Golden Monkey Trek Video
Dan and Xiannon were town; our first visitors!? We were fighting visitors off with a stick in Dubai but unfortunately this was not so in the heart of Africa. As Xiannon is a monkey nut and they had booked the gorillas in Bwindi ($350 in november!), there was only one trip to make… the golden monkey trek at the Volcanoes National Park (VNP).A quick trip to RDB was followed by an unfathomably long wait of over an hour in the empty RDB office to get our permits. Next was the hotel to organise. Foyer de Charite was full 😦 . So we booked the Ruhondo Beach hotel (+250 782497865, +250 728497865, +250 738497865, email@example.com), which a a stunning view (see the bottom of the page) and in total we paid $100 which was a little less than Virunga Lodge! We set off the next day. Leaving the Kigali-Musanze bounced along the dirt track to the Ruhondo Beach hotel (you can also take a boat to the hotel, which provides a quicker route to the national park but you do not get the great views of the driving route). We checked in and then relaxed next to the lake and enjoyed the view.
A 5.30am alarm and 6am departure was a little sharp but we had to get to the national park office for 7am… ish. We made it, registered, ate our packed breakfast, picked up a coffee, drove to the set off point and then we were hiking towards to the golden monkeys. As the hike is a little short and quite flat, the ranger was doing his best to slow us down to lengthen the experience. When we reached the national park boundary, the ranger gave us a pep talk. Then we walked round the corner and the whole golden monkey troop was outside the national park enjoying the local farmers’ potatoes! The rangers ushered the alpha male into the forest, the rest of the troop followed, and we could see the golden monkeys in their natural environment. An hour of monkey frolicking followed: leaping, eating, grooming, baby clinging, fighting and posing.
Afterwards, we went to Virunga Lodge for a $3 soda! Whether are not you are a monkey nut, the golden monkeys are worth a gander…