13 Primates in Kibale forest national park
13 Primates in Kibale forest national park: Kibale forest national park is situated in western part of Uganda in Kabalore district and was gazette in 1993 covering an area of 560km2. The park is just 6 hours’ drive from Kampala the Capital city of Uganda and mainly comprises of a rainy forest that is evergreen throughout the year standing at an elevation between 1100m to 1600meters high above the see level known to be the home to 13 primates. With these 13 primates, kibale forest national park is indeed a primate wonder of the world and the top destination for primate viewing safaris Uganda the pearl of Africa. These 13 primates include;
- Chimpanzees: Amongst the 13 primates in Kibale forest national park, chimpanzees are the major primates that attract several tourists all year round from all over the wild to spend time with these endangered apes in their natural habitats. Chimpanzees are believed to be sharing about 98% of their DNA with humans and as of now there are over 1500 chimpanzees thrilling in the forest so Uganda with the largest population of more than 1000 chimpanzees being found in Kibale forest making it the best destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and the whole of East Africa though only two troops have been habituated for trekking and the rest are still under the habituation process thus tourists can engage in both chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale forest national park. Apart from Kibale forest national park, there are other destinations to find habituated chimpanzees for trekking in Uganda include Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth national park, Budongo forest of Murchison falls national park, Kalinzu forest near Queen Elizabeth national park, and Ngamba island where one finds orphaned and rescued chimpanzees.
- Black and white Colobus monkeys: The Black and White Colobus monkey are yet the other commons primates found in kibale forest national park. These primates are natives of Africa and almost similar to red Colobus easily identified by their black bodies and long white fur at their backs and white patches on their faces and neck. Being Colobus also means that they lack a thumb. So do not expect to meet black and white Colobus monkey with a thumb.
- L’Hoest’s Monkeys: L’Hoest’s Monkeys are scientifically known as “Cerecpithecus ihoesti” and these primates are also found in Kibale forest national park identified by their short dark brown fur, white beards, chestnut color at their backs and large check pouches where they store enough food most especially fruits, leaves, and shoots just like Red-Tailed monkeys. L’Hoest’s monkeys prefer to reside in forested forests and they are very shy and terrestrial.
- Vervet Monkeys: Vervet monkeys are yet amongst the 13 primates found in Kibale forest national park scientifically known as “Chlorocebus pygerythrus” and is easily identified by their grizzled grey hair. Vervet monkeys are very common and on every trip to Uganda, one ids sure of encountering them but most especially in forested areas and that’s why they are famously found in Kibale forest national park and any other forested park in Uganda.
- Olive Baboons: Out of 13 primates in Uganda, there are olive baboons which are the only subspecies of baboons living in Uganda the pearl of Africa. They are darker and larger species of baboons. So a safari to Kibale forest be sure to encounter with the Olive baboons as they normally parade along the roads entering the park waiting to hijack food from tourists’ vehicles, they are so destructive and in most cases they are seen as pests in farmers’ gardens. Olive baboons are easily identified by their dog like snouts and they like living in big troops.
- Blue Monkeys: Blue monkeys are scientifically known as “Cercopithecus mitis” easily identified by their little dark blue hair on their faces but not entirely blue as named because their entire body is mainly grey. These primates prefer to reside in tree canopy where they enjoy fruits and leaves thus a visit to Kibale forest national park will enable you to have a glance at these blue monkeys. They have a danger of being habituated as bush meat.
- Red-tailed Monkeys: Red-tailed monkeys are also amongst the 13 primates spotted in Kibale forest national park and this species of primates is easily identified by its cheek pouches, white nose, and a red long tail. Red tailed monkeys have large cheeks that can store a large amount of food. They prefer consuming fruits mainly though they can also eat the leaves, flowers and insects. The red tailed monkeys live in larger groups of up to 30 members.
- Uganda Red Colobus monkey: Red Colobus monkey are scientifically called Pilocolobus badius and they are mutilated meaning they lack a thumb just like black and white Colobus monkeys and also easily identified but their reddish beautiful fur with a round blackish- grey face. These primates are amongst the 13 primates found in Kibale forest national park and they mainly depend on leaves.
- Patas monkey: Patas monkeys are led by a female unlike other primates which are always dominated by a male and prefer to live a large troop between 30 to 50 members or even in a hundreds. Patas monkeys are also known as army monkeys due to their red fur and moustache. They have a white fur on their faces, they are terrestrial primates but also enjoy climbing trees. However case of any danger, Patas monkeys can run on ground up to 55km per hour away from its enemy. A male Patas monkey ways twice a female Patas monkey. They are also amongst the 13 primates in kibale forest national park though they also inhabit the savanna parks in Uganda the pearl of Africa.
- Grey Cheeked Mangabey monkeys: Grey checked Mangabey monkey is scientifically known as “Lophocebus albigena” almost look like the baboons but with specialized cheek pouches, dark in color and a golden mane on their neck. They are found in many places in Uganda Kibale forest national park inclusive.
- Uganda Mangabey: The Uganda Mangabey is different from the Grey cheeked Mangabey though some people haven’t been able to distinguish it. The difference between Uganda Mangabey and the white cheeked Mangabey is that Ugandan Mangabey is smaller in size and way recognized in the year 2007. A biggest population of this primate is trekked in Mabira forest one the Ugandans nature forest where they have been habituated and used to humans.
- Bush babies: Bush babies also known as “Demidoff galago” are smallest primates found in Kibale forest national park and other park in uganda. Bush babies are nocturnal primates are used heard than seen and the best way to spot them is by following their cries. They are generally beautiful primates with big eyes and usually encountered at night when they are out to get food.
- Pottos: Just like bush babies, Pottos “Perioditis potto” are also small nocturnal primates which prefer staying in dense forest thus Kibale forest national park is their best home. Pottos have large eyes almost like the bush babies which normally assist them during night to see insects and other targets for the next meal. The best way to see Pottos is by taking a guided night walk in the forest and encounter them on their busy nights since they hide during the day and become active in the night. Baby Pottos look white and cream in color but as they mature they become reddish-brown or grey in color. These primates prefer to reside in rainy forests like kibale forest.