Herbivores in Uganda – wildlife in Uganda
This is the largest land animal in the world and at the same time one of the most intelligent. To watch a herd of Elephants can be most fascinating. In addition, an adult elephant grows as tall as 3 & 1/2 meters and 6000 kg in weight. They have a life span of almost 50 years or more.
In Uganda you can find two categories of elephants; the Forest Elephants that are smaller, with hairy bodies than their savanna cousins – the Savanna Elephants, though there can be interbreeding and the savanna elephants. You can find elephants in all savanna parks except Lake Mburo.
Uganda is has many Buffaloes found in many of the game parks such as Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and others. You can also find them in forest areas and in the savannas of Uganda. They are also adaptable to a variety of habitats. You can even find some hybrids which are a cross between the red buffaloes of the West African Forests and the Savannah buffaloes of East Africa.
Therefore Buffaloes live in large herds in the Savannah areas of Uganda and in smaller herds in the forest areas. Within those herds there are smaller family clans and you can often find a lone Buffalo. The females also have a tendency to kick out males who are no longer welcomed by them. Buffalos have an average life span of up to 25 years and weigh up to 685 kgs and have 65 inches at the shoulder.
Uganda is home to over 29 species of antelope they include the eland – the world’s largest antelope, which can measure up to 180cm at the shoulder.
Other large species include the greater Kudu, which has long, elegant spiral horns and white side stripes. Jackson’s Hartebeest – an unusual flat-faced creature found only in Uganda, and also the Shaggy Waterbuck – often found near rivers and lakes, as their name suggests.
Fascinating yet rarely seen is the Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga antelope, whose splayed hooves are adapted for life in the papyrus swamps. Much more common are Grant’s gazelle, which can live in herds of hundreds of individuals, and the attractive Uganda Kob – Uganda’s national antelope.
Antelopes have a life span of approximately 10 years. They have a size of 10-12 inches in height. The largest is the eland (6 feet tall, weigh up to 1450 pounds).
Uganda was home to both the black and northern white Rhinoceros. Poaching and the war years took their toll. Today they can only be found in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and from there the plan is to release stocks into places such as Murchison Falls National Park in the future. A visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a great addition to any safari that takes in Murchison Falls Park.
During the Rhino tracking you approach them as close as thirty feet distance. They have a life span of 40-50 years and weighs 60 inches at the shoulder.
Large animals, responsible for more deaths in Africa than any other mammal. You will find them not just in National Parks but also along rivers and lake shores throughout Uganda.
The highest concentration of hippos in Africa is found in Queen Elizabeth National Park along the Kazinga Channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George. You can also see great numbers of them as you take a Nile Boat Safari at Murchison Falls National Park.
One thing many people do not realize is that hippos do not swim but bounce on the bottom of rivers and lakes.
They graze at night consuming large amount of grass per day. They wipe out vegetation if they are great in numbers as they are in Queen Elizabeth national Park.
Hippos have a life span of 40-50 years and Females have a gestation period of eight months and also have only one baby at a time like some animals.
The tallest animal in the world. They can grow up to 5 1/2 meters tall and they live in semi-structured groups. So, you will find them often in larger herds moving through the Savannah areas of Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley national Park grazing in the trees. They move gracefully with their large bodies. It is a humorous sight when you watch them coming to a watering hole and as they crouch down and partake of the water. In Uganda you will find the Rothschild Giraffes also known as the Uganda or Baringo Giraffes. They have an average life span of 25years.
You will see wild Swine in Uganda’s game parks and wildlife reserves. They are Grey in color, nice tusks, seen in family groups, trotting around with their tails raise up, it just makes you smile. They are most often found in Savannah parks such as Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and also Queen Elizabeth National Parks.
Though harder to spot because of its nocturnal ways, the Bush pig is common. It is a bulkier and hairy and you can find them in all National Parks except Rwenzori National Park in Uganda.
Then there is the Giant Forest Hog which is the largest of the wild swine found in Africa. Again they have nocturnal habits and live inside forests. You might be able to spot them by day in Queen Elizabeth National Park along the Channel drive. They have an average life span of 4-8 years.
This lovely striped horse is found in two national parks in Uganda which are; Lake Mburo national park and Kidepo Valley National Park. The Burchell’s Zebra is commonly found all over eastern and southern Africa. Thus you can see them in large groups.
Zebras are lovely to look at and many people enjoy watching and viewing them. They have a grumpy and quite feisty disposition and when colonialist tried to use them as domestic animals, they failed. I think it is much nicer to watch them in the wild then maybe on some farmyard.
Herbivores can often be seen on game drives in Uganda’s National Parks. But even outside of parks – Uganda is home to both Forest Elephants and Savanna Elephants. Hence both can be seen on Game Drives and Nature Walks in the Parks.