The spectacular golden monkey trekking in Rwanda national parks during your safari

Rwanda is relatively a small landlocked, hilly country in central Africa. It is located south of the equator and east of Lake Kivu one of the greatest lakes in Africa. It is boarded by Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, and Uganda. Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda mostly takes place in Volcanoes National Park which is found in the Virunga Mountains.

Volcanoes National Park lies in the northwestern part of Rwanda and it is a habitat for the beautiful and wonderful species known as Golden Monkeys. It is also home to five out of eight Virunga volcanic mountains covering an area of 160 square kilometers down in the bamboo and rainforest; it is also a habitat of threatened mountain gorillas harboring half of the total world’s gorilla population. Much as many travelers visit Volcanoes national park for gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking has gained fame over the past years. It is important that if you are planning a trip to Volcanoes add a second day on your itinerary instead of one. This is an opportunity for you to explore the primates of Africa and learn about the critically endangered mountain gorillas. A combination of two activities in a single African national park is a real gem.

Golden monkeys are critically endangered species

Golden monkeys are critically endangered primates, they are so unique to the Virunga massif range which covers Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda and Uganda are the only countries worldwide where visitors have an opportunity of trekking to see these golden monkeys. They dwell in the bamboo forests and vegetation of Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga National Park because Bamboo shoots are the main food for the Golden Monkeys. Over the past decades, primates species especially mountain gorillas and monkeys have faced quite a number of challenges and threats such as encroachment by human beings, destruction of their habitats, poaching, diseases such as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), and civil wars, to mention but a few. This is why the numbers were reduced to the extent that these primates were categorized as critically endangered species.

Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated troops of golden monkeys with the largest troop in Mt. Sabinyo which has a population of about 80 – 100 members and is the most visited.

How do I get a golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda?

A golden monkey trekking permit is a document that gives travelers permission to spend time with the golden monkeys in a given national park. – Volcanoes national park for the case of Rwanda.

For one to get an exclusive golden monkey trekking experience, he/she has to visit the Volcanoes national park. This comes with an everlasting safari experience. An affordable permit of only $100. Carry a backpack of other requirements like hiking shoes, a rain jacket, drinking water, long-sleeved shirts, long trouser, hut, and a well-charged camera.

How much is a golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda?

Rwanda’s golden monkey trekking permit costs $100 per foreigner for a single trek. A foreign resident in Rwanda pays $65, East Africans and Foreign residents $80, and Rwandan citizens pay RWF 4000.

How early should I book the permit in Rwanda?

Unlike gorilla trekking permits which are always on a higher demand, golden monkey trekking permits in Rwanda can be booked any time. However, any safari becomes the best when all the bookings are done on time. It is highly recommendable that you get your golden monkey trekking permit earlier and have the best safari experience in Rwanda.

Can I get a golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda on the last minute?

Yes, like earlier stated, getting yourself a golden monkey trekking permit on the last minute in Rwanda is a possible thing. Do not cancel your trip to Volcanoes national park simply because you forgot to book a golden monkey trekking permit. We highly recommend that you book your golden monkey trekking permit at least one week before your trip. This is best for those that intend to do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park as well. They get a chance of knowing the exact dates on which they will trek these monkeys.

Can my family trek golden monkeys in Rwanda?

Unlike gorilla trekking and habituation experiences where less than 10 people are allowed to follow a certain gorilla family, a maximum of 16 people can trek a golden monkey family. This implies that on a good day, you can trek a golden monkey group as a family as long as the numbers do not exceed 16 people.

Where do I buy golden monkey trekking permits in Rwanda?

Golden monkey trekking permits can be purchased directly from Rwanda Development Board Office found in Kigali city. Alternatively, you can get yourself one from IREMBO’s official website. The last and least strenuous method is booking the permit through your tour operator. Love Uganda Safaris and Tours can get you a golden monkey trekking permit and you do away with the logistics.

How is Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda done?

Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes national park begins at 7:00 am in the morning, just like gorilla trekking, one has to be present at Kiningi park headquarters early in the morning for briefing about the major points when trekking these rare and endangered primate species. During the briefing, you get to know the dos and don’ts of this fantastic safari activity.

After the briefing exercise, the team hits the path down to the interior of the forest where these amazing golden monkeys dwell; it is such an amazing and interesting adventure trekking these beautiful and rare primates with an unusual golden fur coat and their spiritual behavior feeding on Bamboo and staying on the lower slopes of the Volcanoes. They are such lovely and playful species.

Golden monkey trekking takes up to one hour of a memorable encounter with these creatures to enable the visitor to observe their behaviors and take photographs. In case one wishes to stay longer he may apply for golden monkey habituation which takes four hours.

Rwanda currently has two habituated golden monkey troops available for visitation by visitors who wish to stay for not more than four hours and want to get a long-lasting golden monkey experience, in this case, a group of not more than eight individuals is allowed to trek.

These creatures are fun to watch and active as they always entertain you as you crack your ribs; these species jump and fly from dense tree branches to another and a little bit of difficulty in capturing their photos. This leaves you with an everlasting memory in the future.

Do I have to be physically fit to trek golden monkeys in Rwanda?

Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda requires less physique since they stay on the lower slopes and most dwell within the less dense bamboo forests. Much as golden monkey trekking and gorilla trekking look alike, do not confuse the two. While gorilla trekkers go through thick and thin, hike the slippery trails of the park, golden monkey trekkers find the activity less strenuous.

A tour to Volcanoes National park doesn’t end with only meeting the golden monkeys, it also enables the tourist to see the diversity of other wildlife species such as mountain gorillas, and numerous bird species leaving you with a rare, delightful, and unforgettable experience that one has not to miss when in Africa.

Do Golden monkeys live in families?

Just like mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are social animals and thus live in families. However, the families of golden monkeys usually comprise larger numbers of family members ranging between 40 and 100 individuals per group.

Is golden monkey trekking in Rwanda worth the time?

Golden Monkey trekking

Like any other primate experiences, golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes national park is worth every traveler’s attention. It is important in a way that travelers get an opportunity to explore more than just a forest. Travelers get a chance of seeing multiple bird and animal species. The park is full of diverse wildlife species some of which are rift valley endemics while others are elusive species. Golden monkey trekking is an exercising safari activity that is not only important for your eyes but also your body wellness. It is an opportunity for you to get off your safari van. And walk through the forests of volcanoes national park.

Is golden monkey trekking in Rwanda the same as gorilla trekking?

Much as these two safari activities look alike, golden monkey trekking and gorilla trekking remain distinct. Gorilla trekking is all about following mountain gorillas and watching them closely as they play and make life. On the other hand, golden monkey trekking is all about following the golden monkeys.

The other distinction lies in the popularity of these two safari activities. However much golden monkey trekking in Rwanda has gained fame over the past years, mountain gorilla trekking remains an outstanding and more popular safari activity. In countries like Uganda, mountain gorilla trekking is one of the top tourist attractions. The beauty of Volcanoes national park is that there is an opportunity for you to do both gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking on a single safari.

How long does it take to reach the golden monkeys in Rwanda?

The time taken to see the golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park is not that specific since they are animals in their natural habitat. It may range from 30 minutes to about 2 hours. It all depends on the movement of the golden monkeys. Trekking these primates, trekkers start from where they spent the previous night. With the help of Rwanda’s experienced safari guides. Trekkers follow the primates through trails and their markings such as dung, leftovers, and sound. Seeing these primates also depends on how fast the trekkers can walk.  But generally speaking, golden monkey trekking is not an activity that takes long hours compared to gorilla trekking. This is why it is liked most by travelers who are in a rush. And it can easily be combined with other safari activities like birding. It can even be added on transfer from one park to another safari destination.

 What is the best time to go golden monkey trekking in Rwanda?

Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (the Virunga massif) are open destinations all year round unless otherwise. This implies that golden monkey trekking is an activity that can be done throughout the year. While some travelers enjoy trekking during the rainy seasons, others love dry seasons.

However, the rainy seasons are good for trekkers who are physically fit and can thrive on slippery trekking trails. In the rainy seasons, golden monkeys tend not to move. This is because they have abundant food. on the other hand, during the dry seasons, gorillas move a lot to distant areas as they search for food. The trails are always muddy compared to the dry season. The forests tend to be thicker during the wet seasons. This is why the dry season is always the best time for golden monkey trekking in Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC. Each year has two rainy and dry seasons. March to May and from October to November, as well as July – October and December to February respectively.

What to wear on a golden monkey trekking safari in Rwanda

With the ever-changing weather conditions of the tropical rainforest, where the golden monkeys are found. It is necessary for gorilla trekkers to prepare for all weather changes while in the forest. Whether it rains, or in the scorching sun, the trekking experience should be enhanced and made easy.

The comfort and flexibility of the trekking gear when trekking the golden monkeys make the gorilla experience memorable and fun. As the golden monkeys are reached with much ease.

What to wear for golden monkey trekking is very important. However, there are also items to bring along after wearing the appropriate gear. Below are a few;

  • Hiking shoes,
  • A rain jacket,
  • Drinking water,
  • Long-sleeved shirts,
  • Long trouser,
  • Hut,
  • A well-charged camera.

Rwanda offers some of the best safari activities in Africa. One of them is golden monkey trekking in volcanoes national park. It is one of the activities that can easily be combined with other safari activities. Book yourself a golden monkey trekking permit Now.  Enjoy an ultimate primate safari in Rwanda – the Land of a thousand hills.

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