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Meet the Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

One of the features that sets apart the African continent from the rest of the world is the unique gifts found in East African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Apart from Africa’ diverse, unique and attractiveness, these countries seal the deal. Therefore it is easy to understand why all primates’ lovers from all over the World come to East Africa all year round.

Off all the regions in Africa, East Africa is exceptional. Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are a must-visit and below are the highlight each of these countries unique gifts of nature.

Mountain Gorillas

These sub species of the Eastern gorillas are among the main draw for most travelers to Uganda and Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are rarely seen and Uganda is one of the three localities where you can go experience gorilla safaris.

They are herbivores in nature; feed mostly on tree leaves, bamboo shoot and stem, insects, fruits and coconuts. Gorillas live in groups referred to as a family and it consists of male, female adults, infants and Juveniles.

Usually a group is led by a dominant Silverback that is responsible for protecting all the group members, looking for food and construction of temporary overnight shelters.

For Uganda, they are only found in the two national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable forest National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.  Both of these parks are located in the South western part of the country. With Rwanda, gorillas are only found in Volcanoes National Park while in Democratic republic of Congo, they are found in Virunga National park. Unlike Uganda and Rwanda which are only gifted with mountain gorillas, Democratic republic of Congo is gifted with both mountain and lowland gorillas.

Since these three neighboring countries share forest, gorillas tend to cross among these 3 boundaries in search of food, shelter and also in case of an encounter with the wild gorillas.  These 3 countries host the whole world population of gorillas both wild and habituated gorillas.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are the closest primates to humans. They share about 98 percent of their DNA with human beings. There are omnivores which means that they feed on both meat and grass though their favorite foods are fruits and grass.

Chimpanzees usually inhabit the woodlands, grasslands, bamboo and tropical rainforests. Additionally, these primates live in communities that consist of about 30 -150 members. A chimpanzee can live up to 60 years and reach maturity at the age range of 11-13 years.

These primate gifts are found in Uganda and Rwanda. In Uganda they are found in Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Kalinzu Forest reserve. In Rwanda, they are found in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Golden Monkeys

These primates are a subspecies of the old World monkey family. They are characterized by golden fur on their body, tail, cheeks and black limbs. Golden monkeys are found mostly in the mountainous areas of Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. In the National parks of Mgahinga forest National park in Uganda and Volcanoe National park in Rwanda. They are herbivores as they feed most on bamboo shoot and stem.

When it comes to gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys, one can only view them in protected areas gazetted as National Parks, reserves and Sanctuaries. These places where created to protect these primates from extinctions.

While in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (Although this DRC has suffered for any years due to political unrest, it’s a good option for experienced travelers who travel to this country on their own risk).  There is no better way to enjoy these gifts than booking a tracking permit either chimps permit or gorilla permit to any of these countries and enjoy the experience of a life time.  An encounter with the any of the primate’s species is worth all of expenses, time and journey.

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