Our two-day golden monkey trekking adventure in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park takes you to one of Africa’s oldest wildlife conservation areas. The Volcanoes National Park is located in Rwanda’s northwestern region. It is arguably Rwanda’s most popular national park. Since reopening in 1999 following the civil war and genocide, the park has seen a significant increase in visitors. The park’s main draw is the endangered mountain gorillas, but it also has golden monkeys, forest elephants, buffaloes, bush duikers, and spotted hyenas. There are 178 bird species recorded in Volcanoes National Park. The park’s vegetation is diverse, with afro-alpine types (at higher elevations), bamboo forest on lower mountain slopes, hygenia rainforests, savanna grasslands, and swamps. The presence of five volcanoes within the park – Mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Muhabura – is the primary reason for this exceptional biodiversity.
The Volcanoes National Park drew international attention in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a result of the work of the great primatologist Dian Fossey. Dian Fossey spent two decades studying mountain gorillas in the area before dying as a result of her stand against poachers. She studied mountain gorillas in depth and pioneered new gorilla habituation techniques. She later shifted her focus from research to gorilla conservation in Africa. Golden monkeys are among sub-species of the blue monkey. They can only be found in the Virunga Mountains of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda has golden monkeys in Gishwati-Mukura and Nyungwe National Parks in addition to the Volcanoes National Park.
Golden-orange fur coats are a distinguishing feature of Golden Monkeys. They reside in 80-person troops. Golden monkeys primarily eat insects and bamboo, though they will often raid gardens looking for potatoes. The African Eagle is their main foe. They keep an eye out for eagles, especially when it’s pouring. There are no habituated golden monkeys in Nyungwe or Gishwati-Mukura. In the Volcanoes National Park, there are two habituated groups of golden monkeys with a combined population of roughly 85. These two settled populations are on Mount Sabinyo’s slopes.
The Guide will pick you up in the early hours of the morning from your hotel or the airport in Kigali. He will give you an introduction to the tour and lead you on a tour around Kigali’s downtown. The former presidential palace, the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, the city markets, and the craft stores are all included in the city tour of Kigali. After lunch, you’ll travel to the Volcanoes National Park. It takes around two hours to get there, and the route passes through stunning countryside with lovely rolling hills and views of people working in their gardens. As you get to your lodge, settle in, have a quick break, and then take in the magnificent views of the Virunga volcanoes. You will be picked up by the driver and taken on a tour of the Iby’iwacu Culture Center. The Iby’iwacu Cultural Village attracts the most tourists in Rwanda. All the tribes of Rwanda are coming together to perform dance, theatre, and storytelling as a way to promote their unique history. All the information you need to know about the people and culture of Rwanda may be found here. The purchase of a regional memento will be required of you.
Dinner and overnight accommodations are available at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, and Kinigi Guest House (budget) (Luxury).
Get up early and eat breakfast before heading to Kinigi’s headquarters. The briefing begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 8:00 a.m. You will then be led along other trackers to the starting point, which is at the base of the Volcano. The scenery is stunning, with dense green forest and five volcanoes in all directions. The monkeys are easy to spot because they enjoy eating bamboo, which grows on the lower slopes of the volcanoes. You have an hour with them after you locate them. If they move, you are free to follow them. Once they have completed the habituation phase, golden monkeys are not timid. You can take beautiful pictures of them because you can anticipate having close encounters with them. Golden monkeys don’t tolerate flash photography, in contrast to mountain gorillas. They actually enjoy being captured on camera. Because of their mobility, it can be difficult to take nice shots, but you won’t have any problems with moving. The joyful nature of golden monkeys will astound you as you watch them use their innate abilities to climb bamboo trees and select delectable shoots from their branches. They adore potatoes and will wander into human gardens without hesitation to collect some. You’ll discover more about how they act and why they’re in danger. After spending an hour with the gorillas, you will return to the starting location and continue your trip to Kigali from there.
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