There is an incredible range of wildlife found in Uganda’s national parks. The parks contain endemic, rare and endangered species of animals, bird, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and plants.
Apes: Mountain Gorilla, Long-haired Chimpanzee.
Monkeys and Baboons: Blue Monkey, L’hoests Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Grey –Cheeked Mangabey, Black Mangabey, De Brazzas Monkey, Golden Monkey, Dents Mona Monkey, Olive Baboon, Red Colobus, Black and White Colobus, Vervet Monkey, Bushbaby and Potto.
Civets, Genets and Mongooses: African civet, Bush Genet, African Palm Civet, Banded Mongoose.
Cats: Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Caracal, African golden cat, African wildcat, Serval.
Hyenas: Spotted Hyena, Aard wolf, Striped Hyena
Dogs: Black-backed Jackal, Side-striped Jackal, Golden Jackal
Foxes: Bat-eared fox
Crocodiles: Nile crocodile
Elephant: African/Bush Elephant, Forest Elephant
Zebra: Burchell’s Zebra
Buffalo: African Buffalo, Forest Buffalo
Antelopes: Bushbuck, Impala, Sitatunga, Bush duiker, Eland, Blue duiker, Red forest duiker, Yellow –backed Duiker, Defassas waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Bohor Reedbuck, Jacksons Hartebeest, Topi, Oribi, Water Chevrotain, Kirk’s dik-dik, Klipspringer.
Weasels and Badgers: Zorilla (East African mole cat), Ratel (Honey Badger).
Hydraxes: Rock hydrax, Tree hydrax, Yellow-spotted or Bush hydrax.
Pangolins: Giant pangolin, Aardvark.
Rhinoceros: Black rhinoceros, White rhinoceros.
Rodents: Porcupine, Springhare, Woosnam’s Brush-furred rat, the western rift Pigmy Mouse, Kemp’s Forest rat, Delany’s Mouse, the Montane Marsh rat, Montane thicket rat, Mole rat, Papyrus rat ( 2 species ), the Rwenzori climbing Mouse.
Besides these, a number of vulnerable, critically endangered, endemic or near-endemic shrews are found in Uganda including the intriguingly named Least Long-tailed Forest Shrew.
Over 330 species of mammals are all confined within Uganda, 7 of these are endangered while 21 are vulnerable and 17 are near threatened. While you are on Uganda safari, you have a chance to catch a glimpse at the varied mammal species. They include;
Scientifically, lions are called Panthera Leo and they belong to the cat family. They make up part of the big cats and the others include tiger, jaguar. The male lions do weigh about 250 kilograms and they feature as the second largest living cats just after the tiger. Their gestation period is approximately 105 days and at 2 years, they are capable of hunting. They become fully grown up between 5 and 6 years. In the wild, lionesses can reach up 12 to 14 years and males go up to 8 years. But females reach up to 20 years in the natural habitat. However, these mammal species are equally affected by habitat loss and human wildlife conflict. In Uganda, lions are found mainly in Queen Elizabeth National Park where you can also catch a glimpse at tree climbing lions at Ishasha sector. Kasenyi track is the other famous site to spot out lions while on Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other popular parks include Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and many others.
Also known as crocuta crocuta, the spotted hyenas are popular for their laughing habit. They are equally nocturnal but they can be very active hunting during morning hours. They can be spotted in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The spotted hyenas are scavengers and usually dine on the leftovers of other predators. They have a gestation period of 3 months with life span of about 25 years in captivity.
These are famously called Loxodonta Africana. They come in large grey color with long flexible trunk, thick legs and pointed tusks. The African elephants are the largest land animals and they are bigger than the Asian elephants. The males stretch up to 3.64 meters and do weigh about 5455 kilograms whereas females stand about 3 meters and have weight of about 3636 to 4545 kilograms.
The African buffaloes make up part of the big five game list in Africa. They come in different species including the cape buffaloes which are spotted in the woodland savanna areas and forest buffaloes which can be sighted in forested areas. They weigh between 500 and 900 kilograms and have a height of 1 to 1.7 meters. In Uganda, you can catch a glimpse at them in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and others.
The serval cats are also popular as leptailurus serval and they come in medium size. They come with spectacular coat pattern related to the African golden cat. The serval cats have slender bodies with long legs and fairy short tail. Their heads are small just like bodies, tall and females weigh about 9 to 16 kilograms and males weigh approximately 12 to 26 kilograms. Their life expectancy ranges from 12 to 16 years in the wild and in captivity, they thrive up to 20-25 years. Besides catching rodents, they are also predators whose diet is largely dependent on hares, birds, hyraxes, reptiles, insects, fish, frogs and many others.
These are also famous as Panthera pardus and they equally belong to cat family. They are the smallest of all the big four cats and they have short legs but long bodies. Their skulls are large and have fur marked with rosettes that lack internal spots. The males are approximately 30 percent bigger than females. The heads and body length ranges between 90 and 190 cm with shoulders stretching up to 45 to 80 cm. They weigh about 37 to 91 kilograms unlike females that weigh about 28 and 60 kilograms. They are largely nocturnal and their diet is largely dependent on monkeys, rodents, amphibians and many more. Females have a gestation period of about 90 and 105 days. The cubs are normally born in a litter of about 2 to 4 although the mortality is also high. Their life span is about 21 years in captivity.
Other include Uganda Kobs, Topis, Bohor reedbuck, Bush duikers, chimpanzees; mountain gorillas and these are found within Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park; red tailed monkeys and many more.