Research tourism in Uganda is one of the emerging tourists’ interests that attracts tourists visit the pearl. Hippo census in Queen Elizabeth national park is among the tourism research activities that tourists should look out for on a Uganda safari.

The hippopotamus census activity involves the counting of the hippopotamus population in a given area. In Uganda hippo census is carried out in Queen Elizabeth national park, one of the Savannah destinations in Uganda.

Hippo census kicked off on 24 February in  2014 on Kazinga channel of Queen Elizabeth national park. To count the death rate of the hippos after they succumbed to anthrax. This count later prompted and encouraged the count of the hippo population in Uganda after two years. Individuals interested in this experimental activity can join the wildlife authority bodies of Uganda in this activity.

The experimental activity of hippos census involves the counting of the hippo population located in Queen Elizabeth national park. This is the major destination in the pearl with the largest population of the hippopotamus, and the best place to carry out experimental tourism activities.

Hippo census is best done in the water bodies of the national park, these mammals are semi aquatic animals.  Water bodies where Hippo census is carried out in the park include, the Kazinga channel, Lake Edward, Ishasha River, Lake George, Ishasha river, river Kyambura, lake nyamusingri, lake kyasanduka among others.

Before the activity, the census team is usually trained on how to conduct themselves while at the activity. There are always guides to lead through the whole activity. Instructing on how to properly count the hippo heads and how to get the right numbers from the large schools of hippos.

This activity is done using a boat ride along the narrow water channels on the different water bodies where the hippos are found. Hippo census can be also be done by foot, along the shores of the water bodies where they are found.

The early morning session for the hippo census is most advised when the hippo are back into the water after feeding at night.  It begins and commences at 8:30 am and it is usually done every after two years.

A number of 2 to more participants can engage in the Hippo census activity. This experimental activity costs differently to different nations. For foreign nonresidents and foreign residents it costs $100 and 100,000 UGX for the East African residents.

Tourists that are interested in hippo census activity in Queen Elizabeth national park are required to have the appropriate equipment for a smooth carrying out of the activity.

A binoculars is required for a clear view of the hippos in their various locations. It helps to focus and make clear counting’s of the hippos during the census experiment. Each individual to participate in the experiment is required to have a pair of binoculars.

Datasheet, it picks record of the findings and numbers collected during the counting of the hippopotamus in Queen Elizabeth national park. This can be used for future reference about the numbers obtained during the census or to match the numbers of participants that engaged in the census activity.

The activity involves a number of observers that use the binoculars and are located in strategic places at the boat for proper sightseeing. A recording person notes down all numbers counted and sighted by the observes at each school of hippos visited.

Numbers viewed may vary according to each observer, but pictures are usually taken of each school of hippos to be used, as reference when making the total number of the population of hippos counted.

The census of the hippo specie is really an interesting and exciting activity for tourists. Within the process of counting, tourists witness these large mammals in the fresh waters cooling off the heat, or grazing on the land. Large schools of hippos are seen on the census experiment, with their large bodies which are visibly seen and can be counted one by one.

Hippos can be seen in Lake Mburo national park located in western Uganda, in Murchison falls national park located in the north western region of the pearl. And in Queen Elizabeth national park, where hippo censes is carried out as experiment  research tourism activity.

Other experimental tourism activities include tracking of the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector and mongoose tracking in the Mweya peninsular. Queen Elizabeth national park is the only national park in the pearl that hosts experimental tourism activities besides wildlife viewing on games drives, bird watching, and chimpanzee tracking in kyambura gorge.

Queen Elizabeth national park is among the best safari destinations in the Uganda that are worth exploring on a Uganda wildlife safari. The experiences, activities and beautiful landscapes views found within make a fulfilled safari adventure in the park.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth National park

Tourists interested in participating in hippo census, they can reach Queen Elizabeth by a road transfer from Kampala. The journey that takesa distance of 389km taking about 6 hours to reach . Air transport can be used using the kihihi airstrip in Kanungu for a faster transfer to the national park.

For tourists that may want to stay over to the park after the census activity, there are a number of accommodation facilities available for an overnight stay. These range from the upmarket, midrange to the budget accommodation.

Of these include Mweya safari lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp, kingfisher lodge, Ihamba safari lodge, Queen Elizabeth park view lodge, Simba lodge and many more.

Best time for hippo census in Uganda

This activity is carried out once every after two years. It is open year round in the year is it carried out and the census is best done in the morning hours, when the hippos are into the waters where they can be easily seen and counted.

Hippo census is an infamous activity carried out in Queen Elizabeth national park, but with the interest, time and  need to explore. Coupled with the rewarding, educative and interesting experience while at the census. This is one of the activities love Uganda safaris gets to your reach for a lifetime exploration of the pearl.

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