Golden monkeys in the bamboo forest

by | Dec 21, 2022

Half past five in the morning. Lake Chahafi holds a wonderful morning concert and through the canvas walls comes a mix sounds from frogs, birds and insects. After a steady breakfast we head off onto the bumpy roads. I the many small villages along the road life is starting up for the day. Women head out into the fields after sending the kids off to school, the men wander off to work. Some is a little more fortunate and have a bike, or even a boda boda, the local name for a motorcycle. After one and a half in slow tempo, where we occasionally reach 40 km/h, we arrive at 2200 meter altitude. Mgahinga, the mountain we’re about to climb lies in the southwest corner of Uganda, bordering Rwanda and Congo.

After the brief of conditions and rules we start walking uphill. Together with our group of guards, guides and carriers we’re a substantial group heading off on the journey. Scouts have been sent to localize today’s target.

Just when we reach the bamboo zone at 2700 meters we’re told that we are nearby and start to prepare. Cameras are checked so that settings are the right and we leave those who don’t need to participate behind. In the middle of preparations a golden monkey, the target for the next hour, peeks through the dense bamboo forest and with a quick camera shot, it’s been immortalized.

Golden monkeys are a rare primate that only lives here in the Virunga mountains. They seem rather unaware about that and starts an amazing show. A small gang of youngsters climb up and down a liana. Combined with the fact that it is a rather dark environment med occasional sun flares, it creates a challenge for the photographers. We have a fantastic meeting with the monkeys and return with many great images.

More images from the magic Uganda.