100 Year Old Honorable Njonjo Charles Completes Gorilla Trekking
100 Year Old Completes Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park amidst a lot of doubt whether he could complete the trek. A 100 Year Old man deferred the odds of mountain gorilla trekking this weekend when he joined other trekkers in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to take part in a once in a lifetime gorilla trekking experience in the park. Normally mountain gorilla trekkers range between the ages of 15 and 85 years, and occasionally you will have 90-year-olds take part in the activity but never a 100 year old on gorilla trekking.
Gorilla trekking is considered one of those strenuous adventures that can only be taken on by persons of a certain age because we assume their bodies can take on the demands of the trek and still stay standing; however this weekend Honourable Njonjo Charles a Kenyan National challenged the trekking age stereotype when he took on forested and mountainous trails of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to get his chance to spend an hour with the unique mountain gorillas.
Honorable Njonjo said in remarks that this was one of his lifelong dreams, however, he had never gotten the chance to take part in the activity; so this year as he turns 100 years, he figured this would be a nice present for himself to finally see the mountain gorilla at such a pivotal age in his life.
This former Attonery General of Kenya, like other trekkers, was up early on 19th January 2020 in his trekking gear, that included a pair of hiking boots, heavy blue jeans, rain jacket, a hat and of course his hiking stick, because of his age he had to have someone carry for him, the rest of his stuff.
At 8:00 am together with the other mountain trekkers of the day, Hon. Njonjo attended a briefing session at the Mgahinga National park offices where they were briefed about the trekking experience, what to expect and the trekking guidelines.
After the briefing, the group was assigned a ranger and off they went, entering the mountainous forest in Mgahinga to trek the gorilla family. After about 2 to 3 hours of the trek, they found the gorilla family, then spent an hour with the gorillas and after trekked back to the mountain gorilla offices.
At the Mgahinga National Park offices after the trekking experience honourable. Njonjo Charles together with other trekkers was presented with a mountain gorilla trekking certificate upon successful completion of trekking mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Honorable Njonjo’s story is an inspiration for all those who want to take on this trekking experience at least once in your lifetime. You are never too old for mountain gorilla trekking.
Any fit person aged 15 years and above is eligible for mountain gorilla trekking and can take part in this experience any time of the year. Mountain gorilla trekking is the experience of walking through the mountain gorilla habitats to locate the gorillas and spend one hour interacting with the mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorilla habitats are normally mountainous forests because the mountain gorillas can only survive in high altitudes and in places with plenty of bamboos, fruits, leaves, herbs, shrubs, etc for them to feed on.
Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda is done the whole year round in Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda currently is home to over half the world’s total population of mountain gorillas and has 22 habituated mountain gorilla families that are available for trekking activities. The habituated mountain gorilla families are distributed among the two mountain gorilla parks in the country with 2 gorilla families living in Mhaginga National Park and 20 gorilla families living in Bwindi National park.
For you to trek any of the 22 families, you have to book a mountain gorilla trekking permit at least three months in advance at 600USD currently or 700USD starting July 2020. Buy are acquired from Uganda wildlife authority or through a tour operator. The permit gives you access to the mountain gorilla habitat and one hour with the gorilla family. The permit is valid for the day you are trekking and for one person only.
Depending on which gorilla family you are trekking the gorilla trekking experience will take between 5 to 8 hours; some gorilla families are near the starting point and others are deep within the forest. After the trekking experience trekkers can stay in the parks for other experiences like Batwa trail experience, nature walks or mountain hiking especially in Mgahinga National Park.
All in all, mountain gorilla trekking is a must take a safari for any wildlife lover, adventure enthusiasts and all safari travellers.