Golden Monkeys In Mgahinga National Park

 Golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park

Golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park

 Golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park : Golden monkeys are one of the rare primate species only found on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes which is shared between Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Mgahinga national park is the only place in Uganda here golden monkeys are found and is one of the only 3 destinations where the golden monkeys can be found.

Mgahinga national park is located in South-western Uganda in Kisoro district, the park protects the Uganda’s side of the Virunga Mountains.

The Golden Monkeys “cercopithecus mitis kandit” is one of the 20 primate species found in Uganda and they are endemic species only found in Rwanda, Uganda and DR.Congo. It is estimated that there is about 2,000 to 4,000 golden monkeys remaining and they are classified endangered species.

Golden monkeys live in troops of about 100 and are led by an Alpha Male, they primary feed on bamboo shoots, various seasonal fruits, bamboo leaves, lichens, sprouts, flowers and small invertebrates. The golden monkeys live in the bamboo forests.

Mgahinga national park’s golden monkey population is estimated to be between 3,164 and 5,059 individuals with one fully human habituated with about 30 individuals which is available for golden monkey trekking. The other group is reserved for research and daily four – hour habituation experiences.

Encountering golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park “Golden monkey trekking”

Golden monkeys are very active creatures and a golden monkey trekking is an interesting activity to do in Mgahinga national park, the activity starts with briefing at about the rules and regulations at the park’s headquarters in Ntebeko. The briefing is conducted by a senior ranger, then you will head to the starting point for the trek and head into the forests looking for the golden monkeys. The trek takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where the golden monkeys moved to in search for food, golden monkeys are known for being more active and move from one place to another in search for food.

Golden monkeys are small sized animals and they normally do not leave evidence behind as they move. When you find them, you will see them playing on tree branches and feeding, you will spend one hour in their presence giving you enough time to take pictures and learn more about their behaviors, watch them jump from one tree to another among others.


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Price for a Golden Monkey Tracking Permit in Uganda

A golden monkey trekking permit in Uganda – Mgahinga national park costs

Foreign Non Residents – US$ 60 per person

Foreign Residents – US$ 60 per person

East Africa Citizens – UGX 40,000 per person

Golden Monkey Habituation Experience Permit costs US$ 100 per person

This permit is an access ticket that armed rangers for protection against any threats in the jungle, an expert local tracker and the time you spend with the primates.

The golden monkey permit does not include park entrance – US$ 40 for foreign non – residents, US$ 30 for foreign residents and UGX 20,000 per person for East African citizens.

When is the best time to go on a Golden Monkey Safari in Uganda?

Trekking to see Golden monkeys is open the whole year but the best time is during the drier seasons from June to August and December to January. In the dry season, the trails are easier to navigate and spending a precious hour with the golden monkeys is more pleasant when it is not raining.

However, the dry season coincides with the peak season in Uganda meaning most decent lodges get full booked quickly due to high demand and it is also difficult to get a golden monkey permit. We high recommend booking your accommodation in advance especially in the peak season “between June to September”.

March, April, May, October and November are low seasons and the rainfall is high, the trails during this time are challenging and the forest is misty. In this period the lodges have few clients with discount offers for visitors who do not mind the weather.

Where to stay on golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga national park

There is a range of accommodation facilities ranging from Luxury, midrange and budget facilities namely

  • Gahinga Lodge
  • Birdnest Bunyonyi
  • Lake Mutanda Resort
  • Chameleon Hill Lodge

 Packing list for golden monkey trekking in Uganda

Seeing golden monkeys in Uganda requires you to have the perfect gears for the trek as they will not only offer you protection from thorns, nettles, ants and flies but also make the experience more comfortable.

  • Daypack more preferably a waterproof daypack
  • Comfortable and well – fitting hiking boots
  • Long trousers and long – sleeved shirts
  • Rain jacket or Poncho
  • Tough gardening gloves
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Camera equipments
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun lotion and sun glasses.

How to get to Mgahinga National Park

Mgahinga national park is located in southwestern part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air means of transport, when using road it is a drive of approximately 9 to 10 hours from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro and then to the park’s headquarters which takes about 9 to 10 hours.

There are domestic chartered flights from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro airstrip then connect to the park’s headquarters using a safari vehicle.

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