Age Limit for Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda
The age limit for gorilla tracking in Rwanda is 15 and above! Those below 15 years are considered young and not eligible to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Persons above 15 years are considered eligible to purchase a gorilla permit which allows them to track one of the ten habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. This is a standard rule that every trekker should observe when planning a gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Persons below 15 years are considered as vulnerable and not fit to make a complete trek. As well, it is not easy to predict their characters the fact that they can easily be frightened since mountain gorillas do change on how they behave. As a result, such persons may get harmed or other group members may get hurt especially when these apes charge. In scenarios where gorillas charge, children can easily be tempted to run away which may compel these primates to follow with the assumption that they have been attacked and they want to defend themselves. Persons above 15 years are able to understand and interpret the behavior of these apes and also abide by the set rules and regulations or instructions from the park ranger guide.
Given the nature of gorilla habitat and general kind of adventure, persons below 15 years may not be in a position to make a complete hike. Tracking mountain gorillas is a breathtaking experience that requires some physical wellness in you. A trek to see mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park can last about 2-6 hours less or more.
Mountain gorillas also share about 98 percent of their DNA with humans which makes them the closest human relatives in the wild. Persons below 15 years are considered as children and they carry most of the communicable diseases (flu, cough) which can be spread to mountain gorillas. It should be noted that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human infectious diseases and the set age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is mainly to ensure these endangered species are well-protected.
Can Persons Below 15 Years Trek Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda?
While the standard age limit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is 15 years and above, there are instances when persons below 15 can track mountain gorillas. Children below 15 years can be allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda on condition that he or she is one week to his or her 14th birthdate. However, the parents should provide proof of this to the Rwanda Development Board or park officials and he or she is physically fit. The current picture of the child should also be provided for examination.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permits in Rwanda
Every gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda is issued at $1500 per person across all visitors on Rwanda gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park. There are only two ways that you can reserve a gorilla permit; you can contact the reservation team at Turaco Uganda Safaris or directly through reservation team from Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Please make sure you secure your gorilla permit before you take a flight to Rwanda. The demand for gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda is high and last-minute booking may result in disappointment.
In conclusion, the age limit for gorilla tracking in Rwanda is the same as that of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo where treks to see mountain gorillas are conducted.