Primates Trekking is one of the most popular adventure activities that is carried out in the Great Lakes Region – i.e Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Primates Trekking involving walking in the jungles of rainforests in search of the primates! The primates of Uganda include the Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, Golden Monkeys, Baboons, Blue Monkey, Red Tailed Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Patas Monkeys, De Brazza’s Monkeys, L,Hoest’s Monkeys, Grey Cheeked Mangabey Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Red Colobus Monkeys and nocturnal primates such as Bushbabies and Pottos .
Uganda is paradise of the primate tracker. In East Africa, Kibale Forest has the highest concentration of primates and it is a famous place to see chimpanzees on a trekking tous. In Uganda you can find 13 different diurnal and 6 kinds of nocturnal Primates. They can be found in the various parks of Uganda along with fantastic wildlife viewing and birding opportunities. The vast amount of primates set Uganda apart from other East African Safari destinations such as Kenya and Tanzania since unlike those two countries you can find the greatest variety in one park.
Mountain Gorillas: Uganda is home for over half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas (350 of them). They are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the most popular park for gorilla safaris and Mgahinga Gorilla Park. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 5 different groups that are habituated (which means they are used to visitors and do not react in a hostile manner). Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species and found only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They may grow up to 1.8 meters, the males (silver backs weighing over 400 pounds) with the strength of 10 very heavy-weight boxers combined. There are several Uganda Safaris that you can take to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habita, along with other primates that include wildlife and birding.
Chimpanzees: Uganda comprises many chimpanzees as compared to any other East African country and you can find chimpanzees which are habituated for visitors (meaning that they are used to seeing visitors and are not hostile to their visits) in Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Budongo and Kanyiyo Padidi Forest near Murchison Falls National Park. You can also find them on Ngamba Island, also referred to a Chimp Islands. On this island there are mostly orphans who have been rescued for various reasons. This is a different setting than places such Kibale Forest, Kyambura Gorge or Kanyiyo Padidi where they live in the wild. For more background information on Uganda’s Chimpanzees please go to the Chimpanzee Informational page. There many different tours in Uganda available to you that allow you to track chimpanzees, along with all the wildlife, birds and mountain gorillas you might find.
Kinds of Monkeys in Uganda:
Baboons: Uganda only has one baboon type called the Olive Baboon. These can be found in all Parks with the exception of three specific Montane region parks including Mgahinga, Rwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon. The baboons usually live in large groups and their dog-like heads make them look fierce and they love to show their menacing teeth. They are also quite large in size. Most safari travelers will see them along their journeys.
Black and White Colobus: This beautiful monkey with its black body, white face, white tail and white sides living in small groups can be found in most forest including in Entebbe Botanical Gardens. There are some unique Colobus Monkey to the Rwenzori Mountains.
Blue Monkeys: Are very wide spread across East Africa. Dark-Blue-Grey in color, white throat and a white patch on chest. You can find this monkey belonging the guenon family in all of Uganda’s parks with the exception of Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. Blue Monkeys live in troops of four to twelve animals. There are 20 kinds of guenon monkeys, three of them found in Uganda.
Golden Monkeys: These monkeys are related to the Blue Monkey and found in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. They can be fgound there and tracked in the Bamboo Forests as you climb the volcanoes of the Virunga Chain. This is an endangered monkey and quite rare but found in Uganda at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
De Brazza’s Monkey: This monkey is a guenon, very thickset, short tail, hairy face, red brown patch around the eyes, a white mustache and beard. This monkey can most likely be found in the are of Mount Elgon National Park and Semliki National Park.
L’Hoest’s Monkey: This is a very attractive guenon and not too often seen since it loves to hide in the dense forest and is terrestrial. Its tail is always in an upright position. There are not many found in East Africa and in Uganda you can find them Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Kibale Forest, Maragambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park and elsewhere in the park.
Red Colobus Monkeys: This is a large red-grey monkey with a small tufted crown, very sociable living in troops up to 50. In Uganda you can find the Red Colobus Monkey in Kibale Forest and smaller numbers in Semliki National Park.
Red Tailed Monkey: Very common monkey and in Uganda the red tailed monkey and Blue Monkeys often interbreed in Kibale Forest. The red tailed monkey can be found in Kibale Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Semiliki and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Nocturnal Primates: Guided nightwalks at Kibale Forest Park allow you to see the nocturnal primates as spotlights are used to point them out by the UWA Ranger Guide. Otherwise they are seldom seen by most because of their nocturnal ways.
Bushbabies: They are also called galagoes. The bushbaby’s night cry is one of the distinct African sounds. As you shine your flashlight or torch into the tree where the cry is coming from, you will see the big eyes of the bushbaby. They are found in most Ugandan parks, including the dwarf one.
Potto: Medium sized sloth like creature can be found on night walks at Kibale Forest, it can also be found at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth Park.