Golden Monkey Tracking
This activity takes place in volcanoes National Park and starts at the same time as the mountain gorillas. These species are listed as endangered in Volcanoes national Park. There are two habituated golden monkey troops that are available for visiting by the tourists in the park, both totaling to 80 members per troop. The golden monkeys in Rwanda live in bamboo vegetation towards the base of volcanoes and the habituation practices have helped them to overcome their shyness of accepting the daily visits by the researchers and the tourists. Gorilla trekking and golden Monkey trekking is the same experience; its only 8 people that are allowed to track the monkeys and you are given 1 hour with these endangered species once you find them. These are very attractive creatures and get to jump from tree to tree hence hard to photography.
The Golden monkey trek is so exciting and worth going for while in Volcanoes National park and in case you like wildlife, this is a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed. Besides living in Volcanoes national Park, these golden monkeys can be found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Kisoro district, south western Uganda.
Price of golden monkey permit
The tourists that wish to track the golden monkeys in Volcanoes national Park need to have a permit which allows them to access and spend an hour with these amazing creatures. These permits cost $ 100 per person per day in Rwanda. These permits are bought from Rwanda Development Board and the travelers are reminded to book for the permits at least 3 months before the trekking date to be able to secure the permit as well as timely planning. This cost includes; Entry Park fees, government taxes and the ranger fees.
The time to spend in the forest is not so specific and it can be as short as 30 minutes to many hours as this depends on the movement of monkeys. These are known not to go to the higher altitudes like the gorillas hence saving the travelers many hours of hiking.
Other types of monkeys
The Angolan Colobus Monkeys
These are black and white ornaments and total to 400 individuals in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These stay in large groups and they comprise the largest group of Angolan Colobus Monkeys in Africa. The trek is not as hard as that of chimpanzees. There groups always delight the visitors including their slack eating habits that help spread the seed of the fruits that they eat in the forest.
The L’Hoest’s Monkeys
These are referred to as mountain Monkeys and are endemic to Albertine Rift and can be found in Rwenzori mountains and Bwindi forest. In Rwanda, they are found in Nyungwe forest and in Gishwati forest. These have got dark black bodies and a picky white beard. These are known to move on all four legs when on the ground as they rummage for food. The males weigh between 5kgs and the females are smaller in size. They spend their time in many different forests and in Nyungwe forest national Park. There groups are subjugated by females and are normally seen from the main road that cuts through the forest near the Unwink reception to the forest.
The Owl Faced Monkeys
These are unique monkeys with a beak like nose and an owl face. These are shy monkeys and are rarely seen and one might be lucky to see them as you hike along the many trails of Nyungwe Forest. These are closely related to the L’Hoest Monkeys and live in small groups of one male and many females. These have been hard to study since they are indefinable. These have also got white stripes that go from top to the lip to the top of the nose hence making them to have the owl monkey face.
The Dent’s Mona Monkeys
These are found in Nyungwe forest National Park and are commonly found in groups with other monkey species including the Blue monkeys or the gray cheeked Mangabeys. There groups are relatively small with one male surrounded by his harem. The groups are headed by the females.
Dent’s Mona Monkeys have got a long black tail, a brown back and a white rump. The faces are fairy furry and when they get to find food, they do carry it with their large cheek pounces. These like fruits, insects and leaves.
The Blue monkeys
These are actually not blue as they are called. They are light grey in color and have an olive fur that gives off this kind of blue hue as they are in the tree tops. These live in the tree tops in the canopy of Nyungwe Forest meaning you have to look up so that up in order to spot them as you move along the trails in Nyugwe forest. These rarely come down to the forest floor but find food and shelter in the tree tops. They live in female groups of 10 to 40 with only one male. All the females raise each other’s infants. These can be found around Uwinka visitor centre in Nyungwe forest.
The Olive Baboon
These are found in many parts of Rwanda including along the road side at Nyungwe Forest and inside of Akagera National park. These are terrestrial primates and live in large groups. It’s the largest and stockiest primate after the chimpanzees. These have got an olive dark coat and dog like snout with very threatening teeth. These are known to be aggressive and raid crops regularly. These take things from vehicles with passengers inside and always keep your door locked while in the forest.
The Vervet Monkeys
These are grey Guenon and are common in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest. They can as well be found in Gisakura guest House. These are found in the savannah and open woodlands of Akagera national Park. They like the baboon raids and end up entering homes to scavenge for food and these do their share of raiding. They have got a black face mask and the rest of the body is gray. They are known to be the most numerous monkeys in the world.
These are seen any time since they are creatures of night time and you have to take a nocturnal walk or game drive in Akagera National Park. These are part of the 4 nocturnal primates that are found in Nyungwe Forest. They are closely related to the Lemurs found in Madagascar. Pottos are small between 30 to 40 cm with a distinct odor. These are grey brown in color with a wooly fur. Their hands and toes are shaped in that they can clutch branches very firmly without falling. Their necks have got sharp points that they use to protect themselves.
This name comes from their appearance or the cry. These are mostly found in many parts of East Africa and Zanzibar. They are nocturnal creatures and can only be seen during night game drives or on the forest walks. These can jump a distance and move on the branches of trees. They like living in dry woodlands and in savannah areas. Bush babies are small with a wooly thick fur that ranges from dark brown to Silver gray. They have also got large eyes that give them a good night vision, have a strong hind limb that helps them leap and keen ears that help them in hunting insects. Their diet mainly includes insects, birds, fruits, seeds, nuts, tree gums and flowers.
ARON WISHLEY Founder & Director
NIMA SEDAN Chief Executive Officer
JOHN FALMI Head Manager