Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda – Primate Safaris to Rwanda offers more than thrilling jungle moments. The golden monkeys are endemic to the Albertine region and only found there. The “Old world monkey,” also known as the “golden monkey,” is an endangered primate that is a subspecies of the common blue monkeys. Golden monkeys can be identified by the yellow spots all over its body and its upward-facing nostrils.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is done at Volcanoes National Park, which spans 160 square kilometers and is located in Northwestern Rwanda, two hours from the country’s capital Kigali, is surrounded by the spectacular misty peaks of the Virunga Mountains and dense montane forest.
The DR Congo’s Virunga National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are both bordered by Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight volcanoes that can be found in the Virunga Mountains. This National Park thrives in four (4) breathtaking vegetation zones, including bamboo forests (also known as base altitude), hegenia and hypericum forests (located between 2600 and 3000 meters above sea level), subalpine vegetation (found between 3300 and 4000 meters), and afro-alpine vegetation (found at a height of 4,000 meters).
Golden monkeys live in the lowland bamboo zone hence they are easy to track compared to mountain gorillas. They are really fascinating as they constantly swing through the bamboo or chase one other around you. These quick-moving small creatures live in social groups of up to 100 individuals. They primarily eat fruits, bamboo trees, and occasionally small insects. The monkeys typically leave their home to search for fruits and bamboo shoots before spending the night on giant bamboo branches to protect themselves from predators. In Volcanoes National Park, there are two habituated tribes of golden monkeys, with the bigger troop in Sabyinyo volcano having 80 to 100 members.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda – Golden monkey trekking starts at 7:00 am with a mini briefing at the Park headquarters that involves history of the park, important information about the Golden monkeys, and do’s and don’ts during Golden monkey trekking. Golden monkey trekking can last for a short period of 1 hour because they are easy to trek. A small group of no more than eight people does it. Since they are frequently on the move, hopping from tree to tree with their long tails, you will frequently need to follow the monkeys once you have located them. They are extremely challenging to photograph because of this.
Other places in Rwanda where Golden monkeys can be sighted are Nyungwe Forest National Park and Gishwati Mukura National Park however the Golden monkeys are few in number and are not habituated hence remain wild.
Requirements for Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda.