Here, scholars should clearly give the similarities and differences between the two experiences. Let us take case studies of Uganda and Rwanda – both countries are endowed with both mountain Gorillas and Golden monkeys.
In Uganda, Golden Monkeys are found in Mgahinga National Park situated in Kisoro district near the border of Uganda – Rwanda in Virunga crescent. Like in Rwanda, golden monkey tracking in Mgahinga National Park rewards visitors the view of some Virunga ranges ling Gahinga among others. Therefore, the trek enables tourists to take wonderful photographs of the amazing relief, golden monkeys, and Mountain Gorillas. Golden monkey trekking in Uganda’s Mgahinga is done through the tropical forest while in Rwanda, it is done in Bamboo forest – thus visitors are advised to visit both parks.
In Rwanda, Golden monkey trekking is done in Volcanoes National Park- 2 hours drive from Kigali (the capital city of Rwanda). The journey to the park rewards the visitors the view of the wonderful Virunga ranges like sabyinyo volcano, Karisimbi, Visoke, Gahinga among others. Bamboo forest in Volcanoes National park is also worth seeing. The difference between Uganda Golden Monkey trekking is that encountering in Volcanoes bamboo forest is much easier or less strenuous that Mgahinga’ s tropical forest.
Both Rwanda and Uganda are gifted by Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi impenetrable Forest respectively. The difference is that Uganda has more gorillas than Rwanda and trekking in Uganda is much hectic than in Rwanda. Uganda Mountain Gorillas are found in impenetrable forest unlike in the bamboo forest of Rwanda.
In terms of accessibility, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is reached after 3 hours drive from Kigali- the capital city of Rwanda while Uganda’s Bwindi is reached after 8 hours drive from Kampala- the capital city of Uganda.
Below are the similarities between the Golden Monkey and Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda:
Both experiences are done after briefing – 30 minutes briefing is done in the morning by the wildlife officials (rangers) who then led the groups to meet the apes.
In both experiences, trekkers are equipped by the rules and regulations to be followed at the encounter of the primates (gorillas or Golden monkeys).
Both Golden monkeys and gorillas are habituated by the researchers before exposed to be officially visited or offered for official tourism activities.
In both, a maximum of eight people is allowed to visit each Gorilla or Golden monkey trekking.
Both experiences are conducted in the morning hours – 7:00 am after the briefing.
Golden Monkey and Gorilla trekking take place in the forest and the primates are found in their natural habitat or natural environment.
Both experiences are conducted in gazetted places known as national parks – heritage sites.
Both primates are shy are trekking experiences are enjoyable/ exciting/ amazing and memorable.
Differences between Gorilla and Golden monkey trekking are as well discussed below:
Gorillas are huge than Golden Monkeys in size and a male Gorillas are huger than female ones.
Golden monkeys are more active and can climb high up the trees making it hard to take their clear photos thus trekkers are advised to set their cameras – ever ready to take quick snaps. Gorillas are slow in climbing thus giving trekkers a chance to take clear photos and films.
Tracking Gorillas is much expensive than the Golden monkey trekking. Each Gorilla permit in Rwanda is sold at US$ 750 and Uganda’s permit at US$ 600 each compared to US$ 100 for Golden Monkey trekking in Rwanda and US$ 50 for each Uganda Golden Monkey tracking permit. That also shows that taking a Rwanda gorilla safari is much expensive than Uganda gorilla safari based on the prices of permits for gorillas and golden monkeys.
Previous trekkers testify that Gorilla trekking is much interesting than Golden monkey trekking despite the fact that Gorilla permits are more expensive than Golden monkeys’
Mountain trekking experience lasts for long compared to Golden Monkey- the former takes approximately 2-6 hours well as Golden Monkeys 2-4 hours or less.