Golden Monkey Tracking: Golden monkey trekking is a unique primate experience offering tourists a lifetime opportunity to set foot into the jungles to see the endangered golden monkeys in their natural habitat. Golden monkeys are naturally charming primates and they live only in the Virunga Region of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo.
In Rwanda, golden monkeys are trekked only in Volcanoes National Park where they share the same habitat with mountain gorillas. In Uganda, golden monkey tracking safaris are conducted in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, also considered to be the smallest park in the Pearl of Africa with land area coverage of only 33.7sq.kms.
Golden monkeys are part of the Sykes monkey sub-species/the blue monkey and scientifically, they are referred to as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti. They thrive in large troops of over 60 individuals, spending most of their time at the lower slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. They are unique from the rest of the primates considering the golden-orange patch on their fur coat which makes them a few spectacular creatures worth spotting in the wild. A total of about 5000 golden monkeys still lives in the Virunga region.
Where to see golden monkeys and do Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden monkeys live in the 3 National Parks in the Virunga Regions: At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park alone, two habituated golden monkey troops…, golden monkeys roam around the Virunga National Park…, Rwanda is home to the largest golden monkey troops..
Golden monkeys live in the 3 National Parks in the Virunga Regions. The parks to visit to see golden monkeys in East Africa include Volcanoes National Park, located in Northwestern Rwanda 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali. This is a 160sq.kms extensive protected area in Rwanda and a home to largest golden monkey troops that roams around Mt. Sabyinyo base. This golden monkey troop is comprised of 100 individuals.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park– Regardless of its compact size, Mgahinga is a special destination of its own. The park is a home to not only mountain gorillas but also the strikingly charming golden monkeys.
At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park alone, two habituated golden monkey troops await you to explore and in addition, there is an option of embarking on golden monkey habituation experience where you can spend more hours observing, understanding the golden monkeys, etc.
In the D.R. Congo, golden monkeys roam around the Virunga National Park, a 7800sq.kms park located in the Eastern side of the country. Unlike Uganda and Rwanda, golden monkey tracking in Congo isn’t fully developed due to the effects of insecurity.
Things to know when you go golden monkey tracking
Golden monkey tracking rules
- Maintain a distance of 8-10 from golden monkeys to avoid them contracting human infectious diseases.
- Avoid unnecessary movement which may make them get scared.
- No use of flashlight camera- turn off your flashlight before you begin taking any pictures.
- Littering of the golden monkey habitat is highly prohibited.
- Keep low your voice while on a trek to see golden monkeys.
- Golden monkey permits are essential if you are to participate in a trek to see golden monkeys in Rwanda or Uganda.
- Strictly one hour is what is allowed for you to enjoy face to face with golden monkeys, taking photos, etc.
- Don’t go track golden monkeys when sick or ill.
Packing list for golden monkey tracking
- A good camera free of flashlight
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Raincoat or jacket
- Insect repellent
- Gardening gloves
- Long sleeved shirt
- First aid kit
- Safari hat
- Day backpack
- Golden monkey permit
On Rwanda safari or Uganda safaris, golden monkeys are some of the must-see primates in the wild. These are unique creatures and exist mainly in the Virunga Region making them rare species worth visiting on safari in Uganda or Rwanda.
Tracking golden monkeys is without doubt a thrilling on-foot-walk experience and navigating through the jungles to see them is amazingly a lifetime experience. Besides, trekking golden monkeys in Rwanda or Uganda plays an important part as you contribute to golden monkey conservation and also support communities adjacent to the park. Part of the fees collected from golden monkey safaris is given back to the local communities and facilitating different conservation activities.
Enjoy an authentic experience. Unlike other activities, visiting golden monkeys in the wild all rewards you with authentic encounters. Meet the golden monkeys right in their natural habitat and not at the zoo making it a unique experience of its own.
In the Forest For Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden monkeys are naturally shy primates and before actual golden monkey tracking is done, they undergo habituation. Golden monkey habituation is a long process of making the golden monkeys get used to human presence. Habituation is often done by trackers, researchers and takes a long day of following the semi-habituated or unhabituated golden monkey troops and 4 hours are enjoyed face to face upon locating them.
Golden Monkey Tracking Safaris
Rwanda Safari – 4 Days Gorilla safari and Golden Monkey Tracking Safarifrom: $ 2,813 p/p based on 4 PAXDuration: 4 Days & 3 NightsActivities: Gorilla
Golden monkey tracking permits
Golden monkey permits cost differently depending on the destination. In Uganda, golden monkey tracking permits are available for booking at USD60 for foreign non-residents- FNR, USD50 for foreign residents and UGX 40,000 for East African citizens. In case you plan to spend more hours with these strikingly stunning creatures, golden monkey habituation permits for Mgahinga cost USD100 for foreign non-residents, USD80 for Foreign Residents while UGX100,000 for East African Community citizens.
In Rwanda, golden monkey permits are open for booking at USD100 per person. Booking golden monkeys is easier when you deal with your safari expert- reach out to our team and we shall be of great help.