Golden Monkey Trekking Safari In Uganda And Rwanda : Get Up Close and Personal with Rare Golden Monkeys on a Trekking Adventure in Uganda and Rwanda. Travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda are increasingly drawn to the fascinating activity of golden monkey trekking. Only the wild bamboo woods of the Virunga Mountains and Gishwati Mukura National Park in southern Rwanda are home to golden monkeys. Visitors can see them in the national parks of the DRC’s Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega as well as Rwanda’s Volcanoes and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorillas.
A rare species of Old World Monkey (Cercopithecidae), the golden monkey (Cercopithecus kandti), is mostly found in the highland bamboo forests of Central Africa. Additionally, they exist in Rwanda’s 34 km2 Gishwati-Mukura National Park. However, their presence in Rwanda’s southwest Nyungwe National Park has never been verified. Golden monkeys are unfortunately endangered because of the removal of trees and bamboo, clearing land for agriculture, the manufacturing of charcoal, and livestock grazing.
The reddish-gold fur on the golden monkey’s back stands out against its black feet, legs, and tail to give it a distinctive appearance. Male golden monkeys are larger and weigh between 4, 5 and 12 kg (10-26 lb) while standing between 48 and 67 cm (19 and 26 inches) tall. Females weigh between 3, 5 and 4, 5 kg (8-10 lb), which is substantially less than males. The lifespan of a golden monkey is up to 19 years.
A trip to view the golden monkeys in the wild is a simple addition to your itinerary, if you’re planning a gorilla trekking expedition in Uganda or Rwanda. Discover the wonders of the African environment and take in the entrancing beauty of these unique primates.
TREKKING GOLDEN MONKEYS IN MGAHINGA, UGANDA
One of just four places where visitors can observe golden monkeys and mountain gorillas up close in the wild is Mgahinga National Park in southwest Uganda, which protects the Ugandan portion of the Virunga Mountains. Mgahinga is the only location in Uganda, where you may observe golden monkeys.
Between 3164 and 5059 golden monkeys are thought to be living in Mgahinga National Park overall. One group, which consists of roughly 30 individuals and is fully adapted to humans, is accessible for daily excursions to see golden monkey. The second group is set aside for study and the daily 4-hour-experiences.
Mgahinga’s main draw would be gorilla trekking, although there are probably better golden monkey trekking opportunities in Uganda’s smallest national park than there are gorilla trekking opportunities. The daily trips to visit golden monkeys are open to as many tourists as mountain gorillas, however the treks start at 8:00 AM at the Ntebeko Visitors’ Center.
In Uganda’s Mgahinga, there are two daily opportunities to see golden monkeys. The first is a typical half-day golden monkey trekking excursion, which is comparable to the golden monkey experience in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, but allows guests to spend an hour with the adorable monkeys. The habituation experience with the golden monkey is particularly alluring and particular to Mgahinga.
In the Virungas, a long-running study has included golden monkeys. Visitors to the golden monkey habituation experience get to spend time with the animals and observe researchers, as they study them. It’s a comprehensive opportunity to learn a great deal about undiscovered monkeys, their habitat, and the science underlying primates.
Golden Monkey Permit & Price
You must reserve a golden monkey trekking permit, which costs $60 per person for foreign non-residents & residents and UGX 40,000 for East African residents in order to participate in the daily guided tour to visit golden monkeys in Mgahinga. Permit for the whole habituation experience with golden monkeys is $100 per person. The permit serves as an admission ticket to the area and provides access to armed rangers, a knowledgeable local tracker guide, and time spent with the Primates. The park entrance fee, which is $40/$30/UGX20, 000 per person for international residents/non-residents/EA citizens, is not included in the permit.
Since golden monkey trekking trips don’t draw a lot of tourists, hikers are not restricted. To obtain your permit, simply stroll into the park’s administrative building. To minimize disappointment, we suggest Tourists to make reservations with us in advance.
Although less physically demanding, monitoring golden monkeys in Mgahinga is similar to tracking gorillas; You’ll spend roughly the same amount of time (approximately 30 minutes to 2 hours) trying to identify their location. But compared to Gorillas, golden monkeys are more animated and entertaining to watch, and trying to keep up with their activities will keep you on your toes.
Accommodation for golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga
Gahinga Lodge (High-end $800 pp) – An elite vacation lodge with a calm appeal, mesmerized by the stunning backdrop of the extinct Virunga volcanoes. Mount Gahinga Lodge is nestled in the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. Due to its proximity to Mgahinga National Park and rustic charm, it makes for a wonderful starting point for viewing Gorillas and golden monkeys there.
Birdnest Bunyonyi (midrange $180 pp) – The idyllic Birdnest resort hotel is located close to Kabale town on the beach of Uganda’s most picturesque lake. Mgahinga can be reached after a 1.5-hour journey.
Lake Mutanda Resort (Mid-range $155 pp) – A pretty tiny lodge called Mutanda Lake Resort is located on a peninsula at one of Uganda’s most picturesque lakes. Despite being around a 1.5-hour drive from Mgahinga, this charming small hideaway paradise serves as a great starting point for exploring the Nepal-like attractions near this misty lake as well as tracking golden monkeys in Mgahinga and gorillas in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
In the shadow of the Virunga Mountains, Chameleon Hill Lodge (Mid-range $125 pp) brightly glows atop a hill overlooking the serene rift valley of Lake Mutanda. This delightful little resort makes an excellent starting point for exploring the Virungas’ Slope in Mgahinga National Park and going Gorilla Trekking in southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING IN VOLCANOES, RWANDA
Adventures in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park are well recognized for their mountain gorilla trekking. As in Mgahinga, the Virunga Mountains Park also provides fantastic trekking expeditions to see golden monkeys in the wild.
Stay an extra day and spend an hour with the charming golden primates, if you’re visiting Volcanoes to see the Gorillas. Even though visiting the golden monkeys is akin to a typical hiking trip in Uganda, Rwanda does not offer such opportunities.
In Volcanoes National Park, there are many of golden monkeys that live close to people; the largest has between 80 and 100 members. Visitors should be at the park headquarters by 7:00 am for the briefing before the trek. Daily trekking trips depart from there at 8:00 am.
Fortunately, there are no restrictions on the number of trekkers, so you can simply stroll into the park office and pay $100 per person, per trek, for your ticket. Still, if you’re traveling with a tour operator, we advise paying for yours in advance to avoid any disappointments.
Accommodation for golden monkey trekking in Rwanda
Bisate Lodge (High-end $1750 pp) – This haven of vacation housing, which is situated on the outskirts of Volcanoes National Park in the slopes of Mount Bisoke, offers an eco-luxury experience together with one-of-a-kind views into Rwanda’s most isolated regions.
Virunga Lodge (high-end $1210 pp) – Between Lake Ruhondo and Lake Bulera, on a 2,300-meter (7,500-foot) mountain, this isolated lodge offers a safari-chic experience and stunning vistas.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge (Executive $1950 per person) – Singita Kwitonda’s eight opulent suites, which are located right on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, include private heated plunge pools, fireplaces in spa treatment areas, and enormous timber-framed windows that let in stunning views of the surrounding landscape and volcanoes.
Gorilla’s Nest (Mid-range $750 pp) – One and Only Gorilla’s Nest inspires a wild attitude of exploration, as it is surrounded by swinging eucalyptus trees. A site where you can have eye-opening interactions with gorgeous mountain gorillas and learn about Rwanda’s history, encouraging you to look in the mirror.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge ($970 pp, midrange) – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge’s visitors can repose in their choice of stone cottages or suites, each with a sizable sitting area, fireplace, stylish ensuite bathroom, and private veranda, and situated within the lush woods of Volcanoes National Park.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Budget $280 per person) – The lodge’s 30 cottages were thoughtfully planned and constructed using natural, sustainable materials. Each one has a fireplace and an ensuite bathroom.
GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING VS GORILLA TREKKING
The elusive golden monkeys and the recognizable mountain gorillas are two distinctive primate encounters that await intrepid tourists in the lush woods of Africa. Both Chances provide a view into the fascinating world of Primates, but they are distinct in terms of the difficulties, behaviors, and photographic opportunities they offer.
Trekking with golden monkeys is a thrilling adventure akin to searching for mountain gorillas. Due to the monkeys’ consistent hunting habits and tendency to return to comfortable sleeping spots, visitors frequently find it to be less demanding. Golden monkeys have a consistent schedule in contrast to mountain gorillas, who build new nests every day and feed farther away.
The hour spent with golden monkeys is packed with action, after they are located, after an amazing tracking session of 30 minutes to 2 hours. These playful and inquisitive animals, who resemble chimpanzees but are gentler, may come up close to visitors before soaring into the treetops with incredible agility. To really enjoy the experience, one must keep up with their playful antics while making quick movements through the dense bush.
Mountain gorillas, in comparison, live a more relaxed lifestyle, frequently spending hours sitting still while lazily eating on adjacent plants and grunting to one another. Their methodical motions make it relatively simpler to take pictures when they stay put.
WHO CAN TREK?
Unlike Gorilla Trekking, which only allows groups of eight people, observing golden monkeys is not restricted in terms of guests, making it a more private and intimate experience. As a result, golden monkey excursions typically only have a small number of participants, guaranteeing a personal and immersive experience.
Golden monkey trekking is a fantastic option for a primate adventure for families with young children. There is no minimum age limit for this activity, unlike Gorilla Trekking, therefore everyone can participate. Teenagers can easily appreciate this life-changing experience, whereas younger Youngsters can find the walk tough.
In addition, compared to gorilla licenses, which can cost up to $700 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda, golden monkey permits are more affordable, costing just $50 in Uganda and $100 in Rwanda. Golden monkey trekking is appealing because of its low cost as well as the fascinating experiences it offers with these gregarious Primates.
In conclusion, both primate encounters promise moments of surprise and wonder, immersing you in the splendor of Africa’s unique wildlife, whether you decide to explore the playful world of the golden monkey or experience the majesty of mountain gorillas. Accept the special difficulties and benefits of each expedition, and allow these amazing Primates to leave a lasting impression on your heart and in your mind.
BEST TIME TO SEE GOLDEN MONKEYS
While it is feasible to go on a trek to view golden monkeys at any time of the year, the drier months of June through August and December to January is the greatest. Visiting the golden monkeys is more fun when it’s not raining, and the trails are simpler to manage during these months.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that Uganda and Rwanda’s dry seasons coincide with their busiest travel times, therefore the most attractive resorts are fully booked during these times. Even though getting a permit for a golden monkey during this season is fairly simple, we strongly advise arranging your lodging in advance, especially between June and September.
The low seasons, on the other hand, last from March to May and from October to November, and are characterized by a lot of rain, foggy woodlands, and difficult treks. But during these times, adventurous travelers who don’t mind the weather have the chance to enjoy the trails without the crowds and at reduced rates at frequently empty lodges.
YOUR PACKING LIST FOR TREKKING
You should carry items to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the jungle and its tiny residents, if you intend to witness golden monkeys in the wild. In reality, since you’ll be staying and hiking in high-altitude rainforests, where it gets chilly and can rain at any time, you won’t need anything different from what you would for going gorilla trekking.
Bring a backpack, a jacket, and a pair of thin, waterproof hiking shoes. Bring a long-sleeved shirt and pants with pockets, so you can carry your phone. While on the hikes, you should keep your body covered to protect yourself from insects and scratchy, thorny branches. Bring a cape to protect your head, if you can.
But I don’t have to tell photographers, what to pack; you have to bring a Zoom-Lens for your Camera. You’ll need to zoom in to get a nice image of a golden monkey because they can hide in the bamboo jungles. Bring a pair of binoculars, if you don’t have a professional camera.
Bring a sweater or warm jacket, because the lodge, where you will be staying, will get chilly in the nights. A pair of thick socks is also an excellent idea to keep your legs warm, especially in bed.
CONCLUSION: GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING SAFARIS IN UGANDA & RWANDA
In addition to Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Uganda or Rwanda, golden monkey trekking is a very popular sport. Imagine you’re traveling to Uganda with the goal of seeing both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. If so, we strongly advise going to Mgahinga National Park, the only park in Uganda that is home to both primates. Both Primates can also be found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Focus East Africa Tour’s primate excursions are completely customized to the traveler’s tastes, so we’ll work with you to choose the best lodging that meets your budget before scheduling your transfers and permits. Our private, all-inclusive gorilla and golden monkey safaris take care of managing your experience so that you may focus all of your energy on being present to make priceless memories.