Gorilla trekking is one of the most expensive tourist activities in Africa, you wouldn’t want to travel all the way from your country and fail to trek mountain gorillas after even buying a permit that is why planning for your gorilla trekking safari is very important before even buying a permit one should know the rules and regulations for trekking mountain gorillas and also know who is eligible to trek these endeared species of apes.
Gorilla trekking permit
A gorilla trekking permit is a card issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority allowing one to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park. This permits can only be got from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted Tour Operator and without it nobody can trek mountain gorillas. Permits in Uganda cost $600 per person per trekking and for gorilla habituation cost $1500 per person per trek.
Only healthy people are allowed to trek the endangered mountain gorillas and this is because mountain gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases and they have a weak immune system meaning an infection of one gorilla can lead to many gorillas being infected and massive death. People with infections or communicable diseases like flu, cough will not be allowed to trek and Uganda Wildlife will refund some part of trekking fee.
People above 15 years old
Mountain gorilla trekking is restricted to the people above 15 years meaning children under the age of 15 years cannot trek mountain gorillas and this is because they children might become frightened after seeing the gorillas and try to run away or scream hence leading to gorillas attacking. It should be noted that though mountain gorillas are gentile and calm animals, they can become aggressive when disturbed.
Children and very old people might also not be able to trek mountain gorillas reason being that gorillas live on high elevations of rain forests that require physical fitness that children and very old people might not be able to climb. Sometimes children might walk off the trail and get lost and fail to locate the right path. Old people can trek gorillas if they wish to by using a sedan seat stretcher and children almost making 15 years can trek gorillas only after undergoing an interview in the morning of trekking and if they pass they will trek the gorillas.
Good physical shape
Mountain gorillas live in high elevations of rain forests, if your not going to use a sedan seat stretcher then it’s a good idea to make sure your fit before coming to trek gorillas. This activity takes 1-7 hours depending on the gorilla family location or phase of the group though everyone always adjusts to the slowest person within a group.
In conclusion, gorilla trekking rules and regulation must be taken seriously especially while in the presence of mountain gorillas. Permits must also be bought in advance of 3 months advance before coming to the country especially in the peak season of June to September and December to February.
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