Gorilla Trekking Age Limit in Uganda & Rwanda (15 Years)
The Minimum Gorilla Trekking age limit in Uganda and Rwanda is 15 Years
Gorilla trekking Age limit in Uganda and Rwanda is the set minimum age/years for mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda for any persons. Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Trekking Age Limit are currently at 15 years and any person below 15 is not eligible to Trekking Gorillas.
This is the age limit for all persons visiting the two gorilla parks in the country – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Therefore, individuals below the age of 15 are not allowed to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda. However, children almost the age of 15 could go Gorilla trekking if prior arrangements are made with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Children who are almost 15 years could make arrangements with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and could be permitted to trek if they fulfill all the requirements.
Any person above the age of 15 can undertake Uganda Gorilla Safaris at any preferred time of the year either in Bwindi forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. All an individual needs is to purchase a Uganda Gorilla trekking Permit and be in good health condition.
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Why 15 years is the Uganda, Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Age Limit
The gorilla trekking age limit in Uganda and Rwanda is 15 years and any individual below that age is considered to be young and not suitable for the activity. Even with the good physical ability to trek gorillas for those below the minimum age, fifteen years is considered the Gorilla trekking Uganda age limit, and here is why;
- The behavior of children below the age of 15 is believed to be unpredictable. Mountain gorillas in Uganda live in their natural habitats of the Bwindi forest and Mgahinga where each person is expected to follow the gorilla trekking guidelines to be safe. However, children below 15 are believed to easily break or fail to understand these rules. For instance, in case a mountain gorillas charges toward a person, one is expected to slowly crouch down and avoid looking directly at the gorilla, something minors could not be able to do. Below 15, a child might decide to run or make noise which may call for an attack from the gorilla. To avoid such scenarios only individuals above 15 years are allowed to trek gorillas as they could easily understand and follow the Gorilla trekking rules.
- Mountain Gorillas share about 98% of their DNA with humans and are therefore very susceptible to contracting human diseases. Children below 15 are known to usually have communicable diseases like flu and cough. These can easily be transmitted to the mountain gorillas leading to even deaths within the already endangered mountain gorilla population. For conservation of the mountain gorillas persons below 15 are not allowed to trek the endangered species.
- Trekking gorillas in Uganda requires a certain level of fitness since Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ranges in altitude from 1,190 to 2,607 meters and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park raises to about 3,474 m. Children below 15 years are perceived not to be physically fit to undertake these hikes. However, it could not be the case for some children.
Can Children below 15 years trek Gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda?
Though the Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda age limit is 15 years, there are incidences where Children below 15 years can be allowed to trek Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. With a few exceptions from the Uganda Wildlife Authority children below the age of 15 can be allowed to trek gorillas after being approved. Here are the two requirements to trek gorillas for children below the minimum age;
Children almost 15 years: Children who are almost 15 years maybe about 2-3 months to their 15th birthday and are in good health position could be allowed to trek mountain gorillas. Parents should make prior arrangements with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, inform them of their child’s age, and hiking ability and they should be at least 6.0 inches tall. A parent will be required to attach photos of the child and their passport. The right however remains with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to approve these minors.
Children trekking with parents: A child below 15 could be allowed to trek gorillas in Uganda if they are almost the age limit and are trekking alongside their parents. Parents will have to sign a consent and liability agreement to ensure that they are liable for anything concerning their child during gorilla trekking. The agreement is made with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and can be done online, once approved your child will be allowed to trek gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda.
Alternative Activities for Individuals below 15 years
When children are below the age of 15 and cannot be permitted to undertake Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda, this should not stop the parents from going for the activity. All wildlife Uganda National Parks have a minimum age of 6 years and therefore can be visited with children. When it comes to the time when the parents or adults go for gorilla trekking, children can undertake alternative activities to keep them busy.
Some of the activities children can undertake include biking or cycling, visiting the neighboring communities, taking nature walks and birding. The children will be under very good care with a professional Uganda Safari Guide
Kabira Gorilla Safaris has specialized in planning gorilla safari holidays and therefore we shall be your ultimate Uganda Gorilla Safari company for all bookings. For parents who would want to trek with their children below the minimum age, please contact us to help with all the arrangements with the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Uganda Gorilla Trekking Packages
Our Long Gorilla tours are well tailored with several activities for travelers to choose from. Check out our sample itineraries below to choose one that suits your travel needs.
5 Days Mgahinga Gorillas, Golden Monkey Trekking & Lake Bunyonyi Tour is an amazing activity filled safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with an adventure visit to Lake Bunyonyi.