The golden monkey the scientific name is ‘Cercopithecus mitis kandti’.It’s approximately 48 to 67 cm for males and 45-53cm for females. It weighs 4.5-7kgs and has a life span of 19 years. Its habita is the viruga volcanoies in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC.
The Golden Monkey is a subspecies of the Blue monkey (or Sykes monkey). As a result of continuous divisions of forests, Cercopithecus species were isolated in different regions and therefore forced to adapt to these regions. The golden monkey is said to have diverged from Cercopithecus mitis during these isolation events (it is one of 8 subspecies of Cercopithecus mitis) and is now endangered. Because it has been seldom studied, little is known about the golden monkey, its behavior, and its ecology.
Golden monkey males have a reddish color on their back and the dorsal part of their sides as well as some grizzled darker patches. Females are lighter in color and have less grizzled brown patches.
Golden monkeys live in groups of between 30-80 individuals, usually led by one adult male. The female defends her territory, while males stay for a certain period after which they leave the group. These males are in the position to copulate with every female in the group; however, it is the females that solicit the males. These monkeys use a series of different calls to express themselves. Males use calls to communicate territoriality and fighting, females to display group cohesion and alertness, and subadults to display submissiveness and to stimulate mobbing behavior. They also communicate using visual expressions.
Golden monkeys eat about 20 to 30 plant species. They mostly rely on leaves, fruits, and invertebrates, but their main preference is bamboo. Predators
Humans are the main predators, as they encroach onto the golden monkeys’ habitat, set snares, and illegally cut down bamboo. Conservation efforts are being made to protect the golden monkey and their forest habitat; however, they are still threatened.
Those interested in golden monkey tracking will be required to book permits from the Uganda Wildlife Authority in the case of Mgahinga National Park and the Rwanda Development Board in the case of Volcanoes National Park. This golden monkey tracking permit will allow you some time with these monkeys before returning to your Lodge. At Platinum Safaris, we do handle permits, transport as well as accommodation if contacted.
In Maghinga National Park, one can go for a full-day golden monkey experience where one sets out with researchers and enjoys a whole day with golden monkeys. Chances of finding golden monkeys are high and should you fail to see them, Uganda Wildlife Authority terms and conditions will apply. Kindly confirm with us at the time of confirmation.
Because golden monkeys are found in Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park, it is very possible to combine this activity with gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park. which is closer to Mgahinga.
Challenge yourself and include golden monkey tracking in your Uganda safari and Platinum Safaris dedicated tour designers will be looking forward to attending to all your inquiries. Send us an email expressing all your interests, time of travel, number of days, and people in your group and we will customize a safari to suit your interests, time, and budget