Uganda’s smallest national park Mgahinga is an interesting primate trekking destination for the most endangered primates, the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.Unlike mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are not very popular but to primate lovers, these are some of the most attractive primates and anyone else would be thrilled at how cute they look.
Scientifically known as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti, golden monkeys only exist in the Bamboo Forests of the Virunga Volcanoes and are estimated to be around 3000-4000 in number according to the survey of 2003. In Uganda, Mgahinga national park is the only place to see golden monkeys. Join the trekkers to the mountainous forested terrain of the park in search of these primates. Trekking for golden monkeys is great fun, it is not as tiresome as gorilla trekking because they do not make new nests every day. They can be traced in the same place for a number of days.
Alternatively, visitors can go along with the researchers to the forest for the golden monkey habituation experience which offers them a chance to stay with these primates for a period of about 4 hours learning about the importance of conserving them. Choose to get to the forest for this memorable experience either in the morning or afternoon.
Mgahinga national park is the second most distant wildlife safari destination in Uganda from Kampala, located approximately 500km far. Uganda has well tarmacked roads which ease road transport to this fascinating park. Hire a car with a driver and enjoy the road trip through various scenic places including the undulating terrain of the southwestern region. If possible, rent a 4X4 vehicle that is spacious and can allow you adjust during the transfer. Saloon cars as well can reach the park headquarters where you are dropped before getting into the forest for golden monkey trekking. Other exciting destinations close to Mgahinga worth visiting are Bwindi national park, Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi.
How unique are golden monkeys
Golden monkeys get their name from the color of their fur. They have golden-orange and black-silver colored fur. They are arguably the most beautiful monkeys. Golden monkeys are also one of the most playful primates as they are often seen jumping from one branch to another in the bamboo forests of the Virunga. They are very fast in movement, jumping from tree to another, trekkers need to be fast too to have some good time to take photos and observe them.
Golden monkeys live in the lowland bamboos of Mgahinga, so you may not require a lot of energy to climb to higher elevations to find them.
Golden monkey tracking Permits in Uganda
Uganda has a number of tropical forests but only Mgahinga hosts the endangered golden monkeys. Uganda Wildlife Authority issues permits to trek for golden monkeys at $60 for foreign and non-foreign residents and UGX 40,000 for East African citizens.
Best time for golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is done at any time for the year in Uganda. Most travelers prefer trekking during dry months of June, July, August, December, January and February because the trails are drier and easy to penetrate through. However, since this place is forested, rain is expected at any time of the year. Traveling to Mgahinga during the wet season from March to May and mid-September to November offers an opportunity to enjoy discounted prices of lodges.
Other destinations where golden monkeys can be seen are Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the DR Congo.
If you are interested in encountering golden monkeys, contact us and book for your safari. Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +256-700135510 to speak to our travel consultant.