Gorilla Safaris

Primate Parks in Uganda

Primate parks in Uganda attract a high number of travelers from all over the world. Over years, primate trekking especially to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees has been reviewed as the best wildlife experience. Primates are mammals with a comparatively big brain, sensitivity, good vision and protruding digits at the end of their limbs. They are the closest animals to mankind and this is why they are regarded as our relatives. Ages ago, primates were generally terrestrial animals but some of them adapted to the ways of living on trees. It is only mankind and gorillas who remained ground-dwelling species. However, when arboreal primates get older, they start living on the ground due to reduced mobility through their limbs. Primates naturally thrive in rainforest regions around the world, particularly in Africa, Asia and America.

In Africa, Uganda is one of the main natural habitats of primates and shelters 20 species in its different rainforest areas, Kibale forest holding the high concentration in the country and Africa at large. Within Kibale forest national park, 14 primate species are recorded including the recently discovered dwarf Galago, L’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus, grey-cheeked mangabey and chimpanzees. The mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga forested ranges, the huge primates Uganda is popularly known for. Uganda is also home to the critically endangered golden monkeys residing in Mgahinga, endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Although some primates have large populations even in millions, all of them are regarded as endangered species under the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Most primates live in small range areas and they are heavily threatened by loss of habitats, Poaching and hunting, outbreaks of endemic diseases and rebel activities that keep happening in their abodes from time to time, especially in Africa.

Due to the endangerment of the primates across the world, conservation efforts are being made to ensure the advanced mammals do not perish. Uganda is one of the champions of the campaign to keep the primates alive, it gazetted most of its primate breeding areas into national parks, sanctuaries and wild reserves for example Bwindi impenetrable national park, Kibale forest national park, Kyambura Gorge integrated into Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalinzu forest, Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary, Bundongo forest within Murchison Conservation Area and Toro-Semliki Wildlife reserve.

The protected areas were established to protect and preserve the different primates from human encroachment, manage and treat them in case sick and injured and also to let the world know their importance in the ecosystem by promoting their habitats as tourism destinations.

Travelers embraced the initiative of making the primate habitats open for tourism and they are one of the most visited destinations in Uganda. At the primate parks, you meet and interact with primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys at close proximity in what are called tracking experiences. The experiences are mind boggling and exciting as the primates animate their intuitive social behavior. Africa Adventure Safaris brings you details of primates parks in Uganda. Choose the park of your choice and meet face to face with your close relatives.

The best primitive parks to visit in Uganda are listed as below:

Kibale Forest National Park
Where to see chimpanzees in UgandaKibale Forest National Park is a western Uganda based rainforest cotangent to Queen Elizabeth national park, Rwenzori mountains and Fort Portal craters. The park is regarded as the capital of primates since it holds the highest density in Africa. Kibale has 14 different small types of primates comprising chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, baboons, colobus monkeys and vervet monkeys. The chimpanzees are the selling tourism product in Kibale forest, most of the visitors that visit the forest park come to encounter the shrewd small apes. The chimpanzees are the most intelligent animals one can ever come across in the wild. They can use nature like tree branches, stones and leaves as tools in their daily routine. These cunning animals express their feelings in moments of sadness and happiness and also vocally communicate but their utterances cannot be deciphered into words. Visitors that take part in the chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale always have a blast! Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest is carried out in the early morning, mid-morning and afternoon. The cost of the chimpanzee permit is 200$. The other small primates in Kibale are randomly encountered on nature guided walks or even on a trek to the abodes of the chimpanzees.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi is the most famous gorilla safaris habitat in the world. The park is home to 459 gorillas as per the 2019 census equating to almost half of the world’s total population (over 1000). The park has 20 habituated gorilla families residing in its different sections of Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija. The gorilla permits in Bwindi go for 700$ per person and are highly demanded. Tracking in a specific sector entirely depends on the availability of gorillas in that sector at the time of booking.
However, it is imperative to note that the gorilla trekking experience across the different families and sectors of Bwindi is the same. Nothing changes apart from the time taken to reach the exact localities of the gorilla families. The gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi involves trekking on uneven terrain for long hours and distances to relocate the gorillas in their abode of the day. When the gorillas are met, trackers spend strictly one hour watching them feed, play and communicate. Photos and videos of the gorillas are also taken by the visitors. In the end, the trackers lead out of the forest to end their tracking experience. The experience is so intimate because it is the closest one can ever get to a wild animal. Thanks to the gentleness and hostility of the mountain gorillas.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Primate Parks in UgandaMgahinga National park in Kisoro southwest of Uganda is a natural habitat for two popular primates, the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Mgahinga national park is said to have roughly 40 gorillas and one habituated family, Nyakagezi family. The park protects the least population of gorillas among the four mountain gorilla habitats. The Mgahinga gorilla tracking expedition is exclusive and adventurous because few visitors engage in the activity on a day and the stunning landscapes explored and sighted while on the trek.
The golden monkeys are also tracked in this Virunga ranges dominated protected area. The golden monkeys are rare species of monkeys that evolved from blue monkeys and are only found in the Albertine Rift region. These monkey species have a golden patch on their backs and flangs. They are so beautiful to look at and photograph. Visitors always have a great time with them. Golden monkey tracking costs 100$ per person.

Kyambura Gorge-Queen Elizabeth national park
Kyambura gorge is a lowland forested corridor located on the northeastern side of Queen Elizabeth National park. The lowland forest is a biodiversity with varied living species, including chimpanzees, elephants, warthogs, bush babies, serval cats and many more. The gorge is mainly explored to see the chimpanzees. Unlike Kibale Forest, Kyambura gorge has a small population of chimpanzees and the chances of seeing them are at 80 percent. Nonetheless, when the small apes are met in the gorge, it is an exciting moment. They are habituated, familiar to human presence offering the opportunity of watching them at close range and taking outstanding pictures.

What more do you wish to visit apart from the above-explained primate parks and area. They are the perfect places to meet your relatives. The most exciting of all are Kibale national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park because of their high density of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas respectively.

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