Do you love wilderness safaris? Have you ever heard about Uganda’s big five game? When it comes to African wilderness safaris, Uganda is undoubtedly one of a must to visit safari destination for you. Located in East Africa, Uganda is popular for its big five wildlife safaris in Africa as well as other incredible species that have positioned this country as one of the best safari destinations in the world. The word the “Big five” was derived from the big game hunters and denotes the five most difficult wildlife species to hunt in Africa. If there are lucky countries in the world, then Uganda is incredibly endowed! It offers refuge to the big 5 African mammal species for visitors on safari to catch a glimpse. Most of these amazing wild creatures are widely scattered around Uganda’s most magnificent savanna protected areas, mostly in Murchison Falls, National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and many others.
Below is a list of Ugandan Big five animals
Scientifically famous as Loxodonta Africana, the African elephants are the most enormous mammals in the world. Whereas Asian elephants can be domesticated, African elephants are largely found in wilderness and tend to be aggressive in nature. Uganda features both the savanna and forest elephants. The forest elephants are smaller and have hair compared to the savanna elephants. These large mammals are largely herbivores with thick, hairless skin with about 2.5 cm thick and flexible, long trunk, long upper incisor protruding as curved tusks of ivory and large corn shaped ears that depict the map of Africa. With these features, it is difficult to hunt these incredible mainly because of their large size and ability to camouflage in tall savanna grassland. Compared to other species, the African elephants can easily turn aggressive. They are mainly distributed in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. These unique mammals also feature as one of the reasons why most visitors flock into Uganda’s safari destinations. Uganda offers refuge to over 5000 elephants out of 600,000 that thrive in Africa which makes it one of the best wildlife safari destinations in Africa.
The African Cape Buffaloes
This is another tremendous big animal in Uganda’s protected areas that anyone on wildlife safari in Uganda shouldn’t miss out in life. They are mainly communal and live in large herds of about 2000 individuals. All the sexes have different hierarchy with males dominating over females. The Cape Buffaloes are dangerous especially when they are wounded. In Uganda they can be sighted in Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park. Besides the Cape Buffaloes, there are also smaller reddish forest buffaloes that you can sight in Uganda’s national parks.
The African Lions
The African lions are largely carnivorous species and they are the a few large cat family. Lions are scientifically called Panthera Leo. Described as the “Kings of the jungle,” lions are short, possess tawny coat, tufted tail and males are different from the females because of their heavy mane around the neck and shoulders. They are dangerous and mainly thrive in savanna grassland where tall grasses, shrubs and bushes can offer camouflage while they are hunting. Traditionally, lions feature among few most sought after big species in Uganda. In one pride, there can be around 15 members and while on wildlife viewing in Uganda, they can be sighted in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park where you will also find the rare tree climbing lions and Kidepo Valley National Park. Uganda offers refuge to over 400 lions out of the 39000 individuals that survive in entire Africa.
Leopards are carnivorous and they belong to the cat family. They feature tawny fur, dark rosette like black fur. They are nocturnal and secretive making them hard to hunt in the wild. They are ever fierce and never scared. Leopards live in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale National Park, Mount Elgon National Park. Leopards are best sighted while on nocturnal game drive. Leopards are scientifically known as Panthera Pardus and they fewer than the rhinos. In the whole of Africa, there are fewer than 700000 in total.
For a complete big five, the rhinoceros shouldn’t miss in your list if you are planning your safari in Uganda. They are large, thick skinned with one or two upright horns on the nasal bridge. In Uganda, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offers tourists opportunity for them to have absolute Uganda big wildlife safari. There are fewer than 20 rhinos that thrive within this sanctuary. Rhinos were introduced in Uganda in 2005. The sanctuary is located near Murchison Falls National Park along the Kampala – Gulu route. Rhinos are divided into two, black rhino (Dicetos bicornis) and the white rhino which is mainly in Uganda and scientifically known as Ceratotherium simum.
In conclusion, sighting Ugandan big five while on game drives should be a must for you. Big five viewing safaris can be combined with the rare mountain gorilla safaris, chimpanzee, birding, cultural, adventure like white water rafting safaris and many others in Uganda