Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda

golden monkey

Gold­en Mon­key Trekking is a famous activ­i­ty in Rwan­da com­ing sec­ond after goril­la trekking. Gold­en Mon­keys belong to the “Old-World Mon­keys” which are one of the world’s endan­gered species. In Rwan­da gold­en mon­keys can only be tracked in the Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park. Gold­en Mon­keys are a unique sub­species of blue mon­keys and live usu­al­ly in groups that can go up to 100 mem­bers as they swing through the bam­boo forests where they per­ma­nent­ly inhabit.

Gold­en mon­keys can be dis­tin­guished by their shiny yel­low­ish-gold­en fur at their back which is where their name comes from. Since gold­en mon­keys always live the foot of the vol­ca­noes from where the for­est starts, it’s eas­i­er to trek them com­pared to goril­las. One may not be able to get so close to the gold­en mon­keys as they keep swing­ing through the bam­boo, they are excit­ing and enter­tain­ing to watch.

How is Gold­en Mon­key Trekking done?

Usu­al­ly, gold­en mon­key trekking starts ear­ly in the morn­ing, brief­ing is done at the head­quar­ters as the guide takes you through what you expect to expe­ri­ence and also lets you know of the rules of the activ­i­ty. You’re then grouped and assigned to a guide who will help you track a par­tic­u­lar group of gold­en monkeys.

The time you spend before you reach a group of gold­en mon­keys depends on their loca­tion, how­ev­er the expe­ri­ence can­not be as tir­ing as goril­la trekking. When you find the mon­keys, you have at least one hour to be in close con­tact with them. Since these mon­keys have been habit­u­at­ed, they’re get­ting used to being in the pres­ence of humans and there­fore can eas­i­ly get real­ly close or even just past you.

When to go for gold­en mon­key trekking in Rwanda?

Gold­en mon­key trekking can be done any time through­out the year. How­ev­er, the activ­i­ty is more con­ducive when con­duct­ed dur­ing dri­er months of Decem­ber to Feb­ru­ary and June to Sep­tem­ber. The rainy months include April to May and Novem­ber, how­ev­er it’s usu­al­ly slip­pery and hence mak­ing the activ­i­ty a bit dif­fi­cult and less interesting.

How much does gold­en mon­key trekking cost?

When­ev­er you con­sid­er to go for gold­en mon­key trekking, you should know that a gold­en mon­key trekking per­mit is a require­ment. The cost of gold­en mon­key trekking is there­fore decid­ed by your bud­get since the trekking per­mits aren’t expen­sive. A gold­en mon­key trekking per­mit is sold at US$100 for all inter­na­tion­al tourists.

At a small fee you could also get some porters to help car­ry your bags through­out the trekking. Oth­er than the per­mits and porters, trans­porta­tion and accom­mo­da­tion will also deter­mine the cost of the activity.


Gold­en Mon­key Trekking rules and reg­u­la­tions are shared dur­ing brief­ing held at the head­quar­ters before the adven­ture begins. Among these include the following;

One is sup­posed to keep a rea­son­able dis­tance. This is because it’s easy for humans to spread dis­eases to these primates.
When you’re tak­ing pic­tures, you’re not allowed to use a cam­era flash as it may either dri­ve them away or force them to attack you which may lead to fatal injuries.
In case you move with eat­a­bles or bot­tled water, you’re sup­posed to keep the lit­ter with­in your bad as lit­ter­ing is not allowed with­in the park.
Silence is para­mount when con­duct­ing gold­en mon­key trekking. Loud voic­es usu­al­ly dri­ve away the mon­keys as the for­est should only be heard to pro­duce sounds of nature.
You always have to keep in the direc­tion of the group your mov­ing with and also fol­low the direc­tions of the tour guide.

Goril­la Trekking.

This is the most famous tourism activ­i­ty con­duct­ed in Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park. The Park is the only place in Rwan­da where moun­tain goril­las can be found and all over the world oth­er than in Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of Con­go and Ugan­da. Goril­la trekking takes place through­out the year and it’s up to you decide what time to visit.

A goril­la trekking per­mit is a require­ment of any­one who wants to take part in goril­la trekking. Since the activ­i­ty attracts very many tourists, it’s always advis­able that you book your per­mit earlier.


The park has been a home to bird life through­out the year which makes it a per­fect spot for bird watch­ing. It is record­ed to have over 200 bird species. How­ev­er, since the vol­ca­noes are known for hav­ing mist, it could be a bit chal­leng­ing. This leaves a bet­ter option of con­duct­ing the activ­i­ty dur­ing dry months of June to August and per­haps Jan­u­ary to Feb­ru­ary when there is less rain.


Vol­ca­noes Nation­al Park is home to the Virun­ga Vol­ca­noes which include Mount Karisim­bi, Mount. Bisoke, Mount. Muhabu­ra, Mount. Gahin­ga and Mount Sabyinyo which makes the park a des­ti­na­tion for hik­ing tours in Rwanda.

Hik­ing is there­fore done on all the vol­ca­noes apart from Mount Sabyinyo which is dan­ger­ous for hik­ing due to its sharp ridges. These vol­ca­noes have dif­fer­ent trails which make hik­ing eas­i­er. Time spent hik­ing depends on the vol­cano and lev­el of fit­ness of the visitors.

Explore Destinations
Share Article

“A long journey to East Africa begins with a single step…”

Book Your Safari Now
Book With Us!

We have proper understanding of the local context of Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC and Burundi which helps us secure pleasant, safe, and memorable experiences for our clients from the time they arrive into the country, to the time they depart.

    Our Partners
    Uganda Tourism Board
    Uganda Wildlife Authority
    Association of Uganda Tour Operators