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Golden Monkey trekking is another fully fun, adventurous tourism activity. Golden Monkeys are regarded one of the world’s endangered species with about 4000 of them left all over the world.  Golden monkeys live in families which are always grouped in a number of at least 30 and staying in a particular location for some time and led by an Alpha male. The Golden monkeys prefer to live in bamboo forested areas and feed on bamboo leaves, flowers and fruits, lichens among others that are always found in this part of the forest. These monkeys have a golden-orange and black-silver color on their fur which gets them named as golden monkeys. They are a very unique species of primates and can be found on slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes spanning from Rwanda to D.R. Congo and Uganda. In Uganda, golden monkey trekking takes place in Mgahinga National Park alongside gorilla trekking.

Mgahinga National Park is located in South-Western Uganda in Kisoro district which is approximately 485.8 km from Kampala – the Ugandan capital. That’s an 8-hour drive on road plus 30 minutes from Kisoro to Mgahinga.

It’s also possible travelling by air from Entebbe to Kisoro airstrip with charter and scheduled flights available for booking. You can also travel to the park through Rwanda and a drive from Kigali to this park takes only 4 hours through the Katuna or Cyanika border. Mgahinga National Park is the sole home for golden monkey trekking in Uganda.


There is need for visitors to purchase golden monkey tracking permits as they are what gives you passage or access to take part in this dramatic activity. A permit for foreign non-residents and foreign residents costs $60 while for residents or citizens of East Africa costs 40,000ugx per person. For visitors that want to spend more time with golden monkeys, there’s also “Golden Monkey Habituation Experience” whose permit costs $100 for foreign non-residents while for residents or East African Citizens it costs 100,000 UGX.


Golden monkey trekking is done throughout the year with visitors hiking into forests with the guidance of tour guides as they search for golden monkeys that are always in their natural habitat. The activity isn’t strenuous and usually takes around 3 hours with the visitors only allowed to spend one hour with the monkeys.

All visitors are briefed before the tracking starts with children below the age of 12 exempted from the activity. The trekking always starts early in the morning with the briefing of visitors happening as early as 7:30am.

Trails are easily passable during the dry season which makes it the best time to go for golden monkey trekking. Dry season usually happens in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February which is also the activity’s peak season. 


When going for golden monkey trekking, visitors need to carry with them some items for the activity to happen smoothly. Among these include binoculars, rain jackets, insect repellants as these are forests, long sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid contact with wild vegetation in the forests and insect bites, good hiking shoes to go through the trekking paths, water as the exercise may be tiring for some and takes around 3 hours and also energy giving snacks or packed lunch just in case the trekking takes more time than expected.

Don’t forget to carry a camera, you will need an extra battery and a memory card just in case you need them.

Since the exercise takes more than an hour and involves trekking into the forests which is tiring, visitors can hire porters to help them carry their luggage and help where necessary during the trekking as the paths can be slippery at times.

Visitors should also remember to carry a walking stick which is supposed to be provided at the briefing point or hotel which is supposed to provide support at some points during the trekking.


The entire cost of a golden monkey trekking tour will depend on the particular golden monkey safari package that a visitor chooses. The safaris cut across different budgets and different activities with the visitor expected to choose their preferred and affordable choice.

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