One of the reasons why Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa is probably because of its numerous interesting wildlife species. You won’t believe that this country is a home to some of the wildlife species you would wish to see while on a safari in Africa.
It’s not a surprise that wildlife viewing is the second demanded activity in Uganda after primate watching (gorilla safaris in Bwindi and Mgahinga Forest as well as chimpanzee tracking). This has been made possible because of the numerous wildlife species that include the Big five animals (Rhinos, Elephants, Buffaloes, lions and leopards), Antelopes (Topis, common elands, Defassa waterbucks, Oribis, Impalas, Uganda Kobs, Topis, Johnson’s Hartebeests, bushbucks and Sitatungas among other), cheetahs, warthogs, Rothschild giraffes and Zebras among others found throughout the 10 national Parks around the country. Most importantly, Uganda is a home to most of Africa’s sought-after wildlife species that include;
The African Lions
African lions, also known as the “King of the Jungle” or the King of the Beasts” are definitely found within Uganda. These Carnivores are always on top of the list of must-see wildlife by tourists on safaris in Uganda. At least 90% of tourists on wildlife safaris in Africa desire to see African lions and the good news is that you can actually encounter them in this small country. They can be seen within Kidepo Valley National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park (where you will be treated to the magnificent views of the exceptional tree climbing lions within the Ishasha sector which is not possible in other places in Africa, of course except Lake Manyara in Southern Tanzania). African lions are also found in Murchison Falls National Park. However, the Kings of the beasts are threatened by a number of challenges that include habitat loss, accidents and poisoning because they are perceived as enemies.
These fascinating carnivorous animals are also found within Uganda’s National Parks and are known as “the Prince of darkness” because of their deadly nature although are very beautiful and interesting to look at. Leopards are silent hunters and are treated with same fear as the African lions. The most interesting thing about these cunning predators is that they are actually not man-killers although highly benefit from the fact that they are feared by humans but it is instead domestic animals that suffer from their attacks. Unlike other large predators like the lions, leopards are more compliant in that they are at times sighted in close proximities to human settlements. They can thrive in any environment such as the savannah habitats, forests, mountainous regions and even desserts. It is because of their exceptionality that they are among the most sought-after wildlife species in Africa and surprisingly can be seen in Uganda especially Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls National Parks.
These large mammals are also known as the “Gardeners of the Savannahs” and are considered Africa’s most charismatic animals. The good news is that you can encounter them when you visit Uganda. Elephants are one of the wildlife species that affect humans because they tremendously destroy vegetation cover including crops of villages surrounding National Parks hence contribute to hunger and famine but are also endangered due to their precious ivory tusks. In Uganda, African Elephants are found within Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National Parks for the savannah Elephants and Semliki Forest, Kibale Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks for the forest elephants.
Uganda was a home to both the white and black Rhinos in the wild but were entirely wiped out in the 1980s. However, the good news is that the white Rhinos were reintroduced into the country and now they can be seen within the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and the Rhinos are known to be wonderful grazers. Black Rhinos are smaller than the white Rhinos and measure an average of 1.6 meters in height and weigh at least 1000 kilograms
These heavy mammals live in large herds just like the elephants. Buffaloes are characterized by their large fringed ears, twitching heads and well polished horns. One common behavior the Buffaloes and Rhinos have in common is the fact that they also wallow in mud for the same reason. They usually inhabit savannah, forest and woodland ecosystems and are found within Murchison Falls, Kidepo Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.