Primate tracking in Uganda is one most rewarding wildlife experience a good reason why thousands of tourists consider this landlocked country on their travel plans. Tracking primates in Uganda gets trekkers closer to diverse primate species including the special creatures on earth; the rare mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, red colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and olive baboons.
On most Uganda safaris, primate tracking adventures are best done in the lush rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park in the southwest. The two parks inhabit the half of all the 1004 mountain gorillas that today remain on earth and others are shared between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over 21 gorilla families are available for gorilla trekking in Uganda today with 20 families in Bwindi National Park and only one in Mgahinga National Park.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, 4 regions are available for trekking mountain gorillas each of which features habituated families; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. Buhoma region has Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe; Nkuringo sector has Nkuringo and Christmas groups; Rushaga comprises of Nshongi, Bweza, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye while Ruhija region is home to groups like Bitukura, Kyaguriro and Oruzogo and in Mgahinga National Park, you can track only Nyakagezi group which is the only habituated group in this park. For those of you who are interested in less crowded treks Mgahinga National Park is the best option available for you.
How to Plan a Uganda Primates Watching Safari
It is easy to plan a primate safari in Uganda. However, one of the essential things you should know is that these kind of adventures sell out first. Therefore, you need to plan and book your permits for the activities early enough. Most often, if you are to travel during the peak season, you should book your spots atleast 4 months in advance. Here are some tips to guide you in planning your next vacation;
Securing permits for primate trekking in Uganda
The most popular adventure is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This activity attracts a good number of travelers and it is important to book your gorilla permits atleast 3 months before your travel date. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost $600 per person for foreign non-residents, $500 for foreign residents and shs.250000. However, from 1st July, 2020 these rates will change to $700, $600 and shs.250000 respectively. You can secure a gorilla permit in Uganda through our reservationist team or reservationist at Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Over 5000 chimpanzees are confined in Uganda and the popular places to visit to trek chimpanzees include Kibale National Park where over 1500 of them are confined, Budongo Forest, Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Kyambura Gorge at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki National Park and others. Chimpanzee permits at Kibale National Park cost $150
Primate trekking in Uganda is not about trekking to mountain gorillas or chimpanzees but also offers you a chance to trek golden monkeys which are only inhabited in the Virunga Conservation Area. In Uganda, golden monkey trekking is done in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and remarkably, you can incorporate golden monkey tours with gorilla trekking and many other thrilling safari experiences.
Mangabey tracking is another thrilling primate trekking experience offered in Uganda. It is best done in Mabira Forest which is a few kilometers’ drive from Kampala city center.
Best time to visit Uganda for primate trekking
Uganda is open to visitors on primate trekking safari all year round. However, the dry season is considered the best time to go for primate trekking in Uganda. It starts in the months of June, July, August, September and December, January, February. Alternatively, you can embark on primate tour in Uganda during the wet season which starts in March, April, May and October, November although this season is characterized by heavy rainfall.
What to bring on primate trekking in Uganda
When packing for primate trekking tour in Uganda, look out for essential items. This means your packing list should comprise of; waterproof hiking boots, daypack, insect repellents, gardening gloves, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, trouser, camera with no flash light, water, snacks among others.
In conclusion, primate trekking in Uganda is by far a unique wildlife adventure and while on Uganda, count it a must-do. You can plan an ultimate adventure into the tropical rain forests of Central Africa with Primate Safaris, one of the speciality tour operators who have carefully crafted adventures that focus on visiting the gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys etc.