Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park

Kibale national park primates

Kibale national park primates

Kibale national park is an important famous home for a huge population of primates situated in the western region of Uganda, kibale national park covering an area of 766 square kilometers is greatly dominated by beautiful tree species majorly moist evergreen forest which make it a perfect home for the primates

Though kibale national park is known for hosting the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda, the park is also a home to other species of the primates which can be seen upon your visit in the park.


Kibale national park hosts the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda recorded to be approximately 1450 chimpanzees which is the famous primate in the park, most of tourists visiting kibale national park visit the forests with the aim of getting a specular sight of these beautiful primates playing on forest trees, picking fruits and doing many playful things. Chimpanzees are tailless primates with dark fur coat all over their body except face, fingers, palms of hands and feet soles. Chimpanzee’s face, hands and feet’s skin tone vary from pink to very dark depending on the age of the chimpanzee individual, the young ones have light color shade and mature ones have darker color shade. In appearance the arms of the chimpanzees are than the legs in that they can reach below the knees, they have longer fingers, short thumbs, flat fingernails and big toe which help them grasp on trees with ease.

Chimpanzees are relatively big primates with adult males weighing between 40-60 kilograms and females weigh between 27-50 kilograms. In the family setting of chimpanzees, a male chimpanzee is considered an adult at the age of 16 years and a female chimpanzee is reaches reproduction stage at the age of 13 years and gives birth to a single helpless baby chimpanzee which is weaned for up to 5 years. Throughout the lifetime of a chimpanzee it gives birth to a number of off springs but only two off springs usually survive, life expectancy of chimpanzee is 50 years for chimpanzees in free nature state and 60 for those in captivity.

Black and white colobus monkey

Black and white colobus monkey are native primates to Africa and close relatives of red colobus monkeys, these primates belong to colobus monkeys family because they do miss a thumb finger.  Black and white colobus monkey are adopted to areas covered with thick forested areas and juicy fruits which make kibale forests in kibale national park a perfect home for these beautiful primates. In appearance black and white colobus monkeys have a black and white have long white fur on the back and tail, white fur patches in the face. Black and white colobus monkey have fur coat color variation, the babies are born typically white and as they are growing older their fur coat color changes. The female Black and white colobus monkey gives birth to baby but the grooming of the baby is a responsibility of the male purposely to give time to the female which is responsible for looking food for the young ones.

 Black and white colobus monkeys are noticed to participate in three forms of greeting behaviors of physical contact that is mounting, embracing and head mounting. These colobus monkeys live in territorial groups consisting of about 9 individuals including a males with females and off springs.

Red tailed monkey

Red tailed monkey are one of the most social primates in kibale forests, though shy but very friendly. Red tailed monkeys are also referred to as black-checked white nose, red tailed guenon, red tail monkey or Schmidt’s guenon.  Red tailed monkey’s size of their bodies and weight ranges between male and female, male red tailed monkeys weigh between 7-10 pounds and female weighing between 6 and 8 pounds and less. Red tailed monkeys’ length ranges from 12 – 24 inches with the a male Red tailed monkey being longer than  the female, these monkeys also have a long tail with a length twice its body measuring approximately 35 inches.

In appearance red tailed monkeys have nostrils that point downwards, white nose, checks a midst their black and dark grey body fur coat, these monkeys are usually black, red or orange in color. Red tailed monkey normally live in groups of 7- 30 individuals and they are fond of feeding on small insects, fruits, leaves, twigs, these monkeys use their very large and elastic checks to store large amount of food while gathering in the forests. Red tailed monkeys are easily spotted in kibale national park near kanyanchu tourist center most especially in the morning since they are more active in the morning.

Grey checked mangabey

Grey checked mangabey are also referred to as white checked mangabey, these primates are easily spotted on the tree branches of kibale forest. In appearance grey checked mangabeys are covered with thick brown fur all over their body except necks and shoulders which covered with light colored fur, long limbs and ruffled tailed which is longer than their body. In size male grey checked mangabey monkeys are large than the female ones, these primates are social primates living in a group of 10-40 individuals led by on dominant male. In setting of the group referred to as troop when a male grey checked mangabey reaches maturity stage it leaves its original troop and join another one well as female stay and never leave the troop.

Grey checked mangabey are noticeably expert jumpers getting assistance from their stronger tails which help them hook on branches, these primates are always seen playing on tree branches and while in search for fruits, seeds, nuts , buds, shoots, leaves and flowers which are their diet.

Red colobus monkey

Red colobus monkey are part of the colobus monkey family, these monkeys are social animals living in a group of 20 to 80 individuals but on the average groups consists of 20-40 individuals with more females than males. In the groups mature males usually live the groups to either form their own or move to another that is why you find few males in each group, Red colobus monkey’s diet consists of leaves, flowers and unripe fruits.

L’Hoests monkey

 L’Hoests monkeys are threatened primates fond of living in densely forested areas including kibale national park, in the forests of kibale national park they can be easily sited at around kanyanchu visitor’s center. In appearance L’Hoests monkey have a short dark brown coat with a white beard, males L’Hoests monkeys weigh 6 kilograms and females weigh about 3.5 kilograms, in body length they feature a length of between 12.5 – 27 inches with a long hook shaped tail at the end. L’Hoests monkeys live in a relatively group generally dominated by females and single male, these monkeys are noticed to be active during early morning and late afternoon. L’Hoests monkey are herbivore primates feeding on fruits, mushrooms, leaves, roots, herbs and occasionally eat eggs, lizards and small birds.


Olive baboon

Olive baboons are one of the most sought for primates in Uganda and kibale national park, olive baboons in appearance have fur coat with a variation from green to grey and from a closer range the coat is multicolored which is caused by rings of yellow-brown and black on the hair. Olive baboons’ face color shade ranges from grey to black, olive baboons are one of the largest primates with average weight of 24 kilograms in males and 14.7 kilograms in females and an average height of 70 cm in males and 60 cm in female. Olive baboons are social primates living in groups of 15 to 150 with few males and more females, each baboon in the group has a social ranking depending on the dominance of an individual. The dominance of the female baboon in the group is hereditary and daughter have the same rank similar as their mothers, when baboon groups become to large they end up breaking up as some of the baboons form their own groups.

Thomas Galago

Thomas Galago also referred to as bushbabys are nocturnal primates in kibale national park usually seen on night forest walk, on this walk these primates are seen hanging on the tree branches. In appearance bushbabys have open oval eyes, long hind legs, and long tails and covered with a fur coat which varies from gray, brown, reddish to yellowish brown. Thomas Galago’s behind legs are taller than the front legs which help them jump from one tree branch to another, these primates’ big oval eyes help them see in the dark times of the night.


Pottos are also nocturnal primates only sighted in the dark hours of the night, these primates are known for habiting rain forest canopy including kibale national park. In appearance Pottos are relatively small with a small body and a varying weight of 600 to 1600 grams, Pottos bodies are covered by woolly fur with a color variation from grey-brown and they have features like a short tail with a length of 3-10 cm, a vestigial index finger, a moist noise and a toilet claw on the second toe of the hind legs.

In behavior wise Pottos always move slowly and carefully by gripping on branches with at least two limbs, moving slowly is the mechanism the Pottos use to hide away from danger and intruders in their territory.

All the beautiful primates can be found in high population in kibale national park in Uganda and to get a sight of them you need to book your safari by sending your safari inquiry at

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