Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda.
What do you know about golden monkey trekking?
Rwanda is indeed a beautiful country hence a nickname ‘’the land of a thousand hills’’. Not only does it shelter mountain gorillas, but also golden monkeys can be trekked in Rwanda.
The country is blessed with rain forested vegetation and cool weather that favour multiplication of these monkeys. Golden monkeys can only be found in four national parks in Africa and the world at large; these are Mgahinga NP in Uganda, Volcanoes National park in Rwanda, Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega both in D. R. Congo.
Golden monkeys in the family of primates, are known to have distinctive features and are a rare species that are endangered at the moment and are currently found on the lower slopes of Virunga massif in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo. They are easy to be identified because of the yellow – golden colour that can be vividly seen on their flanks. There is a district feature about the golden monkeys; most of the monkeys have their nostrils pointing to the sides but for the golden monkeys, they have their nostrils facing upwards.
Only two habituated troops of golden monkeys can be found in Volcanoes national park and the larger troop in Sabyinyo with a population of over 80members hence being the most visited or trekked. Golden monkeys can also be found in the newly established Gishwati Forest Reserve. You should note that some of them are believed to living in the Nyungwe Forest National park. However, tracking is not organized for trekkers in these conservation areas. This means that the troop here remain wild because they are not habituated.
One of the most distinctive features of Golden Monkeys which separates them from other primates is their noses which tend to face upwards rather than downwards like other monkeys. The golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda costs USD100. Trekking these golden monkeys requires a person to be above the age of 12 years.
Trekking golden monkeys is done in the morning and its only one session per day as other activities are done in the park. The activity starts with a briefing at Kinigi park headquarters at around 07:00hours and visitors are advised to report for that session.
These monkeys can easily be found as they live at the bottom of Volcano Mountains in the bamboo forest, and by following clues of fresh leftovers from an eaten bamboo shoot and leaves, trackers can locate them in less than an hour. On locating them, trekkers are given an hour as they observe their movements from a tree to another which is enabled by their extra-long tails that provide a great balance.
You will observe that some have short tails and this is because, the long tails get trapped from bamboos and they are cut off. Most of their time is spent at the top of the bamboo, but they climb along the tree for a good sight and even move on the ground.
Some of them tend to be shy as you try to get close to them while taking photos and the good chance is they enjoy flash cameras which are not in other primates like the chimpanzees. Even these monkeys love camera flash. Once in a while they come out of the parks and can be spotted eating potatoes in the neighbouring gardens.
Best time to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda.
Trekking these golden monkeys can be done all year round but it is advised to only be done during dry season during the months of December to February, and June to October. This makes the paths passable and drier. Also good time and weather for photography.
Book with us a Rwanda safari for a great memory of golden monkey trekking experience.