The Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti) is a local subspecies of the widespread Sykes Monkey, also known as the “Blue Monkey” and is endemic to the high-altitude forests of the Virunga massif. This is a little known bamboo associated taxa primate listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union. Golden monkeys are a beautiful subspecies of monkeys from their golden coat, long tail to the playful and intrusive character. They spend most of their time leaping from bamboo branches or skipping on the forest floor in a manner that offers lasting memories to those who come to trek them. Their amazing and impressive character has made golden monkey trekking one of the popular Rwanda safari activities done at the foot of Mt Sabyinyo.
Golden Monkeys are found in Volcanoes National Park where Mountain Gorillas are also found; Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys, therefore, co-exist here. There are two habituated (made used to the presence of people) groups of Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes National Park of which tourists trek on their safaris. Each of the group comprises around 80 – 100 members which are a great sight to witness when you get close to the monkeys.
Just like Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, Golden Monkey trekking starts in the morning from the park headquarters of Kinigi at 7:00 am (only once a day). Golden Monkey trekking lasts about 4 hours with no limited number of tourists allowed to trek a golden monkey group. A golden Monkey permit is currently USD100 per person per trek and tourists are permitted to stay for 1 hour with the monkeys. Permit booking can either be arranged in advance or booked at the park headquarters on the morning of the trek. It is easy to find the golden monkeys since they mostly live at the bottom of the Volcano Mountains within the bamboo forest, and by just following the traces of fresh leftovers from the bamboo shoots eaten, the trackers are then able to locate them within less than an hour. In case you need porters to help with luggage, they can be hired at the entry point of the park. Since the forest is covered with bamboo, it is not difficult to get good photos. However, a longer lens is recommended as they can be more active and playful so could easily move away from you as you get close.
What to wear for Golden Monkey Trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
Just like any safari, you need to wear appropriately for your golden monkey trekking experience. It is best to wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, a hat, light-rain-jacket, waterproof hiking boots. Other things to carry include a waterproof daypack, enough bottled water with some snacks and of course your camera and all the necessary equipment.
Many travellers planning for your gorilla safari Rwanda to Volcanoes National Park, many tourists also opt for Golden Monkey. Rwanda also has lots of Rwanda safari activities to offer travellers interested in Rwanda tours like Rwanda birding safaris, Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Nyungwe Forest National Park, a canopy walk in Nyungwe, a Kigali city tour or a Rwanda wildlife safari in Akagera National Park. Tanzania safaris offer one of the best Africa wildlife safaris including Tanzania birding safaris. A Tanzania wildlife safari offers you the chance to visit Africas’ most famous Serengeti National Park while Kenya safaris offer Kenya birding safaris and Kenya wildlife safaris that bid you the chance to visit Masaai Mara National Park.
Golden Monkeys Trekking safari in Uganda
In Uganda, golden monkeys are also found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda which is the only habitat to the species in the country giving the park a slogan “where gold meets silver” since it has mountain gorillas too. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers the chance to trek golden monkeys which are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Golden monkeys are characterized as a bright orange-gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail. Golden monkeys are a beautiful subspecies of monkeys from their golden coat, long tail to the playful and intrusive character. They spend most of their time leaping from bamboo branches or skipping on the forest floor in a manner that offers lasting memories to those who decide to go golden monkey trekking. Their amazing and impressive character has made golden monkey trekking one of the popular Uganda safari activity most especially tailored to Uganda gorilla trekking safaris. A 2003 survey estimated a population of 3,000 – 4,000 golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, a good number to guarantee their sighting during a Uganda tour. This is the only national park in Uganda with the golden monkeys and the only park where silverback gorillas co-exist with golden monkeys a reason the park won itself the slogan, where gold meets silver.
Golden Monkey Trekking begins at 8:00 am local time in the morning with an orientation just like on many other Uganda tours and then after you head to the forest along what is referred to as the Gahinga Trail. When you get into the presence of the Golden Monkeys you will know it, the forest comes alive with monkeys everywhere, even jumping over you, and the commotion of Monkey activities will be amazing. The monkeys dictate how the day is going to be, and no day is ever the same in the forest, the experience is unique to each safari to Uganda tourists. The golden monkey experience is not as exhausting as is Gorilla Trekking since Golden Monkeys do not move around and build new nests each day. They remain pretty well in the same area making it easy to get to them. On seeing the golden monkeys you spend a maximum of 1 hour then leave the forest. If you would love to spend more time with these striking species, choosing to undertake golden monkey habituation is a great option. You can tailor this to your gorilla tour Uganda getting a chance to spend four (4) hours in the presence of the golden monkeys and understanding their life. Since the forest is covered with bamboo, it is not difficult to get good photos. However, a longer lens is recommended as they can be more active and playful so could easily move away from you as you get close.
Supplement your golden monkey trekking safari during your Africa tour with a Uganda wildlife tour, a Uganda gorilla tour or short Uganda gorilla safari, a Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari, Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda hiking safaris, Uganda Rwanda cycling safaris, a Jinja city tour or 1 Day Jinja city tour, a Kampala city tour or a 1-day Kampala city excursion, a Uganda cycling safari depending on your choice of safari in Uganda.
What to Pack for Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda
Just like any safari Uganda, you need to wear appropriately for your golden monkey trekking experience. It is best to wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, a hat, light-rain-jacket, waterproof hiking boots. Other things to carry include a waterproof daypack, enough bottled water with some snacks and of course your camera and all the necessary equipment.
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