Bush Baby Galago Safaris Uganda Africa, Kibale Forest National Park

Comprensive information about Bush Baby or Galapos, where they leave, species, weight, size, how to visit, taking a trip to Kibale Forest National Park and more.

Bushbabies, also known as galagos, are small, nocturnal primates that belong to the family Galagidae. These fascinating creatures are native to the African continent and are found in a variety of habitats, from tropical rainforests to savannas and woodland areas. There are currently 20 recognized species of bushbabies, each with its own unique characteristics and adaptations.

One of the most striking features of bushbabies is their large, round eyes, which are specially adapted for their nocturnal lifestyle. These eyes are capable of gathering and processing light in low-light conditions, allowing bushbabies to navigate through the dark forest canopy with ease. On a night safari in Kibale Forest, you may be lucky enough to spot the reflective eyeshine of a bushbaby as it moves through the trees.

In addition to their remarkable eyes, bushbabies also have long, powerful hind legs that enable them to leap impressive distances between branches. Some species can jump up to 2 meters in a single bound, making them incredibly agile and well-suited to life in the forest canopy. This adaptation is crucial for bushbabies, as it allows them to escape predators, access food sources, and navigate their complex arboreal habitat.

Another distinctive characteristic of bushbabies is their vocalizations. These primates are known for their loud, complex calls, which they use to communicate with one another and establish territories. Different species of bushbabies have unique calls, ranging from whistles and trills to barks and screams. On a safari adventure in Kibale Forest, you may hear the haunting calls of bushbabies echoing through the night, adding to the mystique and allure of this incredible wilderness.

Despite their small size and nocturnal habits, bushbabies play a vital role in the ecosystems they inhabit. As omnivores, they help to disperse seeds throughout the forest, contributing to the regeneration and health of the plant community. Additionally, bushbabies serve as both predators and prey, helping to maintain the delicate balance of the food web in Kibale Forest and other African habitats.

Here is a table with information about Bushbabies (Galapos):

Scientific NameGalagonidae
Common NamesBushbaby, Galago
TypeSmall Nocturnal Primate
DistributionSub-Saharan Africa, Arabian Peninsula
HabitatForests, Woodlands, Savannas, Semi-Deserts
Number of SpeciesAround 25
Size Range4 – 14 inches (10 – 35 cm)
Weight Range0.2 – 2.6 lbs (0.1 – 1.2 kg)
DietOmnivorous – Insects, Small Vertebrates, Fruit, Gums, Saps
Lifespan in Wild12 – 18 years
Gestation Period120 – 135 days
Number of Offspring1 – 3
Social StructureSolitary, Monogamous Pairs, Small Family Groups
LocomotionVertical Clinging and Leaping
Key AdaptationsLarge Eyes, Thick Fur, Strong Hind Legs, Nails, Opposable Thumbs
Conservation StatusSeveral Species Endangered/Vulnerable
Major ThreatsHabitat Loss, Hunting

Species of Bush Babies

Each of these species has its own unique characteristics and adaptations that allow them to thrive in the park’s diverse habitats.

Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago

The Demidoff’s dwarf galago is the smallest of the three species found in Kibale Forest. Weighing just 60-85 grams, these tiny primates are well-adapted to life in the forest undergrowth. They have a distinctive, high-pitched call that can be heard during the night, and their diet consists mainly of insects and small fruits. On a safari tour in Kibale Forest, you may have the chance to spot these elusive creatures as they move through the dense vegetation.

The Lesser Bushbaby

The lesser bushbaby, also known as the lesser galago, is slightly larger than the Demidoff’s dwarf galago, with an average weight of 150-250 grams. These primates are found throughout the forest canopy and are known for their agility and speed. Lesser bushbabies have a varied diet that includes insects, fruit, and even small birds and lizards. During a night walk in Kibale Forest, you may hear the distinctive “bark” of the lesser bushbaby as it communicates with other members of its group.

The Eastern Needle Clawed Bushbaby

The eastern needle-clawed bushbaby, also known as the spectacled galago, is the largest of the three species found in Kibale Forest. These primates weigh between 250-450 grams and are easily recognizable by the distinctive dark rings around their eyes, which resemble spectacles. Eastern needle-clawed bushbabies are known for their loud, complex vocalizations, which include whistles, trills, and yaps. On a safari adventure in Kibale Forest, you may have the opportunity to observe these fascinating primates as they navigate the forest canopy.

While each species of bushbaby in Kibale Forest has its own unique traits, they all share certain adaptations that allow them to thrive in their nocturnal, arboreal habitat. These adaptations include large eyes for enhanced night vision, long hind legs for leaping between branches, and specialized vocalizations for communication.



FAQs on Bushbabies

What are Bushbabies?

Bushbabies are small, nocturnal primates that belong to the family Galagonidae. There are approximately 25 different species of Bushbaby found across Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They get their common name “Bushbaby” from their distinctive loud call that can reach over 60 decibels and sounds like a crying human baby.

Some key characteristics of Bushbabies include their tiny size ranging from just 4-14 inches (10-35 cm) in length and 0.2-2.6 lbs (0.1-1.2 kg) in weight. They have exceptionally large eyes that make up around 10-20% of their body weight to aid night vision. Their ears are also large, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long in some species. They have thick, densely-packed fur, strong hind legs, opposable thumbs, and nails instead of claws to aid climbing and leaping. These adaptations allow them to thrive in a nocturnal, arboreal lifestyle leaping up to 6 feet (2 m) between trees and bushes.

Where are Bushbabies found?

The natural range of Bushbaby species extends across sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal on the west coast to Ethiopia and Somalia in the east, spanning over 7.8 million square miles (20 million sq km). A few species like the Galago gallarum are also found in the southern Arabian Peninsula countries like Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Different species inhabit different environments based on their specific adaptations. Around 60% live in dense rainforests, while around 20% dwell in dry woodlands and savannas, and 20% in semi-deserts. For example, the Thick-tailed Bushbaby favors lowland forests, while the Lesser Bushbaby is found in semi-arid areas receiving 10-20 inches (250-500 mm) of rainfall annually.

What do Bushbabies eat?

Bushbabies are omnivores that consume a varied diet including insects (up to 60-70% for some species), spiders, small vertebrates like lizards, snakes, birds and their eggs, fruits, leaves, flowers, tree gums, and saps. Their diet composition shifts based on seasonal availability in their habitat.

More insectivorous species like the Thick-tailed Bushbaby get over 60% of their diet from insects and small vertebrates. The Moholi Bushbaby on the other hand gets around 60% of its nutrition from plant gums and saps. Some fruit-eating species can consume over 80 different plant species.

Their excellent night vision helps them locate prey, while their long tongues assist in extracting gums and saps. Gum-eating species have specialized comb-like teeth to gouge into tree bark and extract the gummy sap inside.

What is the typical size of a Bushbaby?

Bushbabies are among the smallest primates, with Adult sizes ranging from just:

  • 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) and 0.2-0.4 lbs (0.1-0.2 kg) for the Diminutive Bushbaby
  • Up to 13-14 inches (33-36 cm) and 1.8-2.6 lbs (0.8-1.2 kg) for the largest, the Thick-tailed Bushbaby

Most species fall within the mid-range of 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) in length and 0.3-1.1 lbs (0.15-0.5 kg) in weight. At birth, infants are only around 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) long and weigh a tiny 0.5-2.5 oz (15-70 g).

Despite being so small, their powerful hind legs make up around 50-60% of their body length and allow for vertical leaps up to 6 feet (2 m) from tree to tree.

Are Bushbabies social creatures?

The social structure varies across Bushbaby species, but around 70% tend to be solitary and territorial. Those that are solitary live alone or as male-female monogamous pairs that mate for life within defined home ranges of 2-7 acres (0.8-2.8 hectares). They use scent marking, loud calls over 60 decibels, and drumming behaviors up to 10 times per minute to communicate and defend their territories.

Some species like the Thick-tailed Bushbaby can live in small family groups of 2-6 individuals including parents and offspring. Within these groups, infants typically remain with their parents for 12-24 months before leaving to establish their own territories at sexual maturity around 1-2 years old.

During daylight hours, Bushbabies sleep alone or with their mate/family in hollows, rock crevices or leaf nests, emerging nightly to forage alone across their home ranges.

What adaptations help Bushbabies survive?

Bushbabies have several adaptations that allow them to thrive in arboreal, nocturnal environments:

Vision – Their eyes are among the largest relative to body size of any mammal, comprising 10-20% of their body weight. The eyes have a high rod density and large corneas that give exceptional night vision and depth perception to see in low light and judge leaping distances between branches.

Hearing – With ears up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, Bushbabies have excellent hearing that can detect high-frequency sounds up to 58-60 kHz, helping locate insect prey and potential predators.