Uganda always impresses visitors with its primate population, especially the Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees. It is a premier, year-round travel destination for primate trekking enthusiasts. The dense forests with year-round rainfall make Uganda the perfect place for these primate species. Exploring the forests in search of these magnificent species is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A Typical Primate Safari Encounter In Uganda Includes The Following Activities:
• Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale Forest
Kibale forest is a moist evergreen rain forest, located above an elevation of 1,100 meters, with some parts of the park reaching as high as 1,600 meters. One interesting fact about Kibale forest is that it is among the last remaining forest expanses comprising of both lowland and montane forests. Kibale forest is a continuation of Queens Elizabeth National Park in an ecological phenomenon where you have savannah grassland meeting rainforest. It forms the major chunk of the Kibale National Park which is famous for chimpanzee trekking tours. The elevation and remoteness coupled with the conservation efforts form the exemplary accommodating place for chimpanzees and it is also home to other primate species. A chimpanzee trekking experience or chimpanzee habituation experience should not be missed if you plan a long safari trip to Uganda.
• Chimpanzee Trekking in Budongo Forest
Budongo Forest has the highest concentration of Mahagony trees, some of which are more than 80 meters in height and 600 years old, and is deemed the largest mahogany forest in eastern Africa. This forest is in a 3-hour drive north of the capital city of Kampala and has a huge number of chimpanzees with a resident habituated group that visitors track. There are more than 360 bird species and 24 mammal species, 9 of which are primates. Eco-tourism is heavily promoted in this forest and for those that prefer to spend a night, there are eco cabins where they can reside as opposed to driving back to Murchison Falls National Park, where a lot of visitors prefer to base.
• Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the south-western part of Uganda, on the edge of Albertine Rift. Known as the “Place of Darkness,” it is biologically diverse and accommodates almost half of the world’s total mountain gorillas left on earth. These forests form the core of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is the main Gorilla Trekking destination in Uganda. There are 8 habituated gorilla families in this park which comprises of 10 to 20 members. Each family is headed by one silverback which is the male leader of the group. Besides the mountain gorillas, you can always spot other primate species, 120 mammal species, 1,000 flowering plants, and 348 bird species. Because of such significance, the park is a designated World Heritage Site.
• Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is the smallest of all national parks in Uganda but is also one of the most profound. Covering an area of 33 sq km, besides Bwindi Impenetrable, it is the only national park that conserves the endangered mountain gorillas. The park area is in contiguous with Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park of Rwanda and Congo respectively. Thus the only mountain gorilla family of this park is trans-boundary and moves to and fro from this park area. Gorilla Trekking Uganda tours are also organized in this park but depend upon the season and location of the sole gorilla family.
• Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga
Other than being home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family/group, Mgahinga is home to a significant number of golden monkeys. They’re not as well known as the gorillas, but like them, they too are endangered as there are just 4,000 of them left in the world, all living in the Virunga Volcanoes forests. They cross the boundary and come to the Mgahinga part. The bonus for choosing golden monkeys over gorillas is that the habituation and entrance fees cost a lot less.
• Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
Also known as the “Valley of Apes” it is a part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in the far eastern corner of it. The gorge is approximately 1 km across where almost 16 chimpanzees are remaining in its impressive valley. It is usually added as a bonus for tourists who come to visit the Queens Elizabeth National Park which has a wealth of wildlife offerings.
These primate species which are meticulously conserved in the protected areas of Uganda are definitely worth a visit. Ecotourism and sustainable tourism are the only ways to keep these species alive and save them from extinction.
Uzuri Uganda Safari is a premier tour company based out of Uganda providing both luxurious and budget gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking tour packages. Contact Us today to get in touch with us regarding bookings or inquiries.