Golden Monkey or (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti) is a local subspecies of the widespread
Sykes Monkey, also known as the “Blue Monkey” and is endemic to the high altitude forests of
the Volcanoes National Park area in Rwanda.
Golden monkeys are known to have unique characters and are a rare species that are
endangered at the moment. They are easily recognized due to the yellow patches that can be
seen all over their bodies. The Golden monkeys are also known as ‘the Old world monkey’ and
the only way to separate these primates from others is by their noses. There is a unique
character about the golden monkeys and that is their nostrils face upwards, most of the
monkeys have their nostrils pointing to the sides.
Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda mostly takes place in the Volcanoes which is found in the
Virunga Mountains and it has only one session per day which starts in the morning. Those who
are willing to take part in the golden monkey trekking are advised to report at the headquarters
by 7:00 am for a mini briefing about the trek before it starts.
The Golden Monkeys in the Rwanda are divided into two troops of which the largest group is
located in the Sabinyo and has 80 to 100 monkeys and it is the most visited troop in Rwanda
while the other troop which is slightly smaller in number is located in the Volcanoes.
Trekking permits for golden monkeys in Rwanda go for $100 Dollars each and the beauty about
the gorilla trek in Rwanda is that it is not limited to the age or number of persons.
The monkeys are easily found since most of them live just right below the Volcanoes Mountain
and can be seen swinging from the bamboo trees in the forest hence the tourists can track
them down by following the left over bamboo shoots which are always left by the monkeys
after eating. The monkeys also move out in the open and feast on the cones and food in the
fields owned by the farmers near the forest making it easy for the tourists to see them.
These monkeys are Albertine Endemics which means that they are confined in that specific area
of the Albertine which is an area filled with valleys and Mountains including various tree species
that make up the forests surrounding the area.
These monkeys normally communicate through gestures using hands, vocalization and facial
expressions. They wave their hands about in order to tell others what they need.
The young golden monkeys normally use call communications to show their submissiveness to
the older ones, the male primates use their call communications to show that they own the
territory and as a sign of aggression, whereas the female golden monkeys use call signs for
gathering the group of monkeys.
Where Golden Monkeys Sleep.
The golden monkeys weave various bamboo plants together to make a nest where they nest
and make their homes while bamboo trees are weaved together to make beds .
Population of the Golden monkeys in Rwanda.
The Golden monkeys are becoming extinct and it is believed that the main reason for this is the
loss of habitat. The population is believed to be about 2500 to 3500 but it is reducing at a
drastic rate because of human settlement and farming.
What Golden Monkeys Feed On
Golden monkeys usually feed mostly in areas where they sleep to make it easy for them to get
food. They take trips to foliage for food for the young.
The golden monkeys normally are herbivores and feed on the plants that are found in the
forests but their major food is the bamboo they also eat anything that is available to them as
long as it is edible like shrubs, larvae found on the trees, flowers, branches and shoots.
How Golden Monkeys live
These monkeys live in groups of 30 to 80 with one dominant male monkey showing dominance
over the rest in the group. The male monkeys travel from group to group and can mate from all
the groups whereas the females tend to guard only one territory. Twenty years is the life span
of these golden monkeys.
What To Carry While On A Golden Monkey Trek
A visitor going for a Golden Monkey trek should follow the guidelines as laid out below;
1.When taking photographs, flashes are not allowed on the cameras as they scare the
2. Carry food or snacks and water for the hike. There are no other stops where you will get
food from therefore it is advisable to pack breakfast from the hotel or a few snacks to
munch on along the way.
3. Move with a rain jacket because the weather in the area is unpredictable. This will shield
you from the heavy rains just especially in the morning.
4. Carry good hiking shoes that do not slide due to the wet ground, a wide brimmed hat for
when it is hot to shield you from the sunshine and do not forget repellent to avoid insect