What is the gorilla trekking age limit in Virunga national park?
What is the gorilla trekking age limit in Virunga national park DR Congo? The gorilla trekking age limit in Virunga national park is the minimum age a traveler is allowed to have in order to be allowed to trek the endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is a once in a life-changing experience every traveler in the world would wish to do. However, not every person is allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park. Yes, to be able to trek and encounter mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, you must be aged 15 years and above.
Trekking mountain gorillas is not done in most places in the world as these apes can only be seen in a few African parks. Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park Uganda, Virunga national park DR Congo and Volcanoes national park Rwanda. The fact that mountain gorillas are among the critically endangered animals in the world according to ICUN, there are several rules that were put in place to protect these apes and one of them is the age limit.
What age is allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park?
Like we said earlier, mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park can be done by those that have 15 years and above and when it comes to seniors, every age can trek as long as they can manage to hike or hire sedan chairs. Age limit is one of the factors you should look at when planning a gorilla safari in Virunga national park in case you want to travel with your children or juniors.
If you book in advance and the child is going to be 15 years by the time of travel, you can tell that to your local tour operator so that they can also get a trekking permit. To prove the age of the person, you will have to send a copy of a passport if you are a foreigner or an Identity card if you are an East African citizen so that the park officials prove before giving out a permit.
Why is there a gorilla trekking age limit in Virunga national park?
There are so reasons as to why the gorilla trekking age limit is set in Virunga national park and some of the reasons are mountain gorillas are vulnerable since they share 98% human DNA so which means they can easily catch diseases. Most children are ever with diseases such as flue and this can easily be transferred to the mountain gorillas.
Another reason why the gorilla age limit is set in Virunga national park is that children below the age of 15 years might fail to keep the rules and regulations as taught at the park offices. Mountain gorillas are habituated but at times they can e wild and when these children fail to keep some of the rules and can make the gorillas charge for example when they point at the gorillas, shout or throw anything at them.
Lastly why age limit is set is because trekking mountain gorillas is challenging at some times as it takes you through very steep slopes and thick vegetation cover. The children might fail to handle all these situations and this might affect the speed of trekking.
Circumstances where children below the age of 15 years can trek gorillas in Virunga national park
It’s possible for children below the age of 15 years to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park as long as the parents or guardians prove to Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature that the child is fit and will complete the trek even though they are below the age of 15 years. If the parents provide all that is necessary for their child to be allowed to trek and the park authorities allow then a tour operator can go ahead and book permits.
The other category of children that can be allowed to trek mountain gorillas below the age of 15 years in Virunga national park are those that have a few months to make it to 15 years and are physically fit. Let’s say if the child has 2 months to 15 years, then she or he can be allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga. Parents will have to write a letter attached with the photos of the child and send it to the park authorities asking them to allow the child to trek and once they allow you can book a gorilla permit for them.
If your child is 15 years or below the required age but allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, purchasing a gorilla permit is the next thing to do. Africa Adventure Vacations can help you with booking permits for Virunga national park. What you will have to do is send us an email containing the dates of the months and year you want to travel and using these dates, we hall check for the availability of the permits with the Virunga national park authorities. When the permits are available, we shall send you banking details and once we have received the money we shall book permits for you. Virunga national park gorilla permits cost $400 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East African children its $200.