Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda

The Golden Monkeys found in Rwanda are creatures that inhabit the lofty mountains of Volcanoes National Park. You can spot two groups of these monkeys near Mount Sabyinyo with one group boasting a population of, over 80 monkeys!

Rwanda Golden Monkey Trekking Packages

rwanda gorilla monkey
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is popularly known for gorilla trekking trips in Rwanda. Important to know is that the park
Rwanda primate safari
This 4 days Primate safari is highly recommended with gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking as the  main highlight of the
rwanda safari holiday
This 5 day safari will take you to Volcanoes National Park to see the mountain gorilla and the golden monkeys.
rwanda safari holidays
This safari features the very best of Rwanda, trek the mountain gorillas, see the golden monkeys, a game drive in

About The Golden Monkeys of Rwanda

These playful primates are renowned for their demeanor. They enjoy leaping through the bamboo forest engaging in runs and engaging in interactions with their companions. Their lustrous reddish golden backs blend harmoniously with the hues of the bamboo creating a visual spectacle.

The exclusive habitat of the Golden Monkeys is limited to the Virunga Mountains, which stretch across three countries; Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. However it’s only possible to observe these captivating creatures up in Rwanda and Uganda.

Regrettably the Golden Monkeys face endangerment as their population dwindles. This scarcity makes any opportunity to witness them a experience.

Fortunately visiting these monkeys requires effort. They reside at the base of the mountains where the terrain’s flat and easily navigable. This makes it a delightful excursion suitable, for individuals spanning all age groups to relish.

golden monkey safari

Where Else Can You See The Golden Monkeys in Africa?

Mt Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

In Uganda Mgahinga Gorilla National Park also serves as a haven for Golden Monkeys. The bamboo forests within this park provide a setting for the monkeys to play and find nourishment. Although its challenging to determine the number of monkeys their presence is considered significant.

Virunga National Park

Nestled in the Virunga Mountains, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is another hotspot for these endangered primates. Due to the dense environment getting a count of their population remains quite tricky.

Kahuzi Biega National Park

Moving on to Kahuzi Biega National Park also found in the Democratic Republic of Congo it stands as Africas destination where you can encounter Golden Monkeys. Like in parks determining their exact population here remains unknown. Nevertheless these monkeys play a role, within the parks wildlife community.

about golden monkeys

About Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park stands out as a destination where you can witness the enchanting Golden Monkeys in their surroundings. Situated in the part of Rwanda this park is a part of the expansive Virunga Conservation Area, which encompasses the majestic Virunga mountain range. The Golden Monkeys, named after their golden orange fur patches are undeniably one of the parks captivating attractions.

Population and Habitat Of The Golden Monkeys in Rwanda

It is estimated that Volcanoes National Park is home, to 4,000 to 5,000 Golden Monkeys. These endangered primates primarily inhabit the parks bamboo forests owing to their reliance on bamboo as a food source.

Where to Find The Golden Monkeys & The Trails

To maximize your chances of encountering these creatures visitors often embark on a trekking trail that leads to the Sabinyo group – one of the habituated Golden Monkey troops residing within the park. The Sabinyo group can be found in the bamboo forest at the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo – an relatively flat region perfect for hiking enthusiasts. As you traverse through this landscape adorned with bamboo vegetation – which happens to be a preferred food source and habitat, for these monkeys – your hike typically spans around an hour but may be extended if needed depending on where the group is located.
The trekking experience to witness the Golden Monkeys is quite an activity when compared to hikes, within the park. This means that visitors, with varying fitness levels can easily participate. The monkeys playful demeanor and their lively interactions create an cherished memory.

The Virunga Mountain range encompasses peaks such as Mount Karisimbi, Mount Mikeno, Mount Muhabura Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Gahinga, Mt Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira. These mountains provide a habitat for both Golden Monkeys and Mountain Gorillas. The shared environment within this region—combined with its biodiversity—establishes it as a sanctuary, for these endangered species.
Therefore it is vital to focus on conservation initiatives in order to safeguard these animals and the environment they inhabit.

uganda golden monkey

Characteristics of The Golden Monkey

The Golden Monkey, a type of Blue Monkey or Sykes Monkey is easily recognizable, due to its orange fur. These monkeys typically live in groups that can comprise up to 60 members. They thrive on a diet primarily consisting of fruits, bamboo shoots and small insects. Agile and full of energy they spend the majority of their time swinging from tree branches. When observing these primates in Rwandas Volcanoes National Park it is often more rewarding to immerse oneself in the experience rather than solely focusing on capturing the perfect photograph.

Both Golden Monkeys and Mountain Gorillas are classified as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is estimated that there are 1,000 Mountain Gorillas and around 5,000 Golden Monkeys remaining in the wild. These populations are exclusively found within the Virunga ranges—an interconnected chain of eight mountains spanning across Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Cost of golden monkey trek permit

The cost of a 3 day Golden Monkey trek can range from $1000, to $2000 per person depending on the level of luxury and what’s included in the tour package. Typically this price covers accommodation, meals, park fees, guide services and transportation during the safari. The permit for Golden Monkey trekking alone is usually priced at $100.

Here’s a breakdown of the expenses;

Accommodation; Depending on your level of comfort accommodation costs can range from $100 to over $500 per person per night.

Meals; Most safari packages include meals as part of the accommodation cost.

Park Fees; Apart from the Golden Monkey trekking permit ($100, per person) there may be park fees ranging from $100 to $200 based on the activities included.

Transportation; The cost of transportation can vary significantly depending on the distance traveled and mode of transport chosen. It could amount to a hundred dollars.

Guide Services; Guide services are usually covered in the price.

safari cost

Golden monkey packing list

When embarking on a Golden Monkey trek, in Rwanda it’s essential to pack. Take note of the following items to bring along;

1. Durable Hiking Boots; The terrain can get slippery, muddy and uneven. Ensure you have hiking boots that’re waterproof and well worn.

2. Rain Jacket/Poncho; Expect weather in the rainforest, where sudden rain showers can catch you off guard. It’s wise to carry a lightweight waterproof rain jacket or poncho.

3. Sleeved Shirts and Trousers; You’ll be navigating through vegetation that may contain thorny plants or insects. Shield your skin by wearing sleeved shirts and trousers.

4. Waterproof Backpack; A waterproof backpack will prove invaluable for safeguarding your belongings from moisture.

5. Gardening Gloves; Having a pair of gardening gloves can greatly aid in protecting your hands while clearing branches or providing grip when needed.

6.. Snacks; Since the trek may last hours it’s crucial to stay hydrated and have energizing snacks on hand.

7. Insect Repellent; As, with any rainforest adventure there will be insects making insect repellent an absolute necessity.

8.. Hat;
In the wilderness the sun can be quite intense so it’s essential to take care of your skin and head especially when trekking under the canopy.

Don’t forget to pack binoculars, for a look at the golden monkeys and other fascinating wildlife.

Carrying a camera is a must to capture photos of the landscapes and adorable golden monkeys. Just make sure you have a bag or cover to protect it from any showers.

Including a first aid kit is crucial. Remember to pack essentials, like band aids, antiseptic wipes tweezers and pain relievers.

Always keep in mind that it’s best to travel light and only bring what you truly need since you’ll be carrying everything with you during the trek.

what to pack on safari

Golden monkey trekking vs. Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Golden monkey and gorilla trekking, in Rwanda offer two yet captivating wildlife experiences. Each adventure presents its elements, difficulties and rewards. Here’s a comparison between the two;

Primate Species

Gorilla trekking takes you on a quest to find the endangered mountain gorillas. With less than 1,000 remaining in the wild this journey offers an encounter. On the hand golden monkey trekking allows you to observe a species that is endangered but comparatively more abundant.

Location Of The Gorillas Vs The Golden Monkeys

Both activities occur within Volcanoes National Park but in habitats. Gorillas reside at altitudes, which means locating them involves strenuous and time consuming treks. Golden monkeys typically inhabit the bamboo forests around the base of the volcanoes making them easily reachable.

The Trekking Difficulty

Gorilla trekking can pose challenges. Depending on the gorilla familys location hiking durations can range from 2 to 8 hours through occasionally muddy terrains. On the contrary golden monkey trekking is generally less demanding and shorter in duration often lasting, around 2 3 hours.

How long can you interact with each?

Once you discover these creatures during both activities you will have an hour to observe and appreciate their presence.
To ensure the well being of the animals and to reduce the risk of disease transmission it is important to minimize stress during animal encounters.

Cost Of Seeing These Primates in the Wild

Gorilla trekking tends to be more expensive. A permit for gorilla trekking costs $1,500 USD per person. On the hand a golden monkey trekking permit is more affordable at $100 USD per person.

How About the Trekking Experience?

Both experiences are incredibly exciting but in ways. Gorilla trekking offers an experience as you witness these intelligent creatures in their natural environment. On the hand golden monkey trekking is often described as playful and lively. The monkeys are agile and energetic and their shiny reddish gold fur creates a captivating sight as they leap and swing through the bamboo.

Both types of treks contribute to conservation efforts. Help support the economy. The choice, between monkey and gorilla trekking ultimately depends on preference, physical capabilities and budget considerations. Some visitors even opt for both treks to fully immerse themselves in these encounters.

mountain gorillas

Where to stay Before and After The Trek?

Bisate Lodge stands out as one of the most luxurious choices, near Volcanoes National Park. This eco friendly resort boasts six forest villas that provide views of the peaks. Not does the lodge offer a top notch experience. It also actively contributes to local community enhancement and conservation efforts. Guests even have the opportunity to participate in a reforestation program during their stay.

Nestled at the base of Sabyinyo Volcano Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a gem. Its cozy cottages feature verandas where you can relax and unwind. The lodge also offers a stocked library and games room for pursuits. Additionally they have a community awareness program showcasing their commitment to making an impact on the area. The lodges location is ideal for those planning to embark on treks in the Volcanoes National Park.

Virunga Lodge is renowned for its awe inspiring vistas of the Virunga Volcanoes and the twin lakes, Bulera and Ruhonda. Each of its ten bandas ( huts) boasts a terrace allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in these stunning natural sights. Furthermore Virunga Lodge offers activities focused on community engagement and conservation efforts.

If you’re seeking an option without compromising comfort or convenience Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is an excellent choice. With 30 spacious chalets available this lodge is a 15 minute drive from the parks headquarters. It serves as a base, for embarking on thrilling gorilla trekking adventures. To add flair to your stay they even offer enchanting Intore dance performances in the evenings.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is conveniently located near the park entrance providing guests with rooms a pool, picturesque gardens and convenient access, to the meeting point for gorilla trekking.

For those looking for an option Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel in Musanze town offers modest yet cozy rooms, a restaurant and bar and is conveniently close, to the park headquarters.

safari hotel

Best time to go for golden monkey trekking in Rwanda

The golden monkey trekking experience, in Rwanda is available year round. The optimal times to visit are during the seasons. These seasons typically occur from December to February and June to September.

Dry Seasons (December. February and June. September);

The dry periods are highly recommended for trekking as they offer trails with less mud. The weather is generally more predictable resulting in chances of rainfall. This enhances visibility. Provides opportunities for photography. Additionally golden monkeys often make appearances on the ground during these spells making them easier to spot.

Wet Seasons (March. May and October. November);

During the seasons the forest becomes lush with vegetation creating an atmosphere in the park with fewer visitors. However it’s important to note that these periods can present challenges such as trails and potential disruptions due to rainfall. Nevertheless golden monkey trekking still takes place during these periods. You might discover that accommodations and permits are more affordable.

It’s essential to keep in mind that weather patterns can be unpredictable at times, during the dry seasons there may be occasional rain showers. Additionally due, to Rwandas position it can become rather cold during the early hours and evenings.

african weather