It is said all the Big five – elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhinoceros still exist in the country although whether any rhinos remain is questionable. It is thought that a few black rhinos may be clinging to existence in the Zoo and Nakasongola privately protected area before they are transferred to Murchison fall National Park.
The largest land animals in the world is the Elephant, has surprisingly managed to hang on, despite massive poaching and its numbers are once again climbing. Two races are recognized in the country, the savannah elephants and the forest elephants, and the two are thought to interbreed in parts of western Uganda. Particularly large herds exist in the kidepo valley National park, but elephants can also be found in Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth and kibale forest national parks.
You shouldn’t have any trouble at all to see one of the big five in any Ugandan safari; The African Buffalo is hardy and adaptable animal is found virtually all the national park and forest, often in large herds. You may even spot a mixed breed of savannah buffalo and the West African red buffalo in queen Elizabeth National park.
Heavy poaching has made Africa’s largest cat, the lion, scarce; nevertheless it does continue to exist. Your best chance of seeing these impressive predators is in Kidepo valley National park, but it is also present in Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth National parks.
Although rarely seen because of the nocturnal and secretive nature, the leopard is also found virtually in almost in all Uganda’s National parks and forest as well in areas close to human inhabitation. It has resotte-shaped spots and is more stockily built than the streamlined cheetah, which in Uganda is found in kidepo valley national park.
Other members of the cat family present in Uganda are the Caracal and the serval, although both are rarely seen as the are nocturnal. Also nocturnal are the catlike civet and genet, which are wide spread through out the country. While the genet may often be spotted slinking around campsites at night, the civet is seldom seen.
Of the other predators resident in Uganda, the most likely to be seen is the spotted hyena, which is surprisingly more related to the mongoose and the cat than it is to the dog, which it more closely resembles. Living in clans dominated by females, the hyena is
Widespread and common through out the country, though it prefers the savannah and woodland habitats.
The African hunting dog is a ferocious and successful hunter, but it is on the brink of extinction because of its susceptibility to canine disease. This highly social animal, many of whose characteristics resemble those of the domestic dog, is said to be present in Queen Elizabeth National Park, but its numbers are few.
Two races of another member of the dog family reside in the country: the black backed jackal and the side striped jackal. Both are present in many of Uganda’s national parks, although the latter is the most likely to seen.
Another predator found through out Uganda but rarely seen is ratel, or honey badger which has an amazing symbiotic relational ship with greater honey guide. The bird, wanting honey, will lead the ratel to beehive. The ratel then obligingly tears the hive open, eating what it wants, leaving the rest for the honey guide