Primate Tours May Spread Disease to Mountain Gorillas

Kibale Chimpanzee

Touring the mountains of Uganda for a chance to see the native gorilla population is a once in a lifetime experience, but wildlife conservationists are now suggesting that visitors delay their trips until after coronavirus quarantine orders have been lifted.

Uganda’s mountain gorilla population has been on the endangered species list since 1996. While their numbers are starting to rebound, experts are pointing out that gorillas are susceptible to viruses.

“Most people don’t realize that gorillas and other kinds of primates can catch the same viruses as human beings,” said Edward Ssali, founder and managing director of Primate Safari Experiences. “A common cold can kill a gorilla. We must do what we can to protect this vulnerable species.”

Many tourism operations in Uganda have already suspended activities to avoid spreading disease to the gorilla population. Research projects have also been put on hold.

Primate Safaris is one company in Kampala that hosts gorilla excursions throughout Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They lead guests through several national parks and tropical rain forests to witness male gorillas vying for status, mothers caring for their young and babies roughhousing.

The New York Times listed Uganda in their “52 Places to Go in 2020” and Uganda safaris are now a top destination for people visiting Africa. Besides having the deepest crater lake in all of the continent, Uganda is also home to tourist hot spots like Bwindi National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Tourists who made plans to take gorilla safaris across Uganda shouldn’t worry because excursions will reopen once the coronavirus threat has dissipated.

“We understand this may be difficult for people who have spent years planning and saving for their gorilla excursion, but we can’t take any chances with the safety of the population,” said Ssali. “Tourists aren’t being asked to cancel their plans, rather delay them until we can be sure the virus is under control.”

Learn more about Primate Safaris online at Have specific questions or concerns? Call the company at +256392159498 or email

ABOUT PRIMATE SAFARIS: We are Primate Safari Experiences LTD, a local tour operator registered in Uganda. We specialize in organizing pure primate tours in East and Central Africa. We operate in various countries that include Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Gabon, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazaville. We have been organizing primate watching expeditions into these countries for the past 10 years.

In today’s digital world, too many people are living vicariously through others. We believe in letting the traveler’s imagination run wild on what is possible on our beautiful planet and then making it happen for them. Sit back and enjoy the journey as primate Safaris plans the best Africa gorilla safari, Chimpanzee Tracking, Lemurs watching.


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