The L’Hoest’s monkey, scientifically known as the Cercopithecus lhoesti, or mountain monkey, is a small primate found in the south – western part of Uganda, North – west Rwanda and eastern Congo basin and normally sought after by travelers on primate safaris in Uganda Rwanda Congo. They mostly dwell in mountainous areas and forest zones in small, female-dominated groups / families. They have a dark coat and can be differentiated by a distinctive white beard on both cheeks.
L’hoest’s monkey generally resembles very much the Hamlyn’s monkey but have special qualities which differentiates them from any other monkeys for example, a L’Hoest’s monkey has a visible white beard on both sides of the cheeks and a black face. Their orange round eyes are sunk into the face and a pale bare skin surrounding them mostly visible in adult males. Such features can be viewed during Uganda Safaris and tours. A well grown up male L’hoest’s monkey weighs between 6-10kg, much heavier than the female counter parts that weigh only 3-4.5kg.
L’Hoest’s monkeys live in relatively small groups, led by a dominant male and many female members, and infants. In any given group of L’Hoest’s monkeys, female members are always closely related. While the male counterparts only live with their mothers for a couple of years, after which it goes independent.
Like all the other primates, the L’Hoest monkeys are very active during most hours of the day and retire late in the evening to retreat back to the tree branches for slumber. They wake up early to feed and the mothers have to look for food to feed their babies, and are in charge of protecting babies from all external threats. They feed on variety of foods but due to their herbivorous nature; they mostly feed on leaves, shoots, mushrooms, roots, and herbs as well as little birds, small reptiles, eggs, forest insects, among others as often encountered while on East Africa safari in Uganda.
The L’Hoest’s monkey is among the thirteen (13) primate species in Kibale Forest National Park and in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a popular destination for gorilla trekking tours in Uganda
Across the border, the L’Hoest’s Monkeys thrive in the Rwanda safari destinations of Volcanoes and Nyungwe Forest National Parks along with other forested areas in the tropical Africa.