A Question often asked – How old must one be to trek Gorillas?
What is the minimum Age for Gorilla Trekking? 15 in Uganda – Rwanda – DR Congo?
How old must one be to trek Gorillas? The Minimum Age for Gorilla Trekking is 15 in Uganda – Rwanda – DR Congo. Many parents might disagree with the fifteen-year minimum age rule. However, the rule governs when children are deemed old enough to track gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why set the minimum Age for Gorilla tracking at 15?
Here is what we often hear from a client, “My daughter or son is thirteen years old and as physically mature as a sixteen-year-old.”
Parents might think that their child is physically and emotionally mature. The same parents are unaware of what awaits them on the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’s trails. They do not know how their child will respond emotionally in the presence of the gentle giants of the forest. They do not know if their child has the stamina or the physical ability to last five hours on a trek up and down ridges.
The reality is this. A gorilla trek is no stroll in the park for a person of any age. Research has shown that those under fifteen may lack the emotional stability needed to encounter a gorilla family. May not follow the gorilla trekking rules for the welfare of trekkers and the great apes.
What is the minimum age for Gorilla Trekking?
How old must one be to trek Gorillas? The one Exception:
If your child turns 15 in the same calendar year as the Gorilla Trek, Uganda Wildlife Authority may make an exception based on the teen’s physical stamina and emotional. Maturity.
We must apply for a waiver with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and they will carefully review it and decide if the waiver is warranted based on the input they have received from you and us.
The 15-year-old minimum age rule was put into place by all three Mountain Gorilla Countries after consulting conservation groups, doctors, Psychiatrists, and others.
The 15-year-old minimum age rule was not just drawn out of a hat but was made after carefully looking at the impact of trekking on children younger than fifteen.
There is also the impact young visitors could have on Mountain Gorillas and their wellbeing. The rule has been in existence for decades, and it does not look like it will be rescinded anytime in the Future.
Consider a Family Safari with Teens when they turn 15!
Gorilla Trekking at 15 – A Rite of Passage
A family safari in Africa would be an incredible experience for most teens, and a primate – wildlife safari would be over the top. You and your teens are sharing a once-in-a-lifetime Mountain Gorilla Encounter Experience. These gentle giants of the forest are not found in any zoo worldwide, and they do not survive captivity. Every time it has been tried, it fails. The Mountain Gorillas were born free in the wild and want to live that way.
Your family is visiting a gorilla family in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Jungle will be a time of bonding and lasting memories.
Beyond the Gorillas, there are chimpanzees to be tracked and wildlife to be seen. There is white water rafting on just any river for the adventurous family, but it takes place on the mighty Nile.
Read more about a Family Safari with teens here.
The Minimum Age for Gorilla Trekking is 15
Yes, the minimum age for Gorilla Trekking is fifteen. 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 under sixteen in most US States. The same rule applies to Uganda. You cannot obtain a Gorilla permit for a fourteen-year-old.
As a tour operator, we know that the Gorilla Trekking Rules, in general, are for the good of both trekkers and the gorillas. The minimum age for Gorilla trekking is and remains 15. There is no workaround, but it is a rule we think is for the best.
Consider a family safari with teens as a birthday celebration, as we suggested. We have actually had teens that tracked gorillas on their birthday. It received a lot of comments and likes on social media and left lasting memories with the family.
Instead of being disappointed, we suggest that you begin to plan your family Safari with teens now. Let your teens in on the planning stage of the safari. We would love to assist you in that process. Feel free to contact us today without obligation.