Golden Monkey Trekking In Uganda Vs Rwanda

Golden Monkey Trekking In Uganda Vs Rwanda

Golden Monkey Trekking In Uganda Vs Rwanda

Golden Monkey Trekking In Uganda Vs Rwanda: Golden monkey trekking can only be experienced in Virunga region of volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Mgahinga national park in Uganda. Golden monkeys are also available in the Democratic republic of Congo although they are not available for trekking. Golden monkeys are a branch of Sykes monkey also knows as the blue monkeys and scientifically they are called Corcopithecus Mitis kandti. They live in large numbers of up to 60 individuals on the lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains bordering Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. The difference between the golden monkeys and other monkeys is the golden orange spotted on their fur coats making them one of the most beautiful monkey species. Golden monkeys feed on bamboo shoots, ripe fruits and insects. They are very active, playful and curios animals and they always jump from one tree to another making it difficult to take photographs. The golden eagle is their main predator. Just like mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys are also called endangered species by the international union for conservation of nature and it is recorded that about 5,000 golden monkeys are remaining in the world and it’s those surviving in Virunga Mountain ranges of East and Central Africa thus they have also be become endangered primates species. Their homes were reduced because of civil wars that happened with in the Virunga region because of their uniqueness and being fewer in numbers. However, tourism has drawn attention to these golden monkeys and it has brought the need for their protection to world attention in protected areas. Golden Monkey Trekking In Uganda Vs Rwanda.

Where to find golden monkeys in Africa 

Golden monkeys are only found in the national parks below as below;

Volcanoes national park – Rwanda; the Volcanoes national park has recorded about fewer habituated troops of golden monkeys at the moment and the largest group of golden monkeys live around the slopes of mountain Sabinyo with over 100 individuals, this is the most visited troop of golden monkeys. The other groups of golden monkeys are found in Gishwati forest reserve in Volcanoes national park. A few numbers of golden monkeys are said to be also living in Ngungwe forest national park in the southern part of Rwanda close to the Rwanda-Congo border however golden monkey tracking is not organized in Ngungwe forest national park and Gishwati forest reserve because golden monkeys are not habituated so they remained in the wild and shy from visitors.

Mgahinga national park in – Uganda; Mgahinga national park has about 6 habituated golden monkey troops.  Visitors are allocated about 1 hour with the golden monkey trekking experience and about 4 hours with Golden monkey habituation experience. Finding troops of golden monkeys is usually tricky because they are very playing and spotting them can be difficult  however the rangers are always determined to make everything easier for you and you will be given time to observe the way of living of these primates with researchers, trackers and guides all from Uganda wildlife authority.

Democratic republic of Congo; there is nothing much to talk about the Golden monkey in the Democratic republic of Congo. However, Golden monkeys can be found in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park in the Eastern part of the Congo where we find the lowland mountain gorillas. Golden monkey trekking is not open to visitors in the Democratic Republic of Congo because of security reasons and probably the golden monkeys have not been habituated for visitors to visit.

Golden monkeys trekking in Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park

Golden monkey trekking experience is the same in both Rwanda and Uganda because both countries are safer with good security and better organization so it is difficult to discredit the other since golden monkeys is only done on the Virunga Mountains which are shared by the 2 countries. Only adults are allowed to visit the national parks of Golden monkey tracking with good physical ability to hike for about 5 hours in the mountainous forests. Golden monkey trekking starts with a briefing at the park headquarters at around 7:30 am early morning by the park officials on the expectations during trekking. Ensure you carry light to avoid difficulties during the hike, just a back bag containing your few personal belongings and snacks is enough, if they are quite many, hire a porter then move to the starting point after briefing. Trekking golden monkeys takes about 2-5 hours depending on the movements of these creatures. Golden monkeys are small in sizes and they usually do not live behind their tracks/evidence of previous location like the way the endangered mountain gorillas do. They can only be tracked by looking out for fresh left overs of bamboo shoots they feed on. This is how the trackers are able to locate them. Trekking golden monkey every day becomes different, with weather conditions and golden monkey troops. They spend most of their time swinging on top of trees and this makes taking photos of them difficult so the best time to take pictures of the Golden monkeys is while it is raining as they are taking shelter. Once they are found, you will need to follow them as they jump from tree to tree. They have long tails which help them to balance in the bamboo trees. Habituated golden monkeys are not shy when they meet people instead they come close just like mountain gorillas. Visitors have an hour enjoying their presence while they play jumping from tree to tree, and feed, this is the most rewarding moment! Compared to Gorilla trekking on the Virunga Mountains, it is not as difficult to trek golden monkey however, a lot of efforts are required to locate them.

Golden monkey habituation in Mgahinga national park

For visitors to be able to enjoy the golden monkeys, they must be habituated because of their shy and wild nature whereby they run away from human beings on sight something the Democratic Republic of Congo has not done. Golden monkey habituation is a process of getting a troop of golden monkeys used to human presence around them. Mgahinga national park is the only place that allows visitors to get this unusual treat for them to get details and a clear understanding of primates during the process of habituation. During golden monkey habituation experience, trackers are given a minimum of about 4 hours with the golden monkeys as they closely study their behaviour with the help of researchers, guides and experienced trackers.

Golden monkey Trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda

Golden monkey trekking requires trekking permit for everyone on a daily basis. This permit is valid for just a day and allows a visitor to spend an hour with the golden monkeys. These permits are bought from the countries boards such as the Uganda wildlife Authority and Rwanda Tourism Board so you can either buy the permits directly from the authorised boards or from a tour operator who will buy the permits on your behalf. Since the Mgahinga national park is operated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, all activities must be paid to the wildlife authority and same thing with Rwanda Development Board which is responsible for Volcanoes national park

A Golden monkey permit in Mgahinga national park Uganda costs US$100 per person on a daily for foreign non-residents, US$90 per person for foreign residents while East Africa citizens, its UGX60,000. These fees include park entry fees and guide or ranger fees. Golden monkey habituation permit costs US$140 for foreign residents, US$130 per person for foreign residents and UGX 120,000 per person for East Africa citizens.

A Golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$100 per person on a day basis for all categories including foreign non-residents, foreign residents and East African citizens. The permits are only bought from Rwanda Development Board and it includes ranger and park fees.

Packing list of golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park vs Volcanoes national park

Both Golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga national park and Volcanoes national park have the same requirements as packing list because the experiences are the same on the Virunga Mountains. When planning for a Golden monkey trekking or habituation experience, you need to carry with you suitable hiking boots, a hat, long sleeved shirt, long trouser, jacket or raincoat, camera, walking stick, insect repellent, packed lunch and water. A porter can be hired at the park area after briefing.

book a gorilla safari