Primates in Uganda

Primates in Uganda: Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Monkeys 

Primates in Uganda are of different categories found in the forests and national parks in Uganda. The available primate species in Uganda include, mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, several monkey species and baboons among others as shown below.

Mountain Gorillas 

Gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Gorillas are into different groups or families under which they are visited by tourists. Gorillas feature number one on Uganda’s major tourists attractions as the demand for trekking safaris in high.


Chimpanzees in Uganda live mainly in Kibale National Park. According to wildlife records, Kibale forest has the biggest number of chimpanzees in Uganda and the busiest in terms of chimps tracking safaris. Other areas inhabited by chimpanzees include Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria and Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve in Bushenyi district, Semuliki Game Reserve also have chimps. The Wildlife Education Conservation Centre (UWEC) also has chimpanzees confined in one smaller forest since this centre also acts as a zoo.


Monkeys in Uganda are primates with several number of species, Like chimps, monkeys are also spread across Uganda in different forests and regions. Below are some of the monkey categories found in Uganda:

Golden Monkeys – Mgahinga National Park is the only place in Uganda where one can find or trek golden Monkeys. These monkeys also fall under the class of endangered species.

Black and White Colobus Monkey –  The Black and white colobus Monkey derives its colobus name from lack of thumbs. This monkey specie consumes flowers, leaves, fruits and twigs. These monkeys live in primary and secondary forests, riverine forests as well as wooded grasslands. Locally identified as engeye, this primate type enjoys jumping from one tree to the other.

Red Colobus Monkey – The Ugandan red colobus monkey is at times found in association with other primates species. This red colobus monkey found in Kibale Forest National Park and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is always defensive of its territory especially against eagles or chimps.

Ugandan Red-Tailed Monkey and Blue Monkey – Known locally as enkunga, these are among the tiniest monkeys characterized by a white heart-shaped nose and white hairy cheeks. They are found in Kibale forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amazingly, the blue monkeys are not blue in colour but are mainly black with a blue-grey / silver-grey back.

Olive Baboon – Also called the Anubis baboon, is a member of the Cercopithecidae family. The specie is the most common class of baboons and is found in 25 countries across africa Uganda inclusive. In Uganda, these baboons are in Bwindi Impenetrable forest, Kibale national park and Maramagambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park among others.

Patas Monkey – The patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), also called the hussar or wadi monkey is a ground-dwelling type found in the semi-arid areas of East and West Africa. This fastest running primate.

Vervet Monkey – The vervet monkey is an Old World monkey of the family Cercopithecidae found in Africa. The word ‘Vervet’ also refer to all the genus Chlorocebus members. In Uganda, you can find the vervet monkey in almost all the districts including Kampala, the capital city. They are commonly seen everywhere.

L’hoest Monkey – The L’Hoest’s monkey is also a mountain monkey found in the upper eastern Congo basin as well as western Uganda. These monkeys mainly inhabit the mountainous forest areas in minor, female-dominated groups. A dark coat and a white beard are the physical characteristics of these monkeys.

Uganda Mangabey –  The Uganda mangabey is a type of the Old World monkey found in Uganda only. The crested mangabey was formerly believed to be just a population of grey-cheeked mangabey.  With a scientific name, Lophocebus albigena, the Grey-cheeked Mangabey has a few differentiating  features from the and baboon-like mannerisms.