8 Types of Monkeys Found in Angola! (ID Guide)

What kinds of monkeys live in Angola?

Types of monkeys in Angola

If you visit Angola, it’s only natural to ask yourself the above question. I mean, who doesn’t want to see monkeys!?

Luckily, there are quite a few species you should be able to find. So, keep reading to learn how to identify each monkey, ape, and primate, and learn some fun and interesting facts. Pictures and range maps are also included!

8 monkey species that live in Angola:

#1. Red-tailed Monkey

  • Cercopithecus ascanius

Also known as the Red-tailed Guenon or Schmidt’s Guenon.

Common Angola monkeys

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 30-61 cm (12-24 in) long, with tails that can reach 89 cm (35 in).
  • Their noses and cheeks are notably white, while their tails are reddish brown.
  • Brown or dark gray hair covers their bodies.

Red-tailed Monkeys in Angola use their long tails to balance themselves as they travel from tree to tree. If you encounter one of them, expect up to 30 more nearby. These monkeys live in forested regions. A dominant male leads the rest of the group, which consists mostly of females and their offspring.

Though they enjoy eating fruits the most, Red-tailed Monkeys switch to consuming leaves and insects in times of scarcity. Interestingly, they use their cheek pouches to store whatever food they find. They eat only once they’ve retreated to a safe area away from predators and thieving rivals.

This species is quite sociable, and it’s common to see them bumping noses as a form of greeting. Additionally, they make bird-like chirps when communicating from a distance. They also groom one another to deepen their bonds.

#2. Vervet Monkey

  • Chlorocebus pygerythrus

Also known as the Vervet, Common Vervet, Desert Tumbuli, or Yellow Monkey.

Common monkeys found in Angola

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 42-60 cm (17-24 in) long with 49-75 cm (19-30 in) tails.
  • Males are larger, and you can easily identify them by their bright blue scrotums.
  • They have black faces. Their fur coats are shades of gray that grow brown towards the back.

Keep your food hidden! Vervet Monkeys are bold and frequently steal food from households.

These cheeky monkeys live in Angola in woodlands, savannahs, and mountainous regions. Their behavior is incredibly similar to humans, with some individuals showing traits such as anxiety and alcoholism.

YouTube video

Vervet Monkeys spend as much time among the trees as they do on the ground. When foraging the forest floor, they gather in groups of 10-40 individuals. Then, after a long day, they climb back up to the highest branches to rest.

Note that these monkeys are highly territorial and will scream aggressively at any intruders! For example, if a Vervet spots a predator lurking around, it will bellow an alarm call to inform others of the danger.

#3. Blue Monkey

  • Cercopithecus mitis

Also known as the Diademed Monkey.

Monkeys of Angola

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 50-65 cm (20-26 in) long.
  • Look for a white patch of fur on their necks. They also have round, furry cheeks.
  • Contrary to their name, Blue Monkeys have grayish or olive coats.

Look for Blue Monkeys in Angola high among the tree canopy.

They prefer shaded areas with high humidity and nearby water sources. Blue Monkeys are occasional allies and share territory with Red-tailed Monkeys. On the other hand, they avoid Baboons and Chimpanzees, who sometimes prey on them.

Blue Monkeys function in groups of 10-15. An alpha male acts as the leader of several subgroups consisting of females and their children. Females can be aggressive towards one another, especially when defending their food.

Roughly half of their diets are fruits, but they also eat flowers, leaves, and slow-moving invertebrates. Blue Monkeys rarely leave the safety of treetops, so don’t expect to come across one at ground level. However, sometimes, they bask in the early morning sun from lower bare branches.

#4. Moustached Monkey

  • Cercopithecus cephus

Also known as the Moustached Guenon or Red-tailed Mustached Monkey.

Species of monkeys in Angola

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 49-58 cm (19-23 in) long with 70-78 cm (28-31 in) tails.
  • They have bluish-gray faces. Their coats are a blend of gray and brown fur.
  • True to their name, these monkeys have a prominent white strip of fur under their noses, resembling a mustache!

Moustached Monkeys in Angola are naturally gifted jumpers.

They can leap across tree gaps up to 20 meters (66 feet) apart! Most of the time, however, they prefer to walk on all fours. Careful not to fall, they use their tails to grip branches for balance.

Gathering in troops of 10-40 members, Moustached Monkeys sometimes ally with other primates such as Mangabeys. These alliances allow them to have more eyes looking for predators.

Moustached Monkeys mostly eat fruits, but nuts from oil palm trees are a crucial part of their diets. As omnivores, they also eat baby birds, eggs, and insects. These monkeys store food in their large cheek pouches while foraging to avoid predators. Then, they retreat to sheltered areas where they can eat in peace.

#5. Mohol Bushbaby

  • Galago moholi

Also known as the Southern Lesser Galago.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 15 cm (6 in) long with a tail of 23 cm (9 in).
  • They have notably large and rounded eyes. Their ears, hands, and feet are also proportionally large.
  • Their wooly coats range from gray to brown. Some have stripes and markings on their bodies.

Mohol Bushbabies are some of the cutest primates in Angola!

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss them! These fast little critters sprint and leap through the tangle of branches, using their long tails for balance.

What they lack in size, they make up for with an array of adaptive abilities. Mohol Bushbabies are equipped with large eyes to help them see in the dark of night. Also, their twitchy ears can detect the faintest sounds from the insects they feed on. Finally, their tongues are narrow enough to reach deep into cracks where bugs hide. These primates eat fruits, nuts, and tree sap if they can’t find prey.

Interestingly, Mohol Bushbabies got their name because their cries sound like that of a human infant! Family units of 2-5 mark their territories with urine to keep outsiders from trespassing. Adult females and their children sleep together in tree hollows, while adult males sleep alone. They tend to bite and spit when threatened, so try not to startle them.

#6. Central Potto

  • Perodicticus edwardsi

Also known as the Milne-Edwards Potto.

Credit (left image): Ltshears, (right image): Daderot, via Wikimedia Commons

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 37-42 cm (15-17 in). Their puffy tails are about 6 cm (2 in) long.
  • They have large eyes and pointed snouts.
  • Their thick coats are different shades of brown.

These solitary primates live in swampy areas and lowland tropical forests. Central Pottos are shy and nocturnal, so they’re not easy to come by. Look for glowing orbs in the dark! Central Pottos have a layer of reflective tissue through their retinas, giving them keen night vision and luminescent eyes.

Fruits make up most of their food intake, with figs being a particular favorite. In times of drought, Central Pottos sustain themselves with tree gum, snails, and insects. After foraging at night, they retreat to the safety of tree hollows to rest in the daytime.

Central Pottos aren’t acrobats like other monkeys in Angola.

Instead, they make slow, stealthy movements as they cross branches so they don’t attract attention from predators. Mother pottos rub saliva on their offspring to repel predators. Despite their docile personalities, they are better left alone. If cornered, these animals will hiss and lunge at their captors.

#7. Southern Needle-clawed Galago

  • Euoticus elegantulus

Also known as the Elegant Galago and Western Needle-clawed Bushbaby.

By lennarthud: iNaturalist

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 20 cm (8 in) long. Their tails average 29 cm (11 in).
  • They have significantly huge eyes and ears in proportion to their body size.
  • Their soft coats are a blend of orange-brown and gray hair. Their underparts are paler in contrast.

Southern Needle-clawed Galagos live in wet tropical rainforests where gum-producing trees are abundant. They seldom leave the cover of the canopy and are nocturnal, so they’re hard to come by. However, predators track them through the scent of their urine.

If you spot one of these primates in Angola, you might be startled to see its head turn 180 degrees! Thanks to this ability, plus their keen eyes and ears, they are excellent at scanning for threats. When chased, Southern Needle-clawed Galagos leap and glide with their limbs outstretched to escape their pursuers.

As their name suggests, these creatures have sharp nails that allow them to grip the limbs of trees. Meanwhile, their fan-shaped front teeth make it easier to extract gum from tree trunks. Females forage in small groups, but males prefer to do so alone.

#8. Chacma Baboon

  • Papio ursinus

Also known as the Cape Baboon.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • One of the longest monkeys. Adult bodies are 50 to 115 cm (20 to 45 in), and tails are 45 to 84 cm (18 to 33 in).
  • They are also one of the heaviest monkeys. Adult males average 31.8 kg (70 lb). Females are considerably smaller.
  • Generally dark gray or brown. There is a patch of rough hair on the nape of its neck.
  • Males DO NOT have a mane, unlike baboon species that live farther north in Africa.

Chacma Baboons are one of the most common monkeys in southern Angola!

You can find them in a wide variety of habitats, including woodland, savanna, steppes, and sub deserts (arid habitats that have just enough rainfall to allow vegetation to grow). They are adaptable and live in both humid and dry environments.

It is rare to find only ONE Chacma Baboon, as this species is very social.  They live in large troops that can number up to 100 individuals. Communication is done via facial expressions, vocalizations, body movements, and touch. Infanticide is more common among these primates than other baboon species, as new dominant males will kill other infants sired by the previous male.

Chacma Baboon Range Map

Chacma Baboon map

Leopards are the main predator of Chacma Baboons. One study showed that they made up 20% of leopard kills! African wild dogs, lions, Spotted hyenas, Nile crocodiles, and African rock pythons also consume these monkeys when given the chance. But male Chacma Baboons are pretty intimidating themselves with large and sharp canine teeth, and they are often able to drive away potential predators. Check out the video below to see what I’m talking about!

YouTube video

At this time, the population of these monkeys is not threatened. But as the human population continues to grow, conflicts with Chacma Baboons continue to increase. Some troops live in close proximity to people and are known to break into cars and homes or overturn garbage cans looking for food. The more these individuals get habituated to people, the more aggressive they become, which has led some frustrated residents to illegally poison and kill these monkeys.

YouTube video

The above video details the issue that Chacma Baboons can cause living nearby humans!

For more information about animals in Angola, check out these guides:

Which of these monkeys in Angolais your favorite?

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