The pearl of Africa is among Africa’s top primate destinations. The rich vegetation and fauna of the pear has favored the existence of many primate species that can be sighted in the primate destinations in Uganda. The encounter of the primates in Uganda on a primate tour around the pearl, is a rewarding activity for every traveler.

The unique physical beauty of these primates, behaviors and characteristics make out the best memories and experiences, after having an encounter with the primates of Uganda.

The major primate destination in uganda where primates can be sighted on a Uganda safari include; Bwindi impenetrable national park, kibale national park, Semuliki national park, Mgahinga national park, ,Ngamba island sanctuary, kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park , Budongo forest near Murchison falls national park and the Uganda wildlife conservations centre

There are about 20 unique primate species in Uganda, distributed in the various primate destinations. The primates in Uganda in categorized and exist in three forms. These consist of apes, monkeys, diurnal and nocturnal species.


The major two ape species located in Uganda are the eastern mountain gorillas and Eastern chimpanzees.

Eastern chimpanzees

The eastern chimpanzee is a sub specie of the common chimpanzee listed endangered on the IUCN red list in 2007, due to habitat loss and high disease risk. These are native to Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, D R Congo, south Sudan and Uganda.

In Uganda, chimpanzee trekking is one of the preferred primate activities by tourists that visit the pearl. The tracking of the eastern chimpanzees in Uganda in usually done in 5 chimpanzee destinations. These include kibale national park, Budongo forest near Murchison falls national park, Ngamba Chimpanzee Island, kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park and the Uganda wildlife conservation centre.

The eastern chimpanzee is described with a coarse of black hair covering the entire body apart from the fingers, toes, feet sores, and the face. The male eastern chimpanzee can stand to a height of 130 cm and 120 cm for the females. The adult’s eastern chimpanzees weigh between 65kg – 40 kg.

These live in communities of 20 -150 members. There are active during the day and spend their night in tree nests that they have made. The eastern chimpanzees are omnivores, feeding on tree leaves, branches, stems, fruits insects are many more.

An encounter of these primate species is an existing experience, as one get a close look to these chimpanzees in their natural habitats.

Mountain gorillas

Uganda is home to the mountain gorillas a subspecies of the eastern gorilla species. These are the world’s largest living primates with a DNA close to that of a human by 99%.

Mountain gorillas are located in two national parks In Uganda; Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in western Uganda.  Gorilla trekking in these destinations is a major highlight on primate safaris in Uganda.

Mountain gorillas are listed endangered on the IUCN red list due to threats like habitat loss and human conflict. The male eastern mountain gorillas have a standing height between 161-171 cm and a weight of 120kg -191kg. The female gorillas are a bit shorter and smaller with a weight of 70kg-98kg.


Black and white Colobus

In Uganda, the Ruwenzori black and white monkey is a Colobus sub specie that is found in the primate destination of Uganda. The Ruwenzori black and white Colobus is a subspecies of the Angola Colobus monkey. The Ruwenzori Colobus is an old monkey specie that is a subspecies of the Angola Colobus.

This primate is best described with black hair around its body, white bushy tufts around its cheeks and a greyish white color at the end of its tail. This primate can be sighted in kibale national park, the Rwenzori ranges of the pearl and in the forests of the Uganda wildlife conservations education centre.


Red tailed monkey

The red tailed monkey or blacked cheeked white nose monkey is among the primates of Uganda that are easily encountered on a Uganda primate safari.

As the name suggests, this is a black colored monkey with a white small nose with white expandable cheeks that store their food findings and a long colored red tail. The adult’s male can weigh from 7-10 pounds while the female red tailed monkeys weigh from 6-8 pounds. The body length of a red tailed monkey is 1-2 foot inches, with the tail alone 35inches. The monkey uses the tail to balance on the tree branches.

This primate is spotted in Semilki national park in western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park and in kibale national park.


Blue monkey

The Blue monkey is a monkey specie that is part of the old monkey world.  The blue monkeys as their names describes, unfortunately don’t appear practically blue in color. These monkeys little hair around their faces that appear blue some times.

The social society of blue monkeys is mainly female philopatric. This is where the females remain in their natal homes as the males move away after adult hood. The typical size of a Blue monkey is from 50 -65 cm. The females weight up to 4kg and the males up to 8kg.

This old world monkey can be sighted from Murchison falls national park, kibale national park or in Lake Mburo national park.


L’hoest monkeys

This is a mountain monkey that finds comfort in forests than the lowland plains. The L’hoest monkey is a vulnerable listed monkey specie endemic to the upper Congo basis that is shared by D.R.congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. In the Uganda, this forest monkey is located in Bwindi impenetrable national park.

The L’hoest can be distinguished from the other primates by the white beard, dark brown coated body. This bark is chestnut colored with a dark belly. Their length 12.5-27 inches for the body only, with long tails about 19 to 39 inches.

The males weigh more than the female with a weight of 6kg and 3.5kg for the female L’hoest monkeys.


Olive baboon

These are common primates that can easily by spotted in Uganda. They are native to open savannah woodland habitats.  From a distance they are colored in green grey, a color where they derived its name. Olive baboons live in groups of 15-150 with a large number of females compared to the males. Female olive baboons are sexually mature at the age 8 while the males at the age of 10.

Olive baboon are wide spread at different locations in Uganda. These can be spotted in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, kibale forest park, Semuliki national park and at uganda wildlife conservation education centre.


Grey cheeked mangabey

This is a vulnerable old monkey species located in the central region of Africa. The grey cheeked live in primary forest, swamps and have been noticed in secondary forest too. The grey cheeked mangabey is dark in color, with brown fur with a golden mane are the neck. These monkeys live in groups of 5 -30 individuals with usually one male.

These are common –in kibale national park in western Uganda.


Golden monkey

This is also part of the old world monkey species. It is located in the Virunga Mountains of East Africa. They live in groups of 3 to 62 individuals. The smaller groups are usually found at higher altitudes. Golden monkeys mainly feed on bamboo shoots, leaves and forest fruits. It is differentiated with a golden orange patch on its back making it different from the blue monkey that may want to look similar.

These monkeys are located only in Mgahinga national park, co exiting with the mountain gorillas.  These have been listed endangered on the ICUN red list to habitat loss.

Uganda red Colobus

The Ugandan red Colobus is an endangered old monkey species located in Uganda Tanzania. These are folivore in nature, feeding mostly on leaves. These have rust red cap, dark to brown body color with a long tail, the males weigh up to 10.5kg and females weight up to 7kg. These can be sighted in kibale national park in western Uganda.

Vervet monkeys

These are part of the old world monkeys, with a black face, white fringed face hair and grizzled grey for the body color. These are native to Africa, living in small groups. Males leaves their natal groups after maturity to another group, transferring a peer or another male for protection against the other meals they will meet. These are easily spotted in Kibale national park.

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