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Primate Destinations in Africa

Primates are our closest relatives, and these common features make them so fascinating to watch. Due to their sociable nature, family quarrels and eating habits (some are good, others are bad), watching our cousins is a wonderful experience.

There are many species of primates throughout Africa, and some of them attract more attention than others. Whether it’s the huge silver backs of Mgahinga or the Kruger camels, primates not only create immersive impressions, but also provide great opportunities for photography.

Rwanda

The experience of Rwanda’s primates is embodied in a gorilla. With the abundance of luxurious houses in the Volcano National Park and its surroundings, your trekking accommodation will be more luxurious than those in adventurous Uganda. Nowhere else is there a luxury hotel like the kwitonda Lodge in Singit, which is located on the edge of a volcanic park. In addition to the incredible hospitality and service, each of the eight suites has its own swimming pool.

Thanks to the easy access from Kigali, you can easily go on a three- or four-day safari through Rwanda and add one or two gorilla walks. Usually the price of entry is charged per person per hike, but it is currently reduced to one person per hike in March.

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The volcanoes are home to ten families of breeding gorillas, including the first family that Diana Fossi studied during her stay in Rwanda. Spending time with a family is a wonderful experience, and whether you are hiking for an hour or four hours, you will never forget the impressions you receive.

Another experience of dealing with primates in Rwanda is a hike with chimpanzees, which can be done in the Nungwe National Park. Although this experience is not as well-known as the chimpanzee experience in Kibala, Uganda, if you have time for a longer route, you should not neglect the Nungwe.

Uganda

The mirrors of Rwandans, gorillas and chimpanzees are the main attraction of primates in Uganda, but a visit to the national park will undoubtedly lead you face to face with olive baboons and Vervetian monkeys.

Trekking with gorillas is the same as in Rwanda, but there are two areas in Uganda where trekking with gorillas is possible. The impenetrable Bwindi Forest is the most popular place with more than twenty different gorilla families, while only one family lives in the Mgahinga National Park.

Uganda is a place of adventure, and trekking with gorillas is definitely the adventure of a lifetime. The appropriate name “Bwindi” comes from dense foliage, which provides excellent opportunities for photographing gorilla families in their habitat. On the other hand, there are open glades in Mgahing that lead to perfectly lit scenes, especially the three silverbacks that dominate the area.

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Mgahinga is also an area where “silver with gold” comes together, as it is also possible to hike to the Golden Monkey in this national Park. These little primates may not be as dominant as the giant silverback, but their escapades are still worth seeing and taking a picture!

Hiking with chimpanzees can be done in different regions of Uganda, but Kibale offers the best experiences, second only to the Kalinzu forest. Both offer excellent opportunities to watch our second closest relatives while they are feeding and climbing trees. Chimpanzees tend to spend more time under a canopy, so it may be more difficult to photograph chimpanzees than gorillas. Therefore, it is very important to book some hikes if you want to take great photos to make sure that you have enough time to get what you want. Also pay attention to the black and white Kolo monkeys, as well as the sapphire monkey.

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South Africa

While gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys are restricted in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa is also home to a number of primate species, and you do not need permission to observe these animals. The Baboon Chakma and the Verve monkey are found in most of South Africa’s national parks, whether in the Mana basins in Zimbabwe or in the Grand Kruger in South Africa.

Due to their numbers, these primates can often be seen daily, and they are quickly taken for granted during a safari, but this does not mean that their behavior is less interesting. Their prevalence and often laid-back nature provide excellent opportunities for shooting at sunrise and sunset, and the time is unlimited, so you can take your time to get the perfect photo. You might even have the chance to meet some of these playful primates by the water at the lodge or even in and around the common areas!

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