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How and Where to Buy Golden Monkey Permit in Rwanda

Rwanda is listed among the best destinations to see golden monkeys on the Africa continent, the park offers the rarest opportunity to watch these rare primates in their natural setting.

Golden monkey tracking in Rwanda can only be done in Volcanoes National Park and to get a chance to spend time with these endangered little monkeys you need to have a golden monkey permit. Watching faces of these hairy, round cheeks with reddish – gold-back contrast of fur and vigilant owl-like, deep-brown eyes is an incredible wildlife encounter.

Usually, golden monkeys are confused with the snub-nosed golden monkeys of China. But they are distinct, golden monkeys are a close relative to the blue monkeys given the two are quite similar overall. The golden monkeys have a golden-orange patch on the upper flanks and back.

Golden monkeys live in large, social groups of up to or even 100 individuals dominated by a male. Their diet primarily consists of bamboo, they live and forage only in the bamboo forests of the Virunga Mountains.

Unlike mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park is less strenuous and it makes an excellent introductory trek as you acclimatize to the high altitudes on the first day. Just like gorilla permits, you have to obtain a golden monkey trekking permit before your day of the excursion.

Here are tips on how to obtain a golden monkey permit in Rwanda.

Golden monkeys are only found in the bamboo forest zones of the Virunga Mountains that is in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in DR. Congo. Each of these national parks has a couple of habituated golden monkey troops and offer daily excursions.

In this article we focus on Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda’s primate destination, the park has two golden monkey troops of 80 – 100 individuals that are habituated for golden monkey trekking are available for daily excursions.

Golden monkey trekking permit allow you to join the daily excursions that start at 08:00 am and take almost half of the day, the excursion starts with briefing at the briefing point in Kinigi, outside the park. In groups led by the trekking guide and two-armed park rangers, you will head the starting point and head into the rainforest jungle.

Your local guide will be in contact radio communication with the golden monkey trackers, led you through the forest and into dense vegetation till you find the golden monkeys.  When you find the golden monkey troop, you will be allowed to spend preciously one hour observing the playful monkeys as they jump from one bamboo tree to another, some will come down to the forest floor where you can watch them at close distance.

Golden monkey trekking permit in Rwanda costs $ 100 per foreigner for a single trek, $65 for foreign residents, $ 80 for East Africans and Foreign residents and RWF 4000 for Rwandan Citizens. 

Golden monkey permits are not scare even in high season; however we recommend booking your permit before your Rwanda trip. 

The minimum age for visitors to be eligible for a golden monkey permit is 15 years.

A maximum of 16 people can trek a single golden monkey group in Volcanoes National Park.

A golden monkey permit includes

  • An expert guide who directs the whole journey in the rainforest and during your time with the golden monkeys, two armed rangers will come along for security purposes.
  • 60 minutes of being with the golden monkeys
  • Entrance fee to Volcanoes National Park


A golden monkey permit does not include porter fees, meals, snacks, drinking water, accommodation, or for that matter, anything outside the trekking excursion period.

You can purchase golden monkey permits directly from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) Office in Kigali or online at the IREMBO official website.

If you want to avoid the local logistics, as Hope Tours Rwanda we can help buy, process and manage your Rwanda golden monkey tracking safari with expertise.

Booking a golden monkey trekking permit is based on availability.

The online application process involves filling out mandatory forms, uploading requisite support documents and paying the applicable fees. 

All applications, whether online or with an agent, full details of the guest (names, passport, email and phone number) at the time of payment.

Permit bookings and reservations are on first come first served basis, either online or with a tour company.

Last minute golden monkey permits are available provided, 16 people are allowed to trek a single golden monkey troop. You can get a last-minute golden monkey permit with your tour operator.

However, we generally advise travelers to book weeks in advance especially if you intend to include golden monkeys on your Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park. booking early means that you are assured of getting your permits for the dates you plan on traveling.

Contact us on info@hopetoursrwanda.com to purchase your golden monkey permits as well as all the information regarding Rwanda safaris.

  • The golden monkey permit must be used within two years of the purchase date unless rescheduled in advance with a minimum of 7 days before the visit date
  • You must book the permit in advance with full payment, a booking deposit for golden monkey permit is not accepted.
  • Before the golden monkey trekking experience, all visitors are expected to check -in at the Visitor Center for permit validation by park staff before the time of departure that is 07:00 am. The validation process for the permit involves the visitor presenting their original copy of the golden monkey permit or booking reference number obtained from the IREMBO or RDB Sales & Reservation Office
  • The RDB recognizes that there will be times when it is necessary to reschedule the golden monkey trekking permits purchased, either due to planned changes to the itinerary or due to unforeseen circumstances.


Rescheduling is only applicable within a seven (7) days advance notice, acceptable once and within 15 months of the date of purchase or booking. However, it is subject to availability.

The decision to grant renewal is solely left to the discretion of the RDB Management.

Book your golden monkey safari with Hope Tours Africa, we will take care of all the logistics for your experience such as booking your golden monkey permit, accommodation, transportation, and any other activity you may need to add to your safari.

Contact our safari team for a free quotation and help you start your amazing safari experience at info@hopetoursafrica.com.

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