ye to celebrate his 15th birthday (left with few days to his/her birthday) he/she can be allowed to trek gorillas. Here the parent /guardian of the child writes and signs a consent letter taking full responsibility for anything that may happen to the child during gorilla tracking. The agreement letter is written and signed by a parent of the child to the respective park headquarters (Uganda wildlife Authority & Rwanda Development Board). In case something happens to the child while in the jungle, UWA or RDB has no case to answer. The parent/guardian of the child will be fully responsible for everything.

Reasons for Gorilla Trekking Age Limit

The age limit was put to ensure the safety of endangered gorillas and also for the minors who are likely to find challenges and risks in gorilla trekking. Among the major reasons for gorilla trekking age limit include:

Gorillas are endangered species

Mountain gorillas are endangered species, which were once on the verge of extinction. The whole world has 1004 mountain gorillas surviving in the rain forests of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. The endangered state of gorillas calls for age limit so as to limit the number of people visiting them.

Susceptible to human diseases

Mountain gorillas share 99.8% of human genes, which make them susceptible to human diseases especially communicable ones (flu and cough). In most cases, children below 14 years are found to have these sicknesses especially cough which can easily spread to endangered gorillas putting them at high risk. Also, young children may not able to keep the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking especially no touch the gorillas, keeping a seven-meter distance and speaking at a low tone.

Forested nature of gorilla national parks

Mountain gorillas live in dense forests of Bwindi impenetrable forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Volcanoes and Virunga National Park. Trekking through these forests is not a walkway but rather a real adventure not for the faint-hearted. The children find it very hard to maneuver through these jungles with thorny bushes, slippery grounds, and thick bushes. Also, gorillas live in mountainous regions of higher altitudes. Hiking there may be a challenge to a child aged below 15 years causing difficulties in trekking. An under-aged child may make it to the gorillas hence a waste of gorilla permit bought expensively.

Playful behaviors of children

The playful behaviors of children below 15 years is yet another reason for the gorilla trekking age limit. At this stage, a child is full of life to play, shout and have fun anywhere at any time. He/she may therefore not adhere to the rules of gorilla trekking especially keeping calm. The playful behaviors of children play 15 years can disrupt the peace of gorillas forcing them to charge at clients hence destroying the whole gorilla trekking experience.

Who else is eligible to trek gorillas?

Besides age limit, other requirements for travelers trekking gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo include among others:

Valid gorilla permits

You must have a valid gorilla permit to be allowed to trek gorillas. Actually, a gorilla permit is a pass to see gorillas without which you won’t be allowed to trek these endangered species. The cost of gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo varies as set by the respective government bodies. A single Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500, while in Uganda it costs $600 to be increased to $700 with effect from 1st July 2020 while a Congo gorilla permit costs $450 which makes it the best gorilla tour destination for budget travelers. Gorilla permits booking is recommended at least 6 months in advance for timely planning.

Physical fitness

Mountain gorilla trekking require physically fit travelers able to hike up and downhills. Trekking time to see gorillas at a time can go for over 7 hours, which becomes a challenge for the physically unfit. Before confirming a gorilla trip, therefore, make sure you are physically fit and in good shape.

What about the elderly

Yes, seniors aged 60 years and above also have a chance and right to trek gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. Gorilla Safaris in Africa offers suitable gorilla safari packages for the seniors and elderly travelers enabling to enjoy the magical gorilla encounter before they die. Seniors are normally given short gorilla treks or else carried in a sedan chair.

Confirming the gorilla trekking age limit is very essential in every gorilla tour booking. If you are traveling as a family with children, make sure all children are aged 15 years and above before buying their gorilla permits. Contact African Apes Holidays for more advice about gorilla trekking, what to carry, when to visit and the gorilla tour costs in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo.

Posted by African Apes

African Apes Holidays offers you exceptional apes safaris to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colubus monkeys and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and East Africa

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