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About Primate Safaris in Africa

Primates in Africa, Primate Safaris Rwanda

Primates

Primates are one of Africa’s prime safari attractions due to the number of travelers that transfer to the various safari destinations in Africa to track and encounter them in their natural vegetation habitat. The Primates have larger brains compared to other mammals and these include; lemurs, monkeys, apes, chimpanzee, Gorilla, Bonobos, Orangutan, humans.

These can be found and seen in various countries i.e Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo etc.

The Countries in Africa you can watch the primates include;

Uganda

Known as the Pearl of Africa, Uganda has various primates travelers can watch while on holiday safari adventure. These are watched in different National parks which include; Kibale Forest National Park with many Chimpanzee Communities, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, and olive baboons as well as nocturnal Primates like the Bush Baby and Potto. Bwindi Forest National Park with the rare species of Mountain Gorillas i.e 14 different habituated groups that can be tracked and Mgahinga National Park with the Mountain Gorillas and the brilliantly colored Golden Monkeys.

There are however other destinations in Uganda where travelers can experience Chimpanzee Tracking, Viewing and habituation as well as Primate tracking in which they will view other primates in their natural vegetation habitat. These include; Ngamba Island, Kyambura Gorge, Kaniyo Pabidi Eco Tourism Site-Budongo Forest and Semliki National Park.

Rwanda

Also referred to as the Land of a Thousand Rolling Hills, Rwanda has numerous Primate Adventures it offers to all travelers from all over the globe and these vary from the prominent Mountain Gorilla Trekking to Chimpanzee Tracking then Golden Monkey Tracking. These can be watched in Volcanoes National park situated in Ruhengeri District Musanze and Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Known as the greenery Congo, the DR Congo is known for offering remarkable Primate Safari Adventures i.e Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park, Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking at Kahuzi Biega National Park, Sekwenkwe Gorilla Orphanage, Tongo Forest, Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary with the rare species of Bonobos in the whole world.

These safari destinations offer remarkable Gorilla Trekking Tours and Chimpanzee Tracking adventures.

Types of Primates

Mountain Gorillas

The Mountain Gorillas are one of Africa’s prime safari attractions due to the number of travelers that transfer to Africa to adventure these unique Primate species. They inhabit the thick montane Forest vegetation habitats around the continent in the countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.  They live in groups of 8-15 individuals with a dominant male Silverback leading the group, followed by Adult Females, then Black Backs-Young Gorillas and then Juveniles/ Infant Gorillas.

In Uganda these are tracked in Bwindi Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park, In Rwanda these can be tracked in Volcanoes National park and DR Congo in Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Biega National Park and Maiko National Park.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

This is an exciting Safari adventure to experience and requires one to transfer in groups of 8 from one place to another searching for the Mountain Gorillas for a period of 3-5 hours and when you meet them, an hour is allowed to stay in their presence taking numerous photos to keep for memories. The tracking process requires you to move into the forest with a skilled ranger guide who will inform you more about the Gorillas. These are prominently found in Bwindi Forest National park, Mgahinga National Park, Virunga National Park and Volcanoes National Park.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The Eastern Lowland Gorillas are another Gorilla type travelers can adventure in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These inhabit the lowland areas/ swamps in the DR Congo and stay in smaller groups compared to the Mountain Gorillas. They are fun to track at Kahuzi Biega National Park and the trekking permit costs US $400 per person interested. Just like the Mountain Gorillas, these can also be tracked the same way and live hierarchically as well.

Gorilla trekking Permit

The Gorilla trekking Permit price varies from one country to the next i.e in Uganda this costs US $600 per person, Rwanda US $1500 per person and in DR Congo US $400 per person.

How to obtain the Gorilla Trekking Permit

The Gorilla trekking Permit can be obtained by contacting the Organizations responsible for Wildlife in the various countries or through contacting and booking your safari with a valid Tour operator agency.

In Uganda these can be obtained direct through the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board in Rwanda and Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) in DR Congo. You can as well as obtain your trekking permit through an authentic Tour Operator Agency.

Gorilla Trekking Rules

In all the various National Parks, the Gorilla Trekking Rules are similar and these will enable you have remarkable experiences around the Mountain and Eastern lowland Gorillas and the rules include;

  • Do not Litter in the park
  • Don’t startle the Gorillas
  • Keep a distance of 7 meters away from the Gorillas
  • Carry a valid Gorilla Trekking Permit
  • Do not make noise around the Gorillas
  • Wear the right Gear/Clothing
  • Transfer with a skilled Ranger guide
  • You will track the Gorillas in groups of 6-8 individuals
  • Only an hour is allowed to stay in the presence of the Gorillas
  • If you sick you should cancel your Gorilla Trekking adventure for the Gorillas are vulnerable to human illnesses.
  • In case you want to help yourself, speak to a range guide who will separate you from the group shortly and take you to a private area where you will dig a hole of 4 meters to help yourself. After, you will cover it with soil to prevent the Gorillas from getting ill.

What to Wear/ Carry for Gorilla Trekking

Transferring for Gorilla Trekking Adventures in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo carry/ wear the following gear to experience the best of the Gorillas in their natural forest vegetation habitat.

  • Trekking/ Hiking Boots
  • Woolen Gardening Gloves
  • Rain Jacket
  • Long Sleeved T-Shirts/ Shirts
  • Long Pants/trousers not jeans
  • Sweater
  • Cap/ Hat
  • Camera with no Flash
  • Snacks and Bottled water

Chimpanzees

The Chimpanzee is also a primate species that is tracked by travelers from all over the globe. It offer remarkable safari encounters to all due to its unique features and characteristics that look like those of humans. These can be viewed and adventured around many countries in Africa however Uganda is the most prima destination to offer you this due to the number of chimpanzees that inhabit the forest vegetation habitat of Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge, Kaniyo Pabidi Eco Tourism Site-Budongo Forest, Ngamba Island and Semuliki National Park. In Rwanda, these can be tracked in Nyungwe Forest National Park and in the DR Congo they can be watched in Tongo Forest.

Chimpanzee Tracking Process

The Chimpanzee Tracking Process is almost the same as the Gorilla Trekking process requiring you to transfer for a period of 2-4 hours searching for the rare species of chimpanzee in their natural vegetation habitat. You will move from one place to another with a skilled ranger guide and when you meet them, take numerous photos to keep for memories. You will transfer in groups of 6-8 people.

Chimpanzee Tracking Permit

The Chimpanzee tracking Permit is a MUST document to US $100 have if any traveler is interested in tracking the rare species of Chimpanzees. The cost of this varies from one destination to another as well as country. The Chimpanzee Tracking Permit in Uganda costs US $150 per person at Kibale Forest National Park, US $220 per person interested in Chimpanzee Habituation experiences and in Rwanda, it costs per person interested in tracking the chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest National Park.

How to Obtain a Chimpanzee Tracking Permit

Just like the Gorillas, the chimpanzee tracking Permit can be obtained direct through the various Wildlife Management Organizations or through booking with an authorized tour operator agency.

What to Wear/ Carry for Chimpanzee Tracking

To enjoy your Chimpanzee Tracking Adventure in Africa, you should wear/ carry the following to enjoy every encounter around the beautiful intelligent primates.

  • Trekking/ Hiking Boots
  • Woolen Gardening Gloves
  • Rain Jacket
  • Long Sleeved T-Shirts/ Shirts
  • Long Pants/trousers not jeans
  • Sweater
  • Cap/ Hat
  • Camera with no Flash

Bonobos

Also referred to as pygmy Chimpanzee, the bonobo is a primate very remarkable to track in the beautiful vast greenery Democratic Republic of Congo. These are almost like chimpanzee although have long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood as well as parted long hair on its head compared to the chimpanzees. In the DR Congo these are found 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa.

These can only be watched at the prominent Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary where you will enjoy watching these interact with their natural vegetation habitat. The Sanctuary is the only place you can watch the Bonobos in the entire world. Transfer here to experience and watch the world’s Bonobos in their natural vegetation habitat and you can as well as donate some money to support the lives of the endangered species of Bonobos.