Age Limit for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo
The age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda is 15 years and above. Children below the 15 years of old are not eligible to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. When you have children whom you wish to visit and see gorillas in the wild, always cross check their age before making a tour booking. The age limit for gorilla trekking in Uganda was set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a body in charge of gorilla safari reservations and conducting of tours in the gorilla parks. UWA is also in charge of mountain gorilla conservation as well as other tourist attractions in Uganda. The 15 year gorilla trekking age limit is the same standards for trekking gorillas in Rwanda at the Volcanoes National Park and Congo. In short, the age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years in all the 4 mountain gorilla destinations in the region. But in some cases, there may be exceptions like for the case of Uganda. The age limit for gorilla trekking is set by the different government authorities responsible for managing the national parks.
To ensure that this set rule is enforceable, the park authorities always look at the passports for visitors at the time of pre-trekking registration and briefing. If your child is found to be below 15 years, chances of being denied entry into the park are high. At the stage of the gorilla permit booking, it’s always good to tell the right age of the children so avoid disappointments. for the case of Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority reserves all the rights to permit or not to permit children below the age of 15 years to trek gorillas.
Why mind about the age limit?
Many adults have children whom they would love to come along with on a gorilla safari. Because these children are young, that why parents or guardians get concerned if their children would enter the park for trekking.
Why the Age Limit on Gorilla Trekking?
Uganda Wildlife Authority asserts that this is done for the good of the young humans as well as the gorillas. According to UWA, infants are susceptible and vulnerable to many viral attacks like flue, coughs and other airborne diseases. In this case, when they are restricted from coming closer to the endangered primates, it is both to the health betterment of the humans and that of the gorillas whose conservation is a global concern by humanity. The rate of infection by children below 15 is said to be high than in the adults.
Another reason for limiting the age for gorilla visitors is because children are playful and may not be in position to follow strictly the set gorilla trekking rules, regulations and guidelines aimed at safety for people and the animals. The set gorilla tracking rules must be followed well to ensure no dangers to the visitors and the visited in the wild. Another reason is that children are naturally weak and therefore hiking on the rough steep terrain may not be easy for them. The argument is that children may not be manage to comply with such trekking standards.
Situations under which children may be permitted to trek gorillas despite being under age
There are circumstance under which you child may be allowed to see gorillas despite being underage. Do not lose hope because an exception can be made for a 13 or 14-year-old child that is soon making 15 years. This exclusive allowance is only possible in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. The child should be physically fit and adequately strong to hike. Bwindi Impenetrable forest is not much steep compared its nearby Mgahinga and the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Bwindi forest is also blessed with more forest covers which help safeguard trackers from the sun.
For the children pass this adventure exception, parents may be necessitated to provide pictures of the child to the Uganda Wildlife Authority with information about their maturity and physical suitability. The child must be closer to making 15 years soon (13 or 14 years). And to prove this, a passport copy is needed for scrutiny.
Children below 15 years may also be permitted to go gorilla trekking in case they are in the company of parents or guardians. The Uganda Wildlife Authority will need the parent sign an indemnity form to protect the wildlife body from responsibility in case of any misadventure happens during gorilla trekking. The Park Warden will make sure that the child is assigned to track a gorilla family that is closer to the starting point and whose reach involves less hiking. As a child guardian, you are advised to make things smooth for the child by using the trekking services of porters who will carry the young one in a Sedan chair in case they get exhausted. Porter services and Sedan chairs are also highly recommended for elderly gorilla trackers as well as the disabled and the naturally weaker visitors. In case you plan a gorilla trekking trip with a child who is below age but physically strong, contact us at [email protected] for special arrangements with the relevant authorities.
What would the child do in case he does qualify for gorilla trekking due to age
Not being able to trek gorillas because of age shouldn’t be a disqualification for your child from traveling with you. You can well go for a safari travel with children who are below 15 years as they can participate and enjoy other tourism activities. There are many interesting things to do that children can enjoy as you go out to visit gorillas in the wild. Hotel staff may remain with them in the hotel and keep them engaged with children movies or games. Alternatively, they may be taken out for short nature walks or community tours. You may also extend your gorilla safari and come when children are of the qualifying age to trek the endangered primates.
Another vital consideration is that there are no age limit on safari and tour activities in other tour destinations. In case you are to do a longer holiday tour, your child may only miss out tracking gorillas but participate in activities like game drive, boat cruise, bird watching, nature walks and many more with no age limit in other parks or tour attractions.
Gorilla trekking age limit is only set for the infants and there is no upper age limit for the elderly. The Wildlife Authorities in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo require that you share a copy of your passport before going for a gorilla encounter. The passport helps the park management bodies to ascertain your eligibility to participate in the activity.