Exploring the enchanting world of the Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti) is a captivating adventure in the heart of Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Among Uganda’s diverse primate species, the Golden Monkey stands out with its striking appearance. Adorned in bright, golden-orange fur, these monkeys are a visual delight, making them a must-see on your wildlife journey.
The Golden Monkey is a primate species endemic to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, nestled within the Virunga Mountains. Their estimated population ranges from 2000 to 4000 individuals, and they are exclusively found in the Virungas. Due to their restricted habitat, they are classified as endangered. These monkeys live in groups of around 100, led by an Alpha male. Their diet consists of bamboo shoots, a variety of seasonal fruits, bamboo leaves, lichens, sprouts, flowers, leaves, and small invertebrates.
To facilitate tourism, Golden Monkeys undergo a habituation process. Currently, habituated troops are available for tracking, offering tourists an opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures up close. Additionally, semi-habituated troops are available for experiential tourism.
Golden Monkey tracking is a less strenuous endeavor compared to gorilla tracking. Unlike gorillas, Golden Monkeys do not construct new nests every day, eliminating the need for pre-trackers to locate them each morning.
Golden Monkey tracking permits can be secured at the Park headquarters located in Ntebeko Visitor Center. For those seeking an immersive experience and in-depth insights into Golden Monkeys, the Golden Monkey Habituation Experience is available at just $100 per person.
Golden Monkey safaris in Uganda commence with tourists arriving at the Park headquarters by 7:30 am for a pre-tracking briefing. During this session, participants receive guidance on tracking etiquette and rules. The actual trek commences at 8:00 am. Traversing the lush forests in search of Golden Monkeys is less strenuous than gorilla tracking because these monkeys inhabit lower regions. Typically, the tracking experience lasts no more than 3 hours. Upon encountering a Golden Monkey family, visitors are allotted one hour to observe their behavior and capture photographs. Importantly, there is no minimum requirement for the number of tourists in each tracking group, and the age limit is set at 12 years.
To ensure a memorable Golden Monkey tracking experience, tourists are advised to come prepared with the following:
Embark on a Golden Monkey safari in Uganda, and let these charming creatures and the pristine wilderness of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park captivate your senses.