Golden monkey tracking is one of the amazing primates experiences you can only experience in Africa. This adventure can be enjoyed in the Virunga Region, a region shared by Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo. The golden monkeys are such a rare specie! Scientists revealed that they belong to the Old World Monkey and are endemic to the region.
You can track these primates in only two locations; within the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. Though these parks are most known for gorilla trekking adventures, tracking the golden monkeys is becoming a popular adventure activity. Golden monkeys are among the primates in Uganda and Rwanda with grey and white stripes. Unlike mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, golden monkeys are smaller in size and jumps fast from one tree to another. Golden monkey feed on fruits, green vegetation, stems, pods and their trek is not as strenuous like Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking.
In Rwanda, golden monkey trekking is done in Volcanoes National Park – they co – exist with Mountain Gorillas. To reach the PNV you need to endure 2 hours’ drive from Kigali Airport or Kigali city of Rwanda.
In Uganda, Golden monkey trekking experiences are conducted in Mgahinga National park. Like in Rwanda, Golden Monkeys co-exist with Mountain Gorilla (Nyakagezi Gorilla Group) the only one Gorilla family in the park.
How Much Does it Cost?
In Uganda, Golden monkey trekking cost US$ 50 per person while in Rwanda at US$ 100 per person. That means, Uganda is cheaper than Rwanda in terms of Golden monkey trekking.
Golden Monkey Tracking in Uganda Vs Rwanda
In terms of enjoyment, some previous trekkers argue that Golden Monkey trekking in PNV is more adventurous than that of Uganda. It looks like Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is more dominant than that of Uganda due to intensive marketing by Rwanda development Board (RDB).
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda hosts more golden monkeys than Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. There are more habituated golden monkey troops than those in Uganda.
Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National park Rwanda receives more visitors despite the higher prices compared to Uganda. There are many factors accounting why Rwanda receives more clients yearning to meet Golden monkey than Uganda.
-The long distance from Entebbe Airport to Mgahinga national Park (hours’ drive) compared to 2hours drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
-The intensive marketing of Rwanda’s tourist attractions to the outside world.
-The amazing Virunga Mountains in Musanze region offers attractive view to the people going for Golden monkey trekking, Gorilla trekking, Dian Fossey tomb among others.
-Negatively but a fact, the 1994 Genocide Movement made Rwanda known internationally (RIP)
-Hospitality of Rwanda citizens and the prevailing peace in Rwanda attracts more visitors.
It should be noted that Nyakagezi Gorilla Group in Mgahinga national park is unreliable as it uses to migrate to nearby countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or Rwanda. That means Gorilla trekking is Mgahinga National park in not guaranteed yet some people visit the park to do both Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking so, they find an alternative in Rwanda where both activities are guaranteed.
Note: Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials argue that, the migration of Nyakagezi Gorilla group does not affect Gorilla trekking in Uganda since there is an alternative of Bwindi Impenetrable forest which hosts thirteen habituated Gorilla families/ groups. In case it’s discovered, the client is either refunded or diverted to trek Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park.
Golden monkey takes less time trekking than Gorillas. In Rwanda and Uganda, it can take approximately 2-4 hours.