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Primates In Kibale Forest

Primates In Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is simply a must not miss paradise for primate safaris in Uganda as it boasts over 13 primate species.

This paradise (Kibale) holds the highest concentration of primates in Africa thus, dubbed the Primate Capital of Africa.

Among the primates in Kibale National Park includes over 1,500 endangered Chimpanzee population out of the 5,000 total in Uganda.

Other amazing primate species in Kibale include Olive Baboons, Black-and-White Colobus, Red-tailed, Vervets, L’hoest’s, Uganda Mangabeys, and Red Colobus Monkeys.

Nocturnal primates in Kibale forest national park include the Bushbabies and the pottos. These gorgeous species are usually spotted on guided night walks in Kibale Forest.

Please note that, on your safari Uganda tour in Kibale national forest, most primates are spotted within the Kanyanchu area. This is where also Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park takes place from.

List Of 13 Primates Species In Kibale National Park

  1. Chimpanzees
  2. Olive baboons
  3. Black and White Colobus Monkeys
  4. Red-tailed monkeys
  5. Blue Monkeys
  6. L’hoest monkeys
  7. Vervet Monkeys
  8. Red Colobus Monkeys
  9. Uganda mangabeys
  10. Grey-cheeked Mangabey
  11. Uganda Red Colobus
  12. Bushbabies
  13. Pottos

Below is the detailed list of Primates In Kibale Forest

  1. Chimpanzees- Pan Troglodytes

A Chimpanzee can simply be called a chimp. Chimpanzees are awesome primates sharing about 98.7% of man’s DNA thus, considered the closest generic relatives of man.

Chimps are considered to be very intelligent as they’ve been observed modifying tools to hunt for food e.g. Modifying a wood to spear bushbabies.

A Chimpanzee is a black-coated ape with a body covered in coarse hair, except for the face, fingers, toes, hand palms, and feet soles. Sometimes, chimpanzees’ hair can be brown or ginger.

Infants have pinkish or whitish faces. A white or grey patch can appear, especially on the chin as chimps get older.

These close cousins of man are highly social, living in communities of over 20-150 members led by a dominant alpha male.

Our close relatives “the chimps” give birth at the age of 4-5 years. Chimpanzees in the wild live for over 15-30 years on average, however, some can go almost 50 yrs. On average, males weigh over 40-70kg while females about 27-50kg in the wild.

Chimps diet:

Chimps are omnivores, however, their diet is mainly of fruits. Leaves, stems, seeds, bark, and leaf buds, are eaten also.

Please note that meat makes up about 3% of the chimpanzee diet. Though there’re numerous small mammals taken, Red Colobus Monkey enjoyed the most.

On your Chimpanzee safari tour in Kibale Forest, chimp trekking is done along the Kanyanchu trail. You have over a 90% chance of spotting them.

  1. Olive Baboons- Papio Anubis

An Olive Baboon is also called the Anubis Baboon. It’s one of the most common & biggest species of monkey you’ll encounter on your Uganda tour in Kibale NP.

Olive Baboons are named after their coat color which displays a shade of green-grey when viewed from a distance. At a close range, the Baboons coat is multi-colored, due to rings of yellow-brown and black on the hairs.

The hair on its face is coarser, varying from dark grey to black. Both sexes are similar. However, males have a mane of longer hair that tapers down to ordinary length along the back.

It holds a scary elongated dog-like muzzle and powerful jaws with long pointed canine teeth. Its tail looks as if it’s broken. It’s erect for the first quarter, after which it dewdrops down sharply.

Note their bare unmistakable patch on a rump.

They normally roam in groups of over 15- 150 individuals, comprising a few males, many females, and infants.

On average, their general weight ranges between 10- 37km. Males’ average weight is over 24km while females are about 14.7kg. But some can weigh up to 50km.

Diet of olive baboons

Baboons are omnivores. They typically feed on plant materials like leaves, flowers, tubers, rhizomes, fruits, etc. Small mammals like birds, and rodents, plus other primates can be eaten also.

  1. Black And White Colobus Monkeys- Mantled Guereza

A Black-and-white Colobus Monkey is a lovely unmistakable monkey species while on your Uganda safari tour in Kibale.

A Mantled guereza is beautifully marked with distinctive fur that’s mostly black. It has long white fringes of silky hair called mantle or ornamentation along the sides of their bodies and tails. The other distinctive feature is its white tufts at the end of the tail.

Please note its amazing face framed by white hair and bushy cheek hairs. Infants are born with pink skin and white hair.

Usually, these monkeys live in social groups of about 3- 15 individuals, containing one male, several females, and young ones.

The Mantled guereza is mainly arboreal. However, it sometimes descends on the ground. An adult is capable of jumping up to 30m, an incredible sight with its white tail streaming behind.

This spectacular monkey mainly eats leaves and fruits though, seeds, flowers, and lianas are taken, etc.

On average, males can weigh over 14kg while females 10kg.

  1. Red-Tailed Monkeys- Cercopithecus Ascanius

The Red-tailed Monkey is also among the dazzling Monkey species to see while on your Uganda wildlife safari in Kibale Forest.

As its name suggests, this Monkey is named after its coppery red tail which is almost twice its body length. The long tail helps it to achieve balance.

The other distinctive feature of this little Monkey is its white nose and cheeks amidst the black or dark grey body fur. Note also their large and expandable cheeks which are used to gather food in their mouth for safety.

These Monkeys are primarily fructivorous. However, they’re considered omnivorous because they’ll eat leaves, flowers, or insects in times when fruits are scarce.

They’re social monkeys, living in groups of 7- 30 individuals, comprising a dominant male, females, and their offspring. Males who reach maturity abandon the group.

  1. Blue MonkeysCercopithecus Mitis

A Blue Monkey is also called the Diademed Monkey It’s a species of the Old World Monkey native to Central and East Africa.

Despite what its name suggests, Blue Monkeys are not noticeably blue!

This gorgeous monkey is called so due to its hairless face which seems to be colored blue. It’s olive or grey, apart from the face which is dark with a pale or yellowish patch on the forehead (the diadem).

Note its blackish cap on the head and the long tail. Their feet, front legs, and mantle are brown, olive, or grey depending on the subspecies.

These monkeys are social, living in a troop of more females than males. Males leave the group when they mature therefore, solitary males are frequently spotted.

On average, males weigh about 8kg while females 4kg.

Usually, they feed in tree canopies typically on fruits, seeds leaves, flowers & fungi. They hardly come on the ground. You can spot it along guided nature walks in the Kanyanchu area.

  1. L’Hoest’s Monkeys- Allochrocebus Lhoesti

The L’Hoest’s Monkey is also called the Mountain Monkey. Kibale National Park is one of the best places to spot this rare beautiful Monkey on your African safari.

It’s mostly terrestrial, enjoying foraging in dense secondary forests.

Note their dark coat, a chestnut color across the back plus a dark belly. Their cheeks are light grey with a pale mustache.

Note their prominent white beard and a long tail that is hook-shaped at the end.

These Monkeys usually live in quite small groups dominated by females and commonly have a single male. In most cases, they’re active in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Males weigh over 6kg while females 4kg.

Generally, L’Hoest’s Monkeys are typically herbivores feeding mostly on fruits, mushrooms, roots, herbs, and leaves. Occasionally, they can eat eggs, lizards, and small birds.

On your Uganda tour in Kibale Forest, you can spot it along the Kanyanchu chip trek if lucky.

  1. Vervet Monkeys- Chlorocebus Pygerythrus

The Vervet Monkey is another stunning Monkey rarely missed by visitors on the Kibale chimpanzee trekking trail within the Kanyanchu area.

This little Monkey is easily identified by its distinctive black face with a white fringe of hair.  The overall hair color is mostly grizzled-grey.

Males are larger than females and easily recognized by their turquoise-blue scrotum. An adult male can weigh up to 8kg while a female 4kg.

These monkeys are primarily herbivorous, they feed mostly on wild fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, and seed pods.

Please note that Vervet Monkeys are great enemies of farmers. They usually raid farmers’ crops, especially grain crops including maize. Young tobacco plants and vegetable fruits are destroyed also.

  1. Ugandan Red Colobus Monkeys- Piliocolobus Tephrosceles

A Ugandan Red Colobus Monkeys is also called the Ashy Red Colobus. It’s an endangered species of Red Colobus Monkey, recognized as a distinct species since 2001.

In Africa, Uganda holds the largest population of Uganda Red Colobus of over 17,000 individuals, mostly spotted in Kibale National Park.

This spectacular Monkey is easily identified by its rust-red cap on the head and a dark grey to black face. Its hands and feet are dark grey or black.

Note also their long dark-brown tail that gives it balance while in tree canopies.

They’re highly social, living in troops of over 3-85 members. However, their average group size is about 40 individuals. Males are larger weighing about 11kg while females are 7kg.

The diet of this Monkey consists mainly of leaves, though sometimes they can eat fruits, tree bark, and seeds.

On your Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale, you can encounter it along the Kanyanchu chimp trail.

  1. Uganda Mangabeys- Lophocebus Ugandae

A Uganda Mangabey is an amazing species of Old World Monkey only found in Uganda and Tanzania. This incredible crested Mangabey was previously thought to be a population of the Grey-cheeked Mangabey (L. albigena).

It was upgraded to a new species L. ugandae on 16th Feb 2007 by a British-Austrian Biologist and Anthropologist Colin Groves.

Uganda Mangabeys are relatively smaller than the Grey-cheeked Mangabey and have a shorter skull and smaller face.

Please note that species from eastern Uganda have yellowish-brown color while those from the west are slightly darker greyish-brown. The mane and breast are pale chocolate-brown.

It’s mostly an arboreal species, spending most of its time in the upper canopy, where it forages for fruits and seeds.

  1. Red Colobus Monkey

The endangered Red Colobus Monkey is a witty-looking species of Old World Monkeys in the genus Piliocolobus. Formerly, this Monkey was considered a subgenus within the genus Procolobus, which is now restricted to the Olive Colobus.

This Monkey is closely related to the Black-and-white Colobus Monkey of the genus Colobus

These Monkeys lack many distinctive features however, they can be easily identified by their slightly tufted crown.

Note that this monkey is highly social, normally found in big troops of over 80 individuals. Though, on average, the group can consist of 20-40 monkeys.

Primarily, their diet consists of mainly young leaves, flowers, and unripe fruit. Red Colobus Monkeys have stomachs that can digest toxic plants that other primates cannot.

In Kibale Forest, Chimpanzees are the major threats to this species, contributing to 6-12% of their annual death, especially the females and infants.

On your Uganda tour in Kibale, you can encounter it on nature walks within Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary if lucky.

  1. Grey-Cheeked Mangabey- Lophocebus Albigena

A Grey-cheeked Mangabey is an amazing species of Old World Monkey, also called the White-cheeked Mangabey.

It’s a dark Monkey having baboon-like mannerisms, a shaggier look than any Guenon, and light-grey cheeks. This Monkey’s thick brown fur is almost black while in the forest.

Note it’s slightly rufous mane around the neck.

In the past, this species was considered to be restricted in forest canopies. However, some habituated troops were observed on the forest floor collecting fruits.

Normally, they live in troops of about 5-30 individuals (without a dominant male). These monkeys are usually found in either swamps or primary forests.

Their diet mostly consists of fruits, particularly figs. Other staffs like shoots, flowers, and insects are eaten also.

On your Uganda safari holiday in Kibale, you can spot this Monkey on the Bigodi Wetland walk.

Nocturnal Primates In Kibale Forest

There are numerous primates in Kibale National Park and among these, includes two nocturnal species:

  1. Galagos- Galagidae

Galagos are commonly known as Bushbabies due to their shrill baby-like cry in the quiet night of the jungle.

Bushbabies are unique saucer-eyed nocturnal primates commonly spotted on guided night walks in Kibale national forest. They’ve got soft woolly fur that is grey, brown, or reddish to yellowish brown.

Note their large eyes and collapsible ears which can rotate independently like radar dishes to sense prey in the dark. Their big eyes help them to see in low light as they hunt for food.

They’re ace jumpers, using their powerful legs and extremely long tails to spring great distances. This allows them to snatch flying insects out of the air.

Typically, Bushbabies are omnivores. Fruits, insects, and the gum that oozes out of certain tree species make up their diet. However, some species can hunt small animals like frogs and birds.

It’s spotted by tracing its piercing cry in a tree. Then, shine a powerful torch in the canopy. You’ll be amazed by the weird large eyes!

  1. Pottos- Perodicticus Potto

Pottos are also called Tree Bears or simply “Softly-softly” in some English-speaking parts of Africa.

This slow-moving African primate has got a long slender body, big eyes, a short tail, and small round ears. Their woolly fur body is grey-brown.

It has also robust limbs with opposable thumbs, used to grasp branches firmly. Their second digits are short.

The Potto’s neck has got 4-6 low tubercles that cover its elongated vertebrae. They’ve got sharp points, nearly piercing the skin, used as defensive weapons.

On your safari Uganda tour in Kibale, this lovely primate can be encountered on guided night walks.

On your African safaris, Kibale National Park is a heaven for primate tours, a must not miss! This Primate Capital of Africa holds a variety of primates including, a viable population of endangered chimpanzees.

Other lovely primates in Kibale include the rare L’hoest’s Monkey, Red-tailed Monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc.

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FAQs About Primates In Kibale National Park

  1. What Are Primates?

According to zoology, Primates refers to any mammal belonging to the group of Lorises, Tarsiers, Lemurs, Monkeys, Apes, and humans.

Generally most primates:

  • Are adapted to climbing trees as they have hands for grasping
  • Have opposable thumbs
  • Are highly social mostly spotted in pairs, groups, and families
  • Possess long life spans and slow growth
  • Are so intelligent as they have been recorded using tools
  • Can communicate using facial and hand gestures.
  • Have large brains (in relation to body size)
  • Give birth to a few offspring at a time.
  1. How Many Primate Species Are In Kibale National Park?

Kibale National Park holds over 13 primate species. The park holds the highest concentration of primates not only in Uganda but also in Africa thus, called the Primate Capital of Africa.

Some of the primates in Kibale include Chimpanzees, Olive Baboons, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc.

  1. Which Primates Are Found In Kibale Forest?

Kibale National Park is a gem for primate safaris in Uganda as it boasts the highest concentration of primates of any park in Africa. Kibale holds over 13 primate species including:

  1. Chimpanzees
  2. Olive baboons
  3. Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys
  4. Red-tailed monkeys
  5. Blue Monkeys
  6. L’hoest monkeys
  7. Vervet Monkeys
  8. Red Colobus Monkeys
  9. Uganda mangabeys
  10. Grey-cheeked Mangabey
  11. Uganda Red Colobus
  12. Bushbabies

  1. How Many Chimpanzees Are In Kibale National Park?

Over 1,500 chimpanzee population has been recorded in Kibale National Park. The park holds 4 chimpanzee communities including, the Kanyantale chimpanzee community, a fully habituated group comprising 90 individuals.

The Kanyantale community (in the Kanyanchu area) is the main group for Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale.

  1. Do We Have Mountain Gorillas In Kibale Forest?

There’re no Mountain Gorillas in Kibale National Park. Mountain Gorillas in Uganda are only found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and also Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

While on your Uganda safari, Bwindi is the best place for gorilla tours as it boasts almost 50% of the Mountain gorilla population on earth.

  1. What Nocturnal Primates Are Found In Kibale Forest National Park?

Kibale National Park boasts over 13 primate species including Chimpanzees, Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, etc. Bush babies and Pottos are the only nocturnal primate species in Kibale.

  1. Why Is Kibale Called The Primate Capital Of Africa?

Kibale Forest National Park holds the highest concentration of Primates of any park in Africa thus, dubbed the Primate Capital of Africa.

Some of the primates in Kibale include over 1500 population of Chimpanzees population. Other primates include Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, etc.

  1. Where Do We Find Primates In Kibale?

While on your Uganda tour in Kibale National Park, most primates are spotted within the Kanyanchu area, especially along the Kanyanchu chimp trail. The commonly spotted include Chimpanzees, Vervet Monkeys, Black-and-white colobus Monkeys, etc.

Please note that some primates like the Red-tailed Monkeys can be spotted in the nearby Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

  1. What Is The Best Time To Spot Primates In Kibale National Park?

Primates in Kibale National Park can be spotted all year round. However, the best time is during the drier months of June-August and December-February when there’re minimal rains in the rainforest.

During the dry months, the trails are relatively drier hence, mud free and easy to hike.

  1. What To Pack While Visiting Primates In Kibale Forest?

Since Kibale National Park is a rainforest, visitors on primate tours are advised to have the following:

  1. Insect repellents to safeguard yourself from biting insects including, mosquitoes.
  2. Comfortable hiking shoes are ideal for the slippery trail in the jungle.
  • Garden gloves will safeguard your hands from touching dirt and getting injured.
  1. A camera: This is so vital for taking photos for remembrance of this lifetime encounter.
  2. A rain jacket will protect you from rainfall in case it happens to find you in the jungle
  3. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers will protect your lovely skin from scratches while in the jungle.
  • Sunglasses and a hat will protect you from strong tropical sun rays.
  1. What Are The Treats To Primates In Kibale National Park?

Not only Primates in Kibale National Park are facing numerous threats, it’s a general problem worldwide, mostly caused by man.

Here are the threats to primates in Kibale Forest

  1. Habitat loss: This ranks as the number one threat to primates. Due to population pressure, man has embarked on virgin forests- habitats for primates.
  2. Disease: Since man’s DNA is almost bigger similar to that of primates, human diseases like Ebola, cough, flu, and measles, can be transmitted to our hairy cousins. This is more so by tourists.
  • Poaching especially for bush meat is also another threat to primates in Kibale
  1. Human-wildlife conflict is also another great to primates, especially for people around the park e.g. Vervet Monkeys are always victims of poisoning by farmers around.
  2. Wildfires, especially from farmers surrounding the park and this end up destroying their habitat.
  3. Vehicle accidents, mainly within the Sebitoli area where Olive Baboons usually come out of the forest and stay at Fort Portal- Mubende Highway.

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