Uganda Wildlife Protected By UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) is vast and wide since Uganda is gifted by a lot of species of wildlife. Uganda, being a landlocked country is home to several wildlife species which visitors normally come to see as tourists and researchers on a daily basis. The wildlife of Uganda is being protected by both the government and the individual communities in the national parks, game reserves and the sanctuaries. The protected wildlife in Uganda ranges from the primates such as mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, Baboons, monkeys, other mammals such as the big five which include elephants, Hippos, lions, Leopards, and buffalos all protected in national parks and sanctuaries, several bird species are also protected in Uganda including the rare shoebill, African fish eagles, egrets, Bee eater, and several bird species which will make Uganda your birding paradise. Reptiles are yet other animals protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority which include crocodiles, snakes, lizards, chameleons among others
The protected wildlife species in Uganda which cannot be missed out once a visitor lands in Uganda are explained as below
- Primates: Uganda is home to over thirteen primate species which are recorded and protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and most of these primates reside in Kibale forest National Park making it the best place to see the highest population of primates in Africa. These primate species include; the chimpanzee, gorilla, the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoests monkey, blue monkeys, and olive baboons. These can be seen during game drives or nature walks, along with smaller nocturnal species such as the bush baby and potto which can be seen during the night game drive with the help of the sport light as elaborated below
- Mountain Gorillas: Uganda harbors half of the endangered mountain gorillas that exist in the world today. In Uganda, Mountain Gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The first and most popular place where the visitors are 100% sure of viewing gorillas is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, mountain gorillas are also found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which is Uganda’s smallest national park located in the southwest part of Uganda on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains. While in Uganda, please don’t miss out to see these beautiful primates as they are the major attractions in Uganda alongside chimpanzees. Uganda being the best planet for primates, it has around 5 locations where you are sure of trekking the gorillas. These locations include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Ntebeko in Mountain Gorilla National Park. However, visitors can also find these mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo which are shared amongst the three countries including Uganda, Rwanda and democratic republic of Congo on the Virunga volcanoes
- Chimpanzee: These primates share at least 95% of the DNA with humans. Chimpanzees spend most of their time on the ground though they eat and sleep in trees. They are also among the special mammals protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in national parks and others are protested by private organizations in sanctuaries. The several places for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda including Kibale forest which is the best destination for chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation in Africa with over 1,500 Chimpanzees, Kalinzu forest near Queen Elizabeth Park is also good place where visitors find chimpanzees, Budongo forest located near Murchison falls park in northern Uganda, kyambura gorge found in Queen Elizabeth National park, and Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve. Currently, there are over 5000 chimpanzees living in Uganda thus making Uganda the best place for visitors to see the chimpanzees in their nature habitat. However, these chimpanzee are termed as endangered in East Africa due to hunting, poaching, and diseases.
- Golden Monkey: Well, these beautiful mammals are endangered and therefore the Uganda Wildlife Authority has taken up the responsibility of protecting them in order to prevent the poachers and hunters from attacking them. Nowadays several visitors flock to Uganda to have a look at these pretty creatures. Once you visit Uganda you will be able to watch these mammals in Mgahinga Gorilla national park which is part of the Virunga conservation area and is the smallest park located in the south west part of Uganda. This park is termed as the place where Gold meets Silver since golden monkey trekking can be done here. Apart from golden monkeys, Uganda Wildlife Authority protects other monkey species including the Black-and-white colobus monkeys which are the commonly seen monkey species. The difference between these monkeys and other primates is that they don’t have thumbs, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoests monkey and the blue monkeys
- Baboons: These primates spend most of their time roaming on the ground but during the night hours, they sleep in the trees. They live in large groups and usually spend most of their day hours along the roadsides looking around as they wait for the passenger cars to attack and search for food. These primates have fur which can store the dew during the night as they sleep up on top of the trees and this dew helps them in case there is a shortage of water they keep on licking on their fur and quench their thirst.
The big five mammals in Uganda:
These big five mammals are well protected by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in our Uganda’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and they include the elephants, Rhinos, lions, Leopards, and buffalos as explained below
- African Elephant: These wildlife species are termed as the largest land wild animals in the world. The African Elephant is termed as endangered by the IUCN due to poaching for ivory. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority put in place some conservation policies which are being used in protecting the remaining elephants and even increasing the population for tourism and research purposes. The forest elephant is mainly found in Kibale National Park. The African elephant is Visitors are able to spot the largest populations of elephants in Uganda in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Also visitors in Uganda can see elephants in Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National park during the morning game drive and nature walks, Kibale National Park during chimpanzee trekking and habituation, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park during mountain gorilla trekking, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Budongo Forest Reserve outside Murchison Falls Protected Area, Karenga Community Wildlife Area, Otze forest wildlife sanctuary and many more . So if you are interested in encountering the African elephants then book your trip through “Achieve Global Safaris” as we know the best parks to view these huge mammals alongside other attractions.
- Lions: These mammals are termed as “the king of the jungle” and the most lion that visitors don’t want to miss out during their visit in Uganda are the tree-climbing lions and they are found in Ishasha Queen Elizabeth national park. The other common lions can be found in several parks around the country which include Kidepo Valley Park found in a remote wilderness but best place to watch the African lions, also in kasenyi plains found in queen Elizabeth national park, a visitor will be able to see the African lions in Murchison falls park, visitors can also incorporate with the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary to watch all the big 5 ,there are also lions in Lake Mburo National park and in the Semliki Wildlife Reserve though they are rarely seen . Other lions are being protected in the Zoos such as Entebbe Zoo all in Uganda. The greatest enemy of the lion is human as they do poison them. For example, there is a family of 3 Lionesses and 8 cubs that were poisoned by human beings in Queen Elizabeth Park and another lion was shot dead by the rangers thus leading to depopulation of lions in Uganda.
Note: “The Best Places to See these Lions in Uganda in the wild are Kidepo Valley Park, Murchison Falls Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park and also in the Entebbe zoo. So hurry up and book your trip right now with Achieve global safaris and have the best experience of viewing the tree climbing lions in the pearl of Africa”
- Buffalos: In Uganda, there are two species of buffalos including the large savanna and the small forest buffalos which are protected by the UWA. Buffalos are habitats of common Ugandan parks because they inhabit the savanna grassland areas and most of the parks in Uganda are covered by the savanna grassland and tropical forests which are best homes for herbivores. Buffalos are normally seen along with the water bodies during the launch cruise as they roll their huge bodies in mud especially in dry seasons. They are always seen moving in large herds to protect themselves against the predators since it will be difficult for a predator to attack one buffalo amongst the huge herd of over a hundred buffalos consisting of main females and the calves. The strongest predators of these mammals are humans who consider them as pests due to the fact that the break into the fences and destroy the crops planted by the farmers in the gardens, hyenas, lions, and leopards are also deadly predators as they normally attack the calves of the Buffalos
- Rhinos: In Uganda, there are only southern white Rhinos. These members of the big five are the second largest mammals living in the world after the Elephants. In Uganda, they are being protected in a sanctuary in Masindi district known as Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where they are currently being protected to first multiply and increase in the population before transferring them into the wild. These white Rhinos were imported from South Africa after all the population of Rhinos was hunted and finished up in Uganda. A visit on the Rhino sanctuary can be incorporated with the trip to the Murchison falls national park since the sanctuary is located along the road Masindi road as you head to Murchison falls national park
- Leopard: This is the hardest mammal to see amongst the big five due to the fact that they are nocturnal mammals that always move and feed during the night and are rarely seen during the day. Leopards can jump, swim and climb to protect themselves from predators like hyenas, lions, and other predators. Once a leopard hunts an animal, it will eat and then hide the remaining part of the meat up in the tree to avoid other animals from eating it. In Uganda, Leopards are found in Kidepo Nationals Park, Lake Mburo National Park and rarely visitors come across these leopards in Kibale National Park and Semuliki national park.
Other mammals (Uganda Wildlife Protected By UWA)
There are other several mammals managed and protected in Uganda by the Uganda Wildlife Authority including the Rothschild Giraffe, hippos, antelopes, Hyenas among others
- Rothschild Giraffe: These world’s tallest land mammals are very amazing to watch by the visitors who come to Uganda though they are termed as endangered species in Uganda due to hunting. This mammal sways its body during the movement of its legs simultaneously. For example, it moves both right front leg and the right hind leg at the same time and then moves its left front and left hind legs also at the same time. Best Places to see Rothschild Giraffes in the Wild in Uganda is in Murchison Falls Park with about 1,250 Rothschild Giraffes which makes the biggest population in Africa. These giraffes are normally seen during the game drive where visitors are sure of encountering about 50 Rothschild giraffes in Murchison Falls Park making this park the best destination to see these species of giraffes in Uganda. There are also over 50 Rothschild giraffes in Kidepo Valley Park and less than 50 that can be seen by the visitors during the game drive in Lake Mburo Park. These Rothschild giraffes in Lake Mburo national park were relocated from Murchison falls national park to Lake Mburo National Park because the environment and climatic conditions of Lake Mburo Park is very favorable for Rothschild Giraffes since there are plenty of Acacia Trees for them to feed on as their best meal. Outside Uganda there are other populations of Rothschild’s giraffes spotted in Nakuru in Kenya since they live in savannahs, grasslands, and open woodlands.
- Hippos: Hippos are known as the second-largest land mammals after the elephant but when it comes to weight then they become the third after the elephants and the Rhinos. These mammals enjoy spending most of their day time in the water as they cool up their huge bodies and then at night they go for grazing thus termed as semi-aquatic mammals. Hippos always move in a herd of around 10 to 30 individuals but can also be seen in large herds of around 200 individuals. In Uganda, Hippos are spotted in large numbers in areas that have water such as lakes, and rivers and waterfalls. Therefore if you want to watch these mammals, you are advised to do a boat cruise on Lake cruise on the Kazinga channel inside Queen Elizabeth National Park you will surely see several of these mammals bathing and cooling their bodies from the hot sun on the Kazinga channel, Also Murchison falls National Park is known for harboring large herds of Hippos which are normally seen while on a boat cruise at the base of the Murchison falls and on the bank of River Nile. Other Hippos are seen on the shores of Lake Mburo during the motorized boat ride in the eastern part of Lake Mburo National park. And finally, while on a boat cruise on Lake Albert and River Semuliki you will surely be able to see some hippos flocking on the river Semliki.
- Antelopes: Uganda is blessed with 29 antelope species which include Jackson’s hartebeest which you will spot only in Uganda, Eland, waterbuck, the Uganda kob, the greater kudu, gazelle. The antelope species are easily identified according to certain features such as faces, horns size among others. For instance eland is known to be the largest antelope in the entire world, the greater kudu with white strips and spiral horns, the Jackson’s hartebeest which has a flat face, the waterbuck antelope which prefers to stay around the lakes, rivers, swamps and all other waterlogged environments, the Uganda kob which is seen on the Ugandan court of arm and is treated as the national emblem, the rare antelope sitatunga with splayed hooves and the common antelope species known as the Grant’s gazelle that live a large herds of over a hundred individuals
- Spotted Hyena: These spotted hyenas are known to be nocturnal mammals meaning that they are always active during the night hours. They normally reside in woodland areas, desert, and savanna grassland. Spotted Hyenas are also known for being good hunters and scavengers chopping and consuming every part of the hunter with their target hunters being the other animals and sometimes humans. These spotted hyenas have been heard making noise as they invite other individuals to come for food. In Uganda, spotted hyenas can be seen in Lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and Kidepo valley national park where they are being managed under the protection of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. So once you visit Uganda don’t forget to have a glance at the colorful mammals in almost all national parks in Uganda that have savanna grassland
- Birds: Uganda is a birders’ paradise due to the availability of several beautiful bird species including the rare shoebill which is endangered and the most bird species that attracts several birders across the world. The climatic conditions of Uganda and the vegetation which is largely covered by the tropical forests, swamps, savanna grassland, mountains, are all the best habitats for birds in Uganda harboring over 1000 bird species that are protected in all the Uganda’s national parks. Apart from the rare shoebill, there are other several precious bird species that are well protected in Uganda which include The Green-breasted Pitta, The African Green Broadbill, Great Turaco, Shelley’s Crimson wings, Standard-winged Nightjar, Bar-tailed Trogon, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bush-shrike, Black-breasted Barbet. Well, Uganda being the safest destination politically, it has forced several bird-lovers to come and watch several beautiful bird species.
- Reptiles: In Uganda, we have several reptile species ranging from Nile Crocodiles which are the largest reptiles in Africa. Well, when you take a boat cruise along the Nile River and the Kazinga channel on the Uganda largest Murchison falls national park or on the lake Mburo in Lake Mburo national park, you will probably see several crocodiles on the shores. Since these reptiles are water lovers they are always available along the lakes and rivers. Crocodiles normally feed on the animals which come to drink water from the shores of the lakes and rivers and in some cases they kill and eat people on the shores. However, this should not worry any visitor because safety measures are always taken and the boat passes on side of the lake or river which is safe and free from crocodiles thus you will be just viewing them at the shore as you cruise. Other reptiles include snakes, Snakes, Lizards, Tortoises, Terrapins and Chameleons some of which are seen during the nature walk and birding.
“The Uganda Wildlife Authority has really done a great job in conserving and protecting the valuable wildlife which promotes tourism sector in Uganda and around the world and improves on the country’s revenue as the visitors flock into Uganda to enjoy the beautiful fauna and flora in a conflict-free nation”