Golden Monkeys are some of the most beautiful and attractive primates that you can see while on safari in Rwanda. These ancient monkeys are among the rare creatures that cannot easily be seen elsewhere. Covered with thick golden fur, these primates are endemic to the Virunga Forests and can be seen in only two locations in the world; Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda. Meeting these ancient apes on a safari through Central Africa is such a rewarding and memorable adventure!
Golden monkeys are found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the most popular place where to see the mountain gorillas. The Golden Monkeys are scientifically known as Cercopithecus mitis kandti. They are subspecies of the blue monkeys (Sykes’ monkey or Diademed monkey). They are endemic and live in the Bamboo forest towards the foot of the mountain in volcanoes national park 2500m to 3200m above sea level. They feed on bamboo shoot and a male golden monkey between 4.5 and 12 Kgs and the females weigh from 3.5 to 4.5 Kgs.
Golden monkey tracking supplements a your primate safari in Rwanda through the Volcanoes National Park and presently there are two habituated golden monkey groups open for tourist visitation. Each of the two groups has around 80 members and one of the groups has its residence at the base of Mount Sabyinyo. The habituation was meant to make them used to the presence of humans especially tourists and researchers.
Just like gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking requires securing a permit. Visitors who travel to see golden monkeys are required to buy permits which allow them to access and spend an hour with these amazing creatures. Golden monkey are quite cheap compared to gorilla tracking costing 100$. Permits can be secured from Rwanda development board or through and arrangement with a trusted tour operator.
Golden monkey tracking is done in the morning sessions with in volcanoes national park. Visitors report to at the visitors by 7 am for briefing before embarking on the experience. Golden tracking is open to any number available to track unlike gorilla trekking which takes only 8 people and these golden monkeys live in troops of over 60 individuals.
The golden monkeys are interesting to watch as they move up from tree to tree bad sometimes go into the garden and harvest the fruits and food for themselves.
What to pack for golden monkey tracking
Good Hiking shoes, rain jacket and drinking water not forgetting a camera to capture good memories.