Uganda and Rwanda Golden Monkey Trekking: Golden Monkey Trekking is only available in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The golden monkey is a subspecies of the Sykes Monkey, often known as “Blue Monkeys.” Cercopithecus Mitis kandti is their scientific name, and they reside in huge groups of approximately 60 people, usually on the lower slopes of mountains inside the Virunga Rangers. Trekking with Golden Monkeys They are distinguished from other monkey species by the gold/orange patches on their fur coats.
They are regarded as one of Africa’s most attractive and adorable monkey species. Golden Monkeys mostly graze on bamboo shoots and branches, but will occasionally forage on the ground for ripe fruits and insects. They are highly energetic, inquisitive, and lively. They are constantly leaping from tree to tree in search of food or to avoid their main predator, the golden eagle.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists golden monkeys as an endangered species, and there are only approximately 5000 of them left on the earth. Human encroachment on their area, as well as civil conflicts in particular regions of the Virunga region, pose a threat to them. Human societies dislike golden monkeys because they occasionally leave parks to plunder gardens. Golden monkey trekking has grown in popularity due to its endangered condition and uniqueness. As more people see them, the world learns about their suffering, and more resources are directed toward their protection.
Where are Golden Monkeys Found?
Golden Monkeys can be found in the following national parks;
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
The volcanoes national park presently contains two habituated golden monkey tribes. With roughly 100 people, the largest and most visited group lives on the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo. The Gishwati Forest Reserve is also home to golden monkey troops. A small number of people are also thought to be surviving in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Visitors to the Gishwati Forest Reserve and Nyungwe Forest National Park, on the other hand, are not tracked. The groups discovered here are not habituated and hence stay wild.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has two habituated golden monkey armies. The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda is most likely the greatest spot to see golden monkeys. The park distinguishes itself by having an additional group allocated for a four-hour golden monkey habituation session. The golden monkey habituation experience allows guests to spend more time seeing and understanding the monkeys’ lifestyles with foreign researchers, professional trackers, and Uganda Wildlife Authority guides.
Virunga and Kahuzi Biega National Parks in Congo.
The golden monkey may also be found in the Virunga National Park and Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the eastern section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For numerous reasons, including security, golden monkey trekking is not yet fully available to travelers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
About Golden Monkey Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.
Golden monkey trekking is best done in Uganda and Rwanda. Both nations are better structured, have greater tourism infrastructure, and are safer. There is no upper age restriction or a minimum number of individuals necessary to follow golden monkeys. Trekking golden monkeys begins with a briefing at the park headquarters at about 7:30 a.m. Following the briefing, travelers may choose to hire a porter to assist with excess luggage before proceeding to the starting site.
Golden monkey tracking takes less time, approximately an hour, and is less demanding than gorilla trekking. They do need some effort to identify, though, because they are smaller and do not leave behind clear proof of their prior position like mountain gorillas do.
Trackers can find them by checking for fresh bamboo shoot remains. Each day of following golden monkeys is unique; the weather and group movements determine how the day unfolds. Because of their continual mobility on tree tops, photographing these monkeys (flash pictures are permitted, unlike mountain gorillas) is challenging.
The only time the monkeys remain still is when they seek shelter from the rain or when it becomes too windy. The winds make it difficult for them to find their foes, and they must be vigilant for eagles. The easiest approach to photograph these adorable animals is to use a camera with a quick shutter speed.
Trackers will frequently have to follow the monkeys around once they have been identified since they enjoy leaping from tree to tree. Their long tails aid in balance but can become entangled and cut off by bamboo plants. Some members with short tails are a testimony to this. Habituated golden monkeys are not afraid of humans and may approach them out of curiosity. Tourists are only permitted to spend one hour with the monkeys, much as they are with mountain gorillas.
Golden Monkey Habituation in Uganda and Rwanda.
A golden monkey family must be acclimated before people may see them due to its timid and wild character. At first sight, wild golden monkey tribes would flee from people. The practice of gradually enabling a selected group to become accustomed to the human presence around them is known as golden monkey habituation.
The golden monkey habituation experience in Uganda and Rwanda is a wonderful delight for those who want a more in-depth understanding of the monkeys. During the golden monkey habituation session, guests get four hours to closely observe the monkeys’ behavior while receiving additional in-depth information from researchers.
How to book golden monkey permits in Uganda and Rwanda?
A golden monkey permit is required to participate in golden monkey tracking. The permission allows for one hour of interaction with the primates. Visitors can get licenses directly from the respective tourism authorities in each nation. Permits for Mgahinga National Park are obtained through the Uganda Wildlife Authority, whilst permits for Rwanda are obtained through the Rwanda Development Board. A tour company like Explore Rwanda Tours can help you plan your full golden monkey Trekking safari in Uganda or Rwanda, including permits, lodging, and transportation.
In contrast to gorilla licenses, the price of golden monkey permits fluctuates often. Golden monkey permits, unlike gorilla permits, do not need to be reserved in advance. They can be obtained on the tracking day. The likelihood of seeing golden monkeys is pretty high. Let’s talk about the costs of tracking golden monkeys in Rwanda and Uganda.
In Rwanda, a golden monkey trekking permits costs $100 per person at the moment. The price includes the Volcanoes National Park ranger and park fees. The Rwanda Development Board issues the permits.
Permits to see golden monkeys in Uganda may be obtained through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park headquarters in Ntebeko Centre. For overseas tourists, a golden monkey tracking permit costs $100 per person. The cost covers park admission, Ranger/Guide costs, and time spent with the primates. Visitors who want to participate in the 4-hour golden monkey habituation event may have to pay extra.
What to pack for golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda?
You will need to come along with the following while trekking golden monkeys in Uganda and Rwanda:-
- Suitable hiking boots
- long trousers
- A jacket for rain
- A hat
- long-sleeved shirt
- Packed lunch and drinking water
- A camera. Flash cameras are allowed
- A walking stick for support
- A porter to help with extra luggage and navigate slippery terrain
- An insect repellent