Uganda is remarkably one of the primate highlands in the world and it ranks among the most sought after safari destinations in Africa and the world at large. With variety of primate species that are all confined within this stunning country compared to any destination in East Africa, visitors who are planning their safaris have a wide range of options to engage in different primate experiences that suit within their travel needs in Uganda. Among other primates that Uganda is famous of, the following are the some of the notable species that you should spot while on safari in Africa.
The rare mountain gorillas
Uganda is exceptionally one of the only three famous destinations in the world where mountain gorillas are found. In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park feature as the only two protected areas where visitors can realize their dreams. About 480 individuals of these rare apes are all confined in the jungles of Uganda which translates to almost half of all the individuals that thrive in the entire world. Mountain gorillas share about 95% of their DNA with humans making them very susceptible to human infectious diseases. For interested visitors, Uganda is one of the best destinations that you should consider in your bucket list when it comes to gorilla adventures. There are over 12 groups that have been habituated for visitor experiences and as well, you can also engage in mountain gorilla habituation experience which is only conducted in Uganda and there are two groups (Bushaho and Bikingi) that have been set for this extra ordinary experience. Permits in Uganda are sold at $600 per visitor.
Chimpanzees are described as our closest relatives; they share about 98.7 percent of their DNA with humans and more than 5000 individuals Uganda their home. There are many sites that you can visit to see chimpanzee but the most famous with the largest concentration is Kibale Forest National Park where over 1500 of all the individuals that thrive in Uganda and they make up part of the 13 distinct primate species in the park. Other areas for you to spot these remarkable primates include Budongo Forest at Murchison Falls National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park Semuliki Valley National Park and Kalinzu Forest.
The rare golden monkeys
Scientifically known as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti, the golden monkeys are few unique primate species that you should consider in your bucket list in Uganda. They are only thriving within Virunga Mountain ranges and in Uganda, they are found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. These rare species weigh from 10 to 25 pounds and they feature a golden body, cheeks and tails with black limbs, crown on their heads and tail end. Golden monkeys are a sub species of the blue monkey and visitors can easily sight them around the Virunga Massifs.
These are also a few rare primates and they are very attractive. They can be sighted around the forest and terrestrial areas and they have their tails always raised up. They are very few in East Africa and in Uganda they are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Maragambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. They are very shy and they are also classified as the most vulnerable species in the IUCN list. They are usually found in group members while bonding with the young and grooming each other.
Black and white colobus monkeys
These are locally famous as ekiremu enieya and engeye and it is one of the primates which do not have thumbs. The deformity makes them vulnerable to accidents especially while making sky jumps. They give birth to white babies and later their color changes after 3 months time. They mainly depend on young leaves with daily intake of around 2 to 3 kilograms. They are attractive featuring mainly the black body, white face, white tail and white sides and they stay in small families. These fascinating creatures can be sighted around Entebbe Botanical Gardens and most of the protected areas in Uganda.
The Red colobus monkeys
These are also a few remarkable primates that Uganda has in offer to the world and males weigh about 13 kilograms while the females weigh 9 kilograms. They are defensive creatures when it comes to fighting for their territories in case of any intruders or predators like the African crown eagle, chimpanzees and mountain buzzards. The red colobus monkeys can be sighted around Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park and Bigodi wetland sanctuary.
Uganda red tailed monkeys and blue monkey
These are locally called enkunga and they are one of the smallest monkey species that come with white hairy cheeks and white heart shaped nose. The red tailed monkeys and blue monkeys usually interbreed in Kibale Forest National Park. They can also be spotted in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The blue monkeys are not blue as they are called but they largely black with a blue grey or silver grey back. These belong to guenon family. About 20 different guenon monkeys exist and all the 3 can be sighted in Uganda.
Grey cheeked mangabey
These mainly spotted around Bigodi wetland sanctuary, Semuliki valley national park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. They have specialized cheek pouches which enables them to quickly fill up their mouths as they forage for food. They interact by slapping their lips together while shaking their heads. Most of them have been habituated for visitors to track in Uganda.
The olive baboons are locally called enkobe and they feature among Africa’s most destructive primates to crops. The baboons and mangabeys have dog like snouts but baboons prefer moving on the ground while the mangabeys live on tree branches. They are mostly sighted in huge numbers along the road.
The patas monkeys are thrive in large families of around 30 to 50 members and they can easily be spotted while on safari to Murchison Falls National Park. They are mainly terrestrial species and they can also be sighted in Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. Most people tend to confuse the vervet monkeys with patas but these are bigger in size and they have a light reddish coat and a black stripe above the eyes and usually they live in savanna areas.
De Brazza’s monkeys
These also belong to the guenon family and they come in thick bodies, short tails and hairy face, red brown patch around the eyes, white mustache and beard. These species can be sighted around Mount Elgon national park and Semuliki National Park. The De Brazza’s monkeys are a few most stunning and exotic monkeys that you shouldn’t miss spotting in Uganda.
There are some primates for you spot while on guided nocturnal walks in Kibale Forest National Park. Other species include bush babies which also known as galagoes. The bush babies have a rare African sound and they are found in most of the national parks in Uganda.
There is also a potto which comes in medium size sloth like creature. They can be sighted while on night walks in Kibale Forest National Park as well as other areas like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
In conclusion, Uganda is truly primate paradise that you should consider to visit while on African safaris.