Animals in Uganda

Below you can find a complete list of Ugandan animals. We currently track 158 animals in Uganda and are adding more every day!

The African country of Uganda is a treasure trove of unique wildlife. The African bush elephant, the mountain gorilla, the African lion, and the Cape buffalo are some of the most well-known animals living there. Furthermore, there are 142 reptile species, 501 fish species, 86 amphibian species, 345 mammal species, and 1,020 species of birds in Uganda. Last, but not least, there are 1,242 butterfly species in Uganda. No wonder it’s known as one of the most picturesque countries in the world.

The Official National Animal of Uganda

Among all of the wildlife in Uganda, the Crested Crane, aka the Gray-crowned crane, was chosen as the country’s national animal almost 100 years ago. This tall bird has sleek silver feathers, slender legs, and a crest of gold feathers. After observing the slow, graceful movements of this bird it will come as no surprise that Uganda chose this bird for its beauty and elegance. It is proudly displayed on Uganda’s flag.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Uganda Today

Uganda has many timid animals that stay hidden most of the time. Alternatively, there are many animals that can pose a threat. Look at some examples of the most dangerous wildlife in Uganda:

  • Hippopotamus – At first glance, hippos look fairly harmless. But these are powerful animals with jaws strong enough to break a canoe in half. Plus, when these animals stampede they can trample anything in their path. There are approximately 500 people killed each year in Africa by this large mammal.
  • Cape Buffalo – This unique and weighty mammal definitely looks like more of a threat than a hippo. When it’s threatened this animal doesn’t back off. Instead, it becomes aggressive. This buffalo can charge a person or animal reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour. Not as fast as the world champion cheetah, but still very fast.
  • Puff Adder – These aggressive snakes are common in well-populated areas in Uganda. Not surprisingly, it becomes an issue when snakes and people populate the same small area. This snake can’t lift its head off the ground but can strike a person’s foot with its venomous fangs. When it comes to fatal snakebites, the puff adder leads the pack in Africa!
  • Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes dangerous? Yes. Uganda has a lot of low-altitude regions which are home to many mosquitoes. The danger comes if a person is bitten by a mosquito carrying malaria. Malaria is a deadly disease, especially for young people. This is why mosquito netting is so common in this region.

Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in Uganda

The list of unique animals living in Uganda is long. Some of these amazing animals keep hidden most of the time while others are a common sight to Ugandans. Look at where to find some of the top wild animals in Uganda.

  • African bush elephant – These elephants live in both the grassland and woodland areas of Uganda. Kibale National Park in Uganda is home to many African Bush elephants.
  • Cape buffalo – Whether they live in a dense forest or on the open plains, Cape buffalos look for habitat near water. Murchison Falls National Park and Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda are two places to see these unique animals.
  • Hippopotamus – Hippos live in rivers, lakes, and swampy areas surrounded by grass. Hippos can be seen near the Ntungwe River in Queen Elizabeth National Park as well as near the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.
  • Crocodile – Crocodiles inhabit Murchison Falls National Park and can be seen on the shores of the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
  • Leopard – The habitat of a leopard includes savannas and forest areas of Uganda. They can be seen in Kidepo Valley National Park and Lake Mburo National Park.
  • Giraffe -Giraffes live on savannas where they can find plenty of leaves and grass to eat. They are found in Murchison National Park as well as Kidepo National Park in Uganda. Living in the protected environment of these parks has helped this vulnerable animal from becoming extinct.

Endangered Animals in Uganda

Unfortunately, there are some animals in Uganda that are endangered. Loss of habitat through land development, loss of food sources, and disease are just some of the reasons why some animals become endangered and sometimes go extinct. Look at some of the endangered animals in Uganda.

Ugandan Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

Abyssinian

The oldest breed of cat in the world!

African Bush Elephant

Can drink up to 50 gallons a day

African Civet

Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!

African Clawed Frog

A particularly ferocious amphibian!

African Palm Civet

Solitary but gathers in groups!

African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Baboon

Can travel more than four miles a day!

Barb

There are over 2,000 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Beetle

There are more than 350,000 different species

Bichir

The bichir species is more than 400 million years old

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Buffalo

Has no real natural predators!

Bumblebee

The most common species of bee!

Bush Baby

In a series of leaps, this creature can cover almost 30 feet of distance in just a few seconds.

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 20,000 species!

Caracal

Has 20 different muscles in it's ears!

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter ants can lift up to seven times their own weight with their teeth!

Cat

First domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians!

Caterpillar

The larvae of a moth or butterfly!

Catfish

There are nearly 3,000 different species!

Centipede

There are about 3,000 documented species!

Chameleon

There are more than 160 different species!

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal in the world!

Chicken

First domesticated more than 10,000 years ago!

Cichlid

There are more than 2 000 known species!

Cockroach

Dated to be around 300 million years old!

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Cow

There are nearly 1.5 million worldwide!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crab Spider

Crab Spiders can mimic ants or bird droppings

Crane

Many are critically endangered species!

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Desert Locust

Solitary locusts are grey while gregarious locusts are yellow with stripes.

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Donkey

First domesticated 5,000 years ago!

Dormouse

Found in Europe, Africa and Asia!

Dragonfly

It's larvae are carnivorous!

Duck

Rows of tiny plates line their teeth!

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle can push objects many times its own weight

Earwig

There are nearly 2,000 different species!

Eastern Gorilla

The largest primate in the world!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Fox

There are 12 different species in the world!

Frog

There are around 7,000 different species!

Fruit Bat

Among the largest bats in the world

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

Giraffe

Long, black tongue can grow to 18 inches long!

Glass Lizard

Can grow up to 4ft long!

Glow Worm

Found inhabiting dense woodland and caves!

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Gorilla

The biggest of the world's primates!

Grasshopper

There are 11,000 known species!

Green Bee-Eater

Mainly eats honeybees!

Guinea Fowl

Found in a vairety of African habitats!

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hedgehog

Thought to be one of the oldest mammals on Earth!

Heron

Inhabits wetlands around the world!

Hippopotamus

Has pink anti-bacterial sweat!

Honey Badger

One of earth's bravest creatures!

Honey Bee

There are only 8 recognized species!

Hoopoe

Stunning bird with a stinky way to deter predators!

Horse

Has evolved over 50 million years!

Horsefly

Horseflies have been seen performing Immelmann turns, much like fighter jets.

Human

Thought to have orignated 200,000 years ago!

Huntsman Spider

Some huntsman spiders have an interesting way of moving around. Some cartwheel while others do handsprings or backflips.

Hyena

There are four different species!

Ibis

Found in swamps, marshes and wetlands!

Impala

Able to jump over 10 feet high

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Kudu

Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Tortoise

The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!

Liger

The offspring of a lion and tiger parents!

Lion

Lives in small groups called prides!

Lizard

There are around 5,000 different species!

Locust

Each locust can eat its weight in plants each day.

Magpie

They are found across Europe, Asia and Africa!

Marabou Stork

The marabou stork does not have a voice box.

Mayfly

There are 2,500 known species worldwide!

Millipede

Some species have a poisonous bite!

Mole

Primarily hunts and feeds on Earthworms!

Mongoose

Range in size from just 1 to 3 foot!

Mongrel

Has characteristics of two or more breeds!

Monitor Lizard

Some species are thought to carry a weak venom!

Monkey

There are around 260 known species!

Moorhen

Feeds on aquatic insects and water-spiders!

Moth

There are 250,000 different species!

Mountain Gorilla

Isolated populations found in the mountains!

Mouse

Found on every continent on Earth!

Mule

The offspring of a horse and donkey parents!

Naked Mole Rat

Naked mole rats don’t get cancer

Nightingale

Named more than 1,000 years ago!

Nile Crocodile

When a female Nile crocodile’s hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pouch inside her throat.

No See Ums

There are more than 5,000 species.

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Pangolin

Bad eyesight, but great sense of smell

Parakeet

Monk parakeets are the only parakeets that actually build nests. They’re also the only parakeets to nest in great colonies.

Parrot

Can live for up to 100 years!

Peregrine Falcon

Fastest animal on Earth

Pheasant

Females lay between 8 and 12 eggs per clutch!

Pigeon

They can find their way back to their nests from up to 1300 miles away.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Rhinoceros

It's horns are made from keratin!

River Turtle

Inhabits freshwater habitats around the world!

Robin

There are more than 45 species in Australia alone!

Rodents

The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Serval

Can leap more than 1 meter into the air!

Sheep

Around 35 million in the English countryside!

Shoebill Stork

Adults greet each other by clattering their bills together.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Skink Lizard

Some skinks lay eggs in some habitats while giving birth to skinklets in other habitats.

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Snake

There are around 3,000 known species worldwide

Sparrow

There are 140 different species!

Spider Wasp

They prey on spiders to feed their larvae or they parasitize other spider wasps.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Striped Hyena

The striped hyenas usually mark their territories with the help of the scent gland secretions from their anal pouch.

Swan

Populations have been affected by pollution!

Termite

Their mounds can be up to 9 meters tall!

Thrush

The American robin is called the robin because its red breast reminded European settlers of the robin back in the old country.

Tortoise

Can live until they are more than 150 years old!

Tree Frog

Found in warmer jungles and forests!

Tsetse Fly

Tsetse flies are large biting flies that live in the tropical regions of Africa.

Vulture

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Warthog

Has two sets of tusks on it's face!

Wasp

There are around 75,000 recognised species!

Water Buffalo

Has been domesticated for thousands of years!

White Rhinoceros

The second largest animal on the land!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

Actually a crustacean, not an insect!

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Zebra

Stripe patterns are unique to each individual!

Zebu

There are around 75 different species!

Zonkey

The offspring of Zebra and Donkey parents!

Zorse

The offspring of a Zebra and Horse parents!

Ugandan Animals List

Animals in Uganda FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What animals live in Uganda?

Uganda is known around the world as a country with a wide variety of unique wild animals. It is home to reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, and fish.

What is Uganda’s national animal?

Uganda’s national animal is the Crested Crane. Unfortunately, this majestic bird is also classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN). Thankfully, steps are being taken to protect this bird to keep it from going extinct.

What is the biggest animal in Uganda?

The biggest animal in Uganda is the adult African elephant. This elephant can be 13 feet tall and weigh up to seven tons. So, getting in front of one of these massive animals is always a dangerous proposition!

Are there tigers in Uganda?

Tigers are not native to Uganda or Africa as a whole. Tigers are known to live in different regions of Asia. However, there are captive tigers in the Uganda Wildlife Education Center.