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Are you planning to go on a wildlife safari in Uganda? There is a lot of wildlife to see in Uganda. From the big five animals that travelers seek for on African safaris to the rare and endangered mountain gorillas, there is an impressive array of animals to see on a Uganda safari through the wilderness parks. Here are the top 10 animals that tourists seek for from Uganda.

Listings of Uganda’s Wildlife

When it comes to wildlife, Uganda is the richest country on the African continent and probably within the whole world. From hosting the rare and endangered mountain gorillas in the impenetrable national park, to easy sightings of rare birds such as the shoebill stork, there are lots of amazing wildlife in this East African country.

Uganda is a country gifted with a variety of wildlife including birds and animals. Uganda is a rewarding destination to those looking to go birding on the African continent. The country has more than 1065 bird species located within the park.

You should not forget that the country hosts nearly half of the total remaining population of the mountain gorillas. These great apes are protected in two gazetted national parks in South Western Uganda; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Many travelers take gorilla safaris in Uganda; trips aimed at meeting the endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Remember, there are just about 880 mountain gorillas left in the world and are left only in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Here you can learn about all your favorite animals, and even some you may have never heard of! Follow the links below to learn about some of the wildlife found in Uganda. I have tried to include interesting facts and behavioral information with the hopes that people planning safaris will realize that the cats are not the ONLY interesting animals out there!

You will be richly rewarded if you spend some time watching herds of antelopes to try to determine dominance hierarchies, watching mixed groupings of animals to see the ways that they interact cross-species, and even watching a grouping (called a “tower”) of giraffes to see if you can determine genders just by observing where they are feeding in the acacia trees.

In many of the animal accounts, the basic information is at the beginning presented in an informal way.  For those wanting to go a bit deeper into the behaviors, read down in the “Detailed Information” section, which has a lot of information from The Behavior Guide to African Mammals and a few other sources, all referenced in the text.

  • African Elephant
  • Banded Mongoose
  • Black-and-White Colobus Monkey
  • Cape Buffalo
  • Hartebeest
  • Hippopotamus
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Oribi
  • Rothschild’s Giraffe
  • Spotted Hyaena
  • Uganda Kob
  • Vervet Monkey
  • Warthog
  • Waterbuck
  • Zebras
  • Warthogs
  • Baboons
  • Hippos
  • Crocodiles
  • Antelope

Bats in Uganda

  • Rüppell’s horseshoe bat
  • African sheath-tailed bat
  • Hildebrandt’s horseshoe bat
  • Lander’s horseshoe bat
  • Little collared fruit bat
  • Persian trident bat
  • Bini free-tailed bat
  • Large-eared free-tailed bat
  • Long-haired rousette
  • Pel’s pouched bat
  • Aba roundleaf bat
  • Light-winged lesser house bat
  • Sundevall’s roundleaf bat
  • Dark-winged lesser house bat
  • Cyclops roundleaf bat
  • African yellow bat
  • Heart-nosed bat
  • Sooty roundleaf bat
  • White-bellied yellow bat
  • Noack’s roundleaf bat
  • Nut-colored yellow bat
  • Tiny pipistrelle
  • Woermann’s bat
  • Rüppel’s pipistrelle
  • Straw-coloured fruit bat
  • Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat,
  • Egyptian free-tailed bat
  • Ethiopian epauletted fruit bat
  • Moloney’s flat-headed bat
  • Hammer-headed fruit bat
  • Hamilton’s tomb bat
  • East african epauletted fruit bat
  • Lesser long-fingered bat
  • Mauritian tomb bat
  • Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat
  • Greater long-fingered bat
  • Egyptian tomb bat
  • Franquet’s epauletted fruit bat
  • Angolan free-tailed bat
  • Welwitch’s bat
  • Medje free-tailed bat
  • Mongalla free-tailed bat
  • Damara woolly bat
  • Midas free-tailed bat
  • Spurrell’s woolly bat
  • Bate’s slit-faced bat
  • Duke of abruzzi’s free-tailed bat
  • Dwarf free-tailed bat
  • Gland-tailed free-tailed bat
  • Railer bat
  • Hairy slit-faced bat
  • Spotted free-tailed bat
  • Trevor’s free-tailed bat
  • Large-eared slit-faced bat
  • Chapin’s free-tailed bat
  • Yellow-winged bat
  • Halcyon horseshoe bat
  • Dwarf slit-faced bat
  • Lappet-eared free-tailed bat
  • Geoffroy’s horseshoe bat
  • Egyptian slit-faced bat
  • Nigerian free-tailed bat
  • Eloquent horseshoe bat
  • Little free-tailed bat

Hyraxes in Uganda include Rock dassie, Bush hyrax, Western tree dassie, Hares, pikas, and rabbits in Uganda, Cape hare, Bunyoro rabbit

Elephant-shrews in Uganda, Checkered elephant shrew, Short-snouted elephant shrew, Dusky-footed elephant shrew, Rufous elephant-shrew,

Pangolins in Uganda include Giant ground pangolin, Cape pangolin, Black-bellied pangolin, Three-cusped pangolin,

Primates in Uganda

  • Angolan black-and-white colobus
  • Gray-cheeked mangabey
  • Eastern black-and-white colobus
  • Garnett’s greater galago
  • Chimpanzee
  • Potto gibbon
  • Black-cheeked white-nosed monkey
  • Owl-faced guenon
  • L’hoest’s guenon
  • Blue monkey
  • Patas monkey
  • De brazza’s monkey
  • Eastern needle-clawed bushbaby
  • Lesser bush baby

Much of the technical information about the animals came from an incredible resource written by Richard Estes.  This book is a must if you want to dive more deeply into the behaviors of African wildlife: Estes, R. (1991). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. Berkeley, CA:  The University of California Press.

It’s unfortunate that the above mentioned wildlife experiences poaching in one way or another and among the reasons includes the following;

  • Animals like elephants, buffaloes and Rhinos are poached for their tusks which are highly demand for manufacturing expensive rings, buttons, and necklaces among others.
  • Primates like Gorillas, chimps, monkeys and so on are poached for meat. Other animals like Antelopes, Buffaloes, Hippos among others are also hunted for meat.
  • Some animals are killed due to political reason- rebels can kill wildlife to freeze the tourism sector of their rival government hence affecting the country’s economy.
  • Hunting is some times done for cultural purposes – some tribes like the Iteso, Baganda among others – hunting is their tradition.
  • Some people consider hunting as one of their games- the Baganda, Batwa, Basoga among others.
  • Thick vegetation in some parts of the country has also counted to poaching- areas like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Mabira Forest among others are difficult to be patrolled by the official of the Uganda wildlife Authority hence prevailing poaching.
  • High demand for scales and tusks from elephants, Rhinos among others has also led to poaching.
  • Presence of eatable animals like antelopes, Hippos, buffaloes, Gorillas, Monkeys among others has also led to poaching.
  • Limited patrolling through the national parks and game reserves – this is due to few Uganda wildlife officials.
  • Weak and unimplemented laws – poachers are lightly punished thus not learn a lesson.
  • Low financing in tourism sector by the Uganda Government.