A primate safari in Uganda is one most memorable wildlife encounter that any tourist would wish to take on and 0ur excitement levels are heightened when our energy and patience are tested in an attempt to trek, identify, face off and watch different primate species by their physical appearance or simply calls. Getting immersed in the tropical rainforest and among different creatures of the forest allows you to take a minute from your day-to-day stress and feel thrilled by what Mother Nature offers.

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Boasting about 20 primate species that make it to the list of “primate lover’s” bucket lists, Uganda’s National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, and Sanctuaries offer the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embark on primate safaris in the country. Gorilla trekking tours, Chimpanzee tracking adventures, Colobus monkey tracking, golden monkey tracking, and Mangabey tracking, to name just a few.

You will find lots of primate species in the verdant tropical forests, but nothing beats the thrill of meeting face to face with our closest relatives in the animal Kingdom and seeing how a lot of our behavior are similar. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not even the popular travel destinations can match up to. Therefore, here are the primate safaris in Uganda;

Gorilla trekking safaris

On the steep slopes of south-western Uganda are two spectacular National Parks-Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the only two places where visitors can embark on gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. These two Protected Areas offer shelter to half the entire World’s mountain gorilla population with over 21 habituated gorilla families. Of these, 20 are in Bwindi alone while one is in Mgahinga. At least 8 visitors are allowed to trek each habituated gorilla family, meaning 168 permits are issued each day and each permit goes for $700 per person per trek for the foreign non-residents, $600 per person for the foreign resident, and only Shs. 250,000 for the East African residents. However, gorilla trekking isn’t for everyone who is interested but only for travelers above 15 years and physically fit. In Rwanda, gorilla trekking is popular in Volcanoes National Park.

Chimpanzee trekking safaris

Another primate safari a visitor can embark on in Uganda is chimpanzee trekking, where visitors above 12 years are allowed to visit Kibale Forest National Park (the most popular), Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge (Queen Elizabeth National Park), Semuliki National Park or Kalinzu Forest. The price of chimpanzee permits depends on the trekking destination, costing $200 per person for Kibale, $90 for Budongo, $50 for Kyambura, and $30 for Kalinzu.

Chimpanzee trekking is very exciting and worthwhile, considering the fact that visitors trek and meet face to face with our closest relatives (with whom we share 98.7% DNA). For this reason, visitor numbers are always limited to 6, compared to 8 with gorilla trekking.

Golden monkey tracking safaris

Golden monkey tracking in Uganda is only offered within Mgahinga Gorilla National park, where two habituated troops exist. There is no limit on the number of visitors tracking these frisky and golden-brown colored primates but permits (costing $100) are required.

These primate safaris can also be combined. For instance, you can combine a gorilla and chimpanzee safari, a gorilla and golden monkey safari, or even a gorilla, chimpanzee, and golden monkey safari to learn and compare the behavior of these three popular primate species in Uganda.

Uganda is not just known for offering amazing primate safaris but is also a wildlife safari, where travelers can explore the savannah-dominated National Parks and Wildlife Reserve for the African game species including the big five (elephants, Rhinos, Cape buffaloes, Leopards, and lions), Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, antelopes (impalas, waterbucks, elands, Oribis, hartebeests, Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, duikers, Sitatunga, and Klipspringers), spotted hyenas, cheetahs and so much more. Cultural safaris are also possible in Uganda, owing to the fact that the country is a melting pot with diverse cultures, belonging to different tribes. You can’t leave Uganda without trying the birding tours which offer the opportunity of exploring any of the 33 Important Bird Areas.

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