The golden monkey is another endangered species open for tracking in the volcanoes national park. The golden monkey is endemic in the high altitude forest of the volcanoes national park area. They are very charming to see since they are playful and often spend there time leaping from one tree to another and have overcome their initial shyness hence enabling their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
Golden monkey live in families with number of member between 80 and above individuals. They have 1 dominant male, females, juveniles and babies. The adult males and adult females are responsible for protecting the territory and resources found in there area including the food. the dominant male leads the group from one to ten years coordinating and directs all the activities in the group, decides where to go, where to stand and what to do.
There are two groups always seen and identified in volcanoes national park one of which has not yet been open for trekking but it shall be open soon and the other is always trekked. These are listed and explained below;
1. Musonga group. The group lives higher on the Karisimbi volcanoes at an altitude of about 2800-3000 metres with more than 100 individuals. This is the group that will be open to visitors shortly they over come their initial shyness. There habituation has been a difficult and slow process as acceptance to humans has not been easy but was finally achieved in 2003. The monkeys now chatter and play quite happily and freely while being observed in there daily activities, climbing the vegetation, feeding on bamboo leaves and shoots.
2. Kabatwa family. They are located in the east of the park on the flanks in Sabyinyo slopes with more than 70 individuals. this is the most visited group and their habituation for trekking started in July 2003
Golden money shouldn’t be missed when going to trek the gorillas they are trekked in the same way as you track mountain gorillas. Trekking to see the golden monkeys take place very early in the morning and visitors are permitted to stay for 1 hour with the monkeys. By 7:00 am, all visitors should be at the parks Kinigi headquarters ready to start off the days trek. The number of visitors is not limited and the fee for a golden monkey permit is currently USD $ 100 per trek for foreigners and for Rwanda visitors it is 4000 RWF. The permits can be arranged in advance or booked at the park headquarters on the morning of the day of trekking
when going for the trekking its best to wear long trousers, long sleeved shirt, hat, light rain jacket, water proof hiking boots, a water proof day pack with enough water, simple snacks not forgetting camera equipments
Porters can be hired at the entry point of the park to assist you with your day pack and just enjoy your trekking taking photographs.
It’s quit difficult to photograph golden monkey since they are very playful, nosy and flitting around in the bamboo forest leaping from tree to tree, so it’s advisable that your camera to fast shutter undergrowth which will better your chances of capturing the film of the monkeys.