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After I finished posting my recent Ghana trip report, I updated a thread I’d created for photos/videos of black and white colobus monkeys, I thought at the time that perhaps I might create photo threads for some of the other African monkeys I’ve seen. When I decided to create that first colobus thread, I thought it would make sense to have a single thread, for all of the black and white species, rather than have individual threads for each species, that way I hoped we should end up with one thread containing a reasonable number of photos, rather than have a series of different threads some with probably only my few photos in them. After that thread, I created a thread for all of the red colobus species. I thought I should stick with the same idea of having a whole group of species in one thread, even if it only ends up with photos of a few of the species.      


Rather than create separate threads for each of the various different species (at least the ones that I’ve photos of), I decided to just create a single thread for Africa’s largest monkey genus Cercopithecus, the guenons, also known as long-tailed monkeys, so this thread is intended for photos and videos of monkeys of the genus Cercopithecus. Vervet/green monkeys are no longer placed in this genus, they have their own genus Chlorocebus , so I’ll start a different thread for them, and likewise for patas monkeys.


Show us your savanna monkeys - vervet, grivet, tantalus, green and Bale monkeys


Show us your patas monkeys


I thought it would be helpful to include a list of all of the Cercopithecus species, having found one on Wikipedia, which lists all the species and subspecies, I thought great I’ll just copy and paste that, and then choose a few photos to kick things off. I soon realised it wouldn’t be that simple. 


The taxonomy of this genus of forest monkeys is rather complicated, the exact number of species is really as yet undetermined and certainly argued over, further genetic research will likely result in some of the species listed below being split into a number of different species. The most complicated group is the C. mitis group that includes the various blue and Sykes’s monkeys, also known as gentle monkeys and in the south often called samangos. The blue and the Sykes’s found principally in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (one isolated form the pluto monkey occurs in Angola) collectively known as gentle monkeys are often treated either as a single species C. mitis or as two species C. mitis and C. albogularis, or two groups within a superspecies, if and when science finally sorts them out, they could likely become as many as six species. I decided I would have to modify the Wikipedia list and since most of my Sykes’s monkey photos were taken in Tanzania, I’ve opted for the taxonomy used in the 2014 book A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania, this book gives the name C. mitis for both blue and Sykes’s monkeys, so I opted to stick with a single species and use C. mitis for all of these monkeys. This is also the taxonomy used on the IUCN Red List website.


The photo map on the East African Primate Diversity and Conservation website shows the rough distribution of the different mitis/gentle monkeys, so if you do have photos of any of these monkeys you should be able to work out from the map which subspecies they are, if you’re not sure.


Gentle monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) photo map


If you have visited northern Zambia or are based in Zambia or have even ventured into the southeast corner of the DRC and you have any shots of blue monkeys taken in this region, then you may have photos of the rump-spotted blue monkey (Cercopithecus m. opisthostictus), it’s distribution is shown in light green on the photo map,  they would love to have your photos, as there are very few photos of this subspecies. Another subspecies Moloney’s monkey C. m. moloneyi also occurs in the east and northeast of Zambia, if you do have Zambian mitis monkeys and you’re not sure which take a look at the photo map.   




On 6/29/2019 at 8:38 AM, WildSolutions said:

We are searching for good images of Cercopithecus mitis opisthostictus. Although perhaps the most widespread of the C. mitis subspecies, opisthostictus is among the least known and least photographed subspecies.


Here is a brief description of the poorly understood geographic limits of C. m. opisthostictus:


Primarily southeast Congo Basin, DRC, and upper Zambezi Basin, Zambia. North limit near Lukuga R. and west bank Lualaba R. at c. 6ºN, DRC. East limit L. Tanganyika, DRC, and Chambeshi R.and Lunsemfwa R., east Zambia. South limit c. 14ºS, central Zambia. West limit perhaps Kasai R., southwest DRC, and upper Zambezi R., central east Angola and west Zambia. Approximate center of geographic distribution: Lubumbashi, extreme south DRC.


Any good images of opisthostictus would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you!


Kind regards, 
Yvonne & Tom

Eastern Africa Primate Diversity and Conservation Program, Nanyuki, Kenya

wildsolutions.nl / yvonne@wildsolutions.nl / tbutynski@aol.com



The genus is divided into species groups, I’ve typed the different individual species in each group in bold and then listed the subspecies underneath those species that have them, and added the English names, generally I’ve gone with the subspecies names I’ve managed to find on the IUCN Red List website. I can’t guarantee that I haven’t missed out some valid subspecies, I did delete a couple that I think are not accepted and that I couldn’t find in the Kingdon Field Guide or in The Mammals of Africa.     


Recently the L’Hoest’s group were reclassified and given a new genus of their own, Allochrocebus, but I’ve kept them in this thread.


C. dryas group

Dryas monkey or Salongo monkey, Cercopithecus dryas


C. diana group

Diana monkey, Cercopithecus diana

Roloway monkey, Cercopithecus roloway


C. mitis group

Greater spot-nosed monkey, Cercopithecus nictitans

Eastern putty-nosed monkey Cercopithecus nictitans nictitans

Bioko putty-nosed guenon, Cercopithecus nictitans martini

Stampfli’s putty-nosed monkey Cercopithecus nictitans stampflii


Blue monkey/Sykes’s, Cercopithecus mitis

Pluto monkey, Cercopithecus mitis mitis

Silver monkey, Cercopithecus mitis doggetti

Golden monkey, Cercopithecus mitis kandti

Zanzibar Sykes's monkey, Cercopithecus mitis albogularis

Pousargues's Sykes's monkey, Cercopithecus mitis albotorquatus

White-throated samango or Stair’s monkey, Cercopithecus mitis erythrarchus

Red-eared White-collared monkey. Cercopithecus mitis francescae

Rump-spotted blue monkey, Cercopithecus mitis opisthostictus

Kolb’s monkey, Cercopithecus mitis kolbi

Samango monkey, Cercopithecus mitis labiatus

Moloney’s monkey, Cercopithecus mitis moloneyi

Tanzania Sykes’s monkey, Cercopithecus mitis monoides

Zammarano's white-throated or Somali white-collared monkey, Cercopithecus mitis zammaranoi

Lomami River Blue Monkey Cercopithecus mitis heymansi

Boutourlini’s blue monkey, Cercopithecus mitis boutourlinii

Stuhlmann’s blue monkey, Cercopithecus stuhlmanni

Schouteden’s blue monkey Cercopithecus mitis schoutedeni


C. mona group

Mona monkey, Cercopithecus mona

Campbell's monkey, Cercopithecus campbelli

Lowe's monkey, Cercopithecus lowei

Crowned monkey, Cercopithecus pogonias

Golden-bellied crowned monkey Cercopithecus pogonias pogonias

Black-footed crowned monkey Cercopithecus pogonias nigripes

Gray’s crowned monkey Cercopithecus pogonias grayi

Wolf's monkey, Cercopithecus wolfi

Congo Basin Wolf’s monkey Cercopithecus wolfi wolfi

Lomami River Wolf’s monkey Cercopithecus wolfi elegans

Dent's monkey, Cercopithecus denti


C. cephus group

Lesser spot-nosed monkey, Cercopithecus petaurista

Eastern lesser spot-nosed monkey Cercopithecus petaurista petaurista

Western lesser spot-nosed monkey Cercopithecus petaurista buettikoferi

White-throated guenon, Cercopithecus erythrogaster

Red-eared guenon, Cercopithecus erythrotis

Bioko red-eared guenon, Cercopithecus erythrotis erythrotis

Cameroon red-eared monkey Cercopithecus erythrotis camerunensis

Moustached guenon, Cercopithecus cephus

Red-tailed moustached monkey Cercopithecus cephus cephus

Grey-tailed moustached monkey Cercopithecus cephus cephodes

Ngotto guenon, Cercopithecus cephus ngottoensis

Red-tailed monkey, Cercopithecus ascanius

Black-cheeked red-tailed monkey Cercopithecus ascanius ascanius

Black-nosed red-tailed monkey Cercopithecus ascanius atrinasus

Congo Basin or yellow-nosed monkey Cercopithecus ascanius whitesidei

Katanga red-tailed monkey Cercopithecus ascanius katangae

Schmidt's red-tailed monkey, Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti

Sclater's guenon, Cercopithecus sclateri


C. lhoesti group

L'Hoest's monkey, Cercopithecus lhoesti  (Allochrocebus lhoesti)

Preuss's monkey, Cercopithecus preussi (Allochrocebus preussi)

Cameroon Preuss's monkey, Cercopithecus preussi preussi (Allochrocebus preussi preussi)

Bioko Preuss's monkey, Cercopithecus preussi insularis (Allochrocebus preussi insularis)

Sun-tailed monkey, Cercopithecus solatus (Allochrocebus solatus)


C. hamlyni group

Hamlyn's monkey, Cercopithecus hamlyni

Owl-faced guenon, Cercopithecus hamlyni hamlyni

Kahuzi owl-faced guenon, Cercopithecus hamlyni kahuziensis

Lesula, Cercopithecus lomamiensis


C. neglectus group

De Brazza's monkey, Cercopithecus neglectus


If you have photos or videos of any of these monkeys please add them here, don’t worry if you don’t know the subspecies, just the species name is fine, guides normally just called them by their species name anyway and the books don’t always make it clear. For the many mitis monkeys the names blue and Sykes’s seem to be still somewhat interchangeable, certainly guides in northern Tanzania use both names and refer to Sykes’s monkeys as blue monkeys, further south where they are frequently called samangos, they are I think also sometimes called blue monkeys. I think if you are treating them as still essentially one species as I have done here then it doesn’t really matter that much.


There are twenty-three different Cercopithecus species based on the taxonomy I’ve gone with here, but if you split the blue and the Sykes’s then it’s twenty-four, and some also split both the golden and the silver (or Doggett’s) monkey from the blue, making twenty-six species in total. I worked out just in the course of writing this, that I have now seen ten of them, but unfortunately, I don’t have photos of all of them taken in the wild and some of the photos I do have of a couple aren’t that great. That’s in part why I thought it best to have all the species in one thread and then not have a couple of threads with only a few very poor photos and having single threads helps to show off the variety of species.  I hope that perhaps a few others, will contribute at least some shots of some of the East African species or some samangos, maybe some of those visiting Gabon will be able to add some nice updates @michael-ibk and anyone else headed that way. 


After such a long intro I’ll put the first photos in the next post 

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Having grown up reading the books of Gerald Durrell in which he wrote about his animal collecting expeditions to various parts of the world, I’ve always remembered the putty-nosed monkeys from his first book The Overloaded Ark which recounts his first expedition to Cameroon, so this was one species that I was very keen to see when I visited Gabon back in 08. Also known as the greater spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus nictitans), there are three different subspecies the eastern C. nictitans nictitans found principally in Central Africa from Nigeria to the north bank of the Congo River, the Bioko C. n. martini found only on the island of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea and Stamplfi’s C. n. stampfli that lives in a small area of West Africa in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire and possibly over the border into Guinea.


Putty-nosed monkey range map



Eastern putty-nosed monkeys at Langoue Bai in Ivindo National Park in Gabon by inyathi, on Flickr





This sighting at Langoue Bai of these monkeys in the same tree as some grey-cheeked mangabeys (Cercocebus albigena) was great fun, watching them chasing each other around completely unaware of us , but they were a pretty long way away, the two photos were taken with a borrowed 500mm lens and 1.4 x converter and have been cropped, I had hoped for a closer view in Ivindo NP, but these were the only ones we saw there.




Eastern putty-nosed monkey in Mikongo Forest, Lope National Park in Gabon




I was very glad to have a got at least one reasonably good much closer view of these monkeys in Lope National Park,  photographing rainforest monkeys however, is never easy so these were the best shots I was able to get, with my 100-400 mm lens. 

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I should have added to that last post that besides Gabon, the best places to look for putty-nosed monkeys would I guess be Odzala-Kokoua NP and Nouabale-Ndoki NP in Congo Rep, or in Dzangha-Sangha in CAR, and Lobeke NP in southern Cameroon. Lobeke adjoins Dzangha-Sangha, you can combine the two, if you are feeling adventurous it’s a two-day drive on terrible roads to get from the capital Yaoundé to Lobeke. I’m not quite sure what’s involved in crossing the border to get from Lobeke to Sangha Lodge in CAR, I just know that it’s possible from reviews of Lobeke on Tripadvisor. Anyone wanting to do this should get in touch with Rod Cassidy at Sangha Lodge, he would be the best person to advise.


Over to Eastern Africa now for some more familiar monkeys.      



Zanzibar Sykes's monkeys at Gede  Ruins, Malindi Kenya


Originally the Zanzibar Sykes’s monkey (C. m. albogularis) was considered endemic to Zanzibar and to Mafia Island, this is certainly what it states in my old copy of A Field Guide to the Mammals of Africa including Madagascar by Theodore Haltenorth which dates from 1980. Now the view is that this subspecies includes those found on the mainland coast, roughly from the Pangani River in Northern Tanzania up towards the Tana River in Kenya. In Tanzania it occurs inland through the Usambara and Pare Mountains to Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru, from there their range extends up into the Chyulu Hills and parts of Tsavo West in Kenya.  Another population occurs in the forests on the west side of Lake Manyara and up into the Crater highlands in the NCA. If you are visiting northern Tanzania it is easily seen in Arusha National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. If you are staying at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge just outside Arusha in the foothills of Mt Meru, then these monkeys can be seen very easily in the garden and the surrounding forest.



Zanzibar Sykes's monkey, Mt Meru Arusha National Park, Tanzania



Zanzibar Sykes's monkeys, Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge, Tanzania



Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge



 Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge



Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge 



Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge



Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge


Why guenons are also known as long-tailed monkeys




Zanzibar Sykes's monkeys, Arusha National Park




C. mitis range map


More to follow soon, but if anyone else has photos to add, feel free to do so.

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Tanzania Sykes's monkey, Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania


The Tanzania Sykes’s (C. m. monoides) occurs primarily in eastern Tanzania down the coast in to the far northeast of Mozambique, in coastal, riverine and montane forests. It occurs along the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve and is otherwise very easily seen in Udzungwa Mountains National Park.




Tanzania Skyes's monkey in Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Tanzania







Further southwest in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania around Mbeya it’s replaced by Moloney’s monkey (C. m. moloneyi) which also occurs in northeastern Zambia and in Malawi, I have seen Moloney’s monkeys in Nyika National Park in Malawi, but I don’t have any photos.


In southwestern Malawi, central and southern coastal Mozambique you find the white-throated samango also known as Stair’s monkey (C. m. erythracus), this subspecies occurs in suitably forested habitats across central Mozambique over the border into the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, where it is found in the Inyanga, Bvumba and Chimanimani Mountains. It also occurs in the northern coastal region of Kwazulu-Natal, the name samango derives from the isiZulu name for these monkeys iNsimango, elsewhere in the forested parts of eastern South Africa down into the Eastern Cape it is replaced by the Samango (C. m. labiatus) sometimes known as the white-lipped samango.



White-throated samango monkey Bvumba Mts Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe by inyathi, on Flickr



Bvumba Mountains, Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe




Bvumba Mountains 



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Stuhlmann’s blue monkey (C. mitis stuhlmanni) this subspecies occurs primarily in the eastern DRC and then in much of western Uganda, then again from Mount Elgon on the Uganda/Kenya border through western Kenya, the monkeys on Mt Elgon are very dark appearing almost black, although I have been there, I don’t have any photos from there. Another population occurs in the Imatong Mountains in South Sudan and far northern Uganda.  



Stuhlmann's blue monkey, Semuliki National Park, Uganda by inyathi, on Flickr 


The following shots of Stuhlmann's blue monkeys were all taken On the Royal Mile Budongo Forest in Uganda.


















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The west coast of Africa from Cape Lopez in Gabon where Port Gentil is located, north and then west to Cape Palmas in the east of Liberia forms what is known as the Gulf of Guinea, the eastern most part of the Gulf just north of the Equator is known as the Bight of Bonny or the Bight of Biafra. A chain of volcanoes runs in a diagonal line through the Bight, known as the Cameroon Volcanic Line, this runs from the Highlands of Cameroon on the mainland southwest out into the Atlantic Ocean forming a chain of volcanic islands. There are four major islands, the southernmost of these that lies outside the Gulf of Guinea is Annobon which belongs to Equatorial Guinea, northeast of Annobon almost on the Equator is Sao Tome and then Principe and finally Bioko. Bioko is not only the largest of the islands but also the closest to the mainland, it’s in fact only about 20 miles from the coast of Cameroon and differs from the others because it actually sits at the end of a sunken peninsular that up until sometime between 10 and 20,000 years ago connected it to Mount Cameroon.  As a consequence, Bioko is home to a variety of mammal species that up until around the turn of the 20th century even included forest buffalos, they were hunted to extinction. The island does however still provide a home to eleven species of primates that includes seven monkeys, the Bioko drill, Pennant’s red colobus, Bioko black colobus, Bioko red-eared guenon, Bioko putty-nosed monkey, Bioko Preuss’s monkey, Golden-bellied crowned monkey, all of these monkeys are Bioko endemics except for the crowned monkey which occurs in neighbouring Cameroon and Nigeria. They are all endangered as a result of bushmeat hunting. I’ve not been to Bioko I would imagine that it isn’t the easiest of places to visit and the monkeys are I think really only still relatively common in the south of the island, where there are fewer people and I would think that getting to see them at present is quite difficult, but that may change.


Bioko used to be called Fernando Po and was colonised by the Spanish, along with a small patch of territory on the mainland called Rio Muni that together make up the country of Equatorial Guinea. The following video on the Bioko Drill Project which is working to conserve Bioko’s wildlife is therefore in Spanish but it does have English subtitles, I thought I’d post it here as a few of the island’s other monkeys feature in it.



While I've not been there, I have been to Bioko’s southern neighbours São Tomé & Príncipe, these islands have never been connected to the mainland, consequently they lack Bioko’s mammal diversity, besides bats the only native land mammal is a species of white-toothed shrew, the São Tomé shrew (Crocidura thomensis) I don’t how they got there, I presume on a raft of vegetation washed out to sea from one of the mainland rivers in Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. When the Portuguese first discovered the islands, they were entirely uninhabited. The Portuguese brought slaves to the island from Angola and from the Nigerian Coast, the latter region of Nigeria and the neighbouring portion of Cameroon is also home the mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona), a species curiously absent from Bioko, the slavers acquired mona monkeys, presumably the animals were orphans obtained as result of bushmeat hunting and were already being kept as pets by local people, the European slavers/sailors then introduced them to São Tomé & Príncipe and then took them from there to Grenada in the Caribbean. Wild populations of these introduced monkeys now live on both São Tomé and on Príncipe, when I visited these islands my time on Sao Tome was unfortunately reduced by a seriously delayed flight. As a result of this I was only able to get as far as the entrance to Obo National Park and had to turn around and not continue along the trail into the forest, during this brief walk I heard mona monkeys in the distance, but never saw any. On the Island of Principe, I stayed at the Bom-Bom Island Resort, the resort is surrounded by a significant area of private protected forest, as you are driven to the resort, you pass signs making it clear that hunting, fishing and logging are forbidden. Walking back up this road from the resort through the forest, provides a good opportunity to see most of the island’s endemic birds, as well as mona monkeys. While I saw the monkeys a few times in the resort's forest, I wasn’t able to get any photos of them or none worth keeping.  


Unfortunately, the only mona I did manage to photograph wasn’t wild, this particular animal was obviously being kept as a pet and was rather sadly tied to the tree.



Pet mona monkey, Principe Island, Sao Tome & Principe by inyathi, on Flickr


The best place to see wild albeit “tame” monas would be at the Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary in eastern Ghana, I have not been to this place as it’s in a region of Ghana that I did not visit, the monkeys whilst wild have become essentially tame as a result of being fed by people, you can find plenty of photos online of monkeys climbing on people. Otherwise, if you don’t mind that they’re not native then STP or Grenada, would likely be the next best places to see monas, although I presume you should be able to see them on visits to Nigeria or Cameroon and I should think in southern Benin, but I don’t know how common they are there now.   


Curiously the IUCN Red List states “It has been introduced to Sao Tome and from there to the Caribbean islands of Grenada and possibly to Saint Kitts and Nevis.” Green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) have certainly been introduced to Saint Kitts and Nevis, I would have thought that since these two islands are very small, if there were monas there as well, someone would have determined this by now.


Range map

Edited by inyathi
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Lowe’s monkey (cerecopithecus lowei) is part of the Mona group having at one time been considered a subspecies of the mona monkey (Cerocpitrhecus mona) both species occur in Ghana but the mona shown in the previous post is only found east of the Volta River, Lowe’s occurs west of the Volta as far as western Cote d’Ivoire. They were once very common, but as is with other monkeys in this region of Africa they are now very rare outside of protected areas, almost entirely as a result of bushmeat poaching, in part because other monkeys are so much rarer, they are now the most common monkey sold in bushmeat markets in Cote d’Ivoire. They may be reasonably well protected in some of Ghana’s national parks, but the only place I saw them on my recent visit to Ghana was at the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary where the monkeys have been revered and protected since around 1827.    


Range map 



Lowe's monkeys, Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Ghana by inyathi, on Flickr
















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  • 3 weeks later...

Another monkey that I had most wanted to see when I visited Gabon was the crowned monkey sometimes called the crested mona, (Cercopithecus pogonias), I’d hoped to get good views of them somewhere, but in the end I had to settle for an all too brief view in Mikongo Forest in Lope National Park. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get good photos, but I before we finally found some, I had feared that I would leave Gabon, without having seen any at all, so I’m very glad to have at least seen this species in the wild.


I hadn't really at the time got the hang of how to avoid taking silhouettes when photographing monkeys or birds up in the trees, I'm not entirely sure I've worked it out now, but probably having a newer camera helps, this first shot  started out as a silhouette, then I made some adjustments with Photoshop to create at slightly more worthwhile image, but I'm afraid it's still not a good photo. Perhaps with some different software I could have improved it just slightly more, but it would still be a poor photo, but better than nothing. The second shot is better for not having started out as a silhouette, but it wasn't such a great view and those monkeys didn't hang around long enough for me to take more than a couple of shots. Maybe someone else will see some of these monkeys in Gabon or in CAR, Congo Rep or southern Cameroon or even Bioko and post some better shots.




Black-footed crowned monkey (Cercopithecus pogonias nigripes)



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  • 3 weeks later...

The lesser spot-nosed monkey (Cercopithecus Petaurista) is endemic to West Africa it’s found from Togo in the east across to Guinea Bissau, in 2005 chimp researchers in the Casamance region of southeast Senegal spotted a young male and then a month later a different male was seen at another location, this monkey was not known to occur in Senegal, it is presumed that there may be a population there or perhaps over the border in Guinea and these males were vagrants, apparently none have been observed since.


There are two subspecies divided by either the Cavally (or Cavalla) River that forms part of the border between Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, or the Sassandra River that flows through Western Cote d’Ivoire, the western or Buettikofer’s lesser spot-nosed (C. p. buettikoferi) and the eastern (C. p. petaurista). Which of these two rivers is the boundary seems to be argued over, according to The Mammals of Africa, despite habitat loss and bushmeat hunting, it is still the most common monkey in West Africa. That at least is what the book says, and it is still classified by the IUCN as least concern, on my recent visit to Ghana, my impression was that no monkeys are really common any more and that while the lesser spot-nosed are supposed to be the most common forest monkey, seeing them didn’t prove easy. I only managed to see one small troop from the canopy walkway in Kakum National Park, I would guess this might likely be the best place to see them, at least in Ghana.  


Range map



Eastern lesser spot-nosed monkey in Kakum National Park in Ghana by inyathi, on Flickr







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The moustached monkey (Cercopithecus cephus) or moustac is endemic to Western Central Africa north of the Congo River up to the Sanaga River in Cameroon. There are three subspecies the red-tailed moustached monkey (C. cephus. cephus) from the Sanaga River east to the Sangha River on the border with CAR and south through Equatorial Guinea and northern Gabob to the Ogooue River. The grey-tailed (C. c. cephodes) from the Ogooue River down the South Coast of Gabon across the Congo Republic to the Congo River southwest to Cabinda a province of Angola north of the Congo separate from the rest of the country. The white-nosed moustached or Ngotto guenon (C. c. ngottoensis) found in the northern Congo Republic and southwest CAR between the Sangha and Ubangui Rivers.


Range map


It is I would think one of the most common monkeys in Gabon, although it is widely hunted for bushmeat, but the Gabon is still a relatively sparsely populated country, so the impact of hunting is not as high as perhaps elsewhere. While they may still be common, I only saw one in Loango National Park when I visited Gabon.



Grey-tailed moustached monkey in Loango National Park in Gabon by inyathi, on Flickr





Besides Gabon, Lobeke National Park in Cameroon would be a good place to see these monkeys and I would think also Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo Republic.

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The moustached monkey is replaced to the east in the DRC by the red-tailed monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius) that occurs east of the Lower Congo and Ubangui Rivers east as far as Western Kenya and south to Angola, and the Miwinlunga District in the far northwest of Zambia on the DRC border.  There are five subspecies, one of these the black-nosed red-tailed monkey (C. ascanius atrinasus) is endemic to the Lunda Plateau in Angola, the other four all occur in DRC, but only the Congo Basin or yellow-nosed monkey (C. a. whitesidei) is endemic to DRC, the Black-cheeked red-tailed monkey (C. ascanius ascanius) also occurs in the far north of Angola, the Katanga red-tailed monkey (C. a. katangae) is said to also occur in In Mwinilunga District over the border in Zambia, the most widespread is Schmidt's red-tailed monkey (C. a. schmidti) which occurs from eastern DRC through much of Uganda to Western Kenya, also in Rwanda, Burundi, and the far west of Tanzania (Gombe Stream, Mahale Mts) and then in CAR and South Sudan. Schmidt’s red-tail should be familiar to anyone who’s been to Uganda, it is very common there, found in almost all forest areas, it’s probably most easily seen in Kibale National Park and nearby Bigodi Swamp and in the Budongo Forest.   


Range map


One of the difficulties photographing monkeys can be avoiding a silhouette, I had to play around with this first shot to get a worthwhile image.



Schmidt's red-tailed monkey,  Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve Uganda by inyathi, on Flickr




Semuliki National Park, Uganda






Bigodi Swamp, near Kibale Forest, Uganda




Schmidt's red-tailed monkey, at Primate Safari Lodge, Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda




Edited by inyathi
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The beautiful L’hoest monkey (Allochrocebus lhoesti) primarily occurs in the DRC east of the Lualaba River, and then in parts of southwest Uganda and southwest Rwanda (Nyungwe NP) and just over the border into Burundi. It was quite recently confirmed as occurring in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in South Kivu in DRC. Besides in Nyungwe Forest it’s probably best seen in Uganda in Kibale Forest and neighbouring Bigodi Swamp or in Bwindi NP. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good photos of L’hoest’s monkey, so I hope someone else may post some better shots than these at some point. L'Hoest's monkeys are much more terrestrial than most other monkeys and spend much of their time on or near the ground.


Range map



Poor shot of L'Hoests monkey Bigodi Swamp near KIbale Forest, Uganda by inyathi, on Flickr


These next two shots are scanned slides taken on an earlier Uganda safari at Ruhija in Bwindi National Park







Edited by inyathi
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De Brazza’s monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus) Is principally a Central African species found from the West Coast in northern Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Southern Cameroon across the Congo Basin to far west of Uganda (Semuliki NP) and then again in southwest Ethiopia. It then also occurs in the Tororo region of eastern Uganda and neighbouring the Trans-Nzoia region of Kenya around Mt Elgon and the surrounding area. Until fairly recently all known Kenyan populations of De Brazza’s monkeys were found in this region of western Kenya west of the Rift Valley, then sometime back in about 2003, Helen Douglas-Dufresne who runs Wild Frontiers Kenya operating camel safaris east of the Rift Valley in Samburu County in north central Kenya, spotted a troop of De Brazza’s in the Mathew’s Range Forest Reserve. Their presence there was only fully accepted, when she took the first photos of the monkeys in 2005, this one population is so far the only one known to occur East of the Rift Valley.


A New Population of De Brazza's Monkey in Kenya


I had the good fortune to see a wild De Brazza’s monkey in Siawa Swamp National Park near Mt Elgon in Western Kenya, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo. On my recent safari in Uganda, I hoped that I might possibly get to see these monkeys in Semuliki National Park, as there is a spot on the main road that goes past the park from where they can sometimes be seen, however, we had chosen a bad time to be there as there were too many people around going into the forest to collect firewood, De Brazza’s monkeys are quite shy so they had retreated deeper into the forest, I did though hear them calling. I don’t therefore, actually have any photos taken in the wild, but since I have at least seen this monkey in the wild, I thought I would post a couple of shots taken in captivity, and then hope that anyone who may have seen this species perhaps in Congo Rep or CAR will post some shots.  


Range map




Cotswold Wildlife Park, England




Edited by inyathi
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I didn't think that I had any more worthwhile photos of putty-nosed monkeys to post, but I came across this next shot and after cropping it heavily, I decided that it was worth posting. It was taken from the viewing platform at Langoue Bai in Ivindo National Park in Gabon, with a 500mm lens and 1.4X converter.



Eastern putty-nosed monkey at Langoue Bai, Ivindo National Park, Gabon by inyathi, on Flickr



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In the grounds of Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge outside Arusha in Tanzania, is a large pond, the Zanzibar Sykes’s monkeys (C. mitis albogularis) that live in the surrounding forest, have developed the interesting habit of climbing out over the pond and down to the water so that they can reach in and grab handfuls of rigid hornwort (Ceraotphyllum demersum) to pull out and eat. Getting down low enough to reach the hornwort is quite tricky, but while there must be some risk of falling in, there are obviously no crocodiles in the pond, otherwise obtaining food this way would be a very bad idea. I’d not heard of monkeys feeding on pond weed, before I saw these monkeys doing this at Ngare Sero, but I presume that there must be monkeys in other locations that do this. Remarkably the plant rigid hornwort is found all over the world, I have it growing in my garden pond, until I saw these monkeys eating it, I wasn’t aware that it’s found throughout much of Africa or even that it grew in the tropics, when I first saw what they were eating I assumed it must be a different species of Ceratophyllum, but there is only one species.










48098014051_92ef4f5e8c_c.jpg       2ghgpoF%5DZanzibar



48102809413_cf81c49928_c.jpg        48102757761_5df1550f45_c.jpg 



48108561587_f5f0d401da_c.jpg       48108452736_a639f097c9_c.jpg 



48114066963_6bf3d2b4b6_c.jpg        48114066898_5501299d9e_c.jpg 

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  • 1 year later...

Recently whilst looking for old slides to scan, I came across these shots, they’re not the best photos and sadly they were taken in captivity at ZSL London Zoo and not in the wild, but I thought I would post them anyway, as I doubt anyone will post wild shots of this species, but who knows perhaps someone will get lucky and see one in the wild and perhaps post some photos.


Owl-faced or Hamlyn’s monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni)









This species, is almost entirely endemic to the forests of the eastern Congo Basin in the east of the DRC, it is possible that up until the relatively recent past, it may have occurred in the southwest of Uganda, there is a supposed record from Echuya Forest, which has suitable habitat, but there are none known there and no actual confirmed records from Uganda and no museum specimens, so if they were ever found in Uganda, they were likely extirpated long ago as there are definitely none now. The only place outside the DRC where they do certainly still occur is in Rwanda, a small population exists in Nyungwe National Park, they also occurred in Gishwati Forest, but were extirpated from there a long time ago, likely due to habitat loss, Gishwati Forest is in a pretty poor state, but the forest is being restored, since it recently became part of Rwanda’s fourth and newest national park, Gishwati-Mukura NP, but this new park won’t help Hamlyn’s monkey which is long gone.  The species was actually only discovered in Rwanda in 1989, they are confined to a very small area 32km2 of high-altitude bamboo and mixed bamboo forest in the south of Nyungwe National Park, on the border with Burundi, although the forest continues over the border and is protected in Burundi’s Kibira National Park, Hamlyn’s monkey has never been recorded in Burundi. These monkeys are very cryptic, their grey somewhat greenish colouration along with their habit of living near to the ground, makes them very difficult to observe, a wildlife survey of Nyungwe conducted by WCS back in 1999, did not record a single Hamlyn’s monkey. I’ve not visited Nyungwe, I don’t imagine that many who do, go to the area of the park where the Hamlyn’s live, I suspect that anyone who does, would need to be very lucky to spot one.


Hopefully, the fact that African Parks is taking over the management of Nyungwe should ensure that these monkeys will be well protected, there have been problems with people harvesting bamboo from the forest, if this is fully stopped, this should help the Hamlyn’s monkeys. In addition to a major replanting program in Gishwati-Mukura NP, to re-establish the forest there, in areas where tree cover has been lost, there is also a plan to plant a forest corridor reconnecting Gishwati to Nyungwe, this should be of huge benefit to Gishwati’s tiny remnant population of chimps, as it should allow chimps to move from one park to the other. But Hamlyn’s monkeys are not likely to make it back to Gishwati naturally, they would have to be reintroduced, and I rather doubt that there’s enough suitable habitat in Gishwati to consider this. I also suspect that they are not that common in captivity, I think I probably took these photos in 1999, there are now, no Hamlyn’s monkeys at London Zoo or I believe anywhere in the UK, the last were moved to zoos in Europe some years ago.    


Two subspecies have been described (as I stated in post 1), a common lowland form (C. hamlyni hamlyni) and an alleged montane form (C. hamlyni kahuziensis) that is entirely endemic to Mount Kahuzi, in Kahuzi-Biege National Park in the DRC, the difference is said to be that the Kahuzi monkeys lack the white nasal stripe, that gives the species its alternative name of owl-faced monkey. However, monkeys with the white stripe have been observed in Kahuzi-Biega NP and ones without the stripe have been observed elsewhere, so it’s likely that the Kahuzi monkeys are not really a subspecies at all. It is actually fairly unlikely that a distinct subspecies would have had sufficient time to evolve, since Mount Kahuzi was an active volcano, it is now extinct, the forests on volcanoes in this region come and go, as they can be almost entirely destroyed by a big eruption, so the forest is not likely that old.      


The following video from the New England Primate Conservancy has some rather better photos of captive Hamlyn's monkeys. 



Range map


The following paper on the monkeys in Nyungwe is from 2011


Status and conservation of the only population of the Vulnerable owl-faced monkey Cercopithecus hamlyni in Rwanda


This one is more recent from 2018


Strengthening Conservation of Owl- Faced Monkeys (Cercopithecus Hamlyni) in the Albertine Rift Region (ARR)


Edited by inyathi
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The photos of the Hamlyn's monkeys in the last post are not that great, the slides were pretty underexposed, and when I first scanned them they didn't scan well at all, however, I have recently learned, that with very dark slides, if I tell my Silverlight 8.8 scanning software that I'm scanning a negative rather than a positive, and set the film type to Ilford Pan-F ISO Plus 50, it produces a negative, if I invert this in Photoshop to get back to a positive, it is still very dark, but when brightened up will produce a much more acceptable image, than it will when scanned as a positive. I learned this from the Silverfast forum, someone else had discovered this, why those particular setting, produce better results I don't know, when you invert the negative it looks much the same as a scanned positive, I haven't tried other settings.. Having discovered this, I rescanned the Hamlyn's photos and replaced them with new versions, so the photos do now look much better than they did.


Here are some more shots of red-tailed monkeys, taken at Primate Lodge in Kibale Forest NP in Uganda






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