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Golden Monkey Tracking in Uganda

Mgahinga National Park offers the chance to track the golden monkeys (Ceropithecus Kandti) sometimes referred to as a distinctive race of the more widespread blue monkey C.mitis), a little known bamboo-associated taxa primate listed as ‘endangered’ by the World Conservation Union. Endemic to the Albertine Rift, the golden monkey is characterized as a bright orange-gold body, cheeks and tail, contrasting with its black limbs, crown and tail end.

Until a few years ago, this pretty monkey was common in Rwanda’s Gishwati Forest Reserve, most of which was chopped down by returned refugees in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide and unconfirmed sources indicate that a small population might occur further south in the same country’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. Fortunately, the golden monkey is the numerically dominant primate within this restricted range – a 2003  survey estimated a population of 3,000 – 4,000 in Mgahinga National Park.

These primates are endangered and endemic to this region, sharing their home with the world famous Mountain Gorilla, as well as buffalo, forest elephant and other species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds. In the beginning and for many months to follow it was very difficult to even find the monkeys owing to the fact that unlike gorillas they are small, do not make nests and leave little evidence of their presence on the forest floor, and at times can be quiet especially in the presence of their main predator the eagle. Also not been used to us they would just run away.

The group is very much used to our presence now, allowing us to have an insight into their daily lives. The monkeys dictate how the day is going to be, and no day is ever the same in the forest. We just never know how the working day is going to turn out, and this is what makes the experience so exciting. You will encounter challenges regularly. One of our biggest problems is the weather. Trekking at an altitude of around 2,500 meters you will encounter strong winds, heavy rainfall and extreme coldness, so is the best place to trek the golden monkey or gorillas though not reliable.

The weather really does make a difference to how the day is going to be. Wind makes it conducive to track the monkeys as trek the slopes, they stay quiet and in mid canopy because they have problems hearing predators and when the trees blow you do not know if it is monkey moving or wind blowing, or both. When it rains the monkeys take shelter and do not move, hence closer view of them. No matter how the weather conditions are, the forests walk every day, even public holiday is awesome. With all that, when it rains in the forest and the mist comes down among the moss and overhanging vegetation it is certainly the most beautiful place to be.

Golden Monkey Tracking Permit

 

For those going on a primate safari in Uganda, a golden monkey permit in Uganda costs $50 per person for foreign non residents, $40 per person for foreign residents and Shs 20,000 for East African Residents. This cost includes the park entry fee, the guide fee and the one hour yo

u spend with the golden monkeys. These permits can be booked on ground from the Park headquarters in Ntebeko Visitor Center. Tourists who wish to spend more quality time and understand the detailed information regarding the golden monkeys can visit this Park for the engaging golden monkey habituation experience that costs only $100 per person.

How the activity is conducted

Just like gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking starts with tourists arriving at the Park headquarters by 7:30am for pre-tracking briefing (on the dos and don’ts of tracking the golden monkeys). The actual trek begins at 8:00am. Hiking through the forests to sight the golden monkeys is not so strenuous like gorilla trekking because golden monkeys live in lower areas, so tourists do not track for more than 3 hours. When tourists encounter the golden monkey family, they are given one hour to spend with them (to take photographs and observe their behavior). With this activity, there is no minimum number of tourists who track each group and age limit is 12 years.

What to carry during golden monkey tracking.

There are several requirements that tourists need to have a memorable experience during golden monkey tracking. These include waterproof hiking boots, wear long sleeved shirt, long trousers, and carry a backpack for your lunch and documents. Also carry drinking water and snacks, carry a walking stick to support you during hiking, you can hire a porter to support you during hiking in slippery places and they carry your backpack, and do not forget to carry an insect repellant.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Justo Nov 18, 2019

Safaribookings
I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .