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Species Of Primates In Kibale Forest National Park

Are you looking for information about species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park/Primate species in Kibale National Park? We have it all here!!

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

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

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

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

Nocturnal primates in Uganda Kibale 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 species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park/Primate 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 species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park/Primate species in Kibale National Park

  1. Chimpanzees- Pan Troglodytes

A Chimpanzee can simply be called a chimp. Chimpanzees are the most adorable of all species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park. These awesome primates of Africa share about 98-99% of man’s DNA. Thus, considered the closest generic relatives of man.

General appearance: A Chimpanzee is a black-coated ape with a body covered in coarse hair. It’s only its face, fingers, toes, hand palms, and feet soles that are bare. 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.

On average, males weigh over 40-70kg while females about 27-50kg in the wild.

Diet of chimps: Chimps are omnivores, however, their diet is mainly of fruits. Also, leaves, stems, seeds, bark, and leaf buds are eaten.

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

Behaviors: These close cousins of man are highly social! They live in communities of over 20-150 members led by a dominant alpha male who settles disputes in the community.

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.

Reproduction: Our close relatives “the chimps” give birth at the age of 4-5 years usually to one baby

The life span of Chimpanzees: In the wild, chimps normally for over 15-30 years on average, however, some can go almost 50 yrs.

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 biggest species of primates in Kibale park you’ll encounter on your Uganda tour.

General appearance: 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.

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: Generally, 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.

Behavior: Normally, Baboons s roam in groups of over 15-150 individuals, comprising many females, infants, and a few males.

Reproduction: Female Olive Baboons mostly give birth of 4-5 years of age, commonly one baby at ago.

During ovulation time, the female’s anogenital area swells. In general, it turns pink or bright red. This is an indicator to males that she is ready to mate.

Their gestation period often takes about 6 months and one baby is produced normally.

In Kibale, Baboons can be spotted in the Sebitoli area and they’re the most common primate species in Kibale National Park

  1. Black And White Colobus Monkeys- Mantled guereza

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

Physical description: 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.

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

Diet: This adorable Monkey mainly eats leaves and fruits though, seeds, flowers, lianas are taken, etc.

Social behavior: 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.

On your Uganda Chimpanzee safari in Kibale, these can be spotted during nature walks in the Kanyanchu area.

  1. Red-Tailed Monkeys- Cercopithecus ascanius

The Red-tailed Monkey is also among the dazzling primates in Africa in Kibale Forest.

General appearance: 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.

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

Habits: 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.

Just like other Uganda species of primates in Kibale National park, it’s also found in the Kanyanchu expanse.

  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.

Physical appearance:  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.

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

Behaviors: These African primate species in Kibale Forest National Park are social, living in a troop of more females than males. Males leave the group when they mature therefore, solitary males are frequently spotted.

Diet and habits: Usually, they feed in tree canopies typically on fruits, seeds leaves, flowers & fungi. They hardly come on the ground!

You can spot this beautiful Monkey during 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 in Uganda.

General appearance: L’Hoest’s Monkeys hold a dark coat and 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.

Males weigh over 6kg while females 4kg.

Diet: 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.

Behaviors: 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. They’re mostly terrestrial, enjoying foraging in dense secondary forests.

On your visit, 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.

General appearance: 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.

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

Behaviors: 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.

Just like other primate species in Kibale National Park, Vervet Monkeys are also common in the Kanyanchu area.

  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.

Physical appearance: 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.

Males are larger weighing about 11kg while females are 7kg.

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

Behaviors: They’re highly social, living in troops of over 3-85 members. However, their average group size is about 40 individuals.

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.

General appearance: 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.

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

Just like most species of primates in Kibale National Park, this also can be found in the Kanyanchu region.

  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

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

Habits: 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 individuals.

Diet: 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.

Predators: 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 trip 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.

Physical appearance: 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.

Behavior: 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.

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

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

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

Nocturnal Primates In Kibale Forest

Out of the numerous species of primates in Kibale National Park, two are nocturnal and these include:

  1. Galagos- Galagidae

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

Physical appearance: 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.

Diet: 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.

Habits: Galagos are 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.

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 among the lovely African primates in Kibale National Park. They can be called Tree Bears or simply “Softly-softly” in some English-speaking parts of Africa.

General appearance: 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.

Potto can grow up to 30-39cm long with a short tail of approximately 3-10cm. It weighs about 600-1,600g.

Diet: The diet of Pottos comprises mainly fruits however, tree gums and insects are eaten also. Insects eaten by Pottos usually have a strong smell and are commonly not taken by other animals.

Infrequently, Pottos have been known to catch bats and small birds.

Habits: Naturally, Pottos are nocturnal and mostly arboreal creatures. Normally, they sleep during the daytime in leaves and rarely descend on the ground.

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 National Park include the rare L’hoest’s Monkey, Red-tailed Monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc.

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FAQs About species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park/Primate species 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 species of primates in Kibale include Chimpanzees, Olive Baboons, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, etc.

  1. Which Primates Species Are Found In Kibale Forest Park?

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:

  • Chimpanzees
  • Olive baboons
  • Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys
  • Red-tailed monkeys
  • Blue Monkeys
  • L’hoest monkeys
  • Vervet Monkeys
  • Red Colobus Monkeys
  • Uganda mangabeys
  • Grey-cheeked Mangabey
  • Uganda Red Colobus
  • 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.

Note: Chimpanzees are the main key primates in Kibale National Park.

  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?

Out of the 13 species of primates in Kibale National Park, 2 are nocturnals. These include Bushbabies and Pottos.

Other Uganda primates in Kibale include Chimpanzees, Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Vervets, Black and white Colobus Monkeys, etc.

  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 Forest include over 1500 population of Chimpanzees population. Others include Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, etc.

  1. Where Do We Find Primates In Kibale?

Most primates in Kibale forest national park are spotted within the Kanyanchu area. This is more especially along the Kanyanchu chimp trail. The commonly spotted include Chimpanzees, Vervet Monkeys, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, etc.

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

  1. What Is The Best Time Of A Year 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.

March-May and September-November are rainy months in Uganda! Therefore, rainfall will be much and some trails become challenging 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:

  • Insect repellents to safeguard yourself from biting insects including, mosquitoes.
  • Comfortable hiking shoes are ideal for the slippery trail in the jungle.
  • Garden gloves will safeguard your hands from touching dirt and getting injured.
  • A camera: This is so vital for taking photos for remembrance of this lifetime encounter. Recommended ones include Canon 80D, Fujifilm X-T3, Sony A7 III, Panasonic Lumix LX10, etc.
  • A rain jacket will protect you from rainfall in case it happens to find you in the jungle
  • 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 species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park are facing numerous threats, it’s a general problem worldwide, mostly caused by man.

Here are the threats to Uganda primate species in Kibale National Park Forest

  • Habitat loss: This ranks as the number one threat to primates. Due to population pressure, man has embarked on virgin forests- habitats for primates.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Wildfires, especially from farmers surrounding the park and this end up destroying their habitat.
  • Vehicle accidents, mainly within the Sebitoli area where Olive Baboons usually come out of the forest and stay at Fort Portal- Mubende Highway.

12. What Are The Importance Of species of Primates in Kibale Forest National Park?

Various primate species in Kibale National Park are of great importance biologically, to the ecosystem, and also to the economy of Uganda as well.

  • Economically: Primates in Kibale park have contributed to the development of tourism in Uganda, the number one source of foreign exchange!

This has been through the promotion of primate tours counting the incredible Uganda Chimpanzee safaris in Kibale National Park.

  • Biologically: Primates in Kibale Forest are used for research and study purposes. For example, there is a wild Chimpanzee group in the Kanywara area that is being examined by Kibale Chimpanzee Project.

Scientific studies about their behavioral, ecological ways, and psychological habits are being carried out by scientists.

  • Ecologically: Various primates species in Kibale Uganda play a great vital role in nature. For example, most of them help in the dispersal of plants from one area to another. This happens as they forage on fruiting.

More so, primates in Kibale Forest help to balance the ecosystem. For example, Bushbabies feeds on harmful insects including Mosquitoes which might be harmful to human.

  1. How Can We Protect Uganda Primates Species In Kibale National Park?

There are various ways in which species of primates in Kibale Forest National Park can be protected and among these include:

  • Educating the public about the importance of primates in Kibale National park.
  • Deploying more anti-poaching patrols in Kibale Forest. This will help to fight out poachers from the park.
  • Relocating people who are just close to Kibale National Park borders to avoid human-wildlife conflict.
  • Visitors on Uganda Chimpanzee safaris are warned against buying souvenirs made out of wildlife products. This helps to control poaching!
  • Travelers suffering from communicable diseases (flu, cough, etc.) should volunteer and don’t go for the trek. This will help to save Chimpanzees from such fatal infections.

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