Uganda is a home to 13 primate species most of which are found in Kibale National Park, located in western part of the country. Primates is one of the main tourist attractions in Uganda, as many people travel from different parts of the world for Chimpanzee tracking, Chimps habituation experience and mountain gorilla trekking adventures alongside other tourist activities such as white water rafting, wild game viewing, mountain climbing and community tours among others.
Uganda is a primate lover’s paradise and place to be because there are more than thirteen primate species that call this country home. Just like the Chimpanzees and mountain gorillas can be seen through nature walks, the L’Hoest’s monkeys, black and white monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, the dog-faced olive baboons, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and red-tailed monkeys can be sighted during nature walks and game drives. There are also nocturnal bird species in Uganda and they include pottos and bush babies.
Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)
Do not leave Uganda without tracking these exceptional primate species. These are the number one attractions and are found in only two National parks in Uganda that include Bwindi Impenetrable National park-a home to over 12 habituated Gorillas groups and Mgahinga National Park, a home to only one habituated gorilla group. With these gorilla groups, only 96 gorilla permits are available in Uganda per day (based on a maximum of 8 persons allowed to visit a gorilla family). It is for this reason that intending gorilla trekkers are advised to b0ok for permits at least 6 months in advance. Gorilla tracking permits in Uganda cost $600 for foreign non residents, $500 for foreign residents and Shs 250,000 for East African Community residents.
Golden Monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis kandti)
These exceptional primate species are only found within Mgahinga National Park in the whole of Uganda hence Mgahinga is the only place in Uganda where Silver meets gold (because of the presence of mountain gorillas and golden monkeys). Golden monkey tracking permits in Uganda cost $ 50 for foreign non residents and foreign residents, and Shs 20,000 for East African Community residents.
Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodyte’s schweinfurthii)
These primates are over 98.7% related to human kind, and there are over 15,000 Chimpanzees in Uganda. The places where they are found include Kibale Forest National Park (home to 10% of Uganda’s Chimpanzees), Kalinzu Forest reserve, Semliki National Park, Budongo Forest Reserve and the Kyambura Gorge within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The Red-tailed monkeys are one of the common primate species within Uganda and are found in almost all the National Parks that include Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Semliki Forest National Park among others.
Olive Baboons (Papio Anubis)
Uganda is a home to only the Olive Baboons and are sheltered within most Protected Areas of Uganda such as Mgahinga National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains, Budongo Forest Reserve in Murchison Falls National Park and Mount Elgon National park among others.
The Grey-cheeked Mangabey is one of the most exceptional primate species worth seeing and is found within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mabira Forest Reserve and Kibale Forest National park among others. The most interesting thing about the Grey-cheeked mangabey is that they communicate by slapping each others’ lips together and shaking their heads which captures the attention of tourists on a primate Safari. They can be differentiated by their Grayish and black color.
These Primate species are mainly found within Mount Elgon National Park and Semliki Forest National park. They are guenon monkeys with short tails, well hairy faces, white patches from their nose to chin (like a white Mustache and beard) and a red-brown patch around their eyes. They are considered exotic primate species, which makes them worth seeing while on a safari.
The Blue monkeys are characterized by their Dark blue-grayish color with white throats and white patches on their chest. Just like the DeBrazza’s monkeys, the Blue monkeys also belong to the guenon monkey species and are found in most of Uganda’s National Parks and common within Kibale Forest National park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park. However they are do not exist within Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.
Other primate species worth seeing in Uganda include the L’Hoest’s monkeys within Kibale Forest National park, Maramagambo Forest of Queen Elizabeth National park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park, the Black and white Colobus monkeys found-one of the most common primate species found within most of Uganda National Parks, the Red Colobus Monkeys (Procolobus tephrosceles)-are large red-grayish monkeys and have small tufted crown and live in social groups of up to 50 members. If you wish to have the most perfect view of the Red Colobus monkeys, visit Semliki Forest National park and Kibale Forest National Park, the Patas Monkeys (Erythrocebus patas)-are mainly found within the Savannah National Parks and game reserves especially Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve among others. Much as most tourists confuse these primates with the Vervet monkeys, the Patas monkeys are bigger in size and have a slightly reddish coats and a black stripe around their eyes. The Vervet Monkeys are also common in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park and the nocturnal primate species include Pottos-sloth-like primates and are of medium size can be sighted during nocturnal primate walks within Kibale Forest National Park. They are also common within the Murchison Falls national park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Bush babies are the most fascinating nocturnal primates found within most of Uganda’s National parks.
In conclusion, Uganda is a perfect primate watching destination with over 13 primate species that are common within Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Kibale Forest National park and Mgahinga national park. If you are a primate lover, then add the mentioned National parks in your bucket list and you will stand a chance to spot all the mentioned primate species.