With Uganda’s star attraction being the mountain gorilla it’s easy to overlook the many other primates that make their home in the jungles of Uganda. Bwindi National Park plays host to at least 10 species of primate and Kabale National Park is home to 13 primate species, more than any other East African park. The list of primates that can be found include the red-tailed L’Hoest, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, habituated chimpanzees and the baboon. Kibale National Park is especially famous for its primates and as such Chimpanzee tracking can be incredible in this region of Uganda.
There are 5 recognised sub-species of chimpanzee within Africa; Uganda is home to the ‘Pan Troglodytes Schweinfurthii’ sub-species, also known as the Eastern Common Chimpanzee. Unfortunately, contrary to its more wildly used name, the Eastern Common Chimpanzee is actually classified as endangered. In fact populations of chimpanzees have already been wiped out in 5 central African countries. Fortunately Uganda has in recent years adopted a very successful conservation strategy, with the money made through National Park fees, gorilla tracking permits, chimpanzee tracking permits, etc being reinvested into the conservation of Uganda’s native wildlife. Consequently a recent chimpanzee census has actually shown that numbers of chimpanzees have actually grown in recent years. Today Uganda is possibly the best place in the whole of Africa for chimpanzee tracking, and Kibale National Park with the highest density of wild chimpanzees
Uganda also boasts some of the greatest locations in the world for bird watching. Bwindi National Park is a sanctuary for 350 species of bird and Lake Mburo National Park is a sanctuary for 357 species of bird. These include Uganda’s National Bird the crested crane, the marabou stork, bronze-tailed starling, bee-eaters and even more exotic birds such as the blue-naped coucal and the Nubian woodpecker. Uganda is also home of the rare shoebill stork of which only 1000 are left in the wild. On an average 2 week bird spotting tour of Uganda it is not uncommon to see over 400 different species of bird. Few other countries can boast such wildlife density!
In stark contrast to many other African holiday destinations, Uganda is a well watered, fertile land covered in dense forest and waterways. Gorilla Tracking in Uganda is a huge attraction and is the highlight of many safaris to this unique country.
“The Ugandan forests of Bwindi are home to the rarest and most majestic of all the apes, the mountain gorilla”
There are few wildlife experiences that can compare to tracking a family of mountain gorillas through the thick, tropical rainforests of Uganda. George Schaller famously stated that “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes, we know that the gorilla still lives with in us”
With approximately 50% of the world’s mountain gorilla population, it’s easy to see why we call Uganda the ‘Land of the Mountain Gorilla’. The best place in all of Uganda to witness the mountain gorilla is Bwindi National Park (read our Gorilla Tracking experiences), it’s estimated that 330 gorilla live here. Bwindi is very heavily forested so it is wise to be prepared for some tough mountain gorilla tracking, but it will all be worth it as soon as you catch your first glimpse of these amazing animals. The other park that is inhabited by a mountain gorilla troop is the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However this park is at the confluence of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and the troops range can take them into these other countries
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