Big Five Mammals In Uganda
To have the ultimate Ugandan tour is to also see the big five mammals. The fantastic beasts in this elite group are the African Elephant, African Buffalo, the Rhinoceros, Lion and the Leopard. The term, “the big 5” was coined by the early poachers in the 1800s because the animals presented the greatest hunting challenge making them the best sport for the hunters back then. Though you can find all these animals individually or collectively in several game parks in Uganda, the Murchison Falls conservation area is the known one stop center for all the five.
1. The Rhinoceros.
A rhino is one of the most highly valued of the big five. Falling into two categories - Black Rhinoceros and the southern White Rhinoceros, a precious species at risk of endangerment. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only known home of this rare breed that has through donations and careful breeding become home to at least 20 of the white Rhinoceroses that were previously down to zero.
2. The African Elephant.
A true gem to the Ugandan wildlife is African Elephant. Similar to rhinos, elephants’ population has seen a decline in recent years, however Uganda Elephants, unlike other countries has reported an increase to over 5000 elephants from 800 reported in the 1980s, according to a survey report by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a development attributed to better protection across national parks.
Elephants are known to be the largest wild animals and well grown adults can go up to 12000kgs. In Uganda you can find elephants in almost all the 10 National Parks. At the Uganda Wildlife and Conservation center you might even get an opportunity to interact one on one with the baby elephants by feeding them. If your interest is to see them in the wild then the favorite two spots are, Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale forest national Park.
Popularly known as “king of the Jungle”, the lion is a favorite for many tourists in Uganda. For its fierce but mostly calm demeanor, the African lion is an intimidating but unforgettable sight. A safari with us will get you up close to this marvelous creature, however for reasons best known all, the lion is better off viewed during a game drive with the guidance of our trained guides.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, you’ll find the infamous tree climbing lions, this skill that was once believed to be unique to only the lions in this game park have slowly been picked up either by association or by imitation by lions in other national parks as well.
4. African cape Buffalo.
Also known as the cape buffalo, this herbivorous mammal is a true fascination when on Ugandan soil. A buffalo is found in most national parks and is one of the most guaranteed to see on any safari one sets out to go in Uganda. The buffalo enjoys a quiet time in shallow waters in the morning and spends afternoons relaxing by the savannahs.
Though the buffalo has a laidback-like disposition, one ought to treat it with respect because it has also been named as one of the most extremely dangerous mammals with a record of killing more game hunters than any other animal.
5. The Leopard.
Of the big 5 mammals, the leopard is known to be the most secretive. It enjoys a solitary lifestyle and is rarely in a herd. That being said, there are some places where the leopard is easier to spot than others. These include Kidepo Valley national Park, Murchison falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Leopards possess a superior hunting skill and mostly prey and can kill animals three times their size. Their biggest victim is the antelope; however, they also hunt and kill dogs, goats and people when in a domestic area and because they can also swim, they also hunt for fish.
Bird Watching in Uganda.
Away from the big 5, Uganda is haven for bird watchers with over 1000 bird species in a range of habitats including savannah, forests, wetlands, lakes and mountains.
Whilst on this quest be sure to look out for the unique species like the shoebill, grand marabou stork, long-crested eagle and of course the crested crane in all her Ugandan flag colors glory.