Gorilla Trekking Age Restriction

Travelers below 15 years of age are restricted from Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking Age Restriction in Uganda

Age restriction is a set age that tourists under 15 years are not allowed to participate in gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking involves a lot of things like hiking deep in the rainforests looking for mountain gorillas.  Some of the few rules governing gorilla trekking is age restriction. In Uganda, persons below 15 years of age are restricted from Gorilla trekking. The age restrictions were put in because of the below reasons;

Mountain gorilla and humans share the same DNA that is 98%. This puts them on the risk of human diseases including childhood killer diseases such as measles. Therefore, such restrictions were put in place in order to protect mountain gorillas from such diseases.  So that is why children under 15 years are not allowed to participant in mountain gorilla tracking. Age restriction has protected mountain gorillas from contracting such illnesses and this has led to increase of mountain gorilla population. This is evidenced in 2018 gorilla census which shows that in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park, the mountain gorillas increased from 400 to 459, in the Virunga conservation area mountain gorillas increased from 480 to 640. Age restriction was put in place also to protect children who are below age of 15 years from getting hurt during gorilla trekking.  Behaviors of children who are below 15 years are not predictable therefore their unpredictable reactions on encountering mountain gorillas disqualifies them from gorilla trekking. These children always scream due to fear or happiness on encountering mountain gorillas and this makes mountain gorillas uncomfortable.   These children sometimes make noise and use gestures that might be misinterpreted by mountain gorillas because they also have their own language. Gorilla trekking and hiking is hectic for children since the gorilla destination is terrain and the nature is lush rainforest.

However sometimes children are allowed to trek but this is rear. Parents or guardians who would wish their children to trek have to prove to the authorities who give permissions that their children are capable of hiking and trekking in such strenuous destinations. Disclaimers are signed by the responsible parents and guardians claiming that if anything happens to these children, park officials are not responsible for anything. When a child is given a chance to trek, you can decide to hire a porter to help them in trekking and bamboo stretchers or sedan chairs are also available to carry children throughout the whole trek.  You have to book them in advance because they are few and are highly demanded by elders who have limitations.

Elders are not restricted from gorilla trekking. If one is above 15 years, he or she is allowed to trek. Those of 99 years also trek like General Charles Njonjo who was 100 years also trekked successfully in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

To be part in gorilla trekking, you need gorilla trekking permit. Gorilla permits are purchased from tourism authorities or via tour operators.  A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $700 Foreign nonresidents, Ugx250,000 for East African Citizens and $700 for foreign residents in Rwanda it costs $1500 and for Congo it costs $400.  Gorilla trekking permits should also be booked in advance to secure your dates because the permits are on high demand. You can use a trusted tour operator to book for you the permits and also to plan for your trekking adventure.

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