• Spot the primates’ Big Five

    Whoever says Uganda thinks about mountain gorillas. Did you know that approximately 1000 of these primates exist in the whole world? Amazingly, almost half of them reside in the Pearl of Africa! However, these are certainly not the only primates you need to look for, because on this side of the continent, you can spot about 20 different species. We have put together our own Big Five. Do you think you can find them all?

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Family friendly
Off the beaten track
Eco friendly


Gorilla’s, Wildlife, Mountains, Hiking

Age: 12+
Price: €€€

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  • TAGS
    Gorillas, Wildlife, Mountains, Hiking
  • AGE
  • Price
Family friendly
Off the beaten track
Eco friendly


The top of the list is the giant mountain gorilla. A rare and mysterious species that live in the dense vegetation of Uganda. Thousands of tourists flock Uganda annually, for a unique opportunity to come face to face with this endangered gorilla. The mountain gorillas, also known as silverbacks are largely found in the dark forests around Congo and the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. To spot them, one has to go off-the-beaten-track straight through the dense jungle, probably making your way with a machete. Trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the daily interactions of these gentle primates. With a skilled guide to take you through the forest, then you have absolutely nothing to fear because so far, every trekker has seen these gorillas. A peek into the lives of these gorillas is truly an adventure of a lifetime.

Where & how to spot:

The Silverback Mountain Gorilla can be found in Bwindi National Park famously referred to as the ‘place of darkness’. If you are lucky you can also spot our furry cousin during a trip to Mgahinga National Park. Limited permits are issued, which cost a hefty penny (but worth every penny!)

Chimpansee Kalinzu Forest Kibale Forest


Unlike Gorillas, Chimps have less preference for the ground. They like to swing through tall trees and for them, group life is crucial because they are highly sociable, intelligent, and communicative. The chimps are often in the shadow of their great-grandnephew. But make no mistake, this great ape is a nice addition (if not alternative) to spotting gorillas! Chimp trekking is a lot cheaper compared to gorillas and can be done in several places in Uganda. If you want you can even stay with these animals for a whole day. Become a real connoisseur!

Where & how to spot?

Several rainforests preferred by chimps lie in the west of Uganda. Top of the list is Kibale Forest, located on the north side of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Being the chimp jungle with the most surface, you are assured of spotting the largest chimpanzee! If you are on a tight budget, then Kalinzu Forest on the eastern edge of Queen Elizabeth is the next best thing. The Chimpanzees here are fewer but so are the tourists. 

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Are you thinking chimps and gorillas are the only primates living in the East African forests? Well, we’re just getting started! The black and white colobus monkey is perhaps one of the best there is. This fast boy swings from branch to branch flawlessly, showing off his flowy white fur jacket in his little show. Prepare for a slight cramp in your neck, because the black and white colobus spends the least time of all African monkeys on the ground. They move through the jungle by swinging from branch to branch, using them as trampolines. They are able to jump to branches as high as 15 metres, amazing right? With their natural parachute (cloak and tail), every day is a trampoline day! 

Primate Uganda Black and White Kolobus

Where & how to spot?

These friendly, black, and white monkeys are in almost every forest in Uganda, and they will undoubtedly swing above you as you make your way through the dense Bwindi forest. You can definitely look out for them in your search for chimps in Kalinzu or Kibale forest. If you’d rather look closer to the capital, Kampala, then Mabira Forest only less than an hour’s drive from there. Mabira forest not only allows you to spot the colobus as you tread the forest but also offers you an opportunity to zipline through the forest giants. This way you’re on the same level as the black and white monkey: swinging through the trees together, and who knows, you could as well exchange a high-five!


Along several roads in Uganda, you will most certainly spot the cheeky baboons. These animals are seemingly not afraid of anything. So there is a good chance that you will encounter them on your trip. Baboons adapt easily to different situations and are also very opportunistic. This explains why they are often along the road, searching for edible leftovers thrown out of cars! You should however watch out for these beasts, their long, dog-like muzzles, heavy, powerful jaws with sharp canine teeth, close-set eyes, thick fur except on their muzzles, short tails, could sometimes scare the hell out of you! To watch them, you can always stop your car and you can be sure they will crowd around, sit on your car, and sometimes shove their red bottoms in your face. Hilarious right? Well not until they pull your side mirror off! If you dare to brake, in the presence of a baboon family, ensure all your car windows are closed!

Where & how to spot?

Baboons often relax in large numbers by the side of the road, especially in the west and south of Uganda. You can always wave at baboon families as you drive along the road that winds through part of Murchison Falls National Park.


Closing our top five primates list with the Bush Baby. Well, thank your lucky stars if you actually spot this special monkey? They are not only the smallest primates but also the cutest! How? They have large eyes and ears and are slightly larger than your hand. Are you thinking of teddy bears? Haha…These ones will leave you feeling all mushy by just looking at them. Their eyes and ears are not only for aesthetic purposes but they can also see and hear very well at night. Useful if you have insects on the menu! In addition to their cute, wide-eyed appearance, they owe their name to their vocal excesses, as they crow like babies. This could be quite creepy when you hear them in the dead of the night. Owing to their petite size and their preference for the night, Bushbabies are quite hard to spot. A nice challenge if you ask us!

Dier met grote ogen

Where and how to spot?

These creatures live in every park in Uganda: from Lake Mburo, Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, to Kidepo Valley. Therefore, you might ask, how can you spot them if they are active at night? Simple! A night safari! Ensure you keep your ears and eyes open; you wouldn’t want to miss these cuties.

I am ready for an adventure! What’s next? Send a request, call with one of our Charlie’s Angels, get your proposal and then Safari Njema!

What else can I see? 

Navigate via the map to other destinations in Uganda. 


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