Golden monkey trekking is a process where the visitors and the ranger guides move through the forest in search of the golden monkey species and once they are found, the visitors are given only one hour to interact with them and learn more about their behaviors as they jump and swing with the tree branches.
The process of trekking golden monkeys is easier compared to gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking as the visitors and the ranger guides have to follow up on the leftovers of the fruits and the bamboo shoots since these primates keep meandering in the forest in search of food. Golden monkeys are known to be very social primates that live in big groups dominated by the one male and very many females. Golden monkeys are also termed as endangered and even the ones already protected are seen declining. Golden monkey trekking in Uganda is carried out in Mgahinga gorilla national park which is part of the Virunga conservation area and is the smallest park located in the south west part of Uganda. This is the best place in East Africa where visitors enjoy the golden monkey trek at ease in the bamboo forest.
There are only two habituated golden monkey troops in Mgahinga national park available for trekking. During the golden monkey trekking, visitors have to follow up on the monkeys until they are able to watch them closely as they play in the tree branches and eat the fruits. The cost of a golden monkey permit is $50 per permit in Mgahinga national park where silver meets gold. However, visitors who wish to have a much longer time with golden monkeys can request golden monkey habituation which costs $100 and it’s a four-hour activity. In these activities, visitor joins the researchers in training the golden monkeys and make them used to human for easy trekking.
Apart from golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park, visitors are able to carry out other activities such as Gorilla trekking, birding, cultural encounters where you will meet the Batwa “pygmies”, hiking, nature walks where over 76 mammal species are seen including the Bush pigs, Golden cats, elephants, African porcupines, buffaloes, duikers, and many other activities according to the visitor’s itinerary. Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is done in the Virunga with in the volcanoes national park at a cost of $100 per permit. There are two habituated golden monkey troops ready for trekking by visitors and these groups are located at mount Sabyinyo. There are also golden monkeys found in Gishwati – Mukura National Park though they have not been habituated
To enjoy your golden monkey trekking activity in Uganda and Rwanda, visitors are encouraged to follow the following instructions:
- To start golden monkey trekking, visitors must obtain the permit either directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority head offices or connect with a trusted company to handle all your trips including booking the permits, transportation, and accommodation. This is the best option to avoid stress in preparation for your trip to Uganda and Rwanda for golden monkey trekking.
- Wear waterproof and anti-slippery hiking shoes and a walking stick to avoid falling down during the trekking activity in the rainy season.
- A visitor is advised to wear a long sleeved shirt, long trousers, and a hat to avoid the insect bites and thorns in the forest from harming you. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen lotion to help your skin from getting spoilt by the sun
- Well, carrying enough drinking water is a guarantee for all trekking activities (including the golden monkey trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and Mountain Gorilla trekking) as they require a lot of movements hence visitors must carry enough drinking water to avoid dehydration while in the forest.
- Lastly but not the least, since this activity is done early in the morning, visitors are supposed to wake very early and plan for the day beginning with an early breakfast and then join the rangers for a briefing on how to handle their golden monkey trekking activity.
- And finally, please don’t forget your camera as you will need to capture the beautiful moments in the forest. Using a flashlight in the forest during the golden monkey trekking is okay as you catch these most beautiful primates as they jump, run, climb, swing and feed.
“Come and enjoy the best Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park in Uganda and in Virunga volcanoes national park in Rwanda because the two countries are very secure for the visitors. The good thing with the golden monkey trekking is that there is no age limit and the number of trekkers isn’t limited. These monkeys feed on the bamboo shoots and ripe fruits and insects.”