Golden Monkey Trekking – Mgahinga Gorilla Park in the Shadows of the Virunga Volcanoes
Mgahinga Gorilla Park is the only park in Uganda to Trek Golden Monkeys.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park –the small park with many activities also is the only park in Uganda where you can do Golden Monkey Trekking.
What are Golden Monkeys? Why should I trek them?
The Golden monkey Cercopithecus mitis kandti is one of Uganda’s 20 primate species. It is found in Mgahinga Gorilla National park, part of the Virunga Volcano Massive, made up of eight volcanoes, three of which are in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, where it is an endemic species only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. It is estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 golden monkeys remain, and no recent census has passed. They are classified as endangered species. Besides habitat reduction, they do not produce sufficient offspring for some odd and never explained reason.
The Golden Monkeys live in troops of about 100 and are led by an Alpha male. They primarily feed on bamboo shoots, various seasonal fruits, bamboo leaves, lichens, sprouts, flowers, and small invertebrates. They live in the Bamboo Forests, one of the six Afro-Montane zones on the Volcanoes, and it is the same area where Gorillas are trekked. Compared with other monkey species, the golden monkeys are beautiful and have bright-colored fur and long golden hair mixed with orange. Please do not confuse them with the Golden Monkeys found in China as some do. They are a different species.
They are not only beautiful but are a lot of fun as they flit all around you, over you in the trees having a great time. They are also noisy, chattering and screeching away as you are in their presence.
The Golden Monkey Trek Permit Price is currently $60 plus $40 park entrance fee. Golden Monkey trekking is less challenging than Gorilla Trekking. One reason is that they do not move to build new nests each day as do the great apes such as Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees.
Habituating the Golden monkeys is them getting used to humans without running away but going about their daily lives. The Golden Monkey Habituation allows you to be part of that process. The longer times will enable you to take more pictures and observe other primates, birds, and wildlife.
Golden Monkey Trekking is the ideal add-on to a Gorilla Trekking Safari that takes place in either Mgahinga Gorilla Park or the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Golden Monkey Trekking Wear and Gear:
Golden Monkey Trekking requires that you have the same gear as on a Gorilla Trek, and it is about protecting you from thorns, nettles, ants, and flies. At this elevation, you will not have Mosquitoes or Tsetse flies.
- Daypack: Preferably a waterproof daypack, you can use it as a carry-on flying to Uganda. Pack all essentials inside of the daypack.
- Hiking Boots: Make sure that they have good treads on them. You will need ankle support, something boots give you and give you reactions on muddy trails. Have a good pair of merino wool socks.
- Long Trouser: They will protect you from nettles and thorns. Tuck the trousers into your socks for added protection from ants.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt: Neutral in color. Again, this is for your comfort and protection.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho: Pack into your daypack. You never know when it will train. You are in an Afro-montane Rainforest.
- Tough Gardening Gloves: This is to protect your hands from thorns, nettles, and sharp branches.
- Wide Brimmed Hat: It gives you protection from the Sun.
- Camera Equipment – Binoculars: Ensure extra batteries and storage devices. Put them into Ziploc bags. Binoculars are not needed if you are not a birder.
- Bottled Water: You will need bottled water for your trek.
- Insect Repellent – Sun Lotion – Sunglasses: We recommend the effective Australian RID Insect Repellent. Good Sun blocker cream and sunglasses.
Combine Golden Monkey Trekking with Gorilla Trekking-Volcano Climbs-Hikes:
There are other activities that you can do here in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
- Gorilla Tracking: Tracking the Gentle Giants of the Forest is done on the sides of the Volcanoes. The same conditions you would find in Rwanda or DR Congo.
- Volcano Day Climbs: There are three Volcanoes that you can climb here. Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura or Muhavura, and Mount Sabinyo. You pass through six vegetation zones until you reach the summit, where you have breathtaking views. There are no overnight Volcano Climbs.
- Hikind Trails: There are several trails that you can hike. There is a very popular Sabinyo Gorge Trail in the shadows of Mount Sabinyo and the Border Trail along the border with DR Congo.
- See the Forest through the eyes of its first People: Take the Batwa Trail with some Batwa Elders and see how they lived in Forest before evicting and becoming Conservation Refugees.
- Mount Gahinga Lodge activities: The luxury Mount Gahinga Lodge is the perfect base for you to explore Mgahinga Gorilla Park. They also offer activities such as the Batwa Village walk, which that erected with funds from the lodge, the Batwa Heritage Trail, and a Caldera Walk, to name a few.
Contact us about Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.