Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda

golden monkey tracking rwanda

Golden monkey trekking or tracking in Rwanda which is done in Volcanoes National Park is an exciting adventure that offers an epic encounter with a rare and beautiful species of monkeys called “Golden Monkeys”. As the name suggests, the golden monkeys have a striking golden fur coat, and added to their sprightly character are quite lovely to watch and offer excellent photography. The golden monkey trek in Volcanoes National Park is overshadowed by the popular gorilla trekking adventure and is in most cases done as an add-on to the Rwanda gorilla tour in Volcanoes National Park.

The golden monkeys are endangered species and are unique to the Virunga mountains range which covers the Democractic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Rwanda and Uganda are the only two countries where visitors have the opportunity of trekking to see these beautiful monkeys up-close. The golden monkeys live in the bamboo forests and vegation at the base of the volcano mountains. The monkeys mostly feed on bamboo shoot, bambook branchlets and young bamboo leaves .

There are two habituated troops of golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park and the larger troop in Sabyinyo volcano with 80 – 100 members is the most visited.

golden monkey eating bamboo shoot

The golden monkey trekking permit costs USD100.

The age limit to do the golden monkeys trekking in Rwanda is a minimum of 12 years.

There is only one session in a day for the golden monkey trek and takes place in the morning like all other activities in the Volcanoes National Park. Visitors have to report to the Kinigi Park Headquarters (at 7am) where they will meet the park ranger guides for some briefing and then drive to the start of trek which is 15 minutes away at the edge of the park.

The monkeys will easily be found as they live at the bottom of the volcano mountains in the bamboo forest, and by following clues of fresh leftovers from eaten bamboo shoot and leaves the trackers are able to locate them in less than an hour. Visitors spend a maximum of one hour watching closely these incredibly beautiful monkeys as they skillfully pick bamboo shoots and young bamboo leaves why making huge leaps from tree to tree which is enabled by their extra long tails that provide great balance. The long tails can get trapped by the bamboo and cut off as you will see some monkeys with short tails. The monkeys spend a lot of time at the top of the bamboo, but also do climb along the tree to eye level and even move on ground. They are some of the least shy monkeys as you can get so close to within a meter. They are wonderful for photography and flash is permitted which is not allowed for other primate adventures  like gorilla trekking and chimp trekking in Rwanda. Apparently even these monkeys love camera flash. Sometimes the monkeys will venture out of the park into the open potate fields to eat the irish potatoes left behind after the harvest. The monkeys’ act of digging and cleaning the potato before eating is amazing to watch!

golden monkey eating potato

Physical fitness required for the Golden Monkey trek in Rwanda

The Golden Monkey trek is one of the least strenuous activities in Volcanoes National Park. The monkeys live at the bottom of the mountain range in the bamboo forest and terrain here is relatively flat and easy to trek. Basic fitness is therefore enough.

golden-monkey-trekking

What to bring for the Golden Monkey trek in Rwanda

Hiking shoes

Drinking water

Rain jacket

Camera, FLASH IS ALLOWED

Our tours with Rwanda Golden Monkeys tracking

2 days Rwanda golden monkeys tour

3 Days Rwanda Golden Monkeys and Gorilla trekking tour

4 days Rwanda golden monkeys and Uganda gorillas tour

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