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10 Amazing Animals to See in Uganda

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Are you planning to go on a wildlife safari in Uganda? Wondering about the exotic animals of Uganda? There are lots of amazing animals that you even didn’t know that they exist in Uganda. Here are some of the most popular 10 animals that you can easily see on a safari through Uganda’s national parks.

Lions

The lion is one of the members of the Big Five, an animal many travelers have on their wish list of Uganda animals to see. Lions in Uganda are found in Kidepo and Queen Elizabeth National Parks. Compared to other animals, lions are the most social of the big cats and live in family groups called prides that consist of several related females, their cubs, and one or two adult males. The cubs are generally born around the same time and the lionesses take turns babysitting them. The lionesses do most of the hunting and they usually target big game like giraffes or buffalos. The males are responsible for protecting the pride from enemies.

Buffaloes

Reaching a height of 165cm (65”) at the shoulder and weighing in at 680kg (1500lbs), it is no wonder that the enormous Cape buffalo is one of Africa’s “Big Five”. Though they are herbivores, feeding almost exclusively on grass, buffaloes are known to be one of the most dangerous species in Uganda.

They will happily trample a lion who threatens to attack! Visitors to Uganda needn’t worry about getting caught in a stampede however; the buffaloes’ poor ability to regulate body temperature means that throughout the hot equatorial days they are most commonly found wallowing in mud or water – making them easy to view at close range during a launch trip.

Two subspecies of buffalo exist in Uganda – the larger savannah buffalo and the smaller forest buffalo. They live in two types of groups – family herds, which contain mainly females and calves; and bachelor herds. A herd can contain several hundred individuals.

Leopards

The striking leopard is one of the hardest large species to observe in Uganda, thanks to its nocturnal, solitary behavior and well-camouflaged coat. Their survival is partly due to their adaptability to warm and cold climates and ability to climb trees while carrying heavy prey – keeping it safe from other predators such as lions and hyenas. They can run at incredible speeds of up to 58 km (36 miles) per hour, and hunt antelopes and monkeys as well as fish, birds, insects and reptiles.

Historically, leopards were hunted for their beautiful fur; loss of habitat is now their greatest threat.

Spotted hyna

Hyenas are skilled hunters as well as scavengers, and their large, powerful jaws allow them to chomp through every part of their prey, including the skin and bones. The only parts which cannot be digested are hair, horns and hooves – the hyena will regurgitate these in pellets

The spotted hyena’s famous “laugh” is actually a sound made to alert other group members to a source of food. This noise can be heard up to three miles away, and is one of many sounds made by this sociable species to communicate with each other.

Hyenas are found in many habitats, including woodland, savannah and desert, though being nocturnal, they are rarely observed. Hyenas are known to have eaten people, though it is more likely that they will kill livestock, which results in them being targeted by hunters.

Elephants

The largest living land mammal, the African elephant, is a sight to behold on Uganda’s sprawling savannah. Their massive black forms can be seen from far away marching across the grasslands in search of the incredible amounts of vegetation they need to eat each day, along with around 30-50 gallons of water. This constant grazing is essential to the ecosystem, as it prevents the savannah and shrubland from turning into impenetrable forest.

The elephant’s trunk is by far its most useful feature – it is used with absolute precision to dig, signal, gather food, spray water and dust, siphon water into the elephant’s mouth – and even as an extra foot! They are also sociable, affectionate animals, and have been observed caressing companions with their trunks, and greeting other family members when they meet. They will care for weaker individuals, adopt orphaned calves and even display grieving behavior over dead companions.

Antelopes

Uganda is home to an impressive 29 species of antelope, including the eland – the world’s largest antelope, which can measure up to 180cm at the shoulder! Other large species include the greater kudu, which has long, elegant spiral horns and white side stripes; Jackson’s hartebeest – an unusual, flat-faced creature found only in Uganda, and the shaggy waterbuck – often found near rivers and lakes, as their name suggests.

Fascinating yet rarely seen is the semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope, whose splayed hooves are adapted for life in the papyrus swamps. Much more common are Grant’s gazelle, which can live in herds of hundreds of individuals, and the pretty Uganda kob – Uganda’s national antelope.

Buffaloes

Reaching a height of 165cm (65”) at the shoulder and weighing in at 680kg (1500lbs), it is no wonder that the enormous Cape buffalo is one of Africa’s “Big Five”. Though they are herbivores, feeding almost exclusively on grass, buffalos are known to be one of the most dangerous species in Uganda thanks to their unpredictable and defensive nature.

They will happily trample a lion who threatens to attack! Visitors to Uganda needn’t worry about getting caught in a stampede however; the buffaloes’ poor ability to regulate body temperature means that throughout the hot equatorial days they are most commonly found wallowing in mud or water – making them easy to view at close range during a launch trip.

Two subspecies of buffalo exist in Uganda – the larger savannah buffalo and the smaller forest buffalo. They live in two types of groups – family herds, which contain mainly females and calves; and bachelor herds. A herd can contain several hundred individuals.

Tallest Giraffe

The Rothschild’s giraffe also known as the Uganda giraffe, is the one giraffe subspecies found in Uganda. It is also the tallest of the giraffes and can reach a height of 19 feet! Even a newborn giraffe stands as tall as a man. Sadly, the Rothschild’s giraffe is endangered; only a few hundred still live in the wild.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees and humans have about 98 percent of their DNA in common. A chimpanzee troop can have between 30 and 150 individuals.

They live in grasslands, woodlands and tropical rain forests. While chimpanzees are omnivores, their favorite food is fruit. Chimps reach maturity when they are between 11 and 13 years old, and they can live for up to 60 years. Semiliki National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest

Rhinoceros

Both black and white rhinos continue to fight for their survival, their numbers are plummeting at astonishing rates due to poaching. This is a battle many animal conservationists are currently fighting, but it is always worth keeping your wits about you when spotting a rhino in the wild. These stocky animals are rather bad-tempered and extremely short-sighted, and won’t hesitate to charge anything they perceive to be a threat. Adult rhinos can weigh up to 2,800 kg’s and can run up to speeds of about 64 km/per hour for short durations at a time, so always be sure to keep your distance.

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