what makes golden monkey trekking in uganda and rwanda unique
A tourist activity on gorilla safari packages is golden monkey trekking, or climbing into the Virunga mountains to observe golden monkeys in the wild bamboo forests of Uganda and Rwanda. Most visitors come to this area to see the mountain gorillas, but some take the time to go on an adventurous trip to observe golden monkeys in the Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks in the DRC, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, or the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. A little-known species of Old-World Monkey (Cercopithecidae), the golden monkey (Cercopithecus kandti) is only found in the highland bamboo forests around the Virunga Mountains in central Africa, which share borders with Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Only one other location has been identified for the golden monkey, and that is in northwest Rwanda's 34 km2 Gishwathi-Mukura National Park. Even though Nyungwe National Park in southwest Rwanda has also been mentioned, a presence there has never been verified. Only moist montane forests, primarily those with bamboo and bamboo-forested areas, are home to golden monkeys. This subspecies in the Virunga Mountains feeds 60% of the time on bamboo (Sinarundinaria alpina). They also consume fruits and leaves. At an altitude of 2,100–3,550 meters, they have an estimated home range of 250 hectares.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the golden monkey is currently threatened by the removal of trees and bamboo, clearing land for agriculture, the manufacturing of charcoal, and the grazing of cattle. The golden monkey has a hairy face with ombre bristles that resemble a bushy beard on its cheeks. White whiskers surround the mouth and nose, resembling a small goatee. It has downward-facing nostrils. It has deep brown eyes that are alert and almost owl-like. The term "golden" for the monkey refers to its reddish-gold back fur, which stands out against its black feet, legs, and tail. The coloration of females is somewhat paler than that of males.
A male golden monkey can grow to be 48–67 cm (19–26 in) tall and weigh anything from 4.5–12 kg (10–26 lb). Females weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 kg, which is substantially less than males (8–10 lb). The lifespan of a golden monkey is up to 19 years. Golden monkeys live in patriarchal societies with between 30 and 100 members. Females play a crucial part in preserving group cohesion and communication, even if males often take the lead and tend to stay. Guys occasionally stray and wander. The same eating and sleeping areas are maintained by groups. Due to their reputation as peaceful creatures, these adorable little primates are a great draw for golden monkey trekking excursions in their natural habitat. If you're traveling to Rwanda or Uganda,
What is the experience of trekking golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park?
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of just four places where visitors can observe golden monkeys and mountain gorillas up close in the wild. It is located in southwest Uganda, which protects the Ugandan portion of the Virunga Mountains. The only location in Uganda where you may observe golden monkeys is Mgahinga. Between 3164 and 5059 golden monkeys are thought to be living in Mgaihnga 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 macaques. The second group is set aside for study and the daily, four-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 7:00 a.m. 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 only 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 four hours 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.
What is the price for Golden Monkey Permits in Mgahinga?
You must reserve a golden monkey trekking permit, which costs $60 per person for foreign non-residents and locals and UGX 40,000 for East African residents, in order to participate in the daily guided tour to observe golden monkeys in Mgahinga. A 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 (UGX 20,000) per person for international residents, non-residents, and EA citizens, is not included in the permit. As 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. Nevertheless, we suggest guests make reservations with us in advance.
What is the experience of trekking golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park?
Adventures in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park are well known for their 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. Although 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 two groups of golden monkeys that live close to people; the largest has between 80 and 100 members. Visitors should be at the park headquarters at Kiningi by 7:00 a.m. for the briefing before the trek. Daily trekking trips depart from there at 8:00 a.m. 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. But, in order to avoid any disappointments, we advise paying for yours in advance.
How Golden Monkey Trekking is Compared with Gorilla Trekking
The search for golden monkeys resembles the search for mountain gorillas. The little primates typically stay in the same foraging zone and return to the same sleeping spot for days, making golden monkey trekking less difficult for tourists. Every evening, mountain gorillas create fresh nests in other places and forage away from their positions from the day before.
On the other side, the hour you spend with golden monkeys is more active than the hour you spend with relaxed mountain gorillas when you find the primates after an arbitrary amount of time tracking them (often 30 minutes to 2 hours). Inquisitive and cheeky like chimpanzees, golden monkeys are less hostile. The small primate may approach you closely and then leap into
Mountain gorillas typically spend hours in the same position, munching and clutching at nearby vegetation while grunting. Once they have consumed all of the nearby edible greens, they won't move. Occasionally, a young child will approach the visitors out of curiosity, but they will quickly get back in line after their father expresses his disapproval.
What is the best time to see golden monkeys in Uganda and Rwanda?
The ideal times to go on a trek to see golden monkeys are from June to August and December to January, when it is the driest. When it isn't raining, it could be more enjoyable to spend a priceless hour with the golden monkeys because the trails are easier to negotiate. Yet, Uganda and Rwanda are also at their busiest during the dry seasons; thus, the majority of upscale hotels are completely booked. Despite the fact that obtaining a golden monkey permit during the busiest months is not difficult, we strongly advise arranging your lodging in advance, especially from June to September.
The low seasons of March, April, May, October, and November are characterized by heavy rainfall. At this time of year, the routes are difficult and the forest is foggy. Nonetheless, resorts are unoccupied and have deals for intrepid travelers who don't mind the weather.