Besides, the famous mountain gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this country also comes with remarkable primates known as Chimpanzees and Bonobos. However, there has been an on going confusion among traveler about the two Apes and thus need to differentiate them. Chimpanzees are scientifically known as Pan Troglodytes while the wild Bonobos are scientifically referred to as Pan Paniscus. The two apes are equally our closest living Ape relatives; they share nearly 98.7% of their DNA with humans. Besides their close phylogenetic relationship, the Chimpanzees and Bonobos portray slight distinction in their temperament and behavior, with Bonobos, they are less aggressive, greater social tolerance, adults play greater variety and frequently of sexual behaviors unlike the Chimpanzees.
The Bonobos have smaller rounder heads and longer legs that make them to stand more upright, the male and females are also more humanoid in average the females take 85% of male weight unlike the Chimpanzees that take less than 75%. The Bonobos are distinguished from Chimpanzees based on their dominance; the Bonobos are characterized by collective female dominance while nearly all but the youngest chimp males are dominant over all chimpanzee females. The Alpha male chimpanzees keep order and harmony within the community through aggression whereas the Bonobos Alpha females prefer coalitions and tranquillize the situation, and also resolve conflicts through sex.
The Bonobos do sing contrary to to the Chimpanzee bass and the distinction in timbre between the voices of these two apes may be of similar magnitude as that between a small child and grown human being. However, the Bonobos are also known to have red lips.
The Bonobos are found are only found DRC especially in South and Western side of Congo River whereas the chimpanzees can be seen within most African countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya among others). The Bonobos are equally endangered species and they are fewer than 50000 that are still living in the wild. Many times, the Bonobos were confused to be Chimpanzees but the only difference is that they are more harmonious than the chimps. However, Bonobo life is not wholly violent free in that if 2 troops of Bonobos meet, they may encounter a severe fight. To sight at the Bonobos, there are various trails that take tourists up to the massive, forested enclosures where the playful species often hang out. The Bonobos are best seen in Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary in DRC. This sanctuary is located eight kilometers from Matadi road. Like any primate, political unrest and the escalating poverty in DRC have contributed to Bonobo hunting and deforestation of their habitat and this makes their population unclear on record and given the fact they also have a very low reproduction rate. The Bonobos are normally smaller, leaner and darker than Chimpanzees.
The more the Bonobos age, the less hair they have in their body but retain more hair on their heads which is not the case with the Chimpanzees because the latter have lesser hair on their heads as they age.
The Chimpanzees are more systematic in using tools. For instance, these primates can utilize sticks to catch ants, stones to crack nuts which is not the case with the Bonobos.
In conclusion, the wild Bonobos and Chimpanzees are some of common primates within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, these primate species are different in terms of their sizes, leadership within communities, resolution of conflicts, vocalization and use of tools among others. Would you like to see these two primates in their natural home? Why not start planning a safari to Congo with one of the local tour operators.