Uganda and Rwanda are two of the lucky countries in the world that are home to the endangered golden monkey. These rare primates are native to Africa and are found within the Virunga Massif.
Golden monkeys belong to the Old World monkey order and were once thought to be a sub-species of the blue monkey. Their population is estimated to be about 4000-5000 individuals surviving within the Virunga region. Scientifically, golden monkeys are known as Cercopithecus kandti and are differentiated from other species by their golden-orange patches on their backs and flanks.
Tourists who are interested in golden monkey tracking can do it from four national parks:
♦ Volcanoes National Park, northwestern Rwanda,
♦ Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, southwestern Uganda,
♦ Virunga National Park, eastern DR Congo, and
♦ Kahuzi-Biega National Park, eastern DR Congo.
Golden monkeys are confined to the mountainous forest, near the dense bamboo forest zones. They can live in groups of up to 60 individuals and their diet mainly comprises of young bamboo branches, leaves, shoots, and other plant leaves, fruits and some insects.
Most tourists go for golden monkey tracking in either Uganda or Rwanda – both of which offer unforgettable tracking experiences.
♦ Golden monkey tracking takes place in the tropical rainforests of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
♦ There are two habituated golden monkey groups in the park that can be visited.
♦ The permit is $50.
♦ All treks start in the morning from the park’s headquarters and require no prior booking.
♦ In Rwanda, golden monkey tracking takes place in the bamboo forest zones of Volcanoes National Park, situated about 105km (a two to three-hour drive) west of Kigali City.
♦ The permit is $100.
In Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, tourists can take part in a thrilling experience by spending over four hours doing the ‘Golden monkey habituation experience’ where they will join researchers during the habituation process of these primates.
Interested to find out more? Visit us and we’ll help you plan your next gorilla and monkey tracking holiday to Uganda or Rwanda.