Golden Monkey Tracking in Volcanoes National Park
Among the 13 primate species in Rwanda, Golden monkeys are also among the primate species that can only be seen in the Virunga volcanoes. Volcanoes National Park which is part of the Virunga conservation area has a number of golden monkeys that live in groups between 30 and more.
Golden monkeys just as their name sounds are covered with fur, which is golden in color and this makes them very attractive and interesting to look at.
Their best habitat is the bamboo forests and vegetation at the base of the Volcano Mountains that’s why most of these monkeys feed on the bamboo shoots and other vegetation.
There are two habituated troops of golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park that are available to different tourists. This larger troop is in the Sabyinyo volcano with 80 – 100 members. This is the most toured.
To have an ideal experience with golden monkeys in Rwanda, You need to be at the briefing center in Volcanoes National Park by 7;00 am for a short briefing the way you do if you are to track mountain gorillas and you will find that the trekking rules are similar. Remember golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes is done once a day and begins in the early morning.
Golden monkeys in Rwanda are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph! But keep in mind that the duration to see this is just 1 hour. You will actually spot them before the field guide directs you where they are. Not like gorillas again!
Golden Monkey Tracking Permit
Every tourist interested in seeing the Golden Monkeys in Rwanda must have a Golden Monkey Tracking permit which costs the US $100 per permit. Permits are bought from Rwanda Development Board. The cost of a golden monkey permit involves park entry fees, ranger fee, and government taxes. You are therefore advised to book your golden monkey tracking permit early enough to avoid disappointments on the trekking day.
Normally the time to spend in the jungle is not static while on a golden monkey trek. It can range from 45 minutes to many hours depending on the speed of movement of the monkeys. These do not move too high like the mountain gorillas.
Do not worry, while on the Golden Monkey Trek, the terrain is slightly flat and so easy to hike. It only needs basic fitness to hike to see these great creatures though the monkeys live at the bottom of the mountain range in the bamboo forest.
You need to have hiking shoes, a rain jacket, drinking water, a camera with a flash and also to be fit health-wise.
Enjoy your golden monkey trek in the Volcanoes National Park.