Red Colobus Monkeys: The Iconic Primates of Fathala Wildlife Reserve

Fathala Wildlife Reserve is a true haven for wildlife lovers, offering a chance to witness some of the most iconic species of animals in Africa. Among the many fascinating creatures that call this reserve home, the red colobus monkey stands out as one of the most captivating. These primates are unique in their appearance and behavior, and a sighting of them is truly unforgettable.

Appearance and Distribution

The red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus badius) is a medium-sized primate that is characterized by its striking red fur and long, bushy tail. They have distinctive white whiskers and a white strip of hair running down their back, which gives them a unique appearance.

Red colobus monkeys are found throughout West Africa, from Senegal to Ghana. They prefer to inhabit dense forests and woodlands, and are particularly fond of forests that grow along rivers and streams.

Behavior and Diet

Red colobus monkeys are social creatures that live in groups ranging from 10 to 100 individuals. These groups are led by a dominant male, and also include several females and their offspring. They are active during the day, spending much of their time foraging for food and socializing with each other.

These primates are herbivores, feeding primarily on leaves, fruit, flowers, and seeds. They have a specialized digestive system that allows them to extract nutrients from tough and fibrous plant material. Just like we as humans would drive the extra mile to get that really good burger at the diner on the other side of town, Red colobus monkeys are also known to have a preference for certain tree species, and will travel long distances to feed on their favorite foods.

Threats and Conservation Efforts

Despite their striking appearance and important ecological role, red colobus monkeys are facing several threats to their survival. Habitat loss is a major threat to their populations, as forests and woodlands are cleared for agriculture and development. They are also hunted for their meat and fur, which is highly valued in some local markets. This is often referred to as the bush meat crisis and many species throughout Africa falls victim to this phenomena.

Fortunately, efforts to protect and conserve red colobus monkeys and their habitats are a part of Fathala Wildlife Reserve’s top priorities. These primates are protected and monitored closely by the reserve’s guides and wildlife management teams. The reserve provides a safe and secure environment for red colobus monkeys to thrive and reproduce, and is an important stronghold for their populations in West Africa.

For wildlife lovers and primatologists, a visit to Fathala Wildlife Reserve is a must. The reserve offers a chance to witness red colobus monkeys in their natural habitat, as well as a host of other iconic African animals such as giraffes, white rhinos, lions and the rare western giant lord derby eland.

Visitors to the reserve can take part in guided tours and safaris, during which they will have the opportunity to see red colobus monkeys up close and learn about their behavior and ecology. It is a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who loves wildlife and nature.


Red colobus monkeys are truly remarkable creatures, with their striking appearance and unique ecology. They are an important part of the African ecosystem, and efforts to protect and conserve their populations are critical for their survival.

Fathala Wildlife Reserve is one of the few places where these primates can be seen in the wild, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in African wildlife and conservation. Book your stay today at: