The Big Five Uganda Safari

The big five Uganda safari is one of the unbeatable wildlife experiences in “The Pearl of Africa” and a range of destinations offer you this delightful sought-after experience as all the big five are available and the most prominent while on a Uganda safari. The Big Five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, and rhinos) were initially in the early years of colonial rule and described as the most difficult and dangerous to hunt on foot. The lion (Panthera Leo) and the Leopard (Panthera Pardus) are categorized as vulnerable, the African elephant (Loxodonta Africana) as endangered, the African cape buffalo as near threatened, and the Rhinoceros as critically endangered.
Game Drive in Murchison Falls National park.
Game Drive in Murchison Falls National park.
The elephant is the largest land mammal and the gentlest of the big five. Elephants can live in herds and in a variety of habitats. The lion often referred to as the king of the jungle is the biggest of the cats and is sociable. These live in a group called pride. The buffalo is considered the most dangerous of all wildlife and is commonly sighted close to watering holes within different national parks. The leopard is elusive and it spends most of its days hidden away. Leopards stay in rocky and woodland areas but you can also catch a glimpse of them as they look out for prey up in the trees. They can be differentiated from the cheetahs by their rosette–shaped spots.

Where to spot the Big five on a Uganda safari?

The Big five can be seen in different famous National Parks in Uganda. The elephants are the most seen in all national parks except Lake Mburo National Park but large herds can be seen in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park while on a boat ride and also during a game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park. The African buffaloes can be sighted in almost all National Parks and some forested areas too. The Rhinos can be closely encountered in the wild at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located a few kilometers away from Kampala city en route to Murchison Falls National Park.
Game Drive in Murchison Falls National Park
Game Drive in Murchison Falls National Park
While on a Uganda safari, the elusive leopards can be spotted in Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park. The lions are largely seen in Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park but also in Queen Elizabeth National Park where they are commonly referred to as the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

What is the best time to view The Big Five?

The Big Five can best be sighted during the dry season and this is because around this time of the year, the vegetation is thin making sightings easy but also most of the animals move and convene at water sources during the dry season. Uganda has abundant wildlife besides the big five which you can catch sight of in different destinations including the gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park coupled with excellent bird-watching views with a variety of species.

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