What is the best time to see golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park?
What is the best time to see golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park? Mgahinga national park is Uganda’s smallest national park located in the southwestern part of the country in Kisoro district. The 33.9 sq. km area is home to not only mountain gorillas but also golden monkeys. Golden monkeys are endangered species of primates found only in the Virunga conservation area. The Virunga conservation area consists of Mgahinga national park, Virunga national park, and Volcanoes national park.
Golden monkeys are some of the 20 primates in Uganda seen in only Mgahinga national park. Some of the golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park have been habituated and others are still going through habituation. A lot of tourists love to see these beautiful golden monkeys in the wild very playful and social.
So many tourists love to visit Mgahinga national park and spend time with the golden monkeys. Today we are going to look at which time of the year one should visit Mgahinga and spend quality time with the golden monkeys. There are 12 months in a year and each month has its own experience. Mgahinga national park has two dry seasons and two rainy seasons each of which gives its own travel experience.
The dry season
So far said to be the best time to visit Mgahinga national park, the dry season does happen twice a year. The first dry season is from June to September and the second dry season is from December to February. These two seasons attract a lot of tourists from different parts of the world to the park who want to see mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Encountering golden monkeys is best done in the dry season because that is when the park is receiving more sunshine and little rainfall. Tourists who trek golden monkeys during the dry season find golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga trails very dry and easier to pass through. This doesn’t affect the seed of trekkers and for days when the troops are near the starting points, locating them takes a few hours.
Roads leading to Mgahinga national park are easily passable during the dry season. The marram roads from the main routes to the park are also in good condition, very dry because of the too much sunshine and less rainfall. Getting to the park takes the estimated hours because there is nothing like getting stuck in the mad and reducing speed because of slippery roads.
During the dry season, the golden monkeys are clearly seen and photographs are well captured. This is because the vegetation is dried up by the too much shine so they end up being short and scattered. Tourists need to know that even though vegetation is short, golden monkey are very playful and they jump so fast from one area to another. This means that tourists need to be attentive and faster to capture images.
The rainy season
There are tourists who find time to travel when it’s a rainy season in Mgahinga national park and there are those that travel in the rainy season because they heard about discounted accommodation and tour packages. The rainy season has never been the best to visit Mgahinga national park for golden monkey trekking but since the park is always open tourists can visit.
One of the advantages of visiting Mgahinga national park to see golden monkeys in the rainy season is that the tour package from your local tour operator will be discounted. This is because the lodge owners reduce the prices to attract the few travelers that are visiting the national park.
Searching and locating golden monkey on lucky days of the rainy season can take a shorter time even though trails are muddy and slippery. This is because there is plenty of food for all animals in the park which means they don’t go far searching for what to eat. Golden monkeys are not like mountain gorillas who move all day to different areas looking for food. They can decide to settle on one area with bamboo shoots which is their main food.
Tourists who visit golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park during the rainy season must be ready to meet the rainfall. There is plenty of rainfall in Mgahinga which can even fall each day. Tourists must go with warm sweaters, rain jackets, and long-sleeved clothes to reduce on the coldness that is in the park.
The too much rainfall in Mgahinga national park during the rainy season makes golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga trails muddy and slippery. With your waterproof hiking shoes, you will still get some challenges. Finding golden monkeys takes longer in case they are far from the starting point therefore tourists must be ready and physically fit.
Getting to Mgahinga national park during the rainy season takes longer because the roads tend to be muddy and slippery. There are marram routes from the main route in Kisoro to the park which become very slippery on days of heavy rainfall. When cars get stuck on the way it does delay time one would have reached the park.
Encountering golden monkeys of Mgahinga national park
There are two golden monkey activities carried out in Mgahinga national park and these are golden monkey trekking and golden monkey habituation. Both activities do start with a briefing where rangers teach the dos and don’ts of the activities. Ranger guides with firearms lead groups into the jungle where they start to look for where these golden monkeys could be.
The search for golden monkeys in Mgahinga park takes 1 to 4 hours and during the search, tourists will be able to meet different wildlife along the way. When the golden monkeys are found if its trekking, trekkers are given one hour given to watch members do daily activities, and if its habituation, 4 hours are given, and at some point, trekkers are part of activities that make the apes get used to human presence around them.