Golden Monkey Trekking in Uganda
Golden Monkey Trekking in Uganda is a unique wildlife adventure that brings one closer to the active and cheeky golden monkeys. The golden monkey trek is done in Mgahinga Gorilla national park which is Uganda’s smallest national park which is rich in bio diversity. The national park is not only home to the golden monkeys in Uganda but is also home to the endangered mountain gorillas that can be encountered on a gorilla trekking adventure.
Mgahinga Gorilla national park is located in south-western Uganda and borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga gorilla national park hosts 76 mammal species,180 bird species with 24 of these species considered to be endemic to the Albertine Rift region.Aside from gorillas and golden monkeys the park hosts other mammal species which include the black-and-white colobus monkey, giant forest hog, buffalo, bush pig, elephant, bush buck, golden cats and other small predators like rodents, bats.
Golden monkey trekking is therefore a fulfilling adventure because you get to do it in a rich diverse national park that offers more wildlife viewing opportunities and takes you on an experience in one of Uganda’s finest national parks. Golden monkeys are endangered mammals and have been listed as an endangered specie on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The population of the golden monkeys over the years has faced major decline because of intense human activities and illegal extraction of bamboo which is the main food for the golden monkeys but Uganda Wildlife Authority continues to play a commendable role in conserving the golden monkeys.
Details on the Golden Monkey Trek in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
The golden monkey trek happens once a day at the park and the starting point is at Mgahinga park headquarters. Once at the head quarters you are assigned a ranger guide and placed in a group available for tracking that day. At the headquarters you receive a briefing from the ranger guide and basically the session involves information about golden monkeys, park guide lines and what one should expect while trekking. Golden monkeys are a beautiful sight to behold and the experience of watching them in their natural habitat is one for the books. Being active primates the session of seeing them is also rather active and busy and calls for wonderful photo moments.
Golden monkeys eat about 21 plant species so their diet mainly involves plants primarily leaves, bamboo shoots, fruits and small insects. While on the trek you can have an opportunity to watch them munch on bamboo shoots which seems to be their favorite food and capture some good photos or video. According to the park guide lines you are allowed to spend one hour with the golden monkeys after which you return to the starting point as you end the trek. The trek also offers an opportunity to look out for wildlife and birds resident to Mgahinga Gorilla national park.
How much does it cost to track the Golden monkeys in Uganda ?
The golden monkey trekking permit costs $60 for a Foreign Non-Resident.
For a Foreign Resident the permit costs $50.
How to prepare for Golden Monkey Trekking in Uganda
The golden monkey trek is a manageable and easy hike so one does not require intense physical preparation to go on the hike. The golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla national park live at the bottom of the Virunga mountain ranges so the terrain is easy to navigate and the dry bamboo leaves on the ground create a relatively dry surface to walk on.
What to Pack for the golden monkey trek
Hiking boots – these you will need because the terrain in the park can sometimes tend to be slippery and with muddy pathways so hiking boots are ideal and much needed. The hiking boots should be of good quality and water resistant.
A Backpack – a light back pack is needed to carry our essential items like binoculars, camera, phone, batteries and packed lunch that is given to you at the lodge in the morning.
Insect Repellent – You should also pack insect repellent because being a rain forest there are insects that are likely to sting or cause body rush so insect repellent is very essential for protection.
Camera and extra batteries – since it is a trek we recommend you carry your camera so that you are able to take photos and capture some memorable moments while chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda. You should also pack extra batteries that will come in handy in case the battery runs out while on the trek.
Clothing – You should pack a long sleeved shirt and long trousers. In addition you should carry a rain jacket just in case it rains while in the forest you can wear it over you clothes to protect you from the rain.
Other Activities to do in Mgahinga Gorilla national park alongside
Golden Monkey trekking
Gorilla Trekking – Gorilla trekking is the most popular wildlife adventure in Uganda and can be a great add to our itinerary alongside the golden monkey trek. Gorilla trekking in Uganda brings you closer to the endangered mountain gorillas and is a fulfilling encounter you get to spend one hour with the gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla national park.
The Batwa Trail – The batwa pygmy trail is a great activity to interact with the former inhabitants of the forest. The 3 km trail takes you to the Garamba cave where the batwa will take you through how they used to hunt for food, light a fire with sticks, gather fruits, show you medicinal leaves in the forest and stories about their time living in the forest. The trail then ends with a traditional dance from the batwa and you are free to join them in the dance. The Batwa trail is a good way to experience the culture and traditions of the batwa.
Bird wactching – For birding enthusiasts Mgahinga gorilla national park is a great birding spot as it hosts 180 species of birds including Albertine Rift endemics and some forest specials.
Golden Monkey Trekking Tours in Uganda