In East Africa, the golden monkeys can be trekked in the Virunga Mountains of Uganda and Rwanda. There are only about 5000 remaining golden monkeys in the whole world and these ancient monkeys are endemic to the Virunga Volcanoes Chain of Central Africa.
The golden monkeys are a rare primate species, but they have been given more attention by researchers and it’s believed to be the second sought for activity after Gorilla trekking.
Golden monkeys delivered their name from the long golden hair on their backs, and move around the bamboo forest like they are court jesters. They have been declared an endangered species and even protected but their number seems to be declining.
To see these ancient primates, you need to travel to either Uganda or Rwanda;
In Uganda, Golden Monkey trekking is conducted in the less known Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, an extension of the Virunga Region. In Rwanda, these monkeys are found in Volcanoes National Park within the northern part of the country. Elsewhere some monkeys are also protected in the Virunga National park of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Go Golden Monkey Tracking
In Mgahinga National Park, you can do normal Golden monkey trekking or Golden Monkey habituation to spend more time with them. A maximum of one hour is allowed to see Golden monkeys on normal trekking while four hours is given on Habituation Experience.
In comparison, Golden Monkey Trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda is much easier than Gorilla Trekking. They are attractive looking monkeys with color and they are playful and since they have been habituated, golden monkeys are used to humans and do not scamper off as you arrive.
They move rather quickly and you will need to set your camera on fast shutter speed and due to the bamboo forest on low light setting.
To meet Golden Monkeys in both Uganda and Rwanda, you move through the bamboo forests under the guidance of the rangers. The bamboo type of vegetation allows clear photography since it’s not dark like the tropical forest.