Ape Expecatations

Laurenne Mansbridge

14 December 2022

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Ape Expectations

Did you know that the Black and White Colombus has a greeting ritual which involves head mounting, standard mounting and embracing? None of their behaviour is linked to courtship or is in any way sexual. Supposing you want to witness this ritual first-hand, you could head to your local at closing time on a Saturday night or, better still, take a trip to Kibale National Park, Uganda, with Pioneer Expeditions and an expert guide on our spectacular Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking trip.  https://pioneerexpeditions.com/packages/uganda-gorilla-and-chimpanzee-trekking/. These skunk-coloured primates are the male of the species, and groupings can number anything up to 500.


Of course, I could have kicked off the blog talking about the mountain Gorillas of Uganda or talked about how I embarrassed my son by making a howler monkey impression in front of his whole class, but it’s in our nature to look outside the box and let you know what’s there.


Most of us will have seen David Attenborough being groomed by mountain gorillas, but few of us have experienced a close encounter with these majestic beasts. And for those that do, it’s usually an otherworldly, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In addition to the above trip mentioned in Uganda, where you can see the gorillas in Bwindi National Park, we also offer opportunities to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. In both countries, seeing the gorillas requires effort as you trek through mud, lush, sweat-inducing forest. The rewards are life lasting, and from a conservation standpoint, you’ll feel reassured that you’ve had to reach a remote, unspoilt, protected forest area to see them.

We combine our Rwanda trekking to the gorilla experience with a wonderful opportunity to Kayak on the beautiful ringed, inland sea of Lake Kivu.


The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris was so called because of the 193 species of monkey and ape; humans are the only species not completely covered in hair. Perhaps one of the most distinctive primate hair can be seen on the orang-utans  in Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesian Borneo.  The conservationists that work at the research stations and rehabilitation stations are essential to the survival of these cheeky yet often vulnerable creatures. Their child-like nature is mesmerising and particularly enjoyed by youngsters, who are often blissfully unaware they’re getting an education! At Pioneer, we have devised the perfect affordable trip for the whole family.




We purposely haven’t included lemurs in Madagascar which whilst a primate are not a monkey but a prosimian



We have so many Simian offerings on our trips and I urge you to take a long look at our website https://pioneerexpeditions.com/..  . But, there is one last group that I have a particular fondness for as I have been woken by them, had coconuts thrown at me by them and had them swing in front of my kayak at scarily close range. The Alouatta, or the Howler monkey, is today’s largest living monkey.   You will hear it before seeing it as its howl can be heard up to a mile away. What often starts with a few grunts becomes a cacophony of euphoric bellows. They’re found all over South and Central America but …in keeping with our desire for adventure and to stay out of sight! Our Nicaragua kayaking trip is hard to beat. https://pioneerexpeditions.com/packages/nicaragua-kayaking-adventure-san-juan-river/

Just don’t embarrass your kids with impressions of them on your return!

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