Golden monkey tracking is a trekking safari to see the irresistible golden monkeys in their natural habitat. This gives the traveler an opportunity to see the golden monkeys’ patterns of feeding, playing and much more. If you love primates, then golden monkey tracking is an absolute must do activity for you.
Characterized by a bright orange body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown and tail-end, golden monkeys are one of the most beautiful and rare species in the world. Unfortunately, their populations decline each year and they appear on the IUCN Red List of seriously endangered species.
The golden monkeys’ preferred habitat lies in the bamboo and forest zones. But their change in locations is purely determined by weather / seasonal changes.
On a social scale, the golden monkeys live in big numbers; a single group can have as many as 80 members. Golden monkeys mainly feed on fruits and bamboo and they do move from place to place in search of fresh food.
Due to their playful and stubborn nature, spending time with them is more fascinating though taking photos can be a bit tricky as they are always jumping over tree branches, even in the presence of visitors.
Uganda and Rwanda are some of the few countries in the world where one can see and do golden monkey tracking. In Rwanda, golden monkey tracking takes place in the Volcanoes National Park.
In Uganda, the beautiful golden monkey can be seen in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the only park where Gold meets silver (the only national park in Uganda where gorillas and golden monkeys co-exist). Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in South Western Uganda. And at just 33.7km2; it is the smallest park in the country.
Any traveler interested in golden monkey tracking must have a tracking permit.
In Uganda, a golden monkey tracking permit costs $100USD per person for foreign residents & non residents – ($60 Golden monkey permit + $40 park entry fees). East African residents pay 40,000 UGX per person (this covers both park entry and 1 golden monkey permit). A permit allows you only one hour with the golden monkeys.
In Rwanda, a golden monkey permit goes for $100USD.
However if you would love to spend more quality time to understand and learn more about golden monkeys, you can opt to do the Golden Monkey habituation experience. With Golden Monkey habituation, a visitor has a chance to view them for four hours, accompanied by researchers. This costs only $100USD per person (+$40USD park entry fees).
Please note the age limit for Golden Monkey tracking is 12 years. The activity is not as strenuous as gorilla trekking and takes a shorter time.
The activity starts with the visitors arriving at the Park Headquarters by 7:30 AM for orientation / pre-tracking briefing on the Dos and Don’ts of tracking. The actual tracking begins at 8:00 AM. Visitors spend only 1 hour with a golden monkey family. This time gives you opportunity to take photographs and observe their behavior. Time frame for whole activity is between 2 – 6 hours, depending on how active the golden monkey family has been on that day.
What will I need to pack for Golden Monkey tracking?
When going for a golden monkey trek, there is a list of essential items you will need to take along in order to have a memorable golden monkey experience:
• Waterproof hiking boots
• Long sleeve shirts
Backpack to carry your lunch and necessary documentation
Drinking water and snacks
A walking stick to help in hiking
Gorilla trekking – the park has been tagged as the place where gold (gorilla) meets silver (golden monkey).
Mountain Climbing – the park lies on the Northern slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes so there are several hiking trails – Mount Gahinga hike, Mount Sabinyo hike and Mount Muhavura (the guide)
Batwa trail – experience the ancient ways of the Batwa people who once lived in this forest and learn more about their ancient cultural norms
Birding: free birding along the edge of the park is available on request.
If you would like to participate in any of the activities listed, please do not hesitate to Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to set a customized itinerary just for you!
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