Primates in Uganda

Although Uganda is largely unknown when it comes to Africa Safaris, the small landlocked country is endowed with numerous attractions. These range from the big game, adventure activities, hiking expeditions, and the famous primates. Here, let’s explore the various primates in Uganda to be encountered on your Africa safari in Uganda. 

Gorillas: Primates in Uganda

Primate Species in Uganda

Gorillas are the highlight of every Uganda safari. They may be found at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. There are about 21 gorilla families open for people to visit. In Uganda, there are just 80 gorilla permits accessible to tourists daily. This makes it simple for gorilla trackers to obtain permits to visit at least one of the gorilla families. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) issues gorilla permits to observe these endangered creatures if a client does not acquire a permit.

Aside from mountain gorilla trekking, there are many other tourist activities to enjoy, such as pygmy visits, golden monkey tracking, animal viewing, guided nature walks, climbing mountain, and bird watching. Other mountain gorilla species can be found in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga national park (DRC)

Chimpanzees: Primates in Uganda

Chimpanzee Habituation in UgandaThese are our nearest relatives. There are approximately 5000 chimpanzees in Uganda. Kibale National Park is a rainforest that boasts over 13 primate species and is the greatest tourist destination known for chimp trekking. These may be tracked at any time of year and other tourists can choose to do the Chimpanzee habituation experience which takes the entire day. These chimp species can be monitored beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at any time depending on where you find them. Aside from Kibale National Park, you can trek the chimps in a variety of areas. Other destinations that are home to these beautiful primates include Semliki national park, Kyambura gorge (Queen Elizabeth national park), Budongo forest (Murchison falls national park), and the Kalinzu forest. The Ngamba island sanctuary is home to the rescued chimpanzees and others can be seen at the Entebbe zoo. Early visitors can see the chimps leave their nighttime nests between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. before copulating, nursing, breastfeeding, hunting, monitoring, relaxing, and exhibiting until they build new nests for resting at about 7:00 p.m.

Golden Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

These are one-of-a-kind species that are related to both mountain gorillas and chimps. These species can be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They weigh 10 to 25 pounds and have a golden body, tails, cheeks, body, and black limbs. They are also a subspecies of blue monkeys mostly found in bamboo forests in Congo’s Virunga Volcanoes. Their numbers have never been recorded, but researchers have discovered that like mountain gorillas, this species of monkey is rapidly diminishing due to challenges such as poaching, infections, habitat degradation, war, and unrest. During your gorilla trek in Uganda, you can see golden monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Golden monkeys, like mountain gorillas and chimps, have become habituated to humans and provide tourists with an unforgettable experience. Male golden monkeys have a reddish back with darker patches while females are lighter in color and have fewer brown patches. They live in groups of 30 to 80 people and are led by an adult male. Female golden monkeys frequently defend and safeguard their territories. They feed on 20 to 30 plant species including leaves, fruits, insects, and bamboo. This species of ape has a 5-month gestation period and only has one offspring at a time. You can trek these monkeys in Mgahinga National Park. An experienced guide will accompany you as you travel through the bamboo forests where these lovely monkeys reside. These playful animals are difficult to photograph because they are fast.  

Baboons: Primates in Uganda

These are some of the most common primates in Uganda. Olive baboons are present in Semuliki Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park, Kibale Forest National Park. Furthermore, these olive baboons can be found in about 25 African countries. These are reported to reside in big groups of around 150 people including a few males, numerous females, and their young. They are large and vicious with dog-like faces and fearsome jaws. These primates are large enough to be seen by all visitors to the national parks where these magnificent monkeys can be located. They live in open woods, savannahs, rain forests, steppes, and huge grassland plains. Their name is derived from their coat color which is a shade of green-grey when viewed from a distance. Female baboons become sexually active around the age of 7 or 8 and males at the age of 10 years. They are also omnivorous eating mostly invertebrates, plants, birds, and small animals.

Black and White Colobus Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

These are old monkeys of the genus colobus family who primarily inhabit Africa. These are closely related to brown colobus monkeys and are found primarily in riverine forests, forested grasslands, and woodlands. Their groups consist of around 10 individuals including a single male, several females, and their children. Their bodies are black, and they have white faces and tails. They can be seen in Entebbe Botanical Gardens and numerous Ugandan national parks. You have an excellent opportunity to photograph them at any moment.

Blue Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

There are numerous of these throughout East Africa primarily in Congo, Zambia, Angola, and Uganda. These have minimal hair on their faces and have a blue appearance most of the time, but are not truly blue. These are mostly found in the montane, bamboo forests, evergreen forests, and forest canopy. They prefer humid, shady environments with plenty of water. They primarily feed on leaves, invertebrates, and fruits. They live in family groups of 4-12, including one male and numerous females with their children. These are visible from Murchison Falls and Lake Mburo national parks. Their gestation span is usually 5 months with females having a baby every two years.

De Brazza Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

Primates in UgandaDe Brazza Monkeys are usually found in the central part of Africa. These are swamp primates with grey fur, a reddish brown back, and black tail and limbs. These are mostly found in swamps, dry mountain forests, and bamboo areas in nations such as Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan. They also have a 22-year life span and live in small social groups of 5 to 30 people led by a male whose main role is to defend the group members. They communicate by shaking tree branches, generating booming noises, and nodding. They can be found at Mount Elgon National Park and Semliki National Park in Uganda.

Grey Checked Mangabeys: Primates in Uganda

It is thought to be a species of World old monkey located in Uganda. The predominant colors are grey and black. These are also found in rainforests at moderate and low elevations. These primates have a shaggy appearance and are mostly found in Kibale National Park and Semliki National Park. These can also be found in Uganda’s Mabira Forest. These monkey species are being acclimated in the majority of the parks mentioned above and will soon be available for tourists to track.

L’Hoest Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

Primates in UgandaThese are also known as mountain monkeys and are mostly found in Uganda, the Congo basin, Rwanda, and Burundi. These species are mainly found in mountainous areas and live in small groups. You can see these creatures while gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. These are little and have a dark brown covering that covers their bellies and back. Males weigh 6 kg, while females weigh 3.5 kg. These are also known as forest monkeys and like to live in damp and primary woods. These monkeys are usually found in lowland rain forests, forested savannah, and mountain slope forest galleries. Females give birth to a single child after a 5-month gestation period. These are herbivores that eat fruits, mushrooms, roots, and roots. They also eat lizards, eggs, and small birds on occasion. They can be found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, and Budongo Forest.

Patas Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

Primates in UgandaThese monkeys, sometimes known as wadi monkeys, are typically found in semi-arid areas of West Africa. They are also thought to be close cousins of vervet monkeys. Adult patas monkeys are larger than females and are thought to be the quickest of all primates. These species are always found in groups of 60 people, including one adult male and many females. These are typically found in savannah, dense forests, and semi-desert environments. They feed on insects, seeds, gum, tubers, and smaller primates. Patas monkeys can be found at Murchison Falls National Park, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, and Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda. 

Red Colobus Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

These are found in western, eastern, and central Africa and are closely related to the White and black colobus monkeys. These dwell in huge groups of roughly 80 people with a high proportion of females. Red Colobus monkeys inhabit wet woodlands densely forested with thickets and scrubs. Their food consists primarily of flowers, new leaves, and fruits. They are usually gregarious and may be found in Kibale and Semliki National Parks.

Red-Tailed Monkeys: Primates in Uganda

Primates in UgandaThis is a common monkey species in Uganda and is often black, orange, or red in appearance. Cameroon, Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, and Angola are locations where these monkeys are found. Males weigh only 4.1 kg and females weigh 2.9 kg, making these monkeys unusually small. Red-tailed monkeys can be found in a wide range of habitats including canopy tropical rain forests, swamps, riverine forests, and various types of woodland. These monkey species are herbivores but also eat insects, leaves, flowers, buds, and gums. These use visual, aural, and tactile communication methods, such as raising the brows, stretching the skin on the face, and bobbing the head. Their lifespan is 30 years, with males typically reaching sexual maturity at 6 years and females at 5 years. They can be seen in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Semliki National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Bush Babies: Primates in Uganda

These are also known as Galagos, and they are little, averaging 37cm in length and weighing only 150g when fully developed. They also have huge brown-orange eyes that help them see in the dark. These are typically found in Sub-Saharan Africa in semi-arid environments, scrub woodlands, and savannahs. They primarily consume beetles, scorpions, grasshoppers, moths, tiny reptiles, and butterflies. These, too, have only one offspring and a four-month gestation period. They may be found throughout the majority of Uganda’s national parks.

Pottos: Primates in Uganda

These are from the Lorisidae family and are medium in size. They can be seen at night at Kibale National Park. They can also be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They measure 39cm in length and weigh between 600 and 1600 grams. They like canopy rainforests and can be found in Kenya, the Congo, Guinea, and Uganda. These species also move slowly and cautiously, primarily feeding on insects, leaves, and scrubs.

Popular Primate Safaris in Uganda

Destinations where primates in Uganda are found:

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located on the rim of the Rift Valley in southern Uganda. The mist-covered hillsides are protected by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back more than 25,000 years and is home to over 400 different plant species. More importantly, this “impenetrable forest” preserves an estimated 400 population of mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, with several habituated groups that can be trekked by visitors. Bwindi is home to more than half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population. Around 400 mountain gorillas live here. Bwindi is the most popular destination where visitors come to see primates in Uganda. 

Gorilla enthusiasts for Uganda tours come from all over the world to enjoy these Uganda Safaris. The word “Bwindi” means “darkness,” and a trip through this spectacular forest will undoubtedly reveal why the area was named such. You will also be able to quickly determine why the forest is also known as impenetrable. Because this mountain gorilla trekking excursion may demand climbing mountainous terrain, participants must be physically fit.

Aside from the endangered spectacular mountain gorillas, there are 346 bird species as well as more than 200 butterfly species, as well as 324 tree species, 10 of which are only seen in this area of Uganda. This is a place to visit. Because there are limited habituated Gorillas living here the time available to observe them is restricted, as are the permits, which are currently available for \$500 per individual. Nobody ever complains after spending time with these intriguing Mountain Gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is one of the most beautiful rainforests anyone has ever seen.

Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale Forest National Park is among the top safari places in Africa for chimp trekking safaris, with the most and most diverse primate population in East Africa. Within its 795km2 land area, which includes the most magnificent and diverse expanses of tropical forest in Uganda, there are 13 species of primates, including chimps. On the elevated Fort Portal plateau, forest cover predominates in the middle and northern parts of the park. At the park’s northern extremity, Kibale is the tallest and stands 1590 meters above sea level. Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda is one of Africa’s greatest safari destinations for chimp tracking.

Kibale National Park has the highest diversity and number of primates in Uganda and Africa in general, with 13 different species. The chimps are the most popular of them, with over 1450 individuals residing here, making it the finest site for a Chimpanzee Tracking Tour. All of these primates can be seen during your Uganda safari. Kibale also has the rare L’Hoest’s monkeys, the largest population of the protected red colobus monkeys, the black & white colobus, blue monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, bush babies, and potto, among many other species.

Queen Elizabeth National Park 

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Kyambura Gorge is an underground tropical forest. The Gorge is about a kilometer long and 100 meters deep. It is an extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Kyambura Gorge is characterized by dense tropical rainforest, which is home to many birds, primates, and mammals such as elephants and hippopotamus. The Gorge is surrounded by huge summer meadows, while human plantations and communities are not far away. The neighboring savannah receives a lot of sunlight, whereas the gorge itself stays quite cool due to the towering trees that block out direct sunlight. The river Kyambura is a vital water source that flows directly through the heart of the forest, providing water to plants and animals all year. During the rainy season, the river Kyambura receives the majority of its water from the rocks around the gorge.

Why not? 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 since 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.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park covers 33.7 square kilometers and is made up of the mostly wooded slopes of three extinct volcanoes. The massive cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the scenery from afar and beckon you as you approach. When you get to the park, you may get a good overview of the area by walking up to the viewpoint, which is about 15 minutes away from Ntebeko Gate. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has a lot to offer visitors. From endangered mountain gorillas to golden monkeys, three Virunga Volcanoes, and diverse flora and fauna, this region has it all. Here are the top Mgahinga National Park attractions that you should not miss. 

The most popular activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is gorilla tracking. The majority of visitors to Mgahinga go mountain gorilla trekking. The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is the only habituated gorilla family. One of the primary attractions that make this park appealing to guests looking for a primate safari is golden monkey tracking. Challenge yourself and participate in this life-changing activity to experience the thrill of a lifetime by encountering these primates in Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park animals include four of the ‘Big Five’ including buffaloes, leopards, lions, and elephants (except rhinos), three-quarters of the world’s population of Rothschild giraffes, and a healthy population of herbivores that has recently increased including the Uganda Kobs, all of which can be easily seen on Wildlife Safari Tours here. Its luscious forests are home to a variety of primates, including the Budongo, as well as around 610 chimps and 451 bird species, including 23 Albertine rift endemics. 

The Budongo forest’s priority is the Chimpanzee Tracking experience. From October to January, when the fruits are in poor supply, the chimps roam a lot and cover a larger area, reducing the chance of spotting them to roughly 50%. Fortunately, there is a wide range of accommodation options from which to base yourself for Chimpanzee trekking and interesting forest treks.

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