Understanding the determinants of a species’ range use aids in understanding their ecological requirements, which in turn facilitates designing effective conservation strategies. The ranging behaviour of golden monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis kandti) in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda was studied from January 2003 to February 2004 to establish habitat preferences. In each 0.25 ha grid cell in the group’s home range we quantified the basal area of food trees (n = 12,133 trees), measured bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) stems (n = 103,548), and estimated vine and shrub coverage. The evaluation of habitat preferences was facilitated by the fact that only five plant species, plus invertebrates (7.5%) constituted 96.4% of the group’s foraging effort; this included bamboo (59.9%), Maesa lanceolata (18.7%), Hypericum revolutum (6.8%), Galiniera saxifraga (2.1%) and Ilex mitis (1.4%). Phenology data were collected for all five food tree species, three vines, and two shrubs. Range use generally followed food tree basal area distribution and not the distribution of bamboo, with the abundance of M. lanceolata being more closely associated with home range use than any other food plant. Bamboo was ubiquitous in distribution and a vital year-round resource for golden monkeys, which they combined with other food items to meet their nutritional requirements. Illegal bamboo or tree extraction both pose a serious threat to the conservation of the golden monkey, but activities that affect food tree abundance will likely have the most influence on monkey persistence.