Golden monkey tracking is among the major highlight of safari activities done in Volcanoes National Park after the mountain gorillas. The golden monkeys is a local subspecies of the widespread Sykes monkeys, which is also known as the ‘’blue monkey’’. Like the mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are also known as endangered species and they are located on the high altitude forests of the volcanoes national park area which is located in the northern part of Rwanda in Musanze district. The monkeys are fabulous fun to watch as they play in fruitful trees and they are inquisitive and often spend most of their time jumping from bamboo branches or playing on the forest towards the base of the volcanoes and they have overcome their original shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists. So when tracking the golden monkey, you are advised to carry first soot cameras shutter-speed to allow for low light in the dense undergrowth and to better your chances of capturing the golden monkeys on film! Because they are not like mountain gorillas which can be just found on the ground, they spend most of their time in trees.
Tracking the endangered golden monkeys begins very early in the morning for preparation, after breakfast head to the kinigi park headquarters before 7:00am to receive short briefings about the all the process of tracking from the park wardens/ senior ranger guide. After, you will be led by a ranger guide to the forest to begin the search of the beautiful apes (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti). like mountain gorillas, the time taken to meet them is unpredictable since they are wild animals, they move freely in their natural habitat, so you are advised not to forget tracking gears like study pair of walking shoes/boots, long sleeved shirts or blouses and water proof jackets since volcanoes national park is a rain forest, it can rain you while in the forest, and sometimes the forest is muddy and the tracking can take you through steep slopes so it’s better to be prepared. However ounce the monkeys are met you will forget all the troubles you have gone through and utilize the one hour you are allowed to stay with the monkeys while taking photos as well as studding their behaviors.
There are two habituated groups at the park which is ready to receive visitors on a daily basis and they have their base at the foot of Mt. Sabyinyo, each group comprises of around 80-100 members. The number of golden monkey trekkers is not limited and by the time of writing golden monkey tracking permit fee is at usd100 per person per tracking and a permit can get through a tour and Travel Company or a tour agent or you can purchase it direct from the Rwanda Tourism Board in Kigali or at the park headquarters. And you are advised to arrange in advance or book it at the park headquarters on the morning of the track. If you need a porter, you can hire it at the entry point of the park. Booking for a golden monkey is one of the great ways to spend an extra day in the volcanoes national park and if you’re interested in wildlife, this is a rare and pleasant experience not to be missed! If you are interested in this adventurous activity, just book a Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park and get close to these endangered primates.
Best time to go for golden monkey tracking in VNP
Tracking to see golden monkeys doesn’t have a specific time because it is an adventure that is carried out at any time of the year. Golden monkey tracking is conducted in Volcanoes National Park, a magical safari park with favorable weather and climatic conditions. But treks to view the beautiful golden monkeys in the wild is believed to be best during the dry months of the year.
This means, you can plan your golden monkey safari in Volcanoes National Park from June, July, August to September or December, January to February. These are months when there is less/rains in Volcanoes National Park and it makes it simpler to walk through the vegetation and steep slopes to search for golden monkeys. Volcanoes National Park being an all year-round golden monkey destination, treks to view golden monkeys is also possible during the wet/rainy months of the year. That is from March, April to May and October to November although these are months when the park records its highest rainfall amount.
What should you have on golden monkey trek Rwanda?
Some of the items you shouldn’t miss to carry on golden monkey tracking safari Rwanda include sunglasses, rain-jacket or a poncho, clear camera without flashlight, insect repellent, hiking boots, first aid kit, bottled water, snacks, sweater, sun hat, long sleeved shirt, sunscreen.
Where to stay on golden monkey trekking Rwanda
Finding a comfortable place for overnight stay before or after golden monkey tracking is essential and it is what makes a golden monkey trek complete. In Volcanoes National Park, there exist budget, mid-range and luxury safari lodges for tourists to choose from. They include among others Bisate Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mount Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge-luxury lodges; Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge, La Palme Hotel-mid-range accommodation whereas budget options include Kinigi Guesthouse, Muhabura Hotel and others.