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All Wild Animals On A Ugandan Safari

number of wild animals that are found in Uganda is insumable and attractive to the visitors coming to this smack east African country. Uganda has been blessed with various species notably plant life, tree species, plenty of wildlife, the home of the great apes of chimpanzees and gorillas, stunning landscapes

All Wild Animals On A Ugandan Safari

All wild animals to spot on a Uganda safari- Uganda has been blessed with various species notably plant life, tree species, plenty of wildlife, the home of the great apes of chimpanzees and gorillas, stunning landscapes, and the big five animals on the African wildness. Uganda features wonderful weather conditions favorable for wildlife safaris throughout the year which is so interesting.

It’s every traveler’s dream to visit Uganda the pearl of Africa and be able to have a once-in-a-lifetime sight of the Africa safari big five wild animals- lions, elephants, leopards, rhinoceros, and elephants. These big five animals are found in the major national parks of Uganda and cannot be missed on a wildlife safari. The rhinos can only be found in Ziwa rhino sanctuary while others are found in parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, and Murchison falls national park which are the most visited national parks in Uganda.

Well, the big five are not the only wild animals found in Uganda’s national parks. Uganda has more than 350 species of mammals of all sizes, 20 primate species, and 1066 bird species

The animals found in Uganda can be grouped into the following categories:

Primates– mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, black and white colobus, grey checked mangabey, blue monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, olive baboons, bushbaby, potto, vervet monkeys, Uganda mangabey, and many others.

Herbivores– antelope, African elephant, Uganda kob, common eland, giraffe, sitatunga, hartebeest, African buffalo, rhinos, hippos, warthogs, and zebras to mention but a few.

Carnivores– lions, leopards, cheetah, the caracal, African golden cat, jackal, bat-eared fox, spotted hyena, civet, otters, mongooses, and many others.

Birds– turaco, bee-eater, grey crowned crane, trogon, standard-winged nightjar, honeyguide, African jacana, black-breasted barbet, and hamerkop among others.

Reptiles– Nile crocodile, monitor lizards, snakes, and chameleons.

Carnivorous animals found in Uganda

Uganda has over 38 carnivore species

Lions. Also known as the king of the jungle they can weigh up to 680kgs and grow up to a height of 165m. lions eat a wide variety of prey, from impala, zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, wild hogs, and sometimes eat hippos. They also feed on small animals such as hares, reptiles, and birds. lions are mainly seen in Uganda’s three largest savannah parks which are Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, and Queen Elizabeth national park which also has tree-climbing lions.

Leopards. They are quite similar to the cheetahs but what differs them is the rosette-shaped spots which are more powerfully built. Leopards are seen in most of the parks in Uganda such as lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, Semiliki national park, and Kidepo valley national park but they are very rare so if you get an opportunity of seeing them on a Ugandan safari you should count yourself lucky.

Cheetah. Are one of the rare wild animals that can hardly be seen in national parks but in Uganda they are seen in the most remote national park located in the northeastern part of the country (Kidepo valley national park). Cheetahs belong to a cat family of carnivores’ species and are heavily spotted with a greyhound-like build black tear-masks. A few years ago, there was a lot of fear that cheetahs might have been extinct from Kidepo valley national park but reports say there are about 20 cheetahs in Kidepo valley national park and the government is working hard to protect them and their habitat.

Spotted hyenas. These are huge with a sloping back, dark brown spots, and mighty jaws that can crash hard bones and skins. They are found in most of the savannah parks like Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park, queen Elizabeth national park as well as Mgahinga national park but the highest population is found in queen Elizabeth national park. Spotted hyenas are not found anywhere in Kidepo valley national park. They are mainly found in savannah, woodland, and desert though they are mainly active at night with exceptional hunting skills, capable of killing large animals such as antelopes, zebra, impalas, and wildebeests among others.

African civets. Are not easily seen during daytime reason being they are nocturnal but are widely spread and common in most wooded habitats and have been seen in most of Uganda’s national parks.

Mongooses. These are tough and agile creatures with long tails as long as their whole body. There are about 10 different mongooses recorded in Uganda i.e. slender mongoose, banded mongoose, marsh mongoose, Jackson’s mongoose, white-tailed mongoose, Egyptian mongoose, common dwarf mongoose, among others but the commonest species being banded mongooses and they are commonly seen around Mweya peninsular in queen Elizabeth national park.

Otters. Otters are familiar aquatic predators living in areas of Lake Mburo national park, Lake Bunyeni, and rare in Lake Victoria. In Uganda, we have African clawless otters, dark spotted-necked otters, and Congo clawless otters.

The bat-eared fox. These are quite common in Kidepo valley national park because they are associated with dry open places. They are small in size with giant ears, striking silver-grey color, and black eye-mask regularly spotted moving in pairs or small groups. These foxes are commonly seen during the night hours or in the morning during the hotter days.

Genets. These are nocturnal animals resembling cats but are related to civets. Genet species include large spotted genes, small-spotted genes, and servaline genes. The genets are widespread in Uganda and they have been recorded in Semiliki wildlife reserve, Maramagambo forest of queen Elizabeth national park.

Smaller cats in Uganda include.

Caracals. These can be seen in Kidepo valley national park and every forest national park except Semiliki. African wild cat is seen in most savannah national parks in Uganda. Lastly, servals are widely spread in Uganda and live-in varied habitats from woodland and forests.

Jackals. These are related to dogs, foxes, coyotes, and wolves with small faces, delicate legs, and fluffy tails with long alert eyes. They are associated with most savanna habitats and in Uganda, they are seen in Lake Mburo national park, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Pian Upe wildlife reserve, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Uganda, we have golden jackal, black-backed jackal, and side-stripped jackal

Herbivores 

On all Uganda wildlife safaris, you cannot miss catching sight of herbivores animals in Uganda’s national parks. herbivores animals are the most widespread wild animals found in almost every Uganda park and wildlife reserve. The following are some of the herbivores you expect to see on your Uganda safari.

Buffaloes. These are among the big five mammals and they are one of Uganda’s most dangerous. Buffaloes in Uganda rea divided into larger savannah buffaloes and smaller forest buffaloes. They live in large herds of savannah and smaller herds in the forests and they can be sighted on a game drive in places like Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, and Lake Mburo national parks of Uganda.

Giraffes. Giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammas and Uganda is one of the few countries in the whole world blessed with this species of mammals. In Uganda, we have the Rothschild type of giraffe and it is found in only three national parks namely Kidepo valley national park, Lake Mburo national park, and Murchison falls national park.

Rhinoceros. In Uganda, we only have one type of rhinos and they are only found in the Ziwa rhino sanctuary located in Nakasongola district. There are over 35 rhinos currently living at Ziwa.

The hippos. These are the largest aquatic animals and third largest land mammals after rhinos and elephants with webbed feet. Hippos have no sweat glands and spend most of their days submerged in water to keep cool. They stay in most of the national parks but are commonly seen in queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park and Murchison falls national park.

African elephants. These are the world’s largest land mammals weighing over 6,000kgs. They are divided into two species one beings the bush elephant and the other being the forest and Uganda is lucky to be hosting both of them. They are found in most of the national parks in Uganda such as Kibale national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park. A few populations of elephants can be seen in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, toro Semiliki game reserve, Rwenzori mountains national park, Budongo forest reserve, Katonga wildlife reserve, and Karenga community wildlife area but cannot be found in Lake Mburo national park.

Zebras. These have beautiful striped black and white colors on their bodies living with the highest population living in lake Mburo national park. Other zebras are found in the remote Kidepo valley national park in the northeast of Uganda, Pian Upe wildlife reserve near mountain Elgon, and Katonga wildlife reserve near Kibale forest

Antelopes

There are about 29 antelope species that have been so far recorded in different parks and game reserves of Uganda. Of these species 5 are large antelopes, 8 are medium-sized antelopes and the rest are small antelopes. Among the 29 antelope species we have greater kudu, eland, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbuck, grant’s gazelle, sitatunga, Uganda kob, and topi to mention but a few.

The larger antelopes are

Greater kudu. These are woodland antelopes with a grey-brown coat with long, elegant spiral horns and white side stripes. There is a small population of greater kudu in Kidepo valley national park.

The eland. This is the biggest antelope species with a fawn-brown large dewlap and short spiraled horns and sometimes has light white stripes on its sides. Elands occur in open habitats throughout the eastern and southern parts of the country and they are commonly seen in Lake Mburo national park, Kidepo valley national park, and Pian Upe wildlife reserve.

Hartebeest. The common hartebeest seen in Uganda is Jackson’s hartebeest and these are unusual flat-faced tan-colored creatures. They are usually seen in lightly woodland and open savannah land places of queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, and Lake Mburo national park.

Defassa waterbuck. This species of antelope has a grey-brown coat, white rump, and large curved horns. They live around water places and they are found in most savannah national parks such as Murchison falls national park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Oryx. This is an ash-grey antelope with distinctively large, and scimitar-shaped horns. They live in semi-desert and dry acacia woodland of Kidepo valley national park.

The medium-sized antelope include

Impala. This is a handsome, slender antelope species with a chestnut coloring, sleek appearance, and distinctive lyre horns for the males. They can only be found in Lake Mburo national park.

Grant’s gazelle. These antelopes are lightly built with a tan color. They can be found in Pian Upe wildlife reserve, Matheniko and Bokora wildlife reserve, Kidepo valley national park, and Murchison Falls national park.

Sitatunga. This is a large semi-aquatic antelope with a shaggier coat and sexes having stripes. They have distinctively splayed hooves enabling live in swamps and papyrus. They can be found in most of the national parks in Uganda such as Kibale forest national park, Murchison falls National Park, and Queen Elizabeth national park among others.

The lesser kudu. This is species of antelope has the whitest stripes running down its backsides standing out on a reddish-brown coat on females and a grayish brown coat on males. What differs them from the greater kudu is that these are smaller in size. They can be found in Pian Upe wildlife reserve and Kidepo valley national park.

Uganda kob. Its reddish-brown in color and larger in appearance they are somehow related to waterbuck and reedbuck. They are found in queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Semiliki national park, and Katonga wildlife reserve.

Reedbuck. This one has a small crescent-shaped horn and is grey-brown in color. The mountain reedbuck is only found in Kidepo valley national park while the bohor reedbuck is found in Murchison falls national park, Pian Upe game reserve, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, and Kidepo valley national park.

The small-sized antelopes include

Bushpig. This is nocturnal and prefers staying in thick and dense woodland. They are found in all national parks of Uganda apart from the Rwenzori mountains national park.

Warthog. This is grey in color with tusks on all sides of the mouth seen in family groups. They are found in most savanna national parks and open habitats since they are herbivores animals.

The Giant Forest hogs. This is the largest African pig species. They are nocturnal creatures and rarely seen. They are commonly seen on a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel and other national parks in the western part of Uganda such as Kibale forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Lake Mburo national park.

Oribi. It has a red-brown back, white underparts, and a diagnostic black scent gland under the ears. They stay in tall grasslands and have been seen in parks like Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, and Kidepo valley national park.

Guenther’s dik-dik. This is a small antelope with a dark red-brown coat, distinctive white eye markings. They are found in the dry places of Kidepo valley national park.

Bate’s pygmy antelope. this is a small antelope living in parks like Semiliki national park, and the forests near queen Elizabeth national park.

Klipspringer. This one has a goat-like habit with a dark grey coat and speckled living in pairs. They are found in lake Mburo national park and Kidepo valley national park.

Forest duiker. This is a notably small medium-sized antelope with a striking yellow back commonly seen on Uganda safaris. They are shy creatures and prefer staying in the dense forest cover. Types of forest duikers include.

The Harvey’s red duiker. This is a tiny antelope with a chestnut-brown color and can be found around forested areas of Kibale forest national park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Peter’s duiker. This is a small antelope found in Kibale forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Grey duiker. This antelope species is speckled with a grey-brown coat and they live in woodland and savannah habitats. They can be seen in Mount Elgon national park, Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and Kidepo valley national park.

The black fronted duiker. These can be only found in Mgahinga forest national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest in southwestern Uganda.

Blue duiker. This is tiny with a grey-blue coat and it’s found in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale forest national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Primates found in Uganda

Primates are among the most popular animals found in Uganda’s parks. Visitors who come to Uganda mostly see animals like the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park both located in southwestern Uganda. Uganda also has chimpanzees which share almost 98% human DNA and they are found in Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest, Kyambura gorge, and Kaniyo Pabidi forests.

Mountain gorillas. These are the largest primates living at a high elevation of tropical and sub-tropical forests. Gorillas are divided into eastern gorillas and western gorillas. the eastern gorillas are further subdivided into mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas while western gorillas are sub-divided into western lowland gorillas and cross river gorillas. in Uganda, we have only mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park and these can be trekked at any time of the year.

Chimpanzees. These are black-coated apes with about 98% human DNA and can use tools such as sticks to dig out termites. Chimpanzees in Uganda can be trekked in Kibale forest national park which has over 1500 chimpanzees, Kyambura gorge of queen Elizabeth national park with over 600 chimpanzees, Budongo forests in Murchison falls national park, and Kaniyo Pabidi forests. The trekking of chimpanzees in Uganda can be done throughout the year.

Golden monkeys. These are subspecies of blue monkeys with golden-orange bodies, cheeks, tails with black limbs, and crowns on their head. They are only found in Mgahinga national park in the southwestern part of Uganda which is part of the Virunga mountains. Other countries you can trek golden monkeys in Uganda are DR Congo and Rwanda.

De brazza’s monkeys. These have a hairy face, white band across its brow, a reddish-brown patch around its eyes, a white mustache, and a beard. De brazza’s monkeys are found in mount Elgon and Semiliki national parks.

Black and white colobus monkeys. These are black in color with a white face and a white long tail covered with white long hair running from shoulders to rump and white tuffs at their long tail’s ends. The newborn babies are pure white. In Uganda, you can find these monkeys in Kibale forest national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and Semiliki national park.

Vervet monkeys. These are black-faced primates with very distinctive blue male genitals. They are found in every forest national park of Uganda and they are absent from forest interiors and afro-alpine habitats.

Baboons. In Uganda, we have olive baboons which are larger with a dog-like face and are found in roadsides, parks, countrysides, but they are not found in Mgahinga national park, mountain Rwenzori national park, and Rwenzori mountains national park.

L’hoest’s monkeys. These species of primates have their face black with backward projecting white whiskers partly covering their ears and carry their tail in an upright position. They are hard to see because they prefer staying in densely forested places. In Uganda, you can find them in Kibale forest national park, Maramagambo forest, queen Elizabeth national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Blue monkeys. These are dark blue-grey in color with a white throat, thick fur, and backward projecting hair on their forehead. Blue monkeys cannot be seen in Murchison falls national park and Lake Mburo national park but can be seen in Kibale forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Semiliki national park, and others.

Red colobus. These have a slightly tufted crown. They are restricted in Kibale forest national park, where they are most common in the Bigodi swamp sanctuary, and others occur in small numbers in Semiliki national park.

Red-tailed monkeys. These are brownish in color with white whiskers and a coppery tail with a heart-shaped patch on their nose. In Uganda, they are found in Kibale forest national park, Mpanga forest, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Semiliki national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and Budongo forest.

Patas monkeys. These have a lankier build, a light reddish-brown coat, and a black stripe above the eyes but could easily be confused with vervet monkeys. They are found in dry savannah places of Kidepo valley national park and Murchison falls national park.

Bushbabies. These have sparkling large eyes and a distinctive piercing cry that can be hard most especially at night. They live in most of the savannah parks and reserves in Uganda such as Kibale impenetrable forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Lake Mburo national park, and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Pottos. These are medium-sized sloth-like creatures that spend most of the night looking for food upside down from tree branches. They are nocturnal animals and they are found in Kibale forest national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Queen Elizabeth national park.

Gray-cheeked mangabeys. These are greyish, and black primates with a shaggy appearance. They live in low and moderate-altitude rainforests of Semiliki national park, Mabira forest, and Kibale forest national park.

Reptiles in Uganda 

Among the wild animals found in Uganda include the cold-blooded reptiles favored by the hot equatorial climate.

Nile crocodile. These are the largest living reptiles commonly seen along the banks of rivers and lakes sunbathing. Nile crocodiles feed on fish, and animals that come to drink water. When it gets prey, it first drowns it and keeps it under the sun until it is decomposed for better eating. In Uganda, they are clearly seen in the waters of Lake Victoria, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls, and Kazinga channel inside Queen Elizabeth national park.

Snakes. Uganda has so many types of snakes such as black cobra, puffadder, green snake, black mamba, African rock python, boomslang, egg-eating snake, cape cobra, gaboon viper, green mamba, and puff adder among others.

When is the best time for wildlife viewing and primate trekking?

Uganda can be visited at any time of the year. But there are some months that are better than the rest for game viewing and primate trekking and these are the drier months of June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. It’s the dry season that most of the park animals are seen on the shores of water bodies, the roads leading to the park are passable and there is little or no rainfall to make the trails and tracks slippery. During the rainy season, the lodges give discounts but the roads can be impassable, the hiking trails and park trucks become slippery and the overall experience might be unsatisfactory.