Why below 15yrs not allowed to trek Gorillas


In Uganda and Rwanda, children below the age of 15 years are not allowed to trek Gorillas. It is unfortunate because some visitors request for their children to be allowed to trek Gorillas but all in vain. Below are some of the reasons why Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) restrict children to trek Gorillas

Gorilla trekking is a strenuous activity which involves walking through the forest, jumping over rivers and climbing hills, walking through slippery trains and sometime walking long distances while searching for Gorillas. To that note, children cannot endure that hardship.

Gorilla trekking takes place through the forest. In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National parks – in Rwanda through the bamboo forests of Volcanoes national park. Such forests are believed to host dangerous insects like tsetse flies, mosquitoes and so on. Such insects can spread diseases to children.

Children cannot walk long distances – depending on the movement of Gorillas, trekkers sometimes walk for many hours while searching for Gorillas. Some Gorilla groups live in far areas which require maximum level of fitness to be reached – such is lucking in children.

Some forest consists of thorny plants, itchy plants which cannot do well with children.

There is a fear that children can make noise or cry amidst Gorillas which can turn them violent since Gorillas do not need much noise.  In such circumstances, Gorillas can attack trekkers.

Due to lack of enough strength, children can fail to reach the gorilla group making the all experience difficult because they may need their parents/ relatives to carry them. In other words, the elders may also fail to enjoy the trek so, children are restricted from gorilla trekking to enable the elders enjoy the experience.

Gorillas may threaten the children and the experiences may remain permanent throughout the growth of children.

In case of any attack in the forest, children cannot run faster to escape for their lives.

Children cannot follow gorilla trekking rules and regulations – children are so forgetful to grasp the entire rules and regulations governing gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.

Children can easily be attacked by Gorillas – children below the age of 15 years can attempt to violet rules and regulations governing Gorilla trekking and then upset gorillas forcing tempting them to attack.

It is not good to expose children to wild animals- children are easily caught by diseases from animals due to the fact that, their anti-bodies are still weak.  However, when elders are tracking Gorillas, children can do other simple activities like guided community tour, guided birding, and guided scenic tours or they can relax at the lodge under care takers.