Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga National Park

Golden monkeys in Mgahinga gorilla national park are one of the key attractions in the park which attract quite a number of travellers. Mgahinga gorilla national park is the only protected area in Uganda that inhabits Golden Monkey. These are part of the numerous primate species that are recorded in Uganda. They are endangered and rare species that can only be spotted in Mgahinga. There are around 3000 to 4000 golden monkeys found in Mgahinga Gorilla park according to the 2003 Golden monkey Survey that was conducted at the park. Their unique habitant behaviour makes the golden monkeys rare and spotted in only along the Virunga Conservation Area that includes Mgahinga Gorilla park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga

Golden monkey in Uganda constitutes one of the 20 primate species that are found in Uganda. Its scientific name is called Cercopithecus Kandti, they are also famous as the world’s oldest monkey. The Golden monkeys are completely unique and easily identified from the rest of the monkey species with their Yellow patches found across the body and cheeky golden face. The other difference between Golden monkey and other monkey species is the nostrils which are close to each other and face upwards compared to other monkey species whose nostrils are pointed aside.

Mgahinga Gorilla park is characterised by Afro-montane tropical rainforest that is dominated by the Bamboo forest, some Montane belt and Alpine vegetation. This is the great home of happy Golden monkeys which don’t leave in any other forested areas if not bamboo forested. The colour of the bamboo forests makes is comfortable for the golden monkey to stay at Mgahinga. The Golden monkey are social primates that leave in groups or families that can constitute of 30 to 60 golden Monkey individuals. Golden monkeys can only be viewed in 3 Countries in the entire world those are Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. Upon all the three its only Uganda and Rwanda that are the best destinations for Golden Monkey tracking. Uganda has fully habituated some families of Golden monkeys that can be accessed by tourists. Golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla park is done in two shifts those are morning hours and afternoon hours with a group of 6 to 8 travellers per family of the golden monkey.

Golden monkey tracking permits

Like other primates for example Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden monkey tracking are charged a fee. One has to book the Golden tracking permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority in advance. You can also get your golden tracking permit from the park headquarters in Kisoro and Ntebeko. Alternatively if booking you Uganda Golden tracking package with a local tour operator then the reputable operators charge all-inclusive fees which includes the Golden Monkey tracking permits. The Golden Monkey tracking permit fee is currently at 50$ for Foreigners, 20,000 UGX for East Africans. By next year the Golden monkey tracking will be 60$ for Foreigners, 40,000UGX for East Africans. The golden tracking experience lasts for 4 hours daily for the travellers. Uganda has more unique experience of Golden Monkey Habituation experience where guests can enjoy full day Golden Monkey experience. The Golden habituation permits are at a fee of 100$ for all foreigners and 100,000 UGX for East African residence.  

Golden monkey in Mgahinga Gorilla park is unique and exciting, less exhausting compared to other primates like Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees who are ever mobile and shifting from one destination to another. They nest mobile day today no nesting in the same place for more days. For Golden monkeys, it is different and they remain on the same point always hence making it easy to get them. The nature of the bamboo forest being light makes it easy for the tourists to get more good and clear pictures from the forest compared to Bwindi impenetrable forest.

Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga
Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga

The multi-coloured Golden Monkeys makes them more attractive that includes the golden hair, black limbs and toes and the legs, orange mixed along with the golden shiny colours. Golden monkey in Mgahinga tracking starts with a briefing at 7:30 am then entering to the Forest at 8:00 am lasting for 4 hours. Mgahinga is the only park in Uganda where Mountain Gorillas are found together with golden monkeys. This is good news for many and may ask is it possible to kill two birds using one stone that is doing and Golden monkey in one track. It is impossible these two primates move in different directions hence making it easy for rangers to direct the tourists for the Gorilla tracking their own way and for Golden monkey their own way. Besides the rangers communicate with a forward team that goes early to locate where both primates are found hence direction guide from the leadership team makes the routing separate.

Golden Monkey tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla park is one of the primates highlighted activities that can be done in Uganda and neighbouring Rwanda and Congo. Golden monkeys give travellers enough time to enjoy taking pictures as they like posing for the camera especially habituated Golden Monkeys. Golden Monkey tracking in Mgahinga can be combined with other activities near or inside the park like: 

  • Mountain Gorilla tracking, Mgahinga gorilla park has one large Gorilla family in Uganda. This is one of the two national parks in Uganda where Gorilla tracking is done. You need to book your Gorilla permits in advance since the park has only 8 Gorilla permits sold per day.
  • Birding, Mgahinga Gorilla park has over 180 bird species these include both forested bird species and other plain bird species. Some listed birds include Regal Sunbird, Dusky Crimsonwing, Blue-headed sunbird, Dusky turtle dove, Rwenzori nightjar and many more.
  • Hiking to Mt Gahinga, do you like hiking as combined experience to Golden monkey and mountain Gorilla experience. This is unique and a great deal for travellers who want to kill more birds using one stone.
  •  Batwa cultural walk and many more activities. 

Parking list for golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga

  • Good waterproof hiking boosts
  • Good camera with lense
  • Rain jackets 
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hats
  • You should carry enough water while going for Golden Monkey tracking since the activity is not all that predictable since the monkeys can move. 

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