The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park

The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park : Kibale national park is Africa’s primate capital, the richest ecosystem in Africa and a dreamland for primatologists, the park is located in the western region of Uganda covering an area of 795 square kilometers and about 6 hours drive from Kampala Uganda’s capital. Kibale National park is dominated by one of the remaining areas hosting both lowland and montane forests in East Africa which is a good habitat for the various species of primates.

Kibale national park is a home to 13 species of primates and it is famous known for being a home to the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa, primates in East Africa include

1. Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are the trademark primate in Kibale national park and the park is generally famed for hosting the largest population of primates in Africa recorded to be over 1000 chimpanzee living in the rainforests of dominating the park, Kibale national park has about 80 habituated chimpanzees which are visited during chimpanzee tracking experience, the park is the best site for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda and Africa as well. Kibale national park is comprises of rainforests and savannah woodland which are the habitats of these beautiful creatures and it explains why they are in huge numbers in the park.

Chimpanzees are one of the closest relatives to humans sharing 98.7% of their DNA, this is manifested through various behaviors such as laughter, hugs and walking postures which are similar to that if humans. Chimpanzees are very intelligent creatures and this is seen in their ability to adapt to the use of tools such as leaves to act as umbrellas, sticks to dig out termites and stones to defend themselves.

The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park
Chimpanzee trekking safari

Kibale national park is an unmissable destination for chimpanzee tracking safari during your Uganda safari.

2.Red-tailed Monkeys

Red-tailed monkeys also known as the black cheeked white nosed monkey or red –tailed guenon or spot-nosed monkey owe their names to the features, these monkeys are usually black, red or orange in color. Red-tailed monkeys have large cheek pouches large enough to store as much food as a stomach would, these monkeys use their large cheek to protect their food from other primates in the forests.

Red tailed monkeys are found in various African countries such as Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Uganda among others. In Uganda, Kibale national park is one of the amazing sites to see these beautiful creatures. These monkeys primarily fructivorous but generally considered omnivorus because they feed on leaves, steams, flowers and insects.

3.Black And White Colobus Monkeys

Black and white colobus monkeys are close relatives to the red colobus monkeys, the name colobus is a Greek word meaning mutilated, this is because unlike other monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys do not have thumbs.  The colobus monkeys are identified from their beautiful black fur which strongly contrasts with the long white mantle, whiskers, bushy tail and a white beard around the face.

The black and white colobus monkeys are called because of the descriptive features that are full black body and white beared, back and shoulders. Surprisingly, these primates are born with white fur and a pin face.

4.L’Hoest Monkeys

L’Hoest Monkeys is one of the the 13 Primates of Kibale National Park and are native primate species to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi and Uganda, these primates are fond of living in mountainous forest areas and Kibale national park is one of the them,. These primates’ most part of their bodies are covered in a short dark grey fur with a strikingly white bearded which is their characteristic feature and a saddle pattern on their backs.

L’Hoest monkeys are the most terrestrial monkeys, just like the red tailed monkeys they have large cheek punches which they use to store their food such as fruits, leaves and shoots they gather during day. In Kibale national park, these monkeys are found in the thick underbrush as they prefer to live in the dense forest of the park.

The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park
L’Hoest Monkeys

5.Vervet Monkeys

Vervet monkeys are small, black-faced monkeys commonly found in various forests in East Africa and Kibale National park is one of the best places to find them in Uganda, vervet monkeys prefer living (stay, eat and sleep)  in the trees where they hardly make noticeable movements. The vervet monkeys spend most of their time grooming themselves.

Vervet monkeys have greenish-olive bodies or silver grey, their face, ears, hands, feet and the tip of their tails are black, these also have a conspicuous white band on the forehead blends with the shot whiskers. In size the males are slightly larger than the females, the males are easily identified by a turquoise-blue scrotum and red penis.

6.Olive Baboons

Olive baboons are the only species of baboons found in Uganda and they can be seen in Kibale national park, these primates get their name from the its coat color which is a shade of green-grey from a distance. Their name is also an alternative name from the Egyptian god Anubis.  At a closer range, the olive baboon’s coat is multi-colored due to the rings of yellow-brown and black on the hairs. The hair on the baboon’s face is coarser and ranges from dark grey to black. The olive baboons have a white throat and a distinct patch of white fur on the chest.

Olive baboons are social primates living in large groups/ troops of between 4 to 12 monkeys  and they can easily be seen by the road side of Kibale national park, the baboons are generally frightening primates because of their  dog like heads and long scary teeth.

7.Blue Monkeys

Blue monkeys also known as Diademed monkey are relatively small monkeys of 4 to 6 kilograms with a nearly naked face usually dark in color (infrequently blue) and have a well developed musculature. Blue monkeys owe their name to the descriptive of their dark-blue grey color, these monkeys are live in troops of between 4 to 12 monkeys and can easily be seen in Kibale national park.

The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park
Blue Monkeys

8.Grey Cheeked Mangabeys

Grey cheeked mangabeys are greyish-black monkeys also known as the white-cheeked managabey, the mangabeys are air generally hairy with a mane around their necks. The grey cheeked Mangabeys in Uganda are found in two places and Kibale national park is one of them.  The race of grey cheeked mangabeys found in Uganda is known as Johnston’s mangabey .

9.Uganda Red Colobus

Uganda red colobus are also one of the The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park and are also known as ashy red colobus monkeys are distinct species, these monkeys have a rust red cap with a face that is between black and grey in appearance, though infants are born with completely black faces. These monkeys have long dark grey to black hands and feet which help them leap long distances from tree to tree, Uganda Red Colobus monkeys are folivores with their diet comprising of mainly leaves and in their scarcity the feed on fruits and small invertebrates.

Kibale national park hosts the largest population of Uganda Red Colobus in East Africa.

10.Demidoff Galago

Demidoff Galongo also known as the Bush babies or prince Demidoff’s galago are the smallest primates in Africa getting their name “bush babies” from their cries, these primates have large eyes that help them see in the dark times of the night with ease. The Demidoff Galago have an acute sense of hearing and long tails that ease their balance on trees, these primates are nocturnal primates meaning you are likely to spot them during night walks through the forest of Kibale national park.

11.The Potto

It is another small primate that can reach the length of 14 inches and a weight of 1.8 to 3.5 pounds. It prefers to live in dense tropical rainforests but can also be found in mountain forests and near rivers. A baby Potto is born white and creamy but grows into a grey, reddish or brown colour. A Potto’s eyes, like those of the Demidoff Galago, are large enough to aid its night vision. It is also an arboreal animal, spending most of its time in trees. Its hands are designed to equip it with a grip so strong it could grasp a branch for a prolonged period of time.

The 13 Primates of Kibale National Park
The Potto

12.Patas monkey

The Patas monkey also known as military monkeys are long limbed and predominantly ground-dwelling primates, these monkeys get their name because of their red fur and soldier-like moustache. The Patas monkeys are the fastest primates with the capacity to run at 35mph, they use their speed to run in case of danger from the open. Unlike other primates’ troops, the Patas are led by females who are responsible for protection of the troops and the males are responsible to breed and from time to time they send an alarm in case of pending danger. .

13.Uganda Mangabey

Uganda Mangabey were previously thought to be belonging to the Grey cheeked mangabey until 2007 when they were recognized as Uganda Mangabeys, these monkeys are only found in Uganda meaning they are endemic species to Uganda. Uganda Mangabey are relatively smaller in size than the grey-cheeked mangabey with a shorter skill and smaller face.

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