Primates of East Africa – Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas

East Africa is the perfect destination to meet primates up close! It is an incredible experience to encounter chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. These fascinating and intelligent animals live in the forests and mountains of Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda! Watching them socialize and bond with their young ones is truly a privilege not to be missed!

Chimpanzees are home in Tanzania and have been extensively studied by Jane Goodall. If you want to walk with chimpanzees in the wild, then we recommend a visit of Mahale Mountains National Park in Western Tanzania. However, it is also possible to spot them in Rwanda (Nyungwe National Park) and Uganda (Kibale National Park).

The volcanic mountain range which includes Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to endangered mountain gorillas. Most of the 700 remaining mountain gorillas live in the wild, far away from humans. However, there are a handful of groups that have been habituated and can be observed by visitors during a gorilla tracking experience.


Chimpanzees are great apes that are found across Central and West Africa. They are highly social and live in communities which are led by an alpha male. An important part of their social life is „grooming“ which helps chimpanzees to bond as they remove ticks and dirt from each other’s bodies.


  • Common Name: Chimpanzee
  • Scientific Name: Pan troglodytes
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Group Name: Community

Mountain Gorilla

There are about a thousand mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, and about half of them live in the forests in Central Africa. Gorillas live in communities of up to 30 individuals – called troops.  Troops are led by one dominant, older adult male, which is often referred to as silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur.


  • Common Name: Mountain Gorilla
  • Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Group Name: Troop

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda or Rwanda

Gorillas live in montane forests and a reasonable level of fitness and willingness to trek up muddy slopes and through dense vegetation is needed. In Uganda: Bwindi Forest National Park – a minimum road journey of 8-hours from Entebbe – therefore best to option for a domestic flight. The permit price is currently $ 700. In Rwanda: Volcanoes National Park – roughly a 3-hour road journey from Kigali. The permit price is currently $ 1500. Can be combined with a Golden Monkey excursion. Important Note: the terrains in Bwindi Forest in Uganda tend to be harder than in Volcanoes in Rwanda and a trek can sometimes be more demanding.

Interested? Talk to an expert!


As an adventurous European travel is in my blood! Tanzania is a fascinating country with so much to explore! It’s a pleasure to share my insider knowledge and offer first-hand advise. I take the time to listen to your ideas and create a unique safari adventure out of these – tailored to your individual requirements and designed just for you!

At Tanzania Safari Bug we listen to your ideas to suggest the right place and right primate safari adventure – just for you!

Reach out

Phone/Whats App +255 788 391 600

Not sure – Talk to an expert


Let me show you my stunning home country and discover the true Tanzania – authentic and first-hand with a native at your side! As a Tanzanian myself, I am intimately familiar with the local conditions. With my experience in the bush and my passion for wildlife, I will happily design an itinerary based on your travel interests.

You have any questions in regards to Primate Safaris in East Africa and where to encounter which primate? Get in touch for a first chat!

Reach out
Phone/Whats App +255 787 298 159

Primate Safari Regions in East Africa

You want to encounter primates in their natural habitat? Have a look at our favorite Primate Safari Regions in East African below. Maybe the below regions will quench your travel thirst for more!

Tanzania: Mahale Mountains National Park

Chimpanzees & Lake Tanganyika

Uganda – Bwindi Forest National Park

Mountain Gorillas & Cultural Encounters

Rwanda: Volcanoes National Park

Mountain Gorillas & Golden Monkeys

Why Book With Us

Tanzania Specialists

Locally Owned Tour Operator
Everything is handled in-house
Extensive knowledge as we live & work on-site

Tailor-Made Journeys

Itineraries are designed to your individual taste & needs
Wide network of partners – not bounded to a property chain
Attention to every detail with excellent customer service

Responsible & Sustaibale Travel

Support locally-owned camps, lodges and suppliers
Giving back – social, economic & environmental impact
Waste management (re-fillable water bottles & humper lunches)