Frequently asked questions about golden monkey habituation experience in Mgahinga
Golden monkey trekking is one of the renowned primate activities in Mgahinga National Park. Mgahinga National Park is renowned for hosting the mountain gorillas that is to say Nyakagezi gorilla trekking family but there is an incredible population of other primates too.
This forested park may be the smallest amongst all Uganda National Parks, covering about approximately 33.7 square kilometers of forested and mountainous land. Being one of the refugia points for the survivors of the arid condition of the ice age period that may have hit Africa in the age of 12000 to 18000 years ago is a biosphere serve.
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What Is Golden Monkey Trekking
Golden monkey trekking is a Uganda safari adventure of following habituated golden monkeys in the wilderness. Golden monkeys have a body structure that is bigger than that of normal monkeys. There have golden brown hairs on the lower body. They live in communities under the leadership of an alpha male. They are some of the world’s endangered primates living in a few forest areas including Mgahinga National Park.
Although the golden monkeys are habituated to human presence, their cheeky nature doesn’t completely fade away so expect to be on your toes when you locate them. They are very entertaining primates who seem to know most of the forest corners.
You need to book a golden monkey trekking permit to be allowed to do this trek
Where Can I Purchase A Golden Monkey Trekking Permit For Mgahinga National Park
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is the body that regulates and controls most Uganda National Park activities including golden monkey trekking.
When Is the Best Time To book Golden Monkeys Trekking Safari?
All year round golden monkeys trekking is open, but the most preferred time is the dry season when there is less humidity in the forest. Even the monkeys are more active in the dry seasons that is June to September and December to January all factors kept constant.
The low season also has an advantage for those with a limited budget for golden monkeys trekking as they are chances of getting discounted prices from some service providers like accommodations, driver guides, and others
How Much Is Golden Monkeys Trekking permit For Mgahinga National Park?
The current cost golden monkey permit is $100 per person. This cost includes the ranger guide fees, security fees, conservation fees, one hour with the golden monkeys, local community support, and others. It excludes the park fees, tipping, drinking water, porter fee, and much more.
How Much Is the Golden Monkey Trekking Safari Package To Mgahinga National Park?
The golden monkey safaris are packaged according to luxury, midrange, and budget, but all these costs must include the golden monkey trekking permit. Other factors to consider when costing the golden monkeys safari package include;
The timing for Booking golden monkey safari
The peak season is usually coupled with high prices, especially from service providers like accommodations, vehicle hire, driver guides, and others. The low seasons may, at times, come with discounted costs and so chances of using high-end services with a limited budget may be possible.
Number of people booked on Golden monkey trek safari
The more people booked on a golden monkeys safari, the less the cost per person this is because you do share costs on items like vehicle hire, gas, and others. As a solo tourist on the golden monkeys treks, you carry the entire cost of the package.
The number of days on Golden Monkeys Trek
The more days you are on the Golden Monkeys trek, the higher the amount of money you pay for the Golden monkey trek. This is because service providers charge per-day costs other than whole safari costs.
More Activities combined with golden monkeys trek
The more activities you combine with golden monkey trekking, like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, birding, game drives, launch trips, and others. The higher the safari package because each activity has its own cost and is located in different destinations.
How Many People Are Allowed To Do Golden Monkeys Trekking
Only maximum 8 people are allowed to go golden monkeys trekking per troupe. This is for conservation reasons so that you do not trample on the vegetation even where other forest dwellers like mountain gorillas feed, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys grey cheeked monkeys, and others.
How Aggressive Are the Golden Monkeys
As long as you follow the rules given during briefing to go golden monkeys trekking like don’t provoke the mountain gorillas, keep a space of about 8 meters from the golden monkeys when you locate them in case they are on the ground and others.
They are still wild animals although they are habituated to the human presence their nature is not taken away.
How difficult Is Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga National Park
The topography of Mgahinga National Park is volcanic with a number of highlands since the park lies on the southern part of three distinctive volcanoes that is mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhavura, and Mountain Sabyinyo
Having some level of fitness before taking on the golden monkeys trek would be an advantage. You also need to pack the right gear like safari boots, insect repellant, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt, and others. These can protect you from the biting nettles in the wilderness.
Is Golden Monkey Trekking Safe?
Golden Monkeys trekking is safe because the ranger guides are in place to protect you from anything that may harm you.
You must also be vigilant about your safety by not stepping into the forest without an escorting ranger guide.
Keep close to the group you are allocated to so you are not lost in the wilderness.
In case you have money, keep it away from the eyes of other people.
How To Get To Mgahinga National Park For Golden Monkeys Trekking?
Mgahinga National Park lies in the Southwestern corner of Uganda, but you can get there
Kampala to Kabale to Kisoro
This drive takes about 8 hours to 9 hours for a distance of about 540 kilometers. Note that about 80 kilometers from Kabale to Kisoro, you go through winding roads because it is a highly mountainous area. The Ntebeko gate which is the main entry point of Mgahinga National Park is about 14 kilometers south of Kisoro town.
Daily scheduled domestic flights leave Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi to Kisoro airstrip but these are sometimes taken according to demands. You must hire a transfer vehicle from Kisoro airstrip to your lodge. The weather in this area normally disrupts flight arrangements, especially when it gets so foggy.
Charter flight arrangements can also be made, but this must be done in advance of travel so that necessary clearances are made.
What Else To Do With Golden Monkeys Trekking In Uganda
Mgahinga National Park is home to mountain gorillas, but there is so far only one gorilla family open for tourist viewing. In the past, the Nyakagezi gorilla family was unreliable because it used to meander into Rwanda.
Mountain gorillas do not understand political boundaries, and so they also have nothing preventing them from moving freely in the forest. Mgahinga National Park is on the southern side of three of the five Volcanic Mountains that Volcanoes National Park has. These include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura and Mountain Sabyinyo.
You can book a gorilla permit for Mgahinga National Park from Uganda Wildlife Authority at the current price $700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250000 shs for East African citizens.
Mountaineering in Mgahinga National park
You can take an excursion by climbing one of the three volcanoes that make up the topography of Mgahinga National Park. These mountains include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, and Mountain Sabyinyo.
You must trek with a ranger guide because different forest dwellers may not be habituated to human presence. You need someone you can trust to guide you even with the way and offer the right explanation about every feature or wild animal.
The hike to these mountains takes 8 hours on a return trip.
Birding in Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is a birding haven too in Uganda that hosts over 115 bird species. When you take the trail to the gorge trail, which loops halfway to Mountain Sabyinyo, you go through various habitats like the Montane forest. The forest also hosts some Albertine rift endemics. Although few ornithologists have visited this park, those who have taken a birding tour here say the list of bird species is still expanding.
Some birds you may see include Alpine Chat, Malachite sunbird, Kivu Ground Thrush, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, and others.
Uganda is endowed with a variety of game parks where you can do drives and enjoy several wild animals. Some of Uganda game parks you can combine with golden monkey trekking include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park
A few of the animals you may get to see include lions, cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas, waterbucks, bushbucks, statungas, cape buffaloes, herds of elephants, oribi, wild cats, Uganda Kobs, impalas, hartebeests and others.
Although they may not be found in the same game park, during the game drive you may spot those common to almost all parks.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center
The former Entebbe Zoo is just a few meters from Entebbe Airport. The wild animals are currently kept in exhibits with an environment similar to where they live in the wilderness. Most of the wild animals in Uganda’s National parks are found here.
You can take a guided or self-guided walk through the center, as there are different signposts to guide you. Some wildlife you may see includes lions, cheetahs, rhinos, cape buffaloes, bushbucks, waterbucks, and others.
Uganda is endowed with several primates, including chimpanzees. These live in communities with an alpha male as the leader, but they split into troupes during the day for better feeding space.
The chimpanzees live in forests like Kibale National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, Kyambura gorge, Kalinzu forest and others.
You must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit to be allowed to participate in this primate safari in Uganda.
Visit the Source Of River Nile
Uganda is the only source of River Nile situated in Jinja. You can sail to the point where River Nile slowly separates from Lake Victoria water. The drama at this point is mysterious, where River Nile water moves with some energy while Lake Victoria water calmly departs. When you observe this, you keep wondering what could be happening beneath.
What Time Do You Locate The Golden Monkeys
Golden monkeys are some of the endangered primate species, but the time of locating them is unknown because of factors like;
The proximity of their food
The greatest part of their meal is composed of foliage, which includes fruits, leaves, soft stems, and others. In case their food is very far, they may move fast, while if their food is close, they may be easy to trek.
In Case of a Fight in The Forest
Sometimes golden monkeys fight each other for various reasons, and even other monkey species may fight them too. This may cause them to move far into the forest in case they lose in battle.
Prevailing Weather Conditions
If it gets too wet, the golden monkeys hide in the trees where you may branch because they fear the socked ground. During the dry seasons, these monkeys are very active in the forest. They skip from one tree branch to another.
Even the way to see the golden monkeys is slippery and soggy because of the regular rains that fall, yet limited sun ray penetration is allowed in. These challenges make golden monkeys trekking challenging.
Physical Fitness Of the Trekkers
In case you are physically fit, you can trek to see the golden monkeys quicker, even if the way is composed of ragged terrain because of volcanic action in this area.
The forest is also composed of thick vegetation cover because of the number of years that it has existed. There are a number of creepers that drape down the ridges and plateaus.
Contact us for more information about the golden monkey trekking experience.