What Are Golden Monkeys?
Golden Monkeys are simply attractive looking monkeys with color, their playful ways, and since they have been habituated – they are used to seeing humans and do not scamper off as you approach a bit of advice is in taking pictures of the monkeys, they move rather quickly and you will need to set your camera on fast shutter speed and due to the bamboo forest on low light setting.
Golden Monkeys inhabit the Bamboo vegetation zones of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga of Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DRC. Much as these Primates are not well known like the Mountain gorillas and the Chimpanzees, it is undeniable that they are fascinating and worth attention.
No accurate census has been conducted to ascertain their real numbers but it is estimated that there are about 5000 golden monkeys living in the Shadows of the Volcanoes. These primates are categorized under the Blue Monkeys species and are distinguished by the grayish-brown color on their backs. During a normal golden monkey trekking adventure, tourists are allowed to spend only one hour with these fascinating creatures at $75 per person. This one hour is not enough for tourists to explore everything they would wish to know about the golden monkey.
Another riveting activity tourists can participate in is the Golden Monkey Habituation Experience where tourists are allowed to spend up to 4 hours with them. Golden monkey habituation is where golden monkeys are monitored by a team of researchers to make them used to the presence of humans. Unhabituated golden monkeys are shy and tend to fear the presence to humans. Habituation usually takes 2-3 years, and tourists can join researchers as they monitor these primates. Tourists can combine this adventure with gorilla trekking but it is better to start with golden monkey habituation experience before engaging in gorilla trekking because no matter how fascinating the golden monkeys are, the feeling of meeting them can never be as mind-boggling as meeting the critically endangered mountain gorillas.
Viewing the Golden Monkeys is a rewarding experience and most find very enjoyable and Mgahinga National Gorilla Park is the best place to track them – most economical too.