The golden monkey species belong to the ole world monkeys that reside in the Virunga volcanic region of East and Central Africa, the Golden Monkey belongs to the family with botanical name (Cercopithecus Kandit). In Rwanda, the Golden monkeys specifically occupy the North-western part in Volcanoes National park, while in Uganda; they occupy the south west in Mgahinga National park. In deed one can agree that it’s restrained to boundaries of highland forests, it is also significant to note that the Golden monkey is red-marked on the “list of seriously endangered species” (IUCN RED-LIST). Rwanda has but two troops of Golden monkeys, one batch rises up to 100 members while the other one, constitutes of fewer members. The first group rests upon the foot of the alluring Mount Sabyinyo.

Habitat

The Golden monkey’s preferred habitat abounds in bamboo and forest zones, and their movement or shift in location depends on the prevailing season and climatic changes. When the ripening season is on (usually the Dry season), these primates stay still in a particular area of occupancy, similarly when the rainy seasons that promote germination and shooting of bamboo begins, the Golden monkeys are prompted to interminably stay in those areas or change to better locations if conditions worsen. Thus an area with a multitudinous combination of both can maintain a dense population of the Golden monkeys than any area with just simple bamboo plantation(s). So a forest with bamboo is a solemn residence for the Golden monkeys, as well as, their love to travel in factions of several sizes, for instance lesser groups can constitute up to three members while bigger groups can comprise of about sixty two members. Actually as you climb the mountains, you encounter even more minute groups. They shelter and slumber atop in the bamboo trees, and their feeding is usually done next to their shelters.

Social Behavior

Golden monkeys live in big numbers where by a group has a range of 60-80 members. The activity was introduced in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to complement on the Nyakagyezi gorilla family in the national park. Endemic to the Albertine Rift, the golden monkey is characterized as a bright orange-gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end. The main purpose was to diversify tourism in Mgahinga gorilla national park and increase the number of travelers to and tourism activities offered in the national park.

This ensures travelers with a high opportunity to see the golden monkeys on how they feed, play and many more.  They keep moving from one place to another in search for the fresh foods. They leave their sleeping areas and go in the jungle searching for food then later, they return to sleep. They highly concentrate and stay in areas with mixed bamboo and fruits. Golden monkeys sleep up in the bamboo trees in groups of four or more individuals.

Golden monkeys are so playful and stubborn in that they keep jumping crossing over tree branches even in presence of travelers. Their playful lifestyle makes spending time with them so interesting for travelers who take part in the activity. This means that travelers should keep a distance from the wild species, they can behave wildly at any time.

 

Food & Diet

Golden monkeys mainly feed on fruits and bamboo. The Golden monkeys specialize in consuming delicacies that primarily constitute of youthful bamboo leaves, forest fruits, bamboo branchlets, shoots shrubs, flowers and invertebrates. its dietary patterns is shaped by the prevailing seasons as well; for instance dry season is characterized with fruit ripening implying that these primates shall entirely relish on fruits and vice versa, when the rainy seasons begin they feed on young leaves and buds. The feeding on edible flowers and shrubs is frequented just when they are plenty and available, because this particular type of monkey species is greatly endangered and serious legal action is being implemented to effect its survival even with the presence of seemingly serious stumbling blocks.

A trekking safari to see the irresistible golden monkeys is yet another absolute highlight and so rich in experience, a Golden monkey trek is usually better in the mornings and visitors are granted chance to last with the monkeys for about an hour. A Golden monkey permit is charged Us-Dollars 100 per tourist per trek (as in 2017) both in Uganda and Rwanda, and only done in Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park respectively. These permits are either collocated beforehand or even availed at the park’s headquarters; interested tourists can reach out to different tour operators for inquiries and booking process.

Would You like to See Golden Monkeys

For anyone to participate in Golden monkey trekking, a permit has to be purchased just like for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. The permit can be received from the national park head offices in Kisoro district. This activity is carried out only in Mgahinga National Park and a maximum of six people are allowed to interact with the golden monkeys in the wilderness.