Golden Monkey Tracking In Rwanda

There are many places where one can explore primates in their natural homes around the world, but if your primate experience is to be in Africa, the East African Region has plenty of opportunities that include meeting the beautiful golden monkeys. Most come for chimpanzees and mountain gorillas but golden monkeys go unnoticed. In Rwanda, Golden monkey tracking is one of the rewarding treks to engage in.

Golden monkeys are found in 3 countries in the whole world and that is Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. To get a glimpse of these adorable monkey faces in Rwanda, you have to walk in the protected terrain of Volcanoes National park. There are about 5000 individuals golden monkeys remaining in the world. A lot including poaching and habitat loss due to encroaching are a threat to their numbers.

Golden monkeys are known for their long golden hair along their backside, their eyes, and orange. They are small in size compared to their counterparts (Mountain gorillas) and this is one of the reasons why they receive less attention, but they are worth including in a primate tour through Rwanda. It is tough to gain travelers’ attention if you are a monkey living in the shadows of Mountain gorillas. No matter how playful you become you may not have a much bigger fan base. But the multi-colors, eyes, fiery oranges of the golden monkeys make them amazing.

At Volcanoes National Park, two troops are habituated and open to visitors interested in encountering these beautiful primates. The Sabinyo troop is frequently visited and it has numbers of about 80 to 100. For an entertaining and such an attractive animal to be ignored is such a miss. Well, they also choose to have their home high in the volcanic forest of Volcanoes national park and it takes a couple of hours for those who decide to go them matching up and down in the jungle to have a glimpse at them.

 Just like gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking starts at the park headquarters at Kinigi in the morning (7:00 am) and tourists are allowed an hour with the monkeys when they get to them. The advance team goes ahead to locate the troop before you set off from the park headquarters. Golden monkeys are small and leave behind little evidence as they move, unlike gorillas that leave nests and dung. They are located by fresh leftovers of the bamboo they fed on. Their location and the weather determine each tracking day and therefore the time is taken to track each day differs.

Golden monkeys are much playful and much more active than gorillas. If you want to have evidence of them in a picture, you will need your camera in fast shutter shot speed and also stay alert.

A permit for golden monkey tracking in Rwanda is currently at 100USD. Unlike Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking, there is no age limit to who can track golden monkeys, therefore if you are traveling with children it is possible to take them along through the walk may be a bit difficult for them.

Golden monkey tracking can be combined with gorilla tracking and it is one of the best ways to spend another day in Rwanda if you are there for primate business.