Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this twice-daily show are chimpanzees.

The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment: it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology.

Most primates have a comparativley big brains, sensitive and opposable digits, good depth  of vision. 

Uganda is home to 20 primate species with Kibale National Park containing the highest density in all of Africa with a total of 13 including the recently discovered Dwarf Galago. As well as the chimpanzee and gorilla, the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, and olive baboons can be seen during game drives, launch trips or nature walks, along with smaller nocturnal species such as the bushbaby and potto. Mgahinga National Park also contains one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered golden monkey.

Black-and-white colobus monkeys are among the most frequently spotted species. The name “colobus” means “mutilated” in Greek, as, unlike other primates, they are lacking thumbs. The troops of 5-10 individuals are easily seen in the branches as a result of their striking coloring - black with long white hair running from the shoulders to rump, and white tufts at the ends of their long tails. Infants are born pure white.

The dog-like baboons live in large groups and are regularly seen along roadsides where they wait to ambush cars in search of food. They spend more time on the ground than most other primate species, but sleep in trees at night. If water is scarce, they can survive for long periods by licking the dew from their fur.

Information sourced from African Wildlife Foundation (Link to http://www.awf.org/)

Kibale National Park  - Guide Book - Uganda Wildlife Authority 2001

Our closest cousin, the chimpanzee, shares at least 94% of its DNA with humans. Sociable, communicative and intelligent, one of the chimp’s most astonishing traits is its ability to use tools such as rocks for smashing nuts, empty pods for scooping water and sticks for drawing termites from their nests. As these skills are passed from generation to generation, it has been observed that different troops are specialists in different tasks, depending on their habitat and diet.

Chimpanzees live in communities containing 10 to 100 members. They hold hands, kiss, groom each other and babysit for each other’s offspring - young chimps do not become independent until around the age of four. But they can also be aggressive and unfriendly, particularly towards unrelated individuals.

Though they spend a lot of time on the ground, chimpanzees usually eat and sleep in trees. Their varied diet includes leaves, fruit, flowers and seeds.

Information sourced from African Wildlife Foundation http://www.awf.org/

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