The Africa Big 5 animals in Uganda :  The Africa big 5 animals in Uganda include Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Rhinos and Buffaloes. These 5 animals can be sighted while on an African safari to Uganda the pearl of Africa. The word Africa big 5 came up back in the 1800s to refer to those animals that were always difficult to hunt thus any hunter that would manage to hunt any of them would be considered a hero and wins a trophy. However, nowadays we don’t talk about hunting, we talk about safaris thus this term the Africa big 5 is used by travelers on who wish to spot all the big 5 animals on their Uganda safari. All these Africa big 5 animals are found in different savanna parks of Uganda the pearl of Africa and an encounter with both of them is such a rewarding wildlife experience. So while on your wildlife safari, keep on a look and your camera ready to catch different shoots of these animals within the parks.

Big 5
Big 5

However, these Africa big 5 game are always at a risk due to some people that are still poaching them. For instance the Black Rhinos were declared as extinct in the 2011 and as well the White rhinos were at a point of total extinction in Uganda by 2018 when the only surviving male was reported dead leaving 2 females.

However the great news is that Uganda put on extra efforts to protect the white rhinos in a sanctuary at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and this saw a rise in these endangered Rhino species as a result of re-introduction of more Rhinos from South Africa. The same applies to the Cape buffalo whose population is declining due to poaching and hunting. The population of lions is as well declined time and again this is most due to poisoning by the local communities around the parks most especially in Queen Elizabeth national park where humans live alongside wildlife.

We have received several reports of lions being poisoned in Queen Elizabeth national park every now and again which leading to decline in the number of lions seen in this park. In fact now days to closely view the lions in Queen Elizabeth national park, one needs to engage in Lion tracking experience where trackers are used to allocate the lions. The population of leopards is as well reducing in the wild.

Where to find the Big Five in Uganda?

While on your Uganda safari to see the big 5 animal, keep in mind that the White Rhinos are only found in 2 protected destinations including Ziwa Rhino sanctuary in Masindi as well as at Entebbe Wildlife Education Center (UWEC). The rest of the big 5 animals in Uganda are found in different savanna parks including Murchison falls national park the oldest and largest savanna park in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park as well as Kidepo valley national park. these 4 are the major and most visited savanna parks in Uganda and without any doubt taking on your wildlife safari to 1 or both of them is such a fascinating and breath taking experience as you meet with the big 5 animals.

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

These savanna parks are the best for game drives where you will watch the early risers, hunters and nocturnal animals during the early morning game drives. Look out for grazing Buffaloes, elephants, Rhinos plus hunters like Lions. While during the night game drives as the sun goes down, the shy Leopards are seen getting out of their hideouts to go hunting.

Savana parks also offer boat cruise safaris to watch more animals especially during the afternoons where most of the animals flock the water bodies to quench some thirst. The most famous boat safaris in these savanna parks include the Nile boat cruise in Murchison falls national park which as well enable tourists to have a glance at the world’s most powerful waterfall alongside wildlife viewing along the shores as well as Queen Elizabeth national park where boat ride is conducted along the Kazinga channel with an opportunity to spot Elephants, Buffaloes and some aquatic wildlife.

The full list of African Big 5 Animals in Uganda

  1. African Lion

An African Lion is one of the African big 5 animals found in Uganda the pearl of Africa botanically known as Panthera leo. The African lion is considered the most sociable and largest carnivore that usually live in a pride of about 5 to 15 members. In Uganda the African Lion is termed as the “King of the jungle” due to the pride they display.  The African lions in Uganda can be spotted in only 3 savanna parks including Kidepo valley national park in the North Eastern part of Uganda, Murchison falls national park and in Queen Elizabeth national park which is blessed to as well harbor rare species of tree climbing lions in Ishasha sector. Lions can as well be found in the Zoos like UWEC and many more.

  1. Leopard

Leopard is the most elusive animal amongst the big 5 game in Uganda. The Leopard is also termed as Panthera pardus and is the smallest animal amongst the big 5 animals in Uganda. The leopard is very sneaky and in most cases it gets hard to spot since it is a nocturnal animals and very shy always in hiding. A leopard is always similar to Cheetah but can easily be distinguished by its spots and they usually prefer to inhabit rocky places as well as in the woods. Taking on a Uganda wildlife safari to Toro Semliki game reserve, Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Mount Elgon National park as well as Murchison falls national park which offer you an opportunity to spot the leopard.


  1. African Elephant

The African Elephants also known as Loxodonta africana is famous as the largest animal in the world as a member of the Africa big 5 animals in Uganda. While on your Uganda wildlife safari during the game drive, be sure to spot a herd of grazing elephants in most of the savanna parks including Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and many other parks except in Lake Mburo national park. Even in savanna parks, you are likely to meet these giants in the forest since they can survive in both grassland and woodland.

  1. African Buffalo

The African Buffalo also known as cape Buffalo thrill in several parks and they are seen moving in large herds with savanna grassland. These Buffaloes can as well live in forested areas but in smaller herds as compared to savanna areas. An African Buffalo is very dangerous amongst all the Africa big 5 animals not only in Uganda but known world-wide. African buffalo is very black in color with heavy horns and ungulate even toes. In Uganda, Buffaloes are easily seen in all most all parks but taking a game drive in Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park and Kidepo valley national park offers a greater encounter with these African buffalos.

  1. Rhinoceros

Rhinos are as well part of the Africa big 5 animals that thrill in Uganda. However unlike other big 5 animals which are freely found in the national parks, Rhinos are being protected in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and in Entebbe zoo. Uganda only has the endangered White Rhinos that were re-introduced from South Africa.

The above are the common Africa big 5 game though the list now days can go to as much as 10 big animals including Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Cheetahs, Hippos and Giraffes without forgetting the Tigers that were re-introduced in Uganda.