Wildlife in Uganda-Uganda Safari Tours-Uganda Wildlife safaris
Uganda’s national parks and game reserves are home to over 350 mammal species. The numbers have greatly increased due to the conservation efforts of the Uganda wildlife authority. The different terrain and climatic conditions have led to the prosperity of the Wildlife in Uganda. These mammals range from small to big mammals. Other than the Big 5, Uganda is home to other amazing wildlife. Below are some of the Wildlife that can be seen on any of your Uganda safari. In order to explore them better, let’s categorize them.
CARNIVORES-Wildlife in Uganda
With over 35 carnivores, Uganda is a prime destination for a safari if you are looking to get close encounters with the wild cats
Lions are a highlight for any Uganda wildlife safari. They weigh up to 600kgs and they prey on buffalo and other some antelopes like kobs, oribi and Jackson’s hartebeest. They live in prides led by a dominant male. On your Uganda wildlife safari, you can see them as they hunt or sleep on the savanna plains of Murchison falls, Kidepo, and Queen Elizabeth national park on a morning or evening game drive. The famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth offer spectacular game viewing.
The leopard is one of the most elusive cats on the savanna. They are solitary with a territory of around 30 square kilometers. They are found in Lake Mburo, Murchison falls, Kidepo and Queen Elizabeth national parks. They are mostly seen in the low branches of trees to avoid other predators and to have better sights of their prey.
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals. They are spotted with lean bodies built for speed. In Uganda, they are found in Pian Upe game reserve and Kidepo valley national park. Family coalitions of up to 5 can be seen hunting on your Uganda Wildlife safari.
The spotted hyena are found in most of the national parks in Uganda. They thrive in the savanna grasslands and they hunt by relentlessly chasing after their prey. They hunt in packs and overwhelm their prey. In these packs, they can easily take down a fully grown buffalo. On your Uganda safari, they can be spotted in Lake Mburo, Kidepo, Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks.
Uganda has a variety of species of Mongoose. These include; Egyptian mongoose, slender mongoose, banded mongoose, marsh mongoose and the white tailed mongoose. The Mongoose live in big packs and can easily be seen on the Mweya Peninsular of Queen Elizabeth national park.
These cats are nocturnal and can be seen on a night game drive. Their cat like faces are quite distinctive. The African civet have been seen on the plains of Kidepo and Murchison falls national park.
Jackals can be seen on the African plains of Kidepo and Murchison falls national parks. Normally in pairs of male and female, they prey on rodents, small mammals and birds. They are found in most of the national parks in Uganda but the side-stripped and black backed jackals are found in Mgahinga and Bwindi national parks during your Uganda gorilla safari
Genets are nocturnal and can only be spotted on a night game drive. The different species in Uganda are the servaline genet and large and small spotted genet. They are attracted to human waste.
Otters are aquatic predators that live in the wetlands in Uganda. They are found in Lake Mburo national park. The different species in Uganda are; Darker spotted necked otter, Congo clawless otter and the cape clawless otter
Bat eared Fox:
The bat eared fox are silver grey in color and are common in the dry plains of Kidepo national park. Their huge ears make them stand out. They are usually found in pairs or small families.
Other carnivores in Uganda include:
- African Wild cat
HERBIVORES-Wildlife in Uganda
The white rhino became extinct in the late 1980s and was re-introduced in Uganda in 2005. As of 2020, Uganda has 35 rhinos. The Zziwa rhino sanctuary was set up to protect and breed the rhinos in Uganda. On your Uganda wildlife safari, rhino trekking is done in this sanctuary on foot. This thrilling safari activity lets you walk up to 7 meters of the massive rhinos.
Rothschild giraffes are the species of giraffes found in Uganda. They are found in Lake Mburo, Murchison falls, and Kidepo national parks. On your Uganda wildlife safari, you will amazed by their elegance as they stride across the savanna plains.
Elephants are one of the highlights of a Uganda safari. Their stare is like being scanned from head to toe. Their massive size, their tusks and the cute little ones offer amazing time in the wild. They live and move in big families. They are found in Kidepo, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls national parks
Known as the lion killer, the buffalo is among the Big 5. Kidepo national park has the largest number of herds in Uganda. They live in large groups for protection. They are also found in Murchison falls, lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national parks.
These are semi aquatic, spending most of their days in water and the night grazing on land. Because of their sensitive skin, they wallow in the shallow ends of the river during the day. They can be seen in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls and Lake Mburo national park.
Nicknamed “horses in pajamas”, zebras are mini versions of horses. They live in big groups and are easy to spot because of their beautiful black stripes. In Uganda, they are found in Lake Mburo and Kidepo national park.
Uganda is blesses with a variety of antelopes. They are small and big and these can be seen on any of your Uganda safaris.
Larger antelopes include:
Eland are the largest antelope. Brown in color, they have short spiraled horns. Their white stripes on their feet make an interesting watch in their big numbers on your Uganda wildlife safari. They are found in Pian Upe game reserve, Kidepo and Lake Mburo national park.
The greater Kudu has a grey brown coat, white stripes and long spiral horns
The Jackson’s Hartebeest is a flat faced antelope. Both males and females have horns and are the fastest antelope on the savanna plains. They live in the open savanna grasslands and known to be forgetful. In Uganda, they are found in Lake Mburo, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls and Kidepo national parks.
This antelope has a high back and a reddish brown with dark patches on their feet. They are well known for their high speeds that allow them to outrun the predators. They are found in Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth national park.
Normally found in the papyrus and swampy areas, these antelopes are the very good swimmers and have a shaggy coat to protect their bodies from water. They can be found in most national parks in Uganda.
Smaller Antelopes Include:
The impala live in big herds and have a distinctive yet amazing jumping skills. They have a chestnut color with white stripes on the upper part of their hind legs. They are found in Lake Mburo national park and Pian Upe game reserve.
The Lesser Kudu are a smaller version of the greater Kudu. They have less stripes and are smaller in size. On a Uganda safari, they can be seen in Kidepo national park.
Found in most of the national parks in Uganda, the reed buck are grey brown in color with crescent shaped horns.
The Uganda kob is the most common antelope in Uganda. They are reddish brown with spiral horns which grow longer as they age. The females don’t have horns. They live in big herds and can be found in Murchison falls, Kidepo, Queen Elizabeth and Semliki national parks.
The forest duiker has a yellow back and are slightly heavier than the bush buck. The species of Duiker in Uganda are; Peter’s duiker, Harvey’s red duiker, black fronted duiker and Grev duiker.
With a red brown back and white belly, the oribi is only of the smallest antelopes on the savanna plains. Both male and female have straight upward horns with a gland marking on their faces. They are usually found in smaller families of up to 3. They are found in all national parks in Uganda. .
Other small antelopes include:
- Guenther’s Dik-dik.
PRIMATES-Wildlife in Uganda
The mountain gorillas are some of the endangered animals on the planet. Uganda is home to the largest number of gorillas in the wild. Weighing up to 200kgs, they are found in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national parks. Uganda gorilla trekking is done all year round.
These primates share 97% of their DNA with humans. Most of their behavior is very similar to humans. They live in big families and they are black in color. On your Uganda chimpanzee safari, you can see the chimpanzee in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth national parks. Other can be seen on the chimpanzee sanctuary of Ngamba Island. Chimpanzee trekking is done all year round.
Vervet monkeys are found all over Uganda. Their miniature faces are black and they have a grey coat. Their distinctive feature is the blue genitalia.
Black and White Colobus Monkeys:
These primates are black with a white face, tail and a long white line running across their bodies. They live by the edge of the forested areas of Kibale, Murchison falls and Zziwa rhino sanctuary.
Baboons are some of the most common primates seen on a Uganda safari. They live in big troops and spend most of their days grooming each other. This fosters a family bond and a hierarchy in the troop. They can be seen by the side of the roads on your Uganda wildlife safari.
L’hoest’s Monkeys have a black face, white whiskers and a dark brown coat. They can be seen by the edge of the forests of Kibale, Maramagambo and Bwindi national parks on your Uganda primate safaris.
Red Tailed Monkey:
Red tailed monkeys have a reddish brown coat which gives them their name. In Uganda, they are found in the forested areas of Kibale, Bwindi, Murchison falls, and Queen Elizabeth national parks.
The Red colobus monkeys have a tufted crown and a brown coat. They are social and can be found in Kibale and Semliki national parks.
Patas Monkeys have a black face with a reddish brown coat. They spend most of their time on the ground and climb trees or anthills to watch out for predators. They feed on insects and seeds and mostly found in the open savanna plains of Murchison falls and Kidepo national parks.
These primates are only found in the Virunga Mountains. They get their name from their golden colored coats. They spend their time up in the bamboo forests. They are fast and you need a steady hand to take good and clear photos on your golden monkey trekking.
Grey Checked Mangabeys:
The grey checked Mangabeys are grey and black with a shaggy appearance. On your Uganda safari, they can be spotted in the forests of Mabira, Kibale and Semliki national parks.
REPTILES-Wildlife in Uganda
The Nile crocodile is the largest reptile and grows up to 6 meters. On your Uganda wildlife safari, you will see them in Lake Mburo, Kazinga channel and Murchison falls national parks. They feed on fish and other mammals.
These non-venomous snakes are found in Lake Mburo, Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks. They feed on antelopes and other small mammals.
Due to the different climatic regions of Uganda, various snake species can be found in the tropical forest, savanna grasslands and semi-arid regions of Uganda. These include; Puff adder, cape cobra, pythons, black cobra, boom-slang and many more.
Best time for wildlife viewing in Uganda
Wildlife safaris in Uganda go on all year round and national parks are open to tourists. However, the dry seasons of June-August and November-January are the most recommended. The roads around the parks are slippery causing some discomfort on your Uganda safari. Safari activities like Uganda gorilla trekking, hiking and cycling are best day in dry conditions. Better yet, in the dry seasons, watering holes are collection points for the wildlife giving your unparalleled safari experiences.
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