Chimpanzee

    Meet the chimpanzee

    Primates

    Whether swinging from branch to branch or traipsing terrestrially, four subspecies of chimpanzees occur in Africa—Western, Central, Eastern, and Nigerian. The Bonobo is the other chimpanzee species on the continent.

    The chimpanzee has an arsenal of communication tools, from sound to facial expressions and posture, that it uses in an array of situations. An open-mouthed grin is displayed when playful, while fear elicits a closed-mouthed grin. Using its hands and feet to beat against trees, known as drumming, the animal keeps in contact with its fellow troop members when moving around.

    When it comes to its diet, the chimpanzee almost entirely exists on plants, fruits, roots, and leaves. They occasionally consume meat through species like insects. But it amounts to no more than 65 grams per day for an adult and then only during hunting season.

    Poaching and habitat loss have resulted in the chimpanzee listed as “Endangered”. Experts estimate that between 170,000 and 300,000 are still found in the wild.

    More Primates

    Sharing 99% of the DNA of homo sapiens, gorillas are the closest living relatives to humans. They are the largest primates, and two species (with four subspecies) call the tropical forests and mountains of Central and West Africa home

    Around 100 species of lemurs occur nowhere else in Africa other than in Madagascar. The most fascinating fact is that of these species, most were only discovered in the last 30 years.

    Popular Parks Across Africa

    Volcanoes National Park

    Volcanoes National Park lies in northwestern Rwanda and made up of rainforest and five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains.

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

    The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is in southwestern Uganda and attracts tourists for the famous gorilla trekking.

    Lopé National Park

    Lope National Park lies in Central Gabon. No other region in Central Africa is considered more vital for primates than this National Park. 

    Virunga National Park

    Virunga National Park is located in the eastern part of the DRC and home to the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.

    Gombe Stream National Park

    Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania—is home to Lake Tanganyika where Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees have been habituated.

    Jane Goodall and the chimpanzee