How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees -Minimum Age required

Posted by on February 11, 2020

A Question often asked – How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees

Question Answered – How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees?


How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees out Kids – Gorillas and Chimpanzees? The minimum age for Gorilla Trekking is 15 years. The minimum age for Chimpanzee Trekking is 12 years. The age-minimum is strictly enforced. There is no way to get around it. It is the rule because of conservation concerns and the physical and mental maturity level of a child. 

Parents might think that their child is very physically mature. If allowed, some of the trails in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or on the side of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park would prove the parental assessment of their child as wrong.

A Gorilla Trek is no stroll in the park. It can be physically challenging, and it often is. We suggest that a parent wait to bring their teenage son or daughter when they have turned 15. 

Chimpanzee Trekking has a lower minimum age because chimpanzee is easier than gorilla trekking. A twelve-year-old can handle it without problems. You do not have a five or six-hour trek up ridges and down valleys. You are trekking on pretty even surface.

How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees – The one Exception:

Should your child turn 15 in the same calendar years as the Gorilla Trek, then an exception may be made by Uganda Wildlife Authority. We must apply for a waiver, and the Uganda Wildlife Authority decides if the waiver is warranted based on the input that we supply.


What to do with Children while Parents are Trekking Gorillas or Chimpanzees

Yes, the minimum age for Gorilla Trekking is fifteen. The minimum age for Chimpanzee trekking is twelve.  It is a strictly enforced rule, and there are no ways around it. One cannot say they look older, or they look mature. It is the date of birth on the child’s passport that counts. You cannot get a driver’s permit below for those below the age of sixteen in most US States. The same rule applies to Uganda. You cannot obtain a Gorilla permit for a fourteen-year-old.

For younger children, we arrange for nanny services for your child:

We usually hire a pediatric nurse from Bwindi Community Hospital. The hospital has a certified nursing training school besides bein one of the best rural hospitals in all of Uganda. We also arrange for a shorter gorilla trek for the parents. One that is less. The driver-guide can assist the nurse. The child will go with the driver-guide to the park headquarters to meet you upon your return from the Gorilla Encounter.

For older children, we arrange age and interest related activities:

There are many activities that you are children can participate in while you are gorilla trekking. There is the Batwa Experience, a learning experience as to how the first people of the forest lived in harmony with nature and with the Gorillas. They can be taken on a village walk, which includes a visit to a school and learn how the surrounding community lives.

In all cases, your children’s well-being will be looked after by our kid-friendly driver-guide, who has your family’s wellness on his mind.

How old must one be to trek Gorillas and Chimpanzees – now you know the answer- 15 for Gorillas-12 for Chimpanzees. We suggest that you come to Uganda when your teen reaches 15 and take a Gorilla Trekking Family Safari with us. 

We know Uganda – we know Gorillas- We know Families – we have our own. We know how to create the perfect Family Safari with teens.