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Golden monkey tracking in Uganda, Golden monkey tracking is one of the interesting tourist activities you can enjoy in Uganda and is only offered in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Golden monkeys are scientifically known as Cercopithecus Mitis kandti and are categorized by IUCN Red List as endangered species found in only three countries.

Golden monkeys are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley region and thus besides Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Golden monkeys are also found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These primates are characterized by their golden-orange as well as silver-brown color of their fur as well as their enthusiastic behavior. They occupy the Bamboo forests, making them easier and faster to track than the Mountain gorillas can occupy the higher places of the Virunga Volcanoes.

Golden Monkeys live in troops/groups of up to 100 individuals and there are currently two troops/groups in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Unlike Gorilla trekking where persons visiting a particular gorilla group is limited to 8 tourists per day, there is no limitation on the number of tourists tracking a habituated golden monkey troop but you will be allowed to spend one hour with them.

Trekking golden monkeys usually starts with 7:00am briefing of tourists by rangers at Ntebeko Park Headquarters followed by allocation to the troops. At 8:00am trekking starts and after less than 3 hours, you will meet and spend time with the golden monkeys within the Bamboo forest.

Golden monkey tracking permits

Golden monkey tracking permits for Uganda cost $100 for foreign non-residents, $90 for foreign residents and Shs 60,000 for East African Community residents and these rates also include Park entrance fees. Unlike gorilla permits that have to be booked several months before the actual date, golden monkey tracking permits can be booked on-ground on the day of tracking from Ntebeko Reception Center. This is possible because the number of persons tracking a golden monkey community on a particular day is not limited.

Packing list for golden monkey tracking in Uganda

Your packing list for golden monkey tracking in Uganda must include waterproof hiking boots, long sleeved shirts, sunglasses, safari pants (preferably of neutral color), a hat, gardening gloves, first aid kit, drinking water, energy giving snacks, camera with enough batteries and memory space, pair of binoculars, gardening gloves, insect repellant, toiletries, first aid kit, sweater, toiletries-lotion, hair gel, toothpaste, toothbrush, rain jacket and a backpack. A walking stick is also necessary for golden monkey tracking and can be acquired free of charge from the Park Headquarters during briefing.

Golden monkey tracking guidelines

Tourists have only one hour with the golden monkeys to observe their outstanding behavior and take photos.

The age limit for tourists interested in golden monkey tracking in Uganda is 12 years (unlike with gorilla trekking with age limit of 15 years).

Avoid littering the Park while tracking the golden monkeys in Uganda because rubbish act as breeding places for germs.

Do not touch the golden monkeys.

Avoid making noise when tracking the golden monkeys because it is likely to scare them and other residents of the Park especially birds.

Best time to track the golden monkeys in Uganda

Golden monkeys in Uganda can be tracked all year round but the wet season (March-May and October to November) is characterized by verdant and abundant vegetation for food makes it easy to find them since they will not move far in-search for food. However, this season is characterized by muddy and slippery trails making tracking more difficult. Therefore the dry season (June to September and December to February) offers easier tracking conditions with less muddy and slippery trails thus making the peak season good for the activity.

Where to stay when tracking golden monkeys in Uganda

Tourists visiting Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for golden monkey tracking can stay at Mountain Gorilla Safari Hotel, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mucha Hotel Kisoro, Kisoro Traveler’s Rest Hotel, Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp and Kisoro Tourist Hotel. Tourists can choose to stay as far as Lake Bunyonyi area within Bunyonyi Overland Resort and Birdnest at Bunyonyi Resort among others.

How to get there

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is approximately 510 kilometers/8-10 hours’ drive from Kampala with the most commonly used route being through Kabale and Kisoro Towns. Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Kabale then 76 kilometers to Kisoro Town through a mountainous tarmac road. Ntebeko, the main Park entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is only 14 kilometers from the Town of Kisoro.

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