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General Information

 

Uganda’s abundance in animal life makes this country a prime safari destination. Listed as #1 travel destination by the Lonely Planet in 2012, the country boasts more than 300 species of mammals alone. Population densities in Uganda’s national parks are not as high as in Kenya’s Maasai Mara or Tanzania’s Serengeti. Still, going on safari in Uganda is a highly rewarding experience. One great advantage is that national parks in this country are not as overcrowded with visitors as the more traveled tourist countries such as Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. It is not uncommon to spend time watching lions, elephants or even leopards without having to share the experience with 20 or more other tourist vehicles.

Each of Uganda’s national parks has its own unique combination of fauna. Lions are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park, while cheetahs can only be spotted in Kidepo Valley. The best place to see elephants is either Queen Elizabeth or Murchison Falls. Zebras are restricted to Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley while Giraffe are at home in Kidepo Valley and Murchison. Probably the highest density of Hippos can be seen on the banks of the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is also the best place worldwide to spot the giant forest hog, the largest wild pig in the world. The most commonly seen antelope is the Uganda Kob, but in Lake Mburo their niche is occupied by Impala.

Rhinos unfortunately were wiped out in Uganda in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, yet at ZIWA Rhino Sanctuary a breeding program has been established with the aim of reintroducing both black and white rhinos to the savannas of Uganda. Although technically not in the wild, the 70km2 area is the nearest thing to it.

No other country can compete with Uganda when it comes to primates, as there are 19 different species. The biggest attraction and magnet for tourism are the mountain gorillas in the south west of the country. Worldwide, they can only be found in two other countries – Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. An estimated population of 5000 chimpanzees, our closest relatives, can be found at various locations throughout the country. These are Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge, Semiliki Wildlife Reserve, Budongo Forest and Kalinzu Forest. Each location has at least one group of habituated chimps, making chimp tracking possible. Other primate species include Olive Baboons, Black and White Colobus, Blue, Red-Tailed, L’Hoest’s and de Brazza’s monkeys. Even the endangered Golden Monkey can be found in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. At night, the eerie sound of bushbabies (galagos) can be heard cutting through the dark…

 

Following is a list of the most common mammals and the locations they can best be found:

-       Cape Buffalo: Widely spread

-       Cheetah: Kidepo Valley National Park

-       Chimpanzee: Semiliki National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Budongo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest

-       Elephant: Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National park

-       Giraffe: Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park

-       Gorilla: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

-       Hippo: Queen Elizabeth National park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls national park

-       Leopard: Widely spread

-       Lions: Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls National park, Kidepo Valley National Park

-       Ostrich: Kidepo Valley National Park

-       Zebra: Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park

 

 

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