Uganda Big Five Tours

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By Admin Photography | Portrait

The Big five is commonly used in the tourism industry not just in Uganda but all over the world by tour operators. The Big Five was a word that was come up by the big game hunters and just picked up by tour operators to sale the animals. They particularly named five of these animals big Five because of their ferociousness when corned; these are the Lions, Leopard, Elephants, Buffalos, and finally the Rhinos. Uganda is one of the few countries in Africa where you can find all the big fives; they are found in almost all the national parks in the country. In Murchison Falls National Park is where you will find four of the big fives. This is because Rhinos almost got extinct in the country so they are taken care and protected outside the park. They are found at Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary.However, other national parks that have some of the big fives but not more that Kidepo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, some Lions were spotted in Lake Mburo National Park, the beautiful Kibale National Park has some Elephants habituated there and finally at times a few Buffalos and Elephants have been spotted in Semuliki National Park but occasionally.

Elephants (Loxodonto Africana)

Also known as African Elephants are the largest mammals that have ever been known to man and in the whole world; they can grow up to 14 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Elephants live in forest woodlands and in the savanna areas; they are however very social animals and they live in family groups of up to 100 members. These are one of the most peaceful animals only if left alone and basically not cornered. Mother Elephants are very attentive and protective animals to their little ones. Elephants are known vegetarians, the feed on grass, fruits, leaves, twigs, and bark and seed pods. An adult consume up to 375 lbs of vegetation and 30 – 50 gallons of water on a daily basis. Most of the elephants are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and an estimate of about 500 of them are found in Kibale National Park. The kinds that are found in Kibale Forest are too hairy because of the tropical climate that experience all year through.

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The big Lions (Panthera Leo)

The king of the sub-Saharan savanna also known as the African Lion is one of the most looked out for animals for it is known as the king of the Saharan Savanna. Lions are up on the food chain, they are the predators and they are quite excellent hunters. But chances are you will not see that epic moment when you visit the national parks they are found. They can grow up to 14 years, however, they are said to have a 30% decrease in number in the last two decades in the whole of Africa. Lions are extremely good at climbing trees, which is where they rest up to avoid buffalos if they are not haunting them and are usually found in a group. Here they are found in Kidepo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, spotted in Lake Mburo National Park and finally in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Lions found in Queen Elizabeth National Park are commonly called the tree climbing Lions and they are found in the Ishasha sector of the park.

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The big Buffalos (Syncerus Caffer)

Also known as the cape buffalos are two types in Uganda; we have both the Large Savanna buffalos and the Small Forest Buffalos. The small Forest buffalos are the smaller of the two kinds. Buffalos are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa that is why they made the list of the big five. An adult buffalo is as large as 4 – 6 feet tall and weighs up to 700kgs not even a Lion would not dare attempt to hunt one alone because he will stump on the lion like it’s no one’s business. Lions can only attempt something like that if they come more than one. Buffalo’s live in open grasslands and they live in large herds in numbers of thousands. Since the males fight to take dominance in a group of herds, the males that have lost the fight form a group. That is why you will find a herd that has a male, female and calves while as in a different herd you might find only males. Buffalo’s drink a lot of water, which is why in most case you will see them along water banks. Or you will see the wallowing in mad during a hot day just to cook their bodies. Buffalos are very protective of their calves; they will mob a predator targeting the calf when it calls for help. The Swahili word or Buffalo is M’bogo

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The big Leopards (Panthera Pardus)

Here in Uganda these beautiful animals can be seen in Murchison Falls National Park, in Kidepo National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and rarely will you come across these nocturnal animals in Kibale National park and Semuliki National park. In comparison to Rhinos, Leopards are more numerous and are very difficult to spot all because they are nocturnal and they are more active in the night than during the day. You will never find more than one Leopard together because they are very solitary, shy but beautiful. Unlike other cats, Leopards have the ability to live in a wider range of habitat, climb trees but they can also swim very well as compared to lions that do not swim. An adult male weighs up to 200 lbs and can jump up to 10 feet straight up. Leopard prefer thick bush and riverine, however, when they have a kill, they prefer to store it up in the trees to avoid getting poached by lions and hyenas.

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The big Rhinos

There are two types of Rhinos, the Black Rhinos and the Sothern white Rhinos. There is not much of a difference between the two even the color is all the same, they are both grey in color. Here in Uganda we only have the Southern white Rhinos, this is because they almost went into extinction ad they were saved and protected by the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary. It is located along the Kampala Masindi route to Murchison Falls National park. As compared to the black Rhinos, the White Rhinos are more social and live in groups but they all live in the savanna. The Southern White Rhinos are grazers, so that is why they have long flat adopted for grazing. Only second to Elephants, Rhinos are one of the largest mammals in the world where an adult and fully grown Rhino can weigh up to 6000 lbs. Rhinos are known for being short sighted and also very short tempered. However, in case you do not tamper with it, it is so beautiful to view/ look at. Man is the only natural predator that is why they almost got extinct in Uganda because they were hunted, for that reason they are known as endangered species and are protected by Zziwa Rhino sanctuary.

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