Golden Monkeys in Rwanda
Golden Monkeys in Rwanda : Golden monkeys are one of the rare primate species and are considered endangered species lately. Golden monkeys are currently staying in the Virunga Mountains of the three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. The golden monkeys can be visited in all the above three mentioned countries.
The golden monkeys are a unique primate species that is under the monkey family. These golden monkeys can be identified by the golden to yellow patches all over their bodies. Another common name for these golden monkeys is the Old world monkey. On top of the golden to yellow bodies, the golden monkeys have a different shape for their nostrils. The usual nostrils of monkeys tend to face downwards yet for these golden monkeys, their nostrils are upward facing.
The Golden monkeys can be visited in the Mgahinga gorilla national park of Uganda, the Virunga national park of the Democratic republic of Congo and the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda. The golden monkeys are endemics species to the Albertine region and this area is majorly comprised by valleys and mountains and forested land. By endemic species, we mean species that are only found in that area and tend to keep in that area.
The Volcanoes national park of Rwanda may not be the only place in Rwanda where you will be able to spot the golden monkeys as they have been spotted in the Akagera national park as well. These primates have an attractive color and the Volcanoes national park offers the “where the silver meets gold” experience as it is a home to both the silverback gorillas and the golden monkeys.
Just like any other living family, the golden monkeys live together and tend to communicate within themselves. The communication among the golden monkeys is mostly gestures using hand signals, facial expressions and also some sounds that they can understand among themselves. The sounds are majorly used to raise attention or alarm as well as some hand movements to let the other party understand what they are trying to relay.
The male golden monkeys are the leaders of the families and they use the vocals to mark their territory and also a sign of strength while the females usually communicate to bring the family members together. The younger golden monkeys are submissive to the elders and usually use their sound to show that submissiveness.
The golden monkeys on a trek are usually seen swinging from one tree branch to another so they are expected to spend their nights in the open up in trees. You should however know that the golden monkeys weave nests every night from the bamboo plants in which they take a night’s rest from the day’s activity.
The last census that was aimed at determining the number of golden monkeys came up with results of about 2,500 to 3,500 golden monkeys living in the Virunga forests. The numbers have been drastically reducing but with the conservation efforts lately, numbers have been increasing.
The golden yellow color of these monkeys is spread out on the cheeks, the torso, and the back and also around the eyes with black legs and that is where their name came from. These are diurnal animals and early risers that is why you the treks are usually done early in the morning. The golden monkeys are playful animals that can be seen jumping from one tree branch to another while on the golden monkey trekking.
The golden monkeys living in the forests have access to food and these are herbivorous animals. The golden monkeys feed on the bamboo shoots and barks. They also feed on the roots of trees, the branches as well. The wild fruits are a great meal for these golden monkeys and can also feed on the larvae found on the trees.
The golden monkeys also tend to live in groups of about 50 individuals or even more and are led by a male monkey. These male monkeys are free to move to other groups and mate from other groups but the females are usually restricted to their original group. A golden monkey permit in the Volcanoes national park can be obtained at 100 USD per person.
If you are booking yourself a golden monkey trekking experience in Rwanda, be sure to pack great hiking boots, rain jackets in case of rains, long sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin, warm clothing as it can get very cold in this part of the country. Do not forget a great camera to capture your moments.