Also referred to as the Cercopithecus kandti, the Golden Monkeys are among the unique primate species normally explored on Primate Safaris in Uganda.
Thriving only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on Ugandan standards, Golden Monkeys are endangered world over and thrive only in three countries of Uganda , Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo on a world scale. In Volcanoes National Park, a section of them has been habituated and travelers on Rwanda Safaris and tours always track them from Kinigi ranger post.
Noted to be species of Old World Monkey, the Golden Monkeys are notable sub species of blue Monkey also referred to as Cercopithecus mitis and though they share a lot in common, the former feature a golden patch on their back along with the upper flanks.
Golden Monkeys tend to live in the social groups of 30 – 80 members and consume much of fruit and leaves and can as well take in insects but on a limited scale as at times explored on Uganda Safaris. They prefer a great deal of Bamboo which explains their considerable dwelling in the bamboo zone on the slopes of the volcanic Mountains.
The social groups are headed by adult male while the female defends the territory since males keep with the group for a certain period before vacating. And unlike the Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, the Golden Monkeys can return to their previous sleeping areas.
The Gestation period of these species lasts five (5) months after which one offspring is born with its eyes open and fur on it. The placenta of the young one is consumed by the mother and keeps it clean by licking. The nursing of the young one goes one until it produces another one after a period of two years.
Their endangered status as listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list is based on the habitat loss along with war threats that have marked the area where Golden Monkeys thrive for decades past. The habituated groups are available for visitation and no advance booking is required. The travelers on Uganda tours pay $50 per permit and $40 per person for park entrance fees while in Rwanda, the golden Monkey permit costs $100 inclusive of entrance fees.