Golden Monkey Tracking in Volcanoes National Park
The golden monkey is a species of monkeys found in the Virunga Massif region of central and Eastern Africa including four lightly protected areas of Mgahinga gorilla national park in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes national park, in north-western Rwanda, Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The golden monkey is restricted to the highland forest, especially near the bamboo Zone, this species was previously thought to be a subspecies of the blue monkey and the two are similar overall, but the golden monkey has a golden-orange patch on the upper flanks and back.
Not much is known about the golden monkey’s behaviour. They live in a social group of up to 30 individuals or more. Its diet consists mainly of bamboo, leaves and fruit, though it is also thought to eat insects.
Due to the gradual destruction of their habitat and recent political instabilities affecting the Virunga Massif they are being left with a very small habitat and this has forced them to be listed in the IUCN list of endangered species making them globally threatened.
How and where does Golden monkey tracking take place in volcanoes national park?
Golden monkey tracking takes in the foothills of volcanoes national park in the bamboo zone and travellers wanting to trek the golden monkeys must report to the park headquarters in Kinigi with Valid golden monkey tracking permits before going through a registration process and meeting their guides for the day who will take them through a briefing before driving to the start point for golden monkey tracking which is about 30 minutes from the park headquarters towards the Karisimbi and Sabyinyo Volcanoes.
Unlike gorilla tracking where a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek a particular family of gorillas, the golden monkey and chimpanzee tracking has made it hard to deal with due to the social life of the primates that live in large social groups, unlike the gorillas that are territorial in nature so however the number of people is currently not restricted but minimized.
Booking and price golden monkey permits
It’s important to note that golden monkey permits must be booked in advance to avoid disappointments as last minute may not be easy but can be possible but payments will be made through a cashless method that means using credit card or banking currently golden monkey trekking permits cost USD 100 per person per trek.
What to pack before the Golden Monkey Tracking Experience?
Being an activity contacted in the tropical rain forest it’s important to note that prior preparation is at most needed, clients must ensure they have hiking boots, Long stockings, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, a hut or a cap that comes handy with full charged cameras, drinking water, rain jackets, snacks walking stick and at the starting point there are usually porters available for hire to help you carry your bag and give you a push and a pull where the terrain is a steep or deep valley.
How long do you stay with the Golden monkeys?
Like Gorilla Tracking, the Golden Monkey visit is a one-hour activity. Once you have found the Golden monkeys, you will be allowed just one hour to observe their behaviour, take photographs and then return back to your lodge.
When is the best time to trek Golden Monkeys?
The golden monkey is pretty good all year round, but during the rainy season, it can be difficult to see the golden monkeys as their movements are largely determinant by the availability of food so the best time is during the dry seasons from December to late February and from mid- May to early September.
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