Primate Safari – Gorillas & Chimpanzees
East Africa is a large tropical region comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The primary vegetation types of east Africa are grassland, bush land and woodland but most of the regions species richness and Endemism is associated with the moist vegetation types.
Primates are Eutherian mammals .most of the primates have comparatively big brains and a good depth of vision. Uganda is a home to 20 primate species with Kibale national park (the primate capital of the world), Tanzania containing the highest numbers. They can also be found in Cameroon, Sahara desert, Niger, the democratic republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda etc.
They are estimated 704 species and sub species of primates. They are mammals that have typically developed brains, forward facing color vision, flexible hands and feet with opposable thumbs and fingernails. Primates have lower development raters than other similarly sized mammals and reach maturity later but have longer life spans. With the exception of humans, who live thought the globe, most primates live in tropical or subtropical regions? They are divided into great apes, lesser apes, monkeys and prosimians.
69% of the world populations of primate species are threatened by extinction. 43% are classified as critically endangered and some of populations contain a few dozen individuals. All non-human primates are threatened by habitant loss caused by human activities. The loss of habitant’s led to the loss of life. And without the animals to provide crucial activities such as fertilizing the soil thro
Primates of East Africa
There are 38 species and 47 sub species in East Africa. Tanzania holds the largest number of primate species 27, Uganda 23, Kenya 19, and Burundi 13.24% species and 47 %species are endemic to the region.
At least 14 primate species occur in Semuliki National Park in southwestern Uganda. 13 primate species occur in Kibale National Park southwestern Uganda, 11 in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
14 primate species occur in the area comprising the Udzungwa national park and the Kilombero nature reserve south central Tanzania. There are also 11 in Mahale Mountains National Park in western Tanzania and 9 species occur in the Tana river Primate National Reserve southeastern Kenya. There are species that can be found in Niger, Cameroon, South Africa and the Sahara desert.
The commonly known primate species of East Africa include; Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Colobus Monkeys, Columbus monkeys, Mangabeys, Baboons, Patas monkeys, Guenon monkeys, Macaque monkeys, Galago, Mandrill monkeys, uakaris, lemurs, tarsiers, lorises, gibbons, orangutans and finally the humans.
The primates depending on the species, the adults may live in solitude, in mated pairs or in groups of up to hundreds of members. Some primates including gorilla’s chimpanzees and baboons are primarily terrestrial rather than arboreal but all species have adaptions to climbing trees. Primates in Africa are many but we are mentioning a few of them that are common seen in different destinations in Africa.
The habituation experience
If an hour isn’t enough for you to do the tracking experience ,you have a chance to spend a full day with the primates.it takes a full day from when they get up in the morning to when they are ready to go to rest. As the communities you track are wilder, you get as close to these primates. The habituation enables you to get into the behavior and the challenges of the researchers in getting these apes to get used to the presence of humans without changing their natural behaviors.
The best time for tracking is January to February, June to September. There are fewer rains during the dry season which makes the trails more comfortable to navigate and you are sure your itinerary will not be interrupted by rain. The wet seasons usually pull fewer crowds, accommodation is cheaper and it’s easier to access the chimp and gorilla permit. But chimpanzee tracking during the wet season would mean you endure the unfriendly experience of the rains, impassable trails and some difficult photography. Some travelers choose the wet season for the experience and price tag on the safaris