Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda – The golden monkeys live at the bottom of the Volcanoes range in the bamboo forest. The golden monkeys are endemic to the Albertine region and are only found there. Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is one of the least difficult primate tracking experiences in Rwanda since the golden monkeys live at the lower slopes where the terrain is relatively flat and easy to hike. For those interested in primate adventures in Rwanda, golden monkey trekking is never disappointing when it comes to sightseeing experiences.
Golden Monkeys in Rwanda -The “Old world monkey,” also known as the “golden monkey,” is an endangered primate that is a subspecies of the common blue monkey. Golden monkeys can be identified by the yellow spots all over its body and their upward-facing nostrils.
Golden monkeys are among the primate species that you can see on your trip to Rwanda, especially if you visit Rwanda’s most famous and perhaps the most visited national park – Volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is famous for gorilla trekking safaris however on top of the Mountain gorillas, the National Park also habituates other primate species including the Golden Monkeys.
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. The National Park is surrounded by the spectacular misty peaks of the Virunga Mountains and dense montane forest.
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 in Volcanoes National Park involves hiking in the bamboo forest with well-trained ranger guides in search of the golden monkeys. The activity usually starts at 7:00 am with a mini briefing at the Park headquarters that involves the history of the park, important information about the Golden monkeys, and do’s and don’ts during the Golden monkey trekking.
Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park 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 and hence remain wild.
Golden monkey trekking price in Rwanda is much more affordable than you can imagine! Golden monkey tracking permits cost 100USD which is very cheap compared to chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda and gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
What to know about Golden Monkey tracking in Rwanda – What to pack for your golden monkey tracking safari
When planning a golden monkey tracking safari, it is important to note that flashes are not permitted on the cameras when shooting pictures since they scare the monkeys away.
For the hike, you must bring food or snacks and drink. Since there are no other stops where you can purchase food, it is suggested to bring your hotel breakfast or a few snacks to chew on as you go.
A rain jacket will also be necessary because the local weather is erratic. You will be protected from the strong rains thanks to this, especially in the morning.
Additionally, you’ll need to bring sturdy hiking boots that won’t slide on the slick terrain, a long-sleeved shirt to protect you in case of injury, a wide-brimmed hat to protect you from the sun, and bug repellant.