GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING IN RWANDA & UGANDA.
Golden Monkey Trekking in Uganda or in Volcanoes national park Rwanda side is an interesting tour activity that most travellers wish to do on Africa Safari. This Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda is one of the sought after tourist activity that visitors draws attention too after gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. In Uganda golden monkey is offered in Mgahinga Gorilla National park of the Virunga mountains.
If you are interested in trekking golden monkey in Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is your ideal place to be. In Rwanda, Volcanoes national park is located in Musanze, northern province of Rwanda well known as Ruhengeri. It’s a 2 ½ hours drive from Kigali city.
Beside golden monkey trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park, there are many different activities that can create a once in lifetime experience. Other activities in Volcanoes national park which include Mountain Gorilla trekking, Mount Bisoke Hiking tour, Dian fossey Hike and Karisimbi volcano climbing. Visiting the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera. This park also is a home to other different animals for example buffaloes, bush buck and over 178 bird species.
In Uganda side, Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla national park is the second activity liked by many visitors and done similarly to Gorilla trekking. Currently there are two habituated Golden monkey groups that are available for visiting by tourists in the 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 monkey is an Endangered primate specie, currently found on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains which are shared by Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. They are easily recognized by the Golden 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 in Mgahinga national park Uganda 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 other sides of Volcanoes and slightly small in number.
Golden monkeys sleep in nests that they weave from various bamboo plants and feed on plants leaves and fruits that are in the forest having their major food as bamboo shoots though they can adapt the different seasons and eat anything. They live in troops of 30 – 80 having one male showing dominance over the rest. The lifespan of the golden monkey is around 20 years in the wild, 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.
Tourists going for Golden monkey trekking tour in either Uganda or Rwanda, needs to book a trekking permit that allows access to hike and spend an hour with these amazing creatures. The Golden monkey trekking permits are on affordable rate, costing USD 100 per permit in both Rwanda and Uganda.
In Rwanda, (RDB) Rwanda Development Board is responsible for issuing trekking permits while in Uganda, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is responsible for all trekking permits in National parks. Golden monkey permits need to be booked through your tour operator some months in advance to ensure timely planning.
Given that golden monkeys do not go into higher altitudes, tourists spare less time of hiking though it’s not specific about the total time it will take to reach these golden monkeys and back, since it depends on their movement looking for food and strength of tour participants.
Briefing and Visitor registration plus allocation of groups are done at 07: 00 Am at Kinigi for those trekking in Volcanoes national Park in Rwanda. Trekking begins from there by driving for 15 – 20 minutes if you are in Rwanda side.
In Uganda Golden monkey tracking starts by briefing at Ntebbeko Visitor centre in Mgahinga gorilla national park at exactly 8:00 Am. 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 provided free of charge at the trekking start point.
What to carry on a golden monkey trek in Uganda & Rwanda.
If you are planning to go for a Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda or Uganda, these are some things that you need to get prepared of, so as to enjoy the trekking experience;
- 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.
- Wear your mask