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Primate Safaris

Highlights

  • Up close and personal with primates in their natural habitat
  • Specialist primate guides on all tours

About

A trip to Africa is not complete without including a primate safari to view the many primates that inhabit East Africa. Whether your interest is in gorillas, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, vervets, mandrills, baboons, macaques or blue monkeys we are able to provide an itinerary that will incorporate a safari to ensure that you get to see all or one of these amazing animals in their natural habitat.

Please find information below about gorilla’s and chimpanzees but if you have another primate you are keen to see please let us know so that we can incorporate it in to your itinerary.

Gorilla

No African safari is complete without an adventure into the mountainous areas of Rwanda or Uganda to watch the gorillas in their own habitat. There are 780 mountain gorillas remaining in the world. What a magical experience it is to see these rare and beautiful creatures interacting with each other and living in harmony with the natural habitat.

Gorilla safaris are based in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC whose spectacular lush forest provides the perfect habitat for the endangered Gorilla population. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is one of the most popular locations to go in search of these gentle giants. Bwindi is home to over half of the 780 Mountain Gorillas in existence. Bwindi, is located in south western Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts 326 mountain gorillas, the largest and rarest of all ape species.

Everybody should experience the thrill and awe of hiking through dense bamboo forest tracking a troop of highland Gorillas. Upon finding them they are in a clearing and at restful ease with your presence. The dominant Silverback watches over his troop as the youngsters play games and torment their mothers. You will experience the beauty, power and intelligence of these majestic creatures. Being in their presence is a spiritual experience that will change you forever. German Zoologist George Schaller expressed it eloquently when he wrote exclaimed that ‘No one who looks into the eyes of a gorilla, gentle and vulnerable, can remain unchanged’

A Gorilla safari involves tracking through mountainous regions. You will be walking with a specialized primate guide at altitude through rough and dense wilderness that is often hard going. It is a challenging activity so please ensure that you have a moderate level of physical fitness before undergoing one of these safaris.

Chimpanzee

Can you imagine how exhilarating the experience of tracking chimps through Mahale or Gombe Stream’s stunning forest, listening intently for a chorus of hoots or drumming to announce the raucous presence of a troop of nearby chimpanzees.

Tracking the chimps in Mahale is a magical experience. During your hike to reach the chimps you will find yourself immersed in the magical sights and sounds of Mahale’s stunning tropical forest. Large, vibrant butterflies flit above the crystal clear streams, birds flutter and call amidst the undergrowth and monkeys crash through the branches above. Mahale is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzee’s with a population of approx 800 chimps.

The chimps in Mahale have been habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960’s. The chimps are free living and wild, traveling where and where they want, however they are relaxed near people and it is possible to track and observe them from quite close quarters.

Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks. The park is a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika.

Gombe Stream National Park is world famous for its chimpanzees. The chimpanzees of Gombe were made famous by the pioneering work of Dr Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest running study of its kind in the world. These primates have been studied and researched since 1960 with research continuing to the present day.

Accessible only by the crystal blue waters of Lake Tanganyika the entry into Gombe is by small boat. You will glide in over the still waters and alight on the sandy beaches of Lake Tanganyika’s shores, where Baboon’s might be fossicking through the sand looking for an opportunistic meal.

Gombe Steam National Park is a place of personalities. The chimpanzees are as individually unique as humans and no scientific expertise is required to distinguish the different characters of the cast. Their repertoire of ant-hoots, grunts and screams identify the celebrities, those in a position of power and those in supporting roles. Perhaps you will see a flicker of understanding when you look into a chimps eyes assessing you in return.Sharing more than 98% of our genes, it’s a look of recognition from our closest animal relative.

THE ACTIVITIES SUGGESTED ARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE INFORMATION AND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR SAFARI ADVENTURE. LET THE EXPERTS AT SAFARIHQ ASSIST YOU IN DESIGNING A CUSTOMIZED INTINERARY AND LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN.

Where

Gorilla’s: Parc National des Volcans, Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park

Chimpanzees: Mahale and Gombe Stream National Park, Bwindi National Park