Wildlife & Animals – Uganda

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert and frequently visits Uganda. She and her husband are a travel photography/writing team with many Africa guidebooks under their belt, including the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda

Uganda is a unique destination offering a wonderful mix of savannah and forest parks. Gorilla and chimp tracking are highlights, but many smaller primates can be seen as well. Uganda also offers great savannah safaris, but not all of the Big Five are present. Black rhino is extinct, and the status of the white rhino was the same until they were reintroduced in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in 2005. Cheetah is very rarely seen. Lion is quite common in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls national parks. They can often be found hunting Uganda kob, which gives them away with their alarm calls. Giraffe can only be found in Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley national parks, while zebra exists only in Kidepo and Lake Mburo national parks and Katonga wildlife reserve. Uganda is also a prime birding destination.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
GorillaCommon
LionCommon
LeopardOccasional
CheetahVery Rare
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraAbundant
ElephantAbundant
GiraffeOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Uganda is home to many West African mammal species as well as the more usual East African safari animals. Primates are especially well represented. Patas monkey, red-tailed monkey, De Brazza's monkey, l'Hoest's monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey are some of the specials. The black-and-white colobus is widespread throughout Uganda. Uganda is home to a wide variety of antelope species. The Uganda kob, the national antelope, is a near endemic. The very rare sitatunga antelope is found in six national parks in the country but rarely seen. The uncommon oribi is often seen in pairs in Murchison Falls National Park.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

The best time for wildlife viewing is in the dry season (December-February and June-September). Some of the roads are impassable during the rainy season (September-November and March- May). Gorilla can be tracked year round, but the experience can be spoiled – to some extent – by heavy rain in the wet season.

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