Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda and Uganda.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda and Uganda is an exciting adventure activity which is done in Mgahinga national park of Uganda & Volcanoes national park. In Rwanda, Volcanoes national park has many different activities such as Mountain Gorilla trekking, Volcano hike to Mount Karisimbi mount Bisoke, nature walk around the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera and the most appreciated activity the golden monkey trekking. This park hosts other different animals for example buffaloes, elephants, bush buck and over 178 bird species.
Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Uganda is one of the most liked activities by many visitors and done similarly to the Gorilla trekking. Currently there are two habituated Golden monkey groups that are available for visiting by tourists in the volcanoes national park. These Golden monkeys live in the bamboo vegetation at the base of the volcanoes and they have overcome the shyness due to habituation and the daily visits by tourists and researchers.
Golden monkeys currently are found in Virunga Mountains shared by Rwanda and Uganda’s Mgahinga National park, they are easily recognized by the yellow patches all over their bodies. The unique characters about Golden monkeys is that they have nostrils facing upwards where as the other monkeys have their nostrils facing sideways. These golden monkeys are divided into two troops, the largest located in Sabinyo having 80 – 100 monkeys and it’s the most visited. The other troop is in the Volcanoes and slightly small in number.
These golden monkeys sleep in nests that they weave from various bamboo plants and feed on plants and fruits that are in the forest having their major food as bamboo though they can adapt the different seasons and eat anything. The live-in groups of 30-80 having one male showing dominance over the rest. The lifespan of the golden monkey is in twenty years, the females give birth every two years and their gestation period lasts for only five months and they give birth to only one infant like human.
A visitor interested in golden monkey trekking, needs a permit that allows him/her access. once with you find monkeys, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with these amazing creatures. The permits to trek monkeys are cheap compared to gorilla trekking permit, costing USD 100 per permit in both Rwanda and Uganda. Purchased from Rwanda development board (RDB) through Irembo and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in the country Uganda. These permits need to be booked some months in advance as an activity in your trip itinerary to ensure timely planning. Given that golden monkeys do not go into higher altitudes tourists are spared time of hiking though it’s not specific about the time it will take to reach these golden monkeys since it depends on their movement.
Briefing and registration of visitors heading for golden monkey trekking and allocation of groups is done at the Volcanoes park headquarters in Kinigi While those trekking monkeys in Mgahinga national park Uganda briefing happens at Ntebeko park office which is south of Kisoro and 14 km from the town of Kisoro. Then the visit begins at 8:00 am in Uganda. Porters can be hired at point of entry at the park at a cost of 20 USD each porter and hiking sticks can also be hired at the trekking point.
Preparation you need for Golden monkey trekking.
Visitors going for the Golden monkey treks, these are some things one needs to get prepared of, so as to enjoy the trek including:
- No flash photography since it scares monkeys.
- Carry Snacks and water to drink during the hike.
- Carry your rain gear/ Jacket or Poncho because weather is unpredictable.
- Wear good hiking shoes that do not slide plus a hat to shield from sunshine.
- Carry your insect repellent to avoid and chase away insect bites.