Golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda : Golden monkeys are rare and unique primate mammals with about left in the entire world, golden monkeys are a sub speices of the Skykes Monkey commonly known as the Blue monkey. These creatures differentiated from other primates by their bright orange fur spread out all over their bodies, there are social creatures living in big groups of 60 individuals in a family and their diet comprises of fruits, bamboo shoots and small insects.

Golden Monkeys spend most of their time swinging from one tree branch to another.

Just like Mountain Gorillas, Golden monkeys are listed as an endangered species on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with 5,000 individuals estimated to be left in the world.

In the entire world, Golden monkeys are found in the Virunga Volcanoes – a chain of massifs spreading out along the border lines of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Virunga Range Mountains are 8 volcanoes including Mount Karisimbi, Mount Mikeno, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Gahinga, Mount Nyirangongo and Nyamulagira.

The Virunga Conservation Area stretching around the Virunga volcanoes comprises of 4 protected areas that is Mgahinga Gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda, Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes national park of Rwanda.

Out of the 4 destinations (national parks), golden monkeys are encountered in Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. In Democratic Republic of Congo, golden monkey trekking is not a fully developed tourism activity majorly because of the insecurity concerns in the region.

Golden monkey trekking is a less strenuous activity when compared to gorilla trekking, since the golden monkeys live in lowland areas and they are known for living evidence behind which can be followed while on a golden monkey trekking activity. Golden monkeys are fond of moving from one place to another.

Where to go golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda

Golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is only done in Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.

Mgahinga Gorilla national park

Mgahinga Gorilla national park is the only place where golden monkey trekking can be done, the park is a home to endangered species including golden monkey and mountain gorillas. In Mgahinga gorilla national park, golden monkeys are found in the lowland areas and Mountain gorillas are found in the high altitude areas of the park.

Golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park starts early in the morning with pre-trekking briefing at 7:00 am at the park’s headquarters, the trekking takes about 2 to 4 hours. This is because golden monkeys are fond of moving from one location to another in search for food, also as they place with one another as it is their lifestyle behavior.

Golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga

Visitors are allowed to spend one hour in the presence of golden monkeys once located, you will watching the golden monkeys, taking photos and videos. Your stay will give you an opportunity to learn about their behavior pattern of life in the jungle.

Volcanoes national park

Volcanoes national park is the only place in Rwanda offering the golden monkey trekking safaris, volcanoes national park is located in Musanze villages in north western region of Rwanda and is approximately 2 hours from Kigali international airport.

Golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park are spotted on the slopes of Sabinyo Mountain, these creatures were habituated and opened for tourism all year round.

Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes national park starts as early 7:00 am with briefing at the headquarter office of the park, in the briefing visitors are taken through the rules and regulations to follow. Golden monkey trekking takes approximately 2 hours or more and visitors/tourists are allowed to soend only 2 hour in the presence of the golden monkeys which observing them feed, swing on tree branches among others.

What is the cost of golden monkey trekking permit?

Golden Monkey Trekking permits are issued by governmental tourism bodies that is Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda (UWA) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in Rwanda

The offices of Uganda Wildlife Authority are found in Kampala.

Visitors can book their golden monkey trekking permits directly from the headquarter office or you can contact a tour operator to assist you booking a golden monkey trekking permit without any hustle.

When you book a permit with a tour operator such as Focus East Africa Tours, we will assist you to organize the entire golden monkey trekking safari to either Volcanoes national park or Mgahinga Gorilla national park.

Our golden monkey trekking packages are inclusive of transportation, accommodation, golden monkey trekking permit and other activities basing on your interests in the jungle.

For all travelers planning to enjoy the golden monkey trekking experience in either Rwanda or Uganda, we advise you to book for your permit about months prior to your travel. This is for done for proper planning, preparations this is because golden monkey trekking permits are on a very high demand and they get sold out very fast most especially in the peak season.

Best time to go golden monkey trekking safari

Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla national park can be done all year round, however the best recommended time of the year is during the dry season in the months of December to February, June to October. In these months, there is less rainfall expected and the forest trails are dry and more passable.

In the rainy season, the roads and forest trails are wet, muddy and slippery thus making the golden monkey trekking difficult.

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