Golden Monkey Trekking
Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda
Golden monkeys are endangered and in Rwanda can only be found in the Virunga Mountains Range in Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkeys have easily identifiable yellow patches all over their bodies and are sometimes referred to as ‘the Old world monkey’.
One of the most distinctive features of Golden Monkeys which also separates them from other primates are their noses. Their nostrils actually face upwards as opposed to downwards...
Golden Monkey Trekking
There are two groups of habituated Golden Monkey families in Volcanoes National Park. The largest group of around 80 to 100 are normally found near Mount Sabinyo. Golden Monkeys are more active than the larger Mountain Gorillas, therefore you must be prepared to move quickly through the forrest to keep up with them when they are on the move. For this reason Golden Monkey Trekking is more similar to Chimpanzee Trekking. The length of time that you are allowed to spend with the Golden Monkeys is one hour, however there is no limit to the number of people who can do a golden monkey trek. This doesn't mean that the Golden Monkeys are out numbered or put in harms was as there is only normally a handful of tourists who participate in this activity. Unlike other primate trekking experiences there is no minimum age for a visit the Golden Monkeys although the terrain is pretty tough going so bear that in mind.
What to wear Golden Monkey Trekking
1. Shirts made of a material that dries quickly or wick away moisture.
2. A fleece layer for when you stop for a rest just in case you begin to cool down and for evenings as it can get quite chilly in Bwindi.
3. A third rain layer just in case rains. (a cheap poncho will do)
4. Long pants, also made of a synthetic material. The length of the pants are important as this will help with the combat stinging nettle plants and red ants.
5. Waterproof pants to wear on top of regular pants is optional
6. Boots that fit above the ankle are crucial as you might encounter ankle-deep mud at certain points, and even knee-deep mud that will attempt to suck the boots right off your feet!
7. Gaiters (are garments worn over the shoe and lower pants leg. They are worn over your boots that go up to the knee). These are optional and are based on personal preference as well as the type of boots and trousers you choose to wear.
8. Smart Wool socks
9. All clothing should be neutral coloured, loose-fitting and relaxed clothing.
10. Sunscreen and moisturising cream 11. Sunglasses with neck strap
12. Insect repellent with DEET, please note that DEET can affect man-made fibres and plastics.
13. Daypack / small rucksack
14. Bush hat with a brim for sun protection
15. Binoculars – Optional
The Dry season from mid-December – February and June – September is ideal because navigation through the thick vegetation that lines the steep slopes of Mgahinga and Bwindi is much easier.
Gorilla trekking can also be done in the wet season from March-May and October – mid-December but the journey is significantly harder and requires stronger resolve on the part of the trekkers.
Of course, the beautiful Ugandan weather dictates how it goes in the end, so it is not uncommon at all for heavy rain to fall on occasion, even in the dry season.
Only 160 permits in Bwindi each day, for a maximum of 8 trekkers per gorilla family
Trekking and Habituation Experience permits must be booked well in advance through a registered safari operator
To protect the gorillas, trekkers that are ill are not permitted on these experiences
Permits are not issued to anyone below 16yrs