Minimum age for Gorilla Trekking – Uganda, Rwanda & Congo
The minimum for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is a major requirement for any tourist to be allowed to trek the mountain gorillas. When planning a gorilla tour, it is very important to be aware of the age requirement which the minimum age limit is 15 years and children below the age of 15 are not allowed to trek gorillas.
To trek a habituated gorilla family, an individual must be of the required or recommended minimum age (15 years) and above. Fortunately, there isn’t any maximum age but dependent on the desires of the intending trekker, it only depends on the ability to take flights and trek or be able to hire a sedan chair.
Mountain gorilla trekking is only found in three countries of the world and these are Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Uganda and Rwanda are much popular than Congo. Rwanda is growingly becoming the desired destination for gorilla tours because of the convenience the country offers for tourists who want to have short gorilla treks since its only just about 2 hours’ drive from the Kigali International Airport to Volcanoes National Park. Uganda is preferable because of its stability as well as cheaper gorilla trekking permits than those of Rwanda. Uganda gorilla permits are at US% 700 as those of Rwanda are at US$ 1500. Congo is less popular because of the political instability that took long in the country, even with the cheapest gorilla permits (US$ 450) tourists haven’t embraced trekking gorillas in the country than the other two.
After the last mountain gorilla census, only about 1063, mountain gorillas are thought to be surviving in the wild within the habitats of Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Virunga National Park. Mountain gorillas are classified as endangered and the increase in their population is mainly based on strong conservation effort, that’s why any gorilla trekking experience has several set guidelines.
With the minimum age for gorilla trekking set at 15 years, there are reasons as to why this is as so, here are the different justifications to this age limit;
Why is there a minimum age for Gorilla Trekking?
- Children below the age of 15 are in many cases known to carry contagious diseases. Mountain gorillas share almost about 98% DNA with humans and are very susceptible to human disease even just a common cold. To reduce on the risk of spreading these diseases to the mountain gorillas from children that’s why the minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15.
- The other reason for the minimum age for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Uganda gorilla safaris and Congo gorilla trekking being 15 is because the behavior of children is hard to predict especially when they get to meet face to face with the mountain gorillas. With the fact that the children’s behavior is unpredictable and they can react by screaming or running in the presence of the gorillas makes it risky have them in the forest. When children display such reactions, the mountain gorillas may react and charge towards the trekkers which may lead to reduction in the time spent with the gorillas for that specific group.
- Gorilla trekking can also be strenuous and may require a person who is able to walk or hike for several hours in the forest. Therefore, persons above the age of 15 are thought to be able to hike for long hours and able to meet the strenuous demands of gorilla trekking.
With over 10 years of experience, Gorilla Cousins Rwanda has expertise in organizing Rwanda gorilla tours, gorilla safaris in Uganda and Congo gorilla safaris. After a great primate tracking experience in Rwanda, tourists who would want to see the numerous wildlife in the vast plains of Africa should opt for Kenya safaris and Tanzania wildlife safaris to watch the wildebeest migration or just see wildlife in the African wilderness.