These magnificent primates in East Africa can only be found in the Virunga regions and that is in Rwanda and Uganda. In Rwanda, they are found in the Volcanoes National Park while in Rwanda and Uganda they are found in Mgahinga National Park.
Golden monkey tracking activity is an activity that is in more ways similar to Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking as one is required to track them on foot. Golden monkeys are lively and as such, they are always on the more hence someone doing the trek has to put in some effort as they are always on the move. They are small and move fast through the bamboo shoot as they rummage to look for food, they mostly feed on bamboo shoots.
Golden monkeys live in large communities of about 30 members and like to roam over large areas/territories as they search for food through the forests and this is what makes it better in terms of viewing compared to other primates and hence the chances of seeing these primates is very high.
How to book a Golden Monkey trek.
To see these majestic primates, one must acquire a permit through a travel agency and Engagi Safaris will book this for you. We will require to give us the exact dates on when you want to do this activity and our skilled and experienced agent will help you book. With Rwanda, the Golden monkey permit costs USD100.00 per person per trek while in Uganda the Golden Monkey permit costs USD60.00 per person per trek but don’t forget to pay park entrance fees of USD40.00 so all to say USD90.00 per person per trek.
To make the experience more, there is Golden monkey habituation experience in Uganda that will allow you to have more time with the Golden monkeys, this experience will allow you to spend at list 4 hours with the Golden monkeys in the company of Uganda Wildlife Authority research team. These golden monkeys are in the process of getting used to being around people and they are more elusive but being that you have 4 hours. The Golden Monkey Habituation permit costs USD 100.00 excluding perk entry fees. Contact us to book this tour.
Preparation for Golden Monkey tracking.
Golden monkey tracking starts early morning with clients driven to the starting point (Park headquarters) where briefing takes place at 7:00 am in the morning then you are registered and taken through the does and don’ts of the trek. The activity may take from a minimum of 2 hours to several hours depending on how near they are from where they nested the previous night and where you started from the trek.
While for the habituation experience you will be required to be at the headquarters at 6:00 am and start the trek, you need to be there early to see them wake up and start to follow them as they more for the next 4 hours.
Suggested Items to pack for golden monkey trekking
- Torch/Flashlight – and Spare Batteries
- Wet Wipes
- Water Bottle
- Camera, lenses, etc
- Comfortable walking /hiking boots & socks
- Gardening gloves for gorilla tracking
- Sandals/strops/walking shoes
- Hat & Sunscreen
- Rain Jacket
- Binoculars (game/bird watching)
How to get to there (Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park)
To Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road as well as air. If driving from Kampala/Entebbe International Airport, the drive takes from 8 to 10 hours to reach the park. The journey will give you an opportunity to stop at the equator crossing for photos and breakfast, you will proceed to Mbarara town with chances of meeting the Hima grazing their Ankole Long-horned cattle. Lunches are normally served in Mbarara town before proceeding to Mgahinga National Park arriving late in the evening.
It is also possible to access Mgahinga from Kigali Rwanda. One can fly into Kigali International Airport and drive to Mgahinga National Park via the Chanika border. The drive from Kigali International Airport to the Chanika border is about 2-3 hours’ drive followed by a one hour drive to Mgahinga National Park.
Those interested in flying to Mgahinga National Park, both Scheduled and charter flights are available from Entebbe International Airport or Kajansi Airstrip to Kisoro Airstrip. Engagi Safaris organizes internal flights to all those interested in visiting or planning a safari to Mgahinga National Park.
To Volcanoes National Park.
The park can be accessed from Rwanda in Kigali with a 2 to 3 hours drive and stops along the way at the genocide memorial of Kigali then to the park to your hotel that Engagi Safaris team will book for you.
Alternatively, if you are doing a trip in Uganda you can connect through the border of Chanika or Katuna depending on where you are either Kisoro or Kable.
Other optional activities.
The two parks are described as ‘’the only place where Gold meets Silver’’ meaning it’s the only place where Golden Monkeys Co-exist with Gorillas, anyone doing a tour can still spend an extra night and do a gorilla tracking safari which costs USD700.00 per person per trek (Mgahinga National Park) or $1500 (Volcanoes National Park). Gorilla tracking like Golden Monkey tracking you are availed with one hour with the Gorillas once you meet them. This also requires you to pre-book the permit in advance as these are based on first come first served. With dates required to be given in advance so that we can check availability and book for you. While in Rwanda in the volcanoes national Park, there is Gorilla tracking as well and the permit here is at USD1500.00 per person per trek and also requires you to pre-book in advance.
Famous one in Rwanda Volcanoes National park is the Iby’wachu cultural village which is located in the area of Musanze near Kinigi, a community project that was started to enrich the lives of the would-be poachers of the Gorillas and Golden Monkeys and the communities around the park, it’s one of the famous activities other than Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. During the walk, you get to experience and spend time to see the economic and social aspects of how life is for a local Rwandese.
Whereas Iby’wachu cultural experience is famous in Rwanda, in Uganda Mgahinga National Park we have the Batwa community experience also commonly known as the Pygmies known to formerly have been inhabiting Bwindi forest as their home but when the park was gazetted as a national Heritage they had to move out and adapt to life outside the forest which at first was very hard for them and with this project it was started so that they can make livelihood without relying on the forest to provide. They were formally hunters and fruit gathers. This gives you the opportunity to meet Batwa elders and their families and learn about their daily lives. The chance to enjoy their dance, the cuisine they enjoy, their burial rites and celebrations. The activity comes at a fee that is paid back to the community to provide for the services.
Have an opportunity to follow the trails in the park while hiking could be in search of other primates or just for botany, the activity takes you on a provided trail which is very fruitful and just is open-minded. These three to four hour guided hikes provide a leisurely opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest and learn about the many animal and plant species that you will come across while on the tour.
Why Engagi safaris
Engagi safaris is one of Uganda’s premier Tour Operator specializing in tours to all East African Countries. Engagi safaris has been operating in these destinations for over 10 years and we are highly reviewed on Safari bookings and Trip advisor.