Golden monkeys in Rwanda are another attraction that guests on a Rwanda safari can engage in. The golden monkeys can be found in Rwanda and this is a trekking experience that will require guests to leave their comfortable Rwanda safari vehicles behind and enter the forest in search of this unique monkey species. The golden monkeys can only be trekked in the Virunga mountain region of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo.
The Golden monkey is a sub species of the Sykes monkey which is often called the blue monkey. The golden monkeys tend to live in big groups of up to 60 members and can be identified by their almost gold fur on their black bodies. The golden fur blends in with the black fur in their bodies which makes them very attractive. The golden monkeys are omnivores as they majorly feed on the plants and their parts like the shoots, roots, barks, wild fruits and some other times they feed on the small insects found on ground and on the trees.
Just like the other monkeys, the golden monkeys are quite playful and jumpy creatures and this means getting a clear photo may be a tough paper but you can try none the less. The golden monkey is an endangered animal species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) along with the mountain gorillas. There are about 5,000 individuals estimated to be remaining in the Virunga ranges.
The Virunga national park of Congo, the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and the Mgahinga gorilla national park are the only national parks where guests get to enjoy both these endangered species, the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys. The Virunga region however has a past traumatic history and some of these animals have been killed in the crossfires in the area.
- In Rwanda
The Golden monkeys in Rwanda can be trekked in the Volcanoes national park and this Volcanoes national park is also the home to the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas and it is located in the north western part of the country. The Volcanoes national park is located only a 2 hour and 30 minute drive from Kigali city, the capital city of Rwanda.
In the Volcanoes national park
The golden monkeys in Rwanda are quite a number but you can only visit the 2 golden monkey families that are habituated. The two groups differ as one in much bigger in number with about 100 individuals and this is the most visited one. The biggest and most visited golden monkey troops lives on the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanic mountains and this is the Mount Sabyinyo. Mount Sabyinyo is located on the intersection of the three countries Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo.
The golden monkey trekking permit in the Volcanoes national park goes for 100 USD per permit and this activity will require guests to be at the pre trekking briefing at 7 am held at the Kinigi park headquarters.
Once the briefing is done, you will enter the forest and search for about an hour until you meet these stunning creatures. This trek may take longer depending on how unpredictable the nature is. The great thing about this activity there is no age limit but you will need to have a valid COVID-19 test result done in the last 72 hours.
In the Gishwati Mukura forest
The Gishwati Mukura forest reserve/ national park is the newest and youngest addition to the national parks of Rwanda. This national park is comprised of two forests and these are the Gishwati forest and the Mukura forest combining to one park located in between the Volcanoes national park and the Nyungwe forest national park.
The golden monkey found in this part lives in the Gishwati Forest Reserve and this group is much smaller and is not yet open be visited by tourists but maybe in the future.
In the Nyungwe forest national park
The Nyungwe forest national park is the home of the Rwanda chimpanzees and a home to 12 other primate species which is a quarter of the total population of the primates of Africa. Among these primates of Nyungwe is a small group believed to be thriving but no trek is particularly organized by this park for the golden monkeys.
You may spot the golden monkeys on another primate trek in the park.