Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda: Prices/fees, Permit costs, Best time to book and more tracking guide
Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda is one of the best tour activities one can book on a trip to this East Africa country. For the last 5 years, tracking these primates in Volcanoes national park has been on every tourists travel safari plan and currently, we register a high increase in the number of visitors that want to do this adventure. Although some primate lovers prefer combining golden monkey trekking in Rwanda with gorilla tracking, its always rewarding even when you do one activity because you get to spend more time with the monkeys in their natural home. You may like our short Rwanda golden monkey tour
About Golden Monkeys of Rwanda
Golden Monkeys (scientifically known as Cercopithecus kandti) are beautiful and little-known creatures living within the verdant high-altitude forests at the foot of Mount Sabyinyo (in Volcanoes National Park). Currently two habituated golden monkey troops are found in this Park, and each of them comprises of 80-100 individuals. Travellers on Rwanda safaris have the chance to discover their frisky and inquisitive nature by trekking them for hours and spending a magical hour watching their antics as they jump among the slender Bamboo shoots or tumbling among the thick foliage on the forest floor.
These Interesting and vibrant little primates are remarkably entertaining as they constantly jump through the Bamboo or chase each other in circles around travelers. They are also incredibly beautiful with shiny reddish golden-brown backs and flanks that comfortably blend into their natural environment (golden bamboo). These primates are unique to the outstanding Virunga Mountains range that extends across the borders of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, making them one of the most endangered species according to IUCN Red List. Even when they are found in three countries, they are mainly trekked from Uganda and Rwanda.
Golden Monkey trekking is one of the most thrilling safari adventure in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and live in the lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains where terrains are relatively flat and easier to hike.
Permits for Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda
Whether in low or peak seasons, permits for golden monkey trekking in Rwanda are generally plenty and easily availed, much as participants are usually advised to book for the trip beforehand to be safer. Keep in touch with a trusted Tour Operator to book and make arrangements for golden monkey permits before you even jet into the country. For only $100 per person, you can get a valid Golden Monkey permit for Rwanda.
Equipment and kit to undertake Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda
Forest floor on which the hiking trails pass while trekking golden monkeys in Rwanda are sometimes muddy and slippery, hence strong waterproof hiking boots with ankle support are handy. A walking stick (offered at the Park Headquarters) is also important. Packing a waterproof rain jacket is not a bad idea whether you are planning to trek in the dry or wet season because occasional rain showers are sometimes expected. Much as terrains are relatively flat, these treks will sometimes be undertaken through patches of brambles, thistles and stinging nettles hence it is advisable to wear long sleeved shirts (versus short-sleeved blouses or shirts), long pants (against shorts or skirts) and gardening gloves to protect your hands while you use tree branches or other vegetation for support during hiking. A camera is handy for capturing all treasured moments during the golden monkey tracking trip and pair of binoculars to see far and small creatures especially birds and butterflies in the forest.
Age Limit for Golden Monkey Tracking in Rwanda
Participants of golden monkey tracking in Rwanda have to be at least 15 years old and this is not for discriminatory purposes but rather implemented for safety purposes. There are no excuses because this principle is enforced without laxity or flexibility.
Level of fitness required for golden monkey tracking
Participants of golden monkey tracking adventures in Rwanda don’t require being athletes or super-fit although possessing basic fitness levels are important for the unforgettable trekking experience. Unlike mountain gorillas that are calmer and not frisky, the golden monkeys are the opposite especially when searching for food hence will need some level of sharpness to catch up with them.
Some participants find these treks extremely challenging although don’t involve climbing high up into the Virunga Volcanoes in addition to terrains being relatively flat (between 2000 and 2500 meters above sea level). It is however not surprising to experience shortness of break within these altitudes and therefore frequent hydration and paying close attention to guidelines issued by Park rangers is crucial.
How Golden Monkey treks in Rwanda are conducted
Golden Monkey treks in Rwanda normally start early with drive from your place of stay to Kinigi Park Headquarters for introduction to the trekking guides and armed rangers. There participants are placed in small groups (normally not more than 8 persons) who will be led by trekking guides and escorted by armed Ranger.
For less than $20, you will have an option of hiring a porter to carry your backpack and offer support during trickier parts of treks, although it is not mandatory. However, you would be contributing to direct development to the local economy and improving lives of local community members by hiring a porter.
After briefing, visitors are driven to the trailhead where the search for these little creatures starts and takes place with constant communication with trackers who move ahead to locate the golden monkeys. Trekking duration largely depends on the movement of the golden monkey troops and once found, a maximum of one hour is allowed for observation and photography before returning back. The two trekkable troops in Volcanoes National Park are habituated and used to human presence.
Guidelines of Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda
Visitors trekking golden monkey are cautioned against making sudden movements, are advised to keep voices low because even with habituated, these primates are still wild animals. Drinking and eating in their presence is prohibited, strictly one hour should be spent in their presence among others.