Uganda Safari Animals; Uganda boosts with diversity of wild animals that attracts many travelers to flock into this tiny East African country, once referred to as the Pearl of Africa. It was named the Pearl of Africa because it’s rich green nature, various tree species, plant life, scenic landscapes and diverse wildlife including the great primates ‘’chimpanzee and Mountain Gorilla’’ as well as the Big5. More fact, Uganda is the best destination to go for safari adventure because it stuns with perfect weather for your enjoyment on your wildlife Safari Holidays throughout the year. Well, the country offers tropical climate which is ideal for wildlife viewing and accessibility to national park is possible.
However, it is traveler’s choice to visit Uganda and be able to enjoy the once in a lifetime magical of the Africa Safari big five wild animals; Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Giraffe and Rhinoceros.
Well, the big five are not only the animals found in Uganda to adventure at! Fact, Uganda hosts over 350 species of mammals of all sizes. Uganda’s animal species range from large such as gorillas, rhinos, buffalos, lions and elephants ‘’ to small ones like ‘’ bats, bush babies and shrews.
Uganda animals can be grouped into the categories;
Primates – mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, golden monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey among others.
Carnivores -Lion, Leopards, African wildcats, Cheetahs, Hyena many more.
Herbivores -Buffaloes, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippos, Rhino, Zebra, Antelope, Uganda Kob among others.
Reptiles – Crocodiles, Pythons, Snakes, Monitor lizards, Chameleons.
Birds – African eagle, Vultures, Turacos among others.
Carnivorous Animals Found in Uganda;
There are more than 38 carnivore’s species in Uganda
Cheetah – is very rarely seen species and is heavily watched with a greyhound -like build and distinctive black tear -marks. They are among the large predators.
They are easily spotted in grassland and savannah habitats such as the Kidepo Valley National Park.
Lions – these are known are the pride of the jungle, weigh 680kg and rises a height of 165cm. They usually prey on antelopes and buffaloes. Female lions are known as the hunters.
They are best adventured in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls, and Kidepo Valley National Park. Uganda also has famous tree climbing lions which are found in Ishasha plains part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Leopard – This specie is quite similar to the cheetah but can be differentiated from their rosette-shaped spots and are more powerfully built.
They are inhabitant of woods or rocky and are found in most national parks in Uganda but regularly seen along Kazinga channel drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
African Civets– They are nocturnal specie and are commonly seen in most parks.
They are bulky, longhaired with a cat like face.
Spotted hyena – They are bulky with a sloping back, dark brown spots and have mighty jaws that can crack through tough bones and skin.
Spotted hyena is usually found in the savannah and have exceptional hunting skills, capable of killing an animal as large as a wildebeest species. However, absent in Kidepo National Park.
Mongooses – These species are commonly sighted around the Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here are different types of Mongoose types including; Egyptian mongoose, slender mongoose, Marsh Mongoose, White- tailed mongoose and banded mongoose.
Genets; They are nocturnal species that resembles cats though are related to civets. The species includes large- spotted genes, servaline genes, small-spotted genes best seen on night drives in Semliki Wildlife Reserve. Amazingly they are attracted to human waste.
Otters – Are aquatic predators associated with most wetlands and found in some areas like Lake Mburo National Park. Species includes; darker spotted -necked otter, smaller in size and the Congo clawless otter ranks as the largest African otters.
Bat -eared fox – They are small in size with a striking silver- Grey Color, Huge ears and Black eye-mask often seen moving in pairs during the cooler hours of the days. They are found in Kidepo Valley National Park
Jackals -They are savannah habitats and like feeding on a variety of fruits and bulbs.
Jackal are comprised of side-striped jackal and the Black-backed, can be seen in Bwindi, Mgahinga, Murchison Falls and Kidepo National Park.
Caracal – They are medium sized with a reddish -brown coat, tufted ears and prefer living in open habitat of Kidepo National Park.
The African golden cat caracal is widely seen in western Uganda and seen in every forested national park except Semliki.
African wild cat – They can be seen in most savannah habitats in Uganda.
Serval – It’s a similar species to a pale coat, widely spread in Uganda and loves to live in varied habitats from woodland to forests.
Along an all- inclusive Uganda Safari, you can’t miss catching sight of Herbivorous animals in Uganda’s plains. Herbivores are the most spotted wild animals to see in Uganda. Below are herbivores species to see on your Uganda Safari Vacation;
Rhinoceros – Black rhino is extinct; however, the white rhino were reintroduced in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in 2005.
Giraffe – Uganda specifically have Rothschild giraffe ‘’world’s tallest land mammal ‘’.
They only found in Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo National Park.
Buffalo – One of the big five mammal and is known to be one of the Uganda’s most dangerous animals due to its unpredictable and defensive nature.
They live in large herds in the savannah and smaller herds in the forests and can be sight seen in all national parks.
Hippopotamus – Hippo is known as a large aquatic animal, has webbed feet and is the third -largest land mammal after the elephant and the rhinoceros weighing about 1,500 – 1800 kg.
They have no sweat glands and spend most of their days submerged in water to keep cool.
They are best seen in water bodies of Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo national park.
Burchell’s zebra – They are found only in Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Park.
African elephant – They are known as the world’s largest land animals, weighs around 6,000kgs. They are found most of Uganda’s parks except in Lake Mburo.
Antelopes – They are best seen in Lake Mburo National Park.
The larger antelopes are;
Eland – its is the largest antelopes with fawn-brown with large dewlap and short-spiraled horns and appears with light white stripes on its sides. They are seen around Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley and other surrounding areas.
Greater kudu – They are handsome with a Grey-brown coat with long, elegant spiral horns and white side stripes.
Hartebeest – Commonly seen species is Jackson’s hartebeest. They are habitat to lightly wooded and open savannah grassland, frequently spotted in the Ishasha sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley.
Oryx – They are easily spotted in Kidepo Valley National Park.
Defassa waterbuck- They have a grey- brown coat, white rump and large curved horns and grazes near water.
They live in most savannah national parks.
The medium sized antelope include the following;
Sitatunga – They are semi- aquatic and has distinctively splayed hooves adapted to its preferred habitat of papyrus and other swamps. Found in all six national parks.
Impala – They are handsome and have broad-jump skills. Found in Lake Mburo.
Lesser Kudu – They are smaller in size and less striped, found in Kidepo National Park.
Grant’s gazelle – They are lightly built tan in color
Reedbuck – The Bohor reedbuck has small crescent -shaped horn and a grey-brown in color. Commonly seen in Kidepo National Park.
Uganda Kob – They are characterized by their small size and their love for thicky forested inhabitant. They belong to the Duiker family.
They can be found in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, Semliki, Kidepo National Park and Katonga Wildlife Reserves.
Forest duiker – relatively large with a striking yellow back and heavier than a bushbuck.
Harvey’s red duiker – They are found around the forested parts of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls, Kibale and Bwindi National Park.
Peter’s duiker – They are found in Kibale, Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National Park
Black -fronted duiker – They are found in Mgahinga and Bwindi Forest.
Grey duiker – They are commonly seen in all four of the savannah national parks and Mount Elgon.
Oribi – It has a red =brown back white underparts and diagnostic black scent gland under its ears. Found in the tall grasslands and are seen in all the savannah national parks.
Klipspringer – Commonly seen in Kidepo and Lake Mburo national park.
Guenther’s dik -dik – Found in the dry savannah around Kidepo Valley.
Bates’ pygmy antelope – found in Semliki National Park and the forest bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern half.
Swine – Found in Uganda’s savannah.
Warthog – They are common in all Savannah national parks
Bushpig – They are nocturnal species and prefer staying in thicket and dense woodland.
Giant forest hog – they are nocturnal and unique species.
They are found in most parks in the west.
Primates Found in Uganda;
Uganda has got variety of primate species commonly related to the lemur, monkeys and apes. Most visitors visit Uganda safaris to encounter our closest related cousins whom we share 98% DNA of human genes -the great mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Mountains of Mgahinga Valley National Park and the Chimpanzee found in Kibale Forest, Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi Forests.
Other small primates to see on Uganda safaris includes; Vervet monkey, De Brazza’s monkey, blue monkeys, Baboons, Black – and white colobus monkeys, Patas monkey, red colobus, red-tailed monkey, L’hoest monkey, Potto, Bushbabies, Lesser bushbaby, Golden monkey among others.
Reptiles in Uganda;
Well, Uganda is a paradise for many cold-blooded reptiles. The largest of these is Nile crocodile viewed along the banks of rivers and lakes, basking open-mouthed in the heat as blackbird plovers pick tasty morsels from between their teeth.
They are once threatened with extinction as a result of being hunted for its high -quality leather.
Nile Crocodile – They are seen in Lake mburo, Murchison Falls and Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Python – They are giant snakes that squeeze, crash and swallow their prey Best spotted in Maramagambo forest
Snake – There are many species such as Putt adder, black cobra, green snake many more. They are commonly seen in the savannah and forest area around Uganda.
What is the best time for wildlife viewing in Uganda?
Uganda safaris can be conducted throughout the year though the best time for viewing animals found in Uganda is during dry season which start from June to August and December to February. Dry season is the best time to see animals congregate near river and water points.
Yet rainy season leads to roads to become impassable, hiking trails become slippery and challenging and overall experience might disappoint.
Is Uganda safe to travel on safari?
Absolutely yes! Uganda is safe to travel to any time to visit its wildlife reserve and national parks, this is because Uganda safari places are typically safe and well -regulated and have security measures in order to ensure tourists safety. However, it is important to follow local guidelines and take necessary precautions to have a safe and enjoy remarkable experience while traveling to any destination. Visitors can enjoy Uganda’s natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and getting amazed how Ugandan people are hospitable, friendly and welcoming and safe. It’s capital city ‘’Kampala’’ is very safe with street and road cameras for the safety of people in the country.
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