Uganda Primates Watching

Uganda Primates Watching is one of the amazing activities that travelers can engage in when they decide to explore the forested areas of the country. Uganda is famously known as the pearl of Africa and one of the things that make it be called so, are the unique primates found in the some of the protected area in the country which attracts number of tourists worldwide to come and watch their closest cousins since these larger primates like mountain gorillas and chimpanzees are said to share 98% DNA of human genes. However, Uganda is a home to number of unique species and many of these species are found in kibale forest national park which hosts the highest population of primate species with over 1500 individuals chimpanzee plus other common small primates such as black and white monkeys, grey checked mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, L’hoest’s, Olive baboons and blue monkeys. Kibale forest national park is found in the western region of Uganda approximately 300 kilometers by road from west of Kampala the capital city. The park covers a total land of about 780 square kilometers of its low land and Montana rain forest and is prominently known as the best primitive capital in Uganda and not only Uganda but in entire East Africa. Then the endangered mountain gorillas which have impacted a lot on Uganda’s tourism hub in way that many travellers come yearly to visit this great apes and the number is increasing throughout the year, however, in Uganda mountain gorillas can be found in two Uganda’s top visited destination when it comes to encounter this incredible gorilla trekking experience such national parks include Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park both situated in south western region of Uganda. Other primate species to encounter in Uganda are the golden monkeys which can be seen in many different national parks of Uganda since Uganda host ten protected national parks managed by Uganda wildlife Authority and they are all on the list of UNESCO.

Uganda Primates Watching

Below are the detailed different primate species found in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda:

This is one of the highlights of any safari in Uganda that can make your safari worth to visit and gorilla trekking can be done in Bwindi impenetrable national park which harbors with half of the population of this endangered mountain gorillas which are still remaining in the world with over 880 gorillas. Of which 450 individuals are found in Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national park. There are more than 14 gorilla families which are open to tourists to be visited. Note that, travellers cannot embark on one of these gorillas habituated families to trek this great ape without a gorilla permits, in other words, you should book for your gorilla permits in advance before your time of arrival on Uganda primate safari. Because there are only 80 gorilla permits are always available on sale to tourist on a daily basis in Uganda. This makes it easy for a tour operator to organize your travel plan itinerary to buy a tourist gorilla permit for at least visit one of the gorilla habituation families.    

Uganda gorilla permits are sold out at Uganda wildlife Authority ‘’UWA’’ and in case a client misses to get a permit. There is a body responsible for it like AUTO as an association is the one responsible to always vail its member with note information about the availability of mountain gorilla trekking permits on specific dates.

Note that, Bwindi impenetrable national park is not only home to endangered mountain gorillas but also home to some of chimpanzees and monkeys as part of its primates species. Apart from mountain gorilla trekking, it also host other amazing tourist activities that can be enjoyed and leave with quite memorable experience and such activities include a visit to the pygmies, golden monkey tracking, game viewing, bird watching where you can be able to see over 350 bird species, guided nature walk, Volcano climbing which can be done in Mgahinga national park and many more. Other mountain gorilla species can be found in Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and also in Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo ’’DRC’’.

Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda

Uganda has an economy when it comes to tourism is among the top-visited destination in Africa because it harbors with very many unique species which cannot be found elsewhere among the African countries but except here. Above all, Uganda is famously known as the primate destination and when it comes to unique chimpanzees it harbors with over 5000 individual chimpanzees which share 98% DNA to that of human genes. And in Uganda, the best tourist destination for chimpanzee tracking is kibale forest national park which is a rain forest and is home to over 13 primates species and of them are the great apes plus other monkeys species. Chimpanzees which can be tracked at any day of the year and to other tourists can choose to do chimpanzee habituation experience which is a full day activity.

Chimpanzee tracking experience starts early in the morning from 8:00 am after a short briefing and the ending time depends on where are located. Once are being found you’re given one hour to watch them and you should be in a limited number of 6 people in a track watch them as they play around, groom each other, feed their young ones, display their nests up high on the tree branches as you enjoy this fantastic experience, you can as well take photoshoot as many as possible for your future remembrance.

To note, chimpanzees can be tracked in many different locations apart from kibale forest national park. Other places include Semliki national park which is also a montane rainforest that sits in the    Albertine Rift escarpments, Kyambura gorge in Maramangambo forest found within Queen Elizabeth national park and in Budongo forest which sits on the boundaries of Murchison falls national park. To other places where chimpanzees are kept in Uganda is the Zoo which is Uganda Wildlife Education centre, as well as Ngamba sanctuary island found in Entebbe, were you visit and watch these orphaned primates which are kept for tourism purposes. Ngamba sanctuary island is located just a few kilometers away from Kampala the main city, though to reach there it requires you to board the boat and enjoy waters of Lake Victoria.

This chimpanzee safari tour can be combined with mountain gorilla tours and it’s great chance one to have encounter them on the same safari destination in Uganda. You shouldn’t think that you will only enjoy these primates but also other various wildlife species which can be viewed in many other Uganda national park.

In Kibale national park, chimpanzees can be commonly discovered along kanyanchu primate walk and chimpanzee habituation experience which is a full day activity that can be done with the chimpanzee community which undergoes habituation. The chimpanzee habituation activity starts early in the morning from 6:00-6:30 am and within this time tourist can view how chimpanzees leave their overnight nest before copulating, breastfeeding, feeding, hunting, patrolling, resting as well as displaying their new nest for resting but in the evening hours at around 7:00 pm.

Golden Monkey Tracking in Uganda

These are rare primates which are close relatives to both the endangered mountain gorillas and unique chimpanzees. To note, they can be found in three countries including Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Golden monkeys have a nice looking unique creature that weighs between 10 to 25 pounds and they owe a golden body, cheeks, tails, body and black limbs. Golden monkeys are also known as subspecies of the blue monkeys which are mainly found in bamboo forests in Virunga Volcanoes of Congo.

IT has been noted by the researchers that the number of this species of monkeys is greatly decreasing in number since they face many challenges just like mountain gorillas and chimpanzees suffer from like diseases, poaching, habitat loss, war and unrest, and local community encroachments. This amazing Golden monkey tracking can be carried out in kibale national park and also in Mgahinga gorilla national park during your gorilla trekking Uganda.

To many visitors who engage in Golden monkeys tracking and to whatever habituated family they track in are trained to get closer to human presence as just like mountain gorilla and chimpanzees. Golden monkey experience is a wonderful experience one wouldn’t miss to engage in. The male golden monkeys have reddish colours on their back with darker patches whereas females have less brown patches and lighter in colours. Moreover, female golden monkeys usually defend their territories and provide enough protection to its territory.

Golden monkeys fed to about 20 to 30 plant species such as fruits, leaves, invertebrates as well as the bamboo. They undergo a gestation period of 5 months and give birth to only one off spring. As your tracking you’re advised to low your voice while in the forest.

Monkey species found in Uganda

In Uganda, there are many different monkey species that can be explored on your Uganda primate’s safaris most especially the gorilla trekking experience and chimpanzee tracking activity.

Olive Baboons

These are also unique primate species commonly known as Olive baboons and in Uganda can be viewed in three main national parks such as Mgahinga gorilla national park, Mount Elgon national park, Rwenzori national park. Furthermore, these Olive baboons can be found in almost 25 countries of Africa. They live in large groups to over 150 individuals composing of many females, few male individuals as well as their young ones. They are fierce due to their dog faces and menacing teeth. The male baboons are sexually active at the age of 10 years old and female baboons at age of 7 or 8 years old. They are omnivorous species which fed on invertebrates, birds, plants and small mammals and they like living in open woodland, rain forests, savannah, steppes and in large plains of grasslands.

Olive balloon are large primates which can be viewed by all the tourists who come to visit the national park where these unique primates are found. Their names come from the coat color which is a shade of the green-grey that can be watched at a distance.

Blue monkeys

These species are common in East Africa mainly in Uganda, Congo and Angola which live in the montane rain forest, bamboo forests, evergreen forests and as well as in forest canopy. They like staying in humid and shady places with plenty of water and there feeding habitant are leaves, fruits as well as invertebrates. Blue monkeys have little hair on their faces and gives a blue appearance most of the time but not the exact blue colour and there groups are comprised of 4 to 12 individuals and consist only one male and many females with their young ones. They undergo a gestation period of about 5 months and female adult species give birth every after two years. 

Black and white colobus monkeys

These are the oldest monkeys of the genus colobus family which live Africa and cannot be found in any other world’s continent. Black and white colobus are close related to the brown colobus monkeys which live Riverine forests, forest and wooded grasslands. They live in group made up of nine individuals namely a single male, many females and their young ones. Their bodies are marked in black colors with a white face and tail.

These species can be viewed in botanical gardens Entebbe and in many protected national park of Uganda. To your visit to one of these primate’s destination you should go with your camera and have a great opportunity of taking their photos as a remembrance.

De Brazza’s Monkeys

These are famous monkeys mostly found in central Africa but widely spread in the forests of Africa. They are known as swamp monkeys with grey fur, a reddish-brown back with black tail and limbs. They are inhabitants of dry mountain forest, swamps, bamboo areas and are located in countries like, Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. They have a lifespan of 22 years and live in small groups of about 5 to 30 individuals being headed by a male monkey and its role is to provide protection to the group members.

They also do communicate through making booming sounds, shaking tree branches and nodding. In Uganda can be viewed in Mount Elgon national park and Semliki national park.

The Grey Cheeked Manga Bee Monkey

It is recognised as a world old species of monkey found in Uganda and they are mainly grey and black in colour that live in moderate and low altitude rain forest. Their features look like those of the baboons and have got a shaggy body looking. The grey cheeked mangabey monkeys are mainly found in kibale forest national park and in Semuliki national park. They can as well be tracked in Mabira forest which is famously known as the largest forest in Uganda. These species of monkeys are being habituated and very soon they will be available for tourists to track.

L’hoest’s Monkeys

These are beautiful species of monkeys found in Uganda, Congo basin, Burundi and Rwanda. They are referred to as mountain monkeys and they mostly live in mountainous area in small groups. The L’hoest’s monkeys they look to be short and have got a dark brown coat across their back and bellies. The female L’hoest’s monkeys weigh 3.5kilogrammes and male weigh 6kg, they can as well be referred to as forest monkeys since they like living in moist and primary forests.

They are herbivore species which mostly feed their diet on fruits, mushrooms, roots and sometimes feed on lizards, eggs plus small birds. They have a gestation period of 5 months and female give to only a single young one spring.

They are found in lowland rain forests, wooden savannah and forest galleries of the mountain slopes. In Uganda, they can be seen in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, kibale national park and as well as in Budongo forest.

Patas Monkeys

The Pata monkeys are sometimes known as wadi monkeys found in semi-arid area in west Africa, and are considered to be close relatives of the vervet monkeys. The adult patas monkey look to be larger than the females and these are considered to be the fastest monkey species among all the small primates. They always live in large group of 60 individuals comprised of one adult male and many females.

They mostly live savannah, dense woodlands and semi-deserts areas. They feed on seeds, insects, gum, tubers as well as smaller primates. In Uganda, pata monkeys are found kidepo valley national park and Murchison falls national park, you can also view the pata monkeys in Rwanda on your visit to Rwanda gorilla tours.

Red Colobus Monkeys

They want to look like black and white colobus monkeys which can be found in western, eastern and central Africa.

They live in large group of 80 individual, of all females are the biggest number within the group.

They live in humid forest with thickets and scrubs.

Red colobus monkey feed on the diet consists of flowers, fruits as well as young leaves. They are social species and commonly found in Kibale national park and Semliki national park. 

Red Tailed Monkey

These are common monkey species in Uganda and are usually in Red, orange and black in colour. Commonly seen in Congo, Rwanda, Cameroon, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Angola.

These are small primates since the male monkey weigh only 4.1kilogrammes and females weigh 2.9kgs.

Red tailed monkeys live in large number and they are habitants of canopy tropical rain forest, riverine forests, swamps, types of woodland and many more. 

They feed on leaves, flowers, insect, buds, gums because of being herbivores animals. They also communicate by use of visual, auditory and tactile as a mean of communication such as raising eye brows, bobbing of the head stretching of the face skin and many more. 

The Red Tailed monkeys have life span of 30 years and the male species usually reach their sexual maturity of 6 year and the female monkey species make 5 years. Red tailed monkeys can be viewed in Kibale national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Queen Elizabeth national park and Semuliki national park.

Nocturnal primates

Nocturnal primates are ancient group of mammals with an average number of 233 species and are divided into different families. These are primates which see at night They include; night monkeys, tarsiers, bush babies, Mouse lemurs, Dwarf lemurs as well as the Lorises and the pottos. These can be encountered during the guided forest walk in kibale national park.

Bush Babies

These are night seeing primates known as Galagos and are small in size raising 37 cm in length and weigh only 150 when they turn old. They have large brown-orange eyes that help them to see at night and live in sub-Saharan Africa in a semi-arid area, scrub forests and in savannah areas. They feed on the diet of beetles, scorpions, moths, grasshoppers, small reptiles and butterflies. Bush Babies give birth to only one offspring and they have a gestation period of 4 month months. Almost in the protected national park of Uganda, one can be able to see them. 

Uganda Primates Watching
Bush Babies


These are nocturnal primates which can see during night hours, medium in side and like living in canopy rain forests of Kenya, Uganda, Guinea and Congo. In Uganda they can be spotted in kibale national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Queen Elizabeth national parkThey feed on insects, scrubs and leaves.

Uganda has got a variety of unique primate species which can be encountered on any Uganda safaris and also discover the beauty of the pearl of Africa. These primates to be encountered include; the endangered mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees, monkey species as well as the rare golden monkeys. 

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