The unique golden monkey can only be found in four national parks in the world these parks are found in Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda. Golden monkeys offer great opportunities of gorilla trekking experience; these primates are renowned for their unique striking color of black and orange patch on the flanks.
Golden monkeys mostly live in highland bamboo forests due to their diet their restricted to this habitat they mostly feed on fruits, leaves, bamboo trees, flowers, shrubs, bamboo shoot and many more. Golden monkeys are easily found while trekking as they do not build new nests daily like gorillas golden monkeys often stay in one place for a while.
In Uganda golden monkeys can be found in Mgahinga Gorilla national park with about 40000 golden monkeys habituated, golden monkeys live in social groups of 30 called troops dominated by an adult male, golden monkeys derive their name because of their body color. One of their unique feature is that they are very playful and move very fast.
Golden monkey trekking experience offers fascinating life time experience, tourists won’t only see golden monkeys but will always come across birds such as African hill babbler, regal sun birds, Olive wood pecker,
Unlike gorilla trekking which is limited to a maximum number of eight people, golden monkey trekking has no limitations many people on a given trekking day can go do this activity, the golden monkey permit mostly includes the park fees, spending one hour with the habituated group and ranger guide services.
Tourists can also combine their golden monkey experience by visiting the unique Batwa people, the Batwa people have depend on the forests for several years they live by hunting, collecting honey and gathering of fruits in the forests, they also depend on the forests for local medicine made from trees. While visiting the Batwa people, you will also get entertained by local traditional dancers who always do incredible performances at the Ngarama cave.
Golden monkey trekking starts with a briefing at the park headquarters at 7:00 am East African time and the trekking starts at 8:00am. The trekking time normally takes about an hour and golden monkeys are renowned for being photogenic in that they are not shy and you can have pictures with them close.
Golden monkey trekking permits can be booked in advance or just on that particular date as there is no limitation in the number of people trekking, the maximum age for golden monkey trekking is 12 years old though it’s not very strict compared to the gorilla trekking age limit.
Tourists can book accommodation near or within Mgahinga national park some of the lodges where to sleep include; Travelers rest hotel, chameleon hill lodge, Kisoro tourists hotel, Amajabere iwachu camp and Mount Gahinga safari lodge.
Golden monkeys are endemic to the Albertine rift in the virunga massif and it’s the only place in the world where you can have chances of seeing this beautiful creatures please come visit Uganda for this thrilling experience and more. There’s also a chance for those who would love to stay with monkeys for long they can opt for golden monkey habituation and stay with monkeys for four hours along side researchers.
It’s advisable that visitors going for golden monkey habituation must carry a day pack, wear long sleeved shirts, hiking boots, water, a hat and many other things you might need. The golden monkey trekking is a lot easier than gorilla trekking as the monkeys live on the mountain slope unlike gorillas.