Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Age Limit, 15 Years Minimum Age
When planning Rwanda gorilla tour trips, it is essential to be aware of the age requirement for any tourist to trek gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. The minimum age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is 15 years and children below this age are not allowed to trek gorillas. To trek a habituated gorilla family in Rwanda, an individual must be of the required or recommended age limit of 15 years and above. Fortunately, there isn’t any maximum age limit but dependent on the desires of the intending trekker. Gorilla trekking is only in three countries of the world and these are Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda is increasingly becoming the desired destination for gorilla tours because of the convenience the country offers for tourists who want to have short gorilla treks.
After the last mountain gorilla census, only about 1063, mountain gorillas are estimated 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 efforts, a reason as to why any gorilla trekking experience has several set guidelines. The minimum age limit is one of the requirements for the gorilla trek. There are several reasons that are pointed out as to why the minimum Rwanda gorilla trekking age limit is 15 years.
Why is the Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Age Limit 15?
Children below the age of 15 are in many cases known to carry contagious diseases. Mountain gorillas share about 98% DNA with humans and are very susceptible to human disease even just a common cold. To reduce the risk of spreading these diseases from children to mountain gorillas, the minimum age for gorilla trekking is set at 15.
The other reason for the minimum age for gorilla trekking in Rwanda 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 children’s behavior is unpredictable and they may react by screaming or running in the presence of the gorillas, it’s risky to have them in the forest. When children display such actions, the mountain gorillas may react by charging at the trekkers which may lead to a reduction in the time spent with the gorillas for that specific group or in the worst-case scenario, cause an attack on the trekkers.
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 not to be able to hike for long hours and meet the strenuous demands of gorilla trekking.
Many parents coming for gorilla trekking in Rwanda always ask whether their children below the age of 15 can be allowed to join them in trekking the mountain gorillas. For children who are 14 and almost making15 and their parents can prove their capability to do gorilla trekking, the Rwanda Development Board can put their request into consideration to allow the children to trek gorillas.
To participate in a gorilla trekking tour in Rwanda, all persons who are eligible are required to purchase a gorilla trekking permit. The cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is US$ 1500 for each individual. Without a permit purchased prior to the gorilla trekking tour, it is not possible for any person to be allowed in Volcanoes National Park for a gorilla trek. A gorilla permit allows the tourist to have contact with the gorilla group or family for a maximum of one hour. This time is given to tourists to take photos and videos as the gorilla group interacts among themselves.
However, for tourists taking gorilla tours in Rwanda between July and December 2020, the citizens of Rwanda can take advantage of the discounted permits that are at just US$ 200. For foreign residents who are already in Rwanda, the permit has been discounted to US$ 500. International tourists can also visit the country for gorilla trekking following the re-opening of Kigali International Airport for commercial flights, however, the gorilla permit for foreign non-residents is still at US$ 1500.
Jewel Safaris organizes Rwanda gorilla safari tours and when you book with us, we shall offer you all the relevant information in addition to helping you book your permit. We can also help you book for gorilla safaris in Uganda and Congo gorilla trekking packages with both countries also having a minimum age limit of 15 years for gorilla trekking. Some of the popular itineraries for Rwanda gorilla tours include 2 days Rwanda gorilla trek, 3 days Rwanda gorilla tour, and the 4 days Rwanda gorilla trek & hike.