Saturday, 8 July 2017

ANIMALS IN UGANDA’S NATIONAL PARKS

Wild life is one of the main highlights for any visit to Uganda. Uganda is blessed with a varsity of national parks with wide ranges of wildlife species making Uganda the best destination in the region and one of the best in the world. Uganda’s national parks are majorly covered with mammals, i.e. 342 mammals with a well representation of both the west and east mammals. 132 are large mammals, 94 are bat species, 70 rats and mice, 33 shrews, 8 gerbils, 4 elephant shrews and one solitary golden mole.
The three major animal species you cannot miss seeing while in Uganda national parks, include;-

THE CATS.
Such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and Serval cats are all found in Uganda’s national parks, and you can see your share of them in national parks, starting with the king of the jungle himself the lion.
·         Lions.
This is arguably the largest cat that you can spot in Uganda. Lions live in prides ranging between 5 – 15 members. They usually hunt at night and they can bring down big animals like the buffaloes and Uganda Kobs. It’s usually the females that do team hunting. In Uganda, lions can be spotted in Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, and Kidepo valley national park, however, lions have also been spotted on several occasions in Lake Mburo national park and Semuliki valley national park.
Male lions weigh up to 500 pounds and the females between 240 and 360 pounds. The large animals killed are eaten by the whole pride and the small ones, only one lion can consume it. Uganda’s unique aspect about lions from all over the world, are the tree climbing lions. In Uganda, tree climbing lions can be spotted only in the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth national park,
·         Leopards.
These are found near villages though not oftenly seen because they are loners and secretive. These are effective hunters and they kill up for latter consumption. They can be seen in Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison Falls national park, Kidepo valley national park and Lake Mburo national park.
·         Cheetah.
This is the fastest running animal on land running up to 70km/hour. They can be found in Kidepo valley national park and Murchison Falls national park.
·         Other small cats in Uganda are the; African golden cat, African wild cat, caracal, Serval cats and others.

                
    THE PRIMATES
·         Baboons
Scientifically knows as olive baboon (papiocynocephalus Anubis) yellow baboon (papio ynocephalus) has a size of about 14 to 30 inches at the shoulder and it weighs about 50 to 100 pounds, lives for about 20 to 30years. Prefers to stay in forests and woodland, naturally baboons are omnivores and gestation period is 6 months and its main predators are humans, leopards, & cheetahs. Among all the primates in East Africa, a baboon most frequently likes to interact with people .They are adaptive to their dwelling places and very intelligent and crafty, they are pests and treated as a vermin. They leave their places at 7am to 8am, lives in groups of 50 individuals consisting of 7 to 8 males .They can survive for long by licking the night dew from their fur.

·         Monkeys
There are various types of monkeys in Uganda as seen below.

Ø  Black and red colobus monkey   
This is a beautiful monkey with its black body, white face, white tail and white sides living in small groups. It can be found in forest like Entebbe botanical gardens and most national parks in Uganda. They provide great opportunities for picture taking.

Ø  Red colobus monkey.
This is a largest red-grey monkey with small tufted crown, very sociable living in troops of 50 members, found in Semuliki and Kibale national park. They are preyed on by chimpanzee .They feed on fruits, young leaves, and unripe fruits and also charcoal.
                         
Ø  Red tailed monkey.
 Commonly found in Kibale national park, communicates through gestures, tail flicks and wider range of vocalization, they also live in small groups and feeds on fruits, flowers and leaves, it’s found in parks like Queen Elizabeth, Kibale national park and Semuliki national park.

·         Mountain Gorillas 
The mountain Gorilla is one of the world’s endangered mammal species in the world. The only remaining mountain Gorilla live in three countries spanning  four national parks which are Bwindi impenetrable national parkMgahinga Gorilla national park ,volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. The mountain Gorillas is Uganda’s best-selling tourist attraction accounting for the highest earning in safaris to  Uganda. A mountain Gorilla is 97% human in nature in terms of genes and they are the closest relatives to humans. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is only done in two national parks, which is Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla national parks.
The mountain Gorilla is a large and strong ape for that reason it inhabits volcanic slopes as their habitat and in most cases it has few natural predators.

·         Chimpanzees
 As Uganda’s renowned tourist attraction is the mountain Gorilla, these aren’t the country’s only great apes but also chimpanzee is another ape that is closely related to humankind.
The chimps are found in a number of areas of Uganda and some of these groups have been habituated to human contact in the same way as the gorillas; although they live a more energetic lifestyle and unpredictable nature making them slightly less approachable.

It is no doubt that hanging out with chimps is a great life experience at Kibale forest national Park, Budongo forest reserve, Queen Elizabeth national, Toro-Semuliki wildlife reserve, and Ngamba island chimpanzee sanctuary.