Primate Species in Uganda – More Than Just Apes

Primate Species, Kebale Forest National Park Chimp Trek

We always interact with tourist and ask them if they can list at least 5 primate species in Uganda, but most would only think of the Mountain Gorilla and the Chimpanzee. Uganda can offer more than just gorillas and chimpanzees. The country is home to 24 species of primates, found in many of the National parks, game reserves and outside protected areas. You can find a vast number of primates in one area, making it a primate destination in Africa. The primate species in Uganda includes mountain gorilla, chimpanzee and various monkey species including baboon. Most of these primates can be seen during game drives, launch trips or nature walks. Black-and-white colobus monkeys are among the most frequently spotted species, while baboons are regularly seen along roadsides where they wait to ambush cars in search of food. On the roads you can meet troops of baboons and in the treetops you might see black-and-white colobus or red tailed monkeys.

Mountain Gorilla is the number one attraction in Uganda – located in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Our closest relatives, the Chimpanzees can be tracked from Kibale Forest, Budongo Forest at Murchison Falls, Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth Park and Kalinzu forest. The golden monkey is rare and unique and like its great ape relatives-the mountain gorillas- the golden monkeys can only be found in three countries -Rwanda-Congo- and Uganda in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park).

It is well known that 60% of the Africa’s primate genera are in Uganda. The wide distribution of primate species in Uganda is due to a complex climatic and geographic features that supports numerous habitat types as well as many barriers to the dispersal of species. In addition, the tremendous diversity of primate species in Uganda is due to its situation at the junction of the East African savannahs, the West African rainforests and the semiarid Sahelian zone of North Africa. Proper planning of the parks and reserves has resulted in most of the different habitats being conserved, enabling visitors to enjoy a wide variety of primates across the 10 national parks, 15 wildlife reserves and um protected areas in Uganda.

Here is a summary of primate species in Uganda. The details of the primates are in other articles.

Galago group

  • Thomas’ dwarf galago
  • Spectacled lesser galago
  • Moholi lesser galago
  • Sotik lesser galago
  • Tanganyika thick-tailed galago

Poto group

  • Eastern potto

Chimpanzee Tracking in Uganda



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Colobus monkeys

  • Oustalet’s red colobus
  • Ashy red colobus
  • Angola black-and-white colobus
  • White-thighed-black-and-white colobus
  • Western guereza

Other monkeys and baboons

  • Vervet monkey
  • Grey-cheeked mangabey
  • Olive baboon
  • Patas monkey
  • Tantalus monkey
  • Red-tailed monkey
  • l’Hoest’s monkey
  • Blue monkey
  • Golden monkey
  • De Brazza’s monkey
  • Dent’s monkey

Apes group

  • Mountain gorilla
  • Eastern chimpanzee

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