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primates in Uganda

The impressive list of primates in Uganda consists of 13 diurnal and six nocturnal species, making Uganda the destination with the highest concentration of primates on the continent. The list includes the mountain gorilla and chimpanzee, taking the most attention from primate safari tourists.

Other primates include a golden monkey, de brazza’s monkey, black and white colobus monkey, red colobus monkey, potto, bushbaby, grey-checked mangabey, l’hoest’s monkey, red-tailed monkey, vervet monkey, patas monkey, baboon, and blue monkey.

Six of the diurnal primates found in Uganda are guenon monkeys, members of the taxonomically controversial genus Cercopithecus.

The velvet and blue guenon monkeys, for instance, are both widespread African species known by at least five different common names, and both have over 20 recognized races, some of which are considered by some authorities to be separate species.

Uganda also offers more profound primate viewing experiences than any other destination in Africa. Mountain gorillas and chimpanzees are the favorites for wildlife photography safaris and naturalists’ expeditions.

On a habituation experience, travelers are taken on a wilder experience with primates. Guided experiences are conducted with primatologists and rangers to a semi-habituated gorilla or chimpanzee family and allow you to spend 4 – 12 hours with the primates.

The most famous primate destinations in Uganda are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking and Kibale Forest for the chimpanzee experience. Other places to see primates in Uganda include Budongo Forest (Murchison Falls NP), Kyambura Gorge (Queen Elizabeth NP), and Semuliki National Park.

List of Primates in Uganda


The great apes of the family Pongidae are so closely related to humans that a less partial observer might well place them in the same family as us. Scientists think that the chimpanzee is more closely related to humans than it is to any other ape.

There are four ape species in the world (chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, gorilla ). Two of them live in Uganda (gorilla and chimpanzee).


All the monkeys found in Uganda are members of the family Cercopithecidae (Old World Monkeys).

Nocturnal primates

Seldom observed on account of their nocturnal habits, the prosimians are a relict group of primitive primates more closely related to the lemurs of Madagascar than to the diurnal monkeys and apes of the African mainland.


Also called galagoes, these small, nocturnal primates are widespread in wooded habitats in sub-Saharan Africa. The bushbaby’s piercing cry is one of the distinctive sounds of the African night. 

Potto (Perodicticus potto)

This medium-sized sloth-like creature inhabits forest interiors, where it spends the night’s foraging upside down from tree branches. It can sometimes be located at night by shining a spotlight into the canopy. 

Best Destinations to See Primates in Uganda

Uganda offers the best primate viewing options worldwide. Uganda boasts of the highest concentration of primate species on the continent, and numerous troops have been habituated for primate tourism within their natural habitat.

The best place to see chimpanzees and several other small primates are in Kibale National Park. Kibale has 13 primate species, and the crowds’ attraction is the chimpanzee. From Kanyancu, chimpanzee tracking excursion head out every morning and afternoon for a permit of USD 150. YOu can see other primates on a nature walk around Bigodi swamps.