Golden Monkey Trekking In Mgahinga And Volcanoes National Park

Golden monkeys are found in the Mgahinga, Volcanoes and Virunga national parks

Golden Monkey Trekking In Rwanda Vs Uganda

Golden monkey trekking can only be done in Virunga region of volcanoes in Rwanda, Mgahinga national park in Uganda and democratic republic of Congo. Golden monkeys are a branch of Sykes monkey also knows as the blue monkeys and scientifically they are called Corcopithecus Mitis kandti. They live in large numbers of about 60 individuals on the lower slopes of mountains in the Virunga rangers. What differs them from other monkeys is the golden orange spot on their fur coats and this make them one of the most beautiful monkey species. Golden monkeys feed on bamboo shoots, ripe fruits and insects. They are very active, playful and curios animals and they always jump from one tree to another making it difficult to take photographs. The golden eagle is their main predator.

Just like mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys are also called endangered species by the international union for conservation of nature and about 5000 golden monkeys are remaining in the world surviving in Virunga ranges. Their homes were reduced because of civil wars that happened with in the Virunga region. Because of their uniqueness and being few in number, tourists draw their attention to these monkeys and bring the need for their protection to world attention.

Where to find golden monkeys in Africa 

Golden monkeys are found in the national parks below

Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.  This park has two habituated troops of golden monkeys as of now. The largest group of golden monkeys lives around the slopes of mountain Sabinyo and is the most visited group with over 100 individuals. Another group of golden monkeys can be found in Gishwati forest reserve. A few numbers of golden monkeys are believed to be living in Ngungwe national park. However golden tracking is not organized in Ngungwe forest national park and Gishwati forest reserve because here golden monkeys are not habituated they remained in the wild.

Mgahinga national park in Uganda.  Mgahinga national park has two habituated golden monkey troops.  The park is the best place to trek gorillas, it gives you four hours golden monkey trekking and habituation experience and here visitors are given time to observe the way of living of these primates with researchers, trackers and guides all from Uganda wildlife authority.

Democratic republic of Congo. Golden monkeys can be found in Virunga national park and kahuzi biega in the eastern part of the country. Golden monkey trekking is not yet open to visitors in democratic republic of because of security reasons

Trekking golden monkeys in Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park

Golden monkey trekking is well done in Rwanda and Uganda because of the good security and good organization in these two countries. There is no age limit while trekking these monkeys and also any number of visitors can trek golden monkeys. Golden monkey trekking starts with a briefing at park headquarters at 7:30 am. After the briefing if you have extra luggage you might decide to hire a porter then move to the starting point. Trekking golden monkeys takes about 1 hour and is not as difficult as golden monkey trekking but a lot of effort is required to locate them.

Golden monkeys are small and don’t live behind their evidence of previous location like endangered gorillas. The only way trackers trek them is by looking out for fresh left overs of bamboo shoots. Every day trekking golden monkey becomes different, weather and monkey troops are what decide how the weather will go. Because golden monkeys keep swinging on top of trees, taking photos of these monkeys becomes difficult. The only time taking these golden monkey photos easy is when it’s raining as they are taking shelter.

Once you find golden monkeys, you will need to follow them as they jump from tree to tree. They have long tails which help them to balance in the bamboo trees. Habituated golden monkeys are not shy when they see humans, they come close just like mountain gorillas. Visitors are given one hour to be with these golden monkeys as they learn their ways of living.

Golden monkey habituation

Golden monkeys need to be habituated because of their shy and wild nature. The wild golden monkey run away from human beings on sight. Golden monkey trekking is an activity of getting a troop get used to human presence around them. Golden monkey trekking is an unusual treat given to visitors who want to get a detailed understanding of primates. During golden monkey habituation experience, trackers are given 4 hours with these monkeys to closely study the behavior of golden monkeys with the help of researchers, guides and experienced trackers.

Packing list of golden monkey trekking

During golden monkey trekking you need to come along with suitable hiking boots, hat, long sleeved shirt, long trouser, jacket, camera, walking stick, insect repellent, packed lunch and water as well as a porter in case of extra luggage

Golden monkey permits

Golden monkey trekking requires a golden monkey permit. This permit is valid for one day and allows a visitor to trek golden monkeys for one hour. Visitors can get golden monkey trekking permits from country boards or any trusted tour operator.

In Mgahinga national park, golden monkey trekking permits can be got from Uganda wildlife authority or Rwanda development board in Rwanda. Africa adventure vacations can help you arrange your golden monkey tour starting from acquiring permits, transport and accommodation. Unlike gorilla trekking permits, the price of golden monkey tracking permits changes with time and these permits don’t need to be booked in advance like gorilla trekking permits. You can acquire them on the very day of tracking and there are high chances of spotting these monkeys.

Prices of tracking golden monkeys in Uganda and Rwanda

Rwanda. Golden monkey trekking permit is currently USD 100 per person per day. The permit is got from Rwanda development board and it includes ranger and park fees.

Uganda. Golden monkey trekking permits in Uganda are got from Uganda wildlife authority or from Mgahinga national park headquarters. For foreign non-residents the permit goes for USD 40, foreign residents USD 50 and 20,000 Uganda shillings for east African residents. This money includes the parks fees and guide or ranger fees. Visitors who want to have a golden monkey habituation experience pay USD 1000.

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