How To Spend More Time With Golden Monkeys In Mgahinga National Park
How to spend more time with golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park. Doing golden monkey experience in Mgahinga National Park is picking momentum as one of the primate safaris in Uganda. In Uganda, the golden monkey experience can only be done in Mgahinga National Park, located in the southwestern corner of Uganda. The golden monkeys are some of the most endangered primate species in the world, and about 2000 to 4000 golden monkeys are believed to be living in the world.
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Golden monkeys are scientifically called Cercopithecus mitis kandti, but their special body structure, generally larger than the common monkeys, distinguishes them. Their larger body is covered with golden brown fur at the lower bottom. They live in communities under the leadership of an alpha male.
In Mgahinga National Park, the golden monkeys co-exist with mountain gorillas, some of the world’s endangered primates. Mgahinga National Park is a pristine forest that is less visited, so most of its inhabitants still live an organic life. This park shares the northern part of three of the Virunga Volcanoes, which Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is part of, too.
It is their charming nature that attracts primatologists to pursue a visit to spend some time with these golden monkeys. Before a community of the golden monkeys is opened to public viewing, they are habituated. Golden monkey habituation is getting wild golden monkeys used to human presence without changing their nature.
During the golden monkeys’ experience, only four hours are allowed before this primate for conservation reasons; however, you can have extra time with them by booking a double trek or attending the golden monkey experience. You must book another golden monkey trekking permit for the second or third trek or more. You can also do a golden monkey experience.
What Is Golden Monkeys Experience?
Golden Monkeys experience is an adventure where you escort a team of researchers and habituators in the wilderness to follow a community of semi-habituated golden monkeys to help them get used to human presence without altering their nature.
The time taken to habituate golden monkeys is still being determined, depending on how fast they cope.
How To Book Golden Monkey Experience Permit In Uganda?
Select a date when you hope to do a golden monkey experience in Mgahinga National Park. Only 4 golden monkeys permits are released per day per troop.
Check for availability of the golden monkey permits from an accredited tour operator or Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Upon approval, we advise our clients to purchase their permits as soon as possible to avoid last-minute panic when demand for the Golden Monkey permits is at its peak. During the dry season, which is normally the peak tourism season, finding golden monkey permits is futile, especially last minute.
When is the best time to do the Golden Monkey Experience in Mgahinga National Park?
Much as Golden Monkey trekking is an all-year-round experience, the most booked season is the dry season: June, July, August, September, December, and January. The golden monkeys, the charming primates of the wilderness, are more active in the dry season when there is less humidity in the misty Mgahinga forest.
Even when you combine the golden monkey experience with gorilla trekking, you enjoy your primate adventure to the fullest in Mgahinga National Park during the dry season.
During the wet season, which is normally March, April, May, and November, fewer people visit to do golden monkey trekking, so if you wish to have an exclusive moment with the mountain gorillas without spending much, this is the best time.
How Much Is the Golden Monkey Habituation Experience Permit for Mgahinga National Park?
The Golden Monkeys experience permit costs $100 per person per trek. This cost includes ranger guide services, security during golden monkey trekking, golden monkey conservation, local community support, 4 hours of viewing the golden monkeys.
When you reserve your golden monkey experience permit in time, preparations are done, and you reduce the chances of freaking out when you cannot access the availability.
What Is Excluded In The Cost Of Golden Monkey Experience?
The Golden Monkey Experience permit cost excludes park entrance fees, cost of accommodation, transport, porter hire, and any other items of personal nature.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can help you put together a golden monkey habituation package for all budgets. We have experience of over 10 years in providing safari services, and this has helped us create a good working relationship with several service providers like lodges or hotels, car hire, driver guides, and others. We help lift the burden of planning the golden monkey experience off our clients’ shoulders.
How Difficult Is Golden Monkeys Experience In Mgahinga National Park
In nature, the topography of Mgahinga National Park is mountainous, with three volcanoes covering the area: Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhavura.
Expect to hike a ragged terrain because the trees where the golden monkeys spend their days grow on the slopes of these highlands, and yet these primates are also mobile, just enjoying their home. It would be best to have some fitness level to get where they may spend the day or lounging.
For the thick vegetation that drapes down the ridges and plateaus, a ranger guide carries a machete to trim them down and create a path that may open up for you to see the golden monkeys.
How Long Can I Take on the Golden Monkey Experience in Mgahinga National Park?
The duration you take on the way to do the golden monkey experience varies with a number of factors prevailing in the forest. You must know that golden monkeys are wild primates not choreographed for any activities in the wilderness.
Some factors that determine how soon or long you take to locate the golden monkeys include the proximity of their food, a fight with other monkey species, the weather conditions prevailing on the trek days, the pace of the habituators, and others.
You have four hours of golden monkey experience upon finding the golden monkeys. Since these are semi-habituated primates, expect them to shy away from visitors, hoot hysterically, throw things at visitors, and so much more.
How Safe Is the Golden Monkey Experience?
You need to follow the instructions from the ranger guide and researchers when you notice something odd so that you do not cause a stampede in the wilderness. The researchers and habituators have some notes about the traits of these golden monkeys. They can relate to most of their behavior changes during this adventure and the solution.
The ranger guides are professionally trained and experienced, so they are available to protect you since one carries a rifle and another a machete.
The ranger guides use radio call service to coordinate with security on the ground in case backup is required. Even other Uganda security agencies are in place to maintain law and order.
You must pay attention to personal security by only wandering into the forest with an escorting ranger guide. Carry some first aid in case of emergencies, insect repellants, wear long safari attires, and so much more for your safety.
How Dangerous Are Golden Monkeys During Habituation Experience?
Although these golden monkeys are semi-habituated, they still possess wild behavior like going into hiding, hooting, and others. You do not have to worry because you are in the company of a team of researchers and rangers with knowledge of how to deal with some of those situations. Listen to this team’s advice so you can enjoy the best of the golden monkey habituation experience.
Attending a briefing before the golden monkey habituation experience is necessary so that you listen to the explanation about the dos and don’ts of this adventure. Although the rules of the golden monkey habituation experience are all over information sites, there are those unique traits known to a particular community that are not general. You must attend a briefing at all costs.
Can I reschedule the Golden Monkey Experience Permit?
When you book the Golden Monkeys habituation experience, you are ready to enjoy this adventure, but due to unforeseen issues, you may wish to travel later. Uganda Wildlife Authority accepts golden monkeys permit reschedule as long as you follow the below procedure.
Write to the Uganda Wildlife Authority requesting a new date to reschedule your golden monkey permits. If you have a standing reason for moving your permits, state it as a backup or ad attachment to support your request.
Upon approval, your Golden Monkey permit is moved based on the prevailing availability status per your new date.
What Is The Age Limit For Golden Monkey Habituation Experience In Mgahinga National Park?
15 years and beyond is the age limit for golden monkeys’ habituation experience in Mgahinga National Park. This is because of the nature of this activity, where you need to hike through jagged topography, yet children below age 15 may need help to withstand such conditions.
Even the rules of old golden monkey trekking require tourists to be quiet before these primates, but the teasing nature of these golden monkeys may cause a child below this age to scream. The golden monkeys immediately flee into hiding after hearing unfamiliar sounds, and so will other forest dwellers like the mountain gorillas.
Even the four hours of following the golden monkeys are too long for a child below 15 years to stay focused. They get tired quickly, and the age limit was cut to 15.
What Is the Packing List for Golden Monkeys Habituation Experience in Mgahinga National Park?
- Camera for taking photos of the golden monkey habituation experience and another safari
- Safari long-sleeved shirt and convertible trousers to save your entire body from rough jungle surfaces, and when they get dirty, you are not afraid of the stains
- Tracking boots for wearing on your feet to go through soggy surfaces and slippery ground
- A pair of stockings to tack in your trouser and prevent insects from climbing into your trousers.
- First aid to carry emergency medication in case you need it.
- A pair of binoculars to get a clearer view of far-ranging attractions.
- Energy snacks to munch on when you get hungry because you need to re-energize
- Medicated insect repellants to keep away stinging insects in the jungle
- Torch in case lights go out in the night as you are sleeping
- A pair of garden gloves for protecting your palms when you slide and holding a tighter grip on creepers.
- Safari large brim hat to safeguard your head from dripping water off the leaves and buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Carry some hard cash to change into local currency and use when purchasing personal items on the ground.
- An extra fully charged for exchanging with when one runs low
- Travel adapter and charger just in case you need to charge your electronic equipment
- Bug spray to use in case you locate the bugs while on safari
- A light, waterproof bag for carrying your belongings in the jungle. In case you tripe, you do not scatter your items. Even when it rains, they are safe from humid conditions like rain
- A shoe bag to put in your shoes when they get dirty, and you have no time to clean them
What Else To Combine With Golden Monkeys Habituation Experience In Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga national park is currently hosting one gorilla family called Nyakagezi. You can pre-book its gorilla permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority. You must also book accommodation closer to or within Mgahinga National Park.
Birding In Mgahinga National Park
This forested national park is an excellent birding destination in the Albertine Rift. As ornithologists explain, the Mgahinga forest has a record of about 115 birds but is still expanding. The chances of spotting Albertine endemics are high. You may spot birds like handsome francolin, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, and others.
Mountaineering In Mgahinga Mountains
Mgahinga National Park comprises three distinctive volcanoes: Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Sabyinyo, and Mountain Muhavura. You can do an excursion of about 8 hours return trip where you can enjoy the park beauties of this virgin national park because it’s less visited. When standing at the summit of mountain Sabyinyo, you get a 360 view of the border of Uganda, Rwanda, and D.R.Congo.
For more information about golden monkey trekking, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.