Explore the world of primates with Primate Safaris in Uganda. In this one-of-a-kind experience, you’ll see some of Africa’s rarest and most charismatic primates in their natural habitat. There are few other experiences quite like walking through the jungle to witness primates at play in their natural environment. Uganda offers some of the best primate safaris in Africa. These primate safaris in Uganda offer close encounters with gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, red colobus monkeys, grey-checked mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys and blue monkeys. The best time to take your primate safaris in Uganda is between June and October when there are the most primates playing outside their nests.
Gorilla trekking is the top of any Primate safaris in Uganda. The gorilla trekking safaris take you into the tropical forest of the Bwindi and Mgahinga highlands over tall, dense scrubs and primeval trees with a machete, hiking boots, and thick trousers to see the endangered mountain gorillas. The landscape is hilly, with misty and dense jungles reaching 14,763 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level. Daily hikes begin at 8:00 a.m. at the 5 different visitor center locations. Small groups of eight visitors, an expert tracker, and armed rangers then head into the forest in search of these primates.
Armed rangers protect guests from dangerous animals and other potential threats. Your tracker guide will communicate with another set of rangers who go out early in the morning to discover the gorilla family before they depart from their nests. They then give directions to your tracker, making your travel easier. When you eventually locate the gorillas, your trekking guide will instruct you to wear a face mask and view them in quiet for one hour from a safe distance of approximately 32 feet (10 m).
Visitors usually discover them during their mid-morning break, so there will be less movement of the gorillas during your visit. Mountain gorillas have a very calm disposition and will gladly disregard your presence unless you break the rules! Sitting in silence for 60 minutes on the ground of a Ugandan bush may be one of life’s greatest privileges.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park begins in any of the four major trekking regions:
Mgahinga Gorilla national park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the country’s extreme southwest, around 8-10 hours’ drive from Entebbe or Kampala. The Park encompasses the northern slopes of three Virunga Volcanoes: Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). The park is located around 10 kilometers south of Kisoro and is bounded to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Nyakagezi gorilla family is the only habituated gorilla family set for people to trek within Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking is one of Uganda’s most popular wildlife activities. It allows you to enter the world of chimps in the wild. Interpretive Rangers from the Uganda Wildlife Authority lead a small group (maximum of 8) into the world of the chimps. The hikes run about three hours and involve a maximum of one hour with the chimps, who may be seen from a safe yet intimate distance of 8-10 meters. Discover the beauty, intelligence, and social dynamics of chimps up close and personal. Kibale Forest National Park, which is home to approximately 1,500 chimps, is Uganda’s principal chimp trekking destination. The rainforest is located in South-West Uganda and is easily accessible from Kampala or Entebbe
The forest is home to healthy chimp populations offering amazing primate safaris in Uganda. The chances of seeing these primates here are 90% or higher, and the park is located along the southwestern safari circuit, making it easy to combine with other activities. The tracking safaris leave twice a day at 08:00 and 14:00, with the morning excursions being busier because many itineraries combine it with a visit to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in the afternoon. Permits for tracking are required and can be obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Kibale also offers chimp habituation sessions. For those partaking for the entire day, you will be with the chimps from the time they break their nests around 06:30 until they nest again for the night around 19:00.
Golden Monkeys are magnificent, one-of-a-kind monkeys located on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Golden monkey trekking in Uganda is done in Mgahinga national park in the south-western part of Uganda.
In some ways, golden monkey trekking is an energetic activity compared to Chimpanzee trekking and gorilla trekking since it is done in a mountainous region and they are constantly moving, requiring you to follow them. They are little and rapid in their movements. They prefer to forage in the bamboo areas of the forest because they feed on the young bamboo shoots. They dwell in groups of 30 or more individuals that roam a huge territory.
On these Primate safaris in Uganda, You will receive a golden monkey trekking permission in advance from your local tour operator, and you will pick the date you wish to trek the golden monkeys. The golden monkey trek begins early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters at 7 a.m. before departing for the park. After spotting the golden monkeys, you spend an hour with them. The hike usually takes approximately 2 hours, depending on where they slept the night before and how far they are from the starting site.
Other primates one hopes to encounter in Uganda include; The grey checked Mangabeys, L’hoest monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, potos, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus, and the patas monkeys.
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
This is the ultimate destination on your Primate safaris in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Park is situated in southwestern Uganda and is known for its unspoiled forest and dense vegetation. Because of the thick undergrowth, ranger guides must remove bush every day to allow trackers access to where gorillas nested the previous night. It is the actual African rainforest, with drops of sunlight filtering through the dense forest canopy, giving you the sense of being in paradise, with minimal pollution from various emissions seen in our everyday surroundings. READ MORE
Kibale Forest National park
Kibale National Park is a tropical forest with diverse tracts of tropical rainforest and a variety of wildlife, located in western Uganda just off the Equator. The annual temperature ranges between 14 and 27 degrees Celsius and is normally cold. With 13 different primate species, it is recognized as the “primate capital of East Africa.” More than 1,450 chimps are protected inside its 795km2 boundaries. It is by far the best spot in East Africa to see Chimpanzees. READ MORE
The Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve is located in southwestern Uganda. The reserve is near the Maramagambo woodland and the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The wildlife of the Kalinzu forest reserve is numerous. The woodland is home to 379 different bird species. Chimpanzees, baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, Vervet monkeys, and black and white Colobus monkeys are among the primates found in the Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve in Uganda. Night creatures such as bush infants, Pottos, and Galagos can also be found in the forest. READ MORE
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest park, measuring only 33.7km2. It is situated in the Kisoro area in Uganda’s southwest. The park is part of the Virunga conservation region and borders Rwanda’s volcano and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga national parks. The park gets its name from the local term for mounds of volcanic stones scraped from farmlands, “Gahinga.” It ranges in altitude from 2227m to 4127m above sea level. READ MORE
Chimpanzee tracking is undoubtedly the most appealing activity in Kyambura Gorge. Chimpanzees are man’s closest relatives and among the most intelligent apes. They can walk on two legs, but only for short distances because they prefer to use all four limbs. Chimpanzees live in groups of 30 to 80 people. Large groups are split into smaller groups that eat individually before returning to the larger group before nightfall. In the afternoon and at night, they make nests on the tops of trees to rest. The nests are quickly constructed by bending numerous tree branches together to form a cozy chimp couch. Chimps spend most of their time outside of their makeshift nests in the morning. They begin by picking up fruit at random in the morning and gradually become choosier as they get fuller in the afternoon. Chimps will use stems to combat opponents, including humans, due to their great intelligence. The same stems can be used to extract/lure termites from their burrows. Despite the fact that chimps eat mostly fruits, they will kill tiny antelopes and other primates for sustenance. The hunt is organized in groups, and the unfortunate victim is pursued, corned, and devoured.
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