Trekking golden monkeys in mountain gorilla habitat

Golden monkeys are only found in two isolated habitats in the world: The Virunga Mountains that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo and in Gishwati forest in Rwanda.

In Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, one of the 3 parks in Virunga Mountains with mountain gorillas, golden monkey is the only other primate living in the same habitat with the gorillas.

Unlike mountain gorillas that live in medium family groups, golden monkeys live in very large groups that often occupy the trees high up in the branches.

There are exclusive golden monkey tracking safaris in Volcanoes National Park where trekkers can meet these colored-looking primates in the forest. Treks to see golden monkeys depart from Kinigi headquarters once each day.

The cost of trekking golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park is $100 per person and trekkers are allowed to spend up to one hour in the presence of these beautiful and colored primates.

While in the presence of golden monkeys, trekkers can take photographs and videos of these amazing primates as they linger from tree to tree playing and feeding while taking a few minutes to look curiously at their visitors.

Golden monkeys are a critical part of this gorilla habitat as well as the general biodiversity of the forest. Besides, just like gorillas, they are also endangered species whose population is believed to be declining.

For a habitat, golden monkeys don’t build nests like mountain gorillas but rather sleep in trees as they live in their multi-male and multi-female groups.

There are two golden monkey groups in Volcanoes National Park that can be tracked including one found on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and the other in the bamboo forest of Mount Sabyinyo.

Like mountain gorillas, bamboo shoots and leaves are the key food for the golden monkeys though they feed on several forest fruits.

Despite being similar with the blue monkey overall, the major distinguishing factor of the two species is the possession of a golden-orange patch on the upper flanks and the backs of the golden monkey.

Some of the most common behaviors of golden monkeys include traveling in various group sizes that may range from 3 up to large groups of about 60 individuals.

Those who occupy higher elevation tend to live in smaller groups. There is always a common sleeping place that the golden monkeys return to after feeding.

When it comes to sleeping, golden monkeys usually sleep in small subgroups of four in the branches of bamboo plants. They prefer to use a dense bamboo plant that weave together to make a good stronghold for sleeping.

Habitats with abundant fruit and bamboo have attracted a lot of golden monkeys in the area given their diet.

Golden monkeys are also fond of switching in between areas due to seasonal changes. They will always remain in an area with ripe fruits while they will move to a new area where bamboo is shooting at the beginning of the rain season. Preferably, golden monkeys like staying frequently in an area with mixed bamboo and fruit.

Click here to book your golden monkey tracking safari or to make any inquiries about a safari of your choice in Rwanda or Uganda.

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