Gorilla trekking is the most rewarding adventure taken in Rwanda and Uganda. This adventure activity was built along ecotourism guidelines and one of the limits that were set is the age of the would be trackers. Age limit is quite important for this life changing experience due to different reasons.
Are Children Allowed on Gorilla Treks?
The minimum age set for gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National Park is 15 years. The age was set to 15 years due to different reasons;
It is important to know that certain things are done by a certain class of people. Children below 15 years are denied the opportunity to go for gorilla trekking because of various reasons. The first reason is that children can easily be threatened by these large primates. Since meeting the mountain gorillas can be scary even for the adults, it is possible that children cannot stand the experience of meeting the mountain gorillas.
The gorilla trekking etiquette dictates maintaining silence throughout the trek. Children can easily scream out loud during the meetup with the gorillas, something that may cause more irritation among the apes in the wilderness. This kind of behavior may render these creatures to think that there are foreigners in their territories and they can easily cause harm to such people. In order to reduce such experiences, the minimum age has been set to be 15 years and above!!
People under the age of fifteen years are regarded as children by all standards and they are not allowed on gorilla treks in not only Rwanda but also Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Difficulty of Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking is a strenuous activity. It involves a walk through the tropical rain forest in search of the great apes. The time spent on the gorilla trek is unpredictable and experience shows that the trek can last from just one and half hour to a full day trek.
Secondly the terrain of the area where gorilla trekking is c conducted is also not favorable to children. The activity involves hikes up hills, and sloping through valleys. Some times it involves crossing rivers and streams through the wild.
Since this activity requires a reasonable degree of physical fitness, children cannot manage the walk through the forest.
Booking a Gorilla Tour with Children
Travelers with children can book gorilla tours. Indeed children are welcome to Volcanoes National Park. It is important to nurture children into conservation at tender age.
There are set activities for children who visit the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. While their parents go for gorilla trekking, children can engage in various tourism activities and programs set for their stay within the park.
Children can go on guided nature walks that are conducted by the Rwanda Development Board. These walks are educational in nature and children will be taught about the geography of the park.
Children of 12 to 14 years are also allowed to do golden monkey tracking, another highlight of the Volcanoes National Park. These treks are conducted in the morning and are guided by the park rangers.
Children can also go for community tours within the neighborhood of the Volcanoes National Park. These include community experiences that involve visiting schools, homestays to learn about everyday life of Rwandans and more.