Animals in Uganda

Updated: December 6, 2022
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Below you can find a complete list of Ugandan animals. We currently track 249 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.

Flag of Uganda

The flag of Uganda features several horizontal stripes in the colors black, yellow, and red, all of which hold meaning. The black represents the people of Uganda, while yellow stands for the life-giving sun. Red represents the blood that ties the people together. In the center of the flag is a crested crane, one of Uganda’s well-known birds and the nation’s national symbol.

Ugandan Animals

Aardvark

Can move 2ft of soil in just 15 seconds!

Aardwolf

The aardwolf has five toes on its front paws

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 Fish Eagle

African fish eagles belong to the genus of sea eagles

African Golden Cat

The first image of an African golden cat was captured in the wild in Gabon in 2002.

African Jacana

The males raise the young

African Palm Civet

Solitary but gathers in groups!

African Wild Dog

Also known as the painted dog!

Agama Lizard

The agama forms small social groups that contain both dominant and subordinate males.

American Cockroach

Despite its name, actually originated from Africa and the Middle East

Ant

First evolved 100 million years ago!

Antelope

Renew their horns every year!

Armyworm

They are so named because they "march" in armies of worms from one crop to another in search of food

Baboon

Can travel more than four miles a day!

Banana Spider

People spin clothing and fishing nets out of these spiders’ silk.

Barb

There are over 1768 known species!

Barn Owl

Found everywhere around the world!

Barn Swallow

Older offspring help care for new hatchlings.

Bat

Detects prey using echolocation!

Bat-Eared Fox

Bat-eared foxes can run up to 35 MPH!

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs feed for 4-12 minutes.

Bee

Rock paintings of bees date back 15,000 years

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!

Biscuit Beetle

The biscuit beetle form a symbiotic relationship with yeast

Black Mamba

Black mambas are the longest venomous snake in Africa, and second longest in the world.

Black Widow Spider

They typically prey on insects!

Blind Snake

The blind snake is often mistaken for a worm.

Brazilian Treehopper

“Mild-Mannered Minimonsters”

Brown-banded Cockroach

Females glue egg cases to furniture

Brown Dog Tick

Can live its entire life indoors

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.

Bush Viper

Bush vipers are predators, sinking their fangs into prey while dangling from a tree limb

Butterfly

There are thought to be up 17,500 species!

Caecilian

Some species' babies use their hooked or scraper-like teeth to peel off and eat their mother's skin

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!

Codling Moth

Pupae are able to undergo diapause to survive poor fruit yield years and winter.

Common Buzzard

The most common raptor in the UK!

Common Furniture Beetle

The common furniture beetle feeds exclusively on wood

Common House Spider

House spiders have the ability to eat most insects in a home.

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!

Cricket

Male crickets can produce sounds by rubbing their wings together

Crocodile

Have changed little in 200 million years!

Crow

A group of these birds is called a Murder.

Desert Locust

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

Dog

First domesticated in South-East Asia!

Dog Tick

Dog ticks feed on dogs and other mammals

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

Earthworm

They are hermaphrodites, which means they have male and female organs

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!

Egyptian Goose

A duck species that resembles a goose when flying

Eland

Both females and males have horns.

Electric Catfish

The electric catfish can discharge an electric shock up to 450 volts

Elephant

Spends around 22 hours a day eating!

Elephant Shrew

Found exclusively on the African continent!

Falcon

The fastest creatures on the planet!

False Widow Spider

False spiders actually prey on black widow spiders and other hazardous spiders

Fire Ball Python

The fire ball python morph is known for its rich golden and reddish-brown coloration.

Firefly

The firefly produces some of the most efficient light in the world

Flamingo

Sleeps on just one leg!

Flea

Adult fleas can jump up to 7 inches in the air

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

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are among the most common research animals in the world

Fulvous Whistling Duck

They build a ramp from their nest, which leads to a nearby water source

Gaboon Viper

Gaboon vipers are the largest vipers in Africa.

Gazelle

Named for the Arabic word for love poems

Gecko

There are thought to be over 2,000 species!

Gerbil

Originally known as the Desert Rat!

German Cockroach

The most common type of urban roach

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!

Gnat

Males form large mating swarms at dusk

Goat

Most closely related to the Sheep!

Golden Oriole

Migrates between Europe and Asia!

Goliath Beetle

Goliath beetles are the largest beetles in the world, and they can carry objects several times their weight. 

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!

Gypsy Moth

One of the most invasive species in the world

Hamster

Able to run as quickly backwards as forwards!

Hare

Can reach speeds of over 40 mph!

Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Many hawk moth caterpillars eat toxins from plants, but don’t sequester them the way milkweed butterflies do. Most toxins are excreted.

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.

Housefly

The fly has no teeth

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!

Jacana

The jacana has the ability to swim underwater

Jackal

Can maintain speeds of 16 km/h!

Jumping Spider

Some can jump 50 times the length of their bodies

Kenyan Sand Boa

A popular pet snake that comes in dozens of morphs!

Kingfisher

Inhabits wetlands and woodlands worldwide!

Klipspringer

Klipspringers can jump as high as 10-12ft!

Kori Bustard

It's easily identified by its crest, large size, and wingspan

Kudu

Lives in herds of up to 24 individuals!

Ladybug

There are more than 5,000 species worldwide!

Lappet-faced Vulture

Lappet-faced vultures are tidy and wash their heads in a body of water after they’ve eaten

Leech

Has 10 pairs of eyes!

Leopard

Spends much of the time high in the trees!

Leopard Tortoise

The most widely distributed tortoise in Africa!

Lesser Jacana

The lesser jacana is nomadic, often moving in search of temporary wetland habitats.

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.

Maggot

Will only live in wet areas

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!

Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

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!

Mosquito

Only the female mosquito actually sucks blood

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.

Olive Baboon

Olive baboons will sometimes form strong friendships with each other

Orange Baboon Tarantula

Their nickname is "Orange Bitey Thing"!

Orb Weaver

Females are about four times the size of males

Ortolan Bunting

The tradition of hiding your face with a napkin or towel while eating this bird was begun by a priest who was a friend of the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

Osprey

They reuse nesting sites for 70 years!

Otter

There are 13 different species worldwide

Owl

The owl can rotate its head some 270 degrees

Panda Pied Ball Python

The panda pied ball python morph is a combination of the piebald and black pastel traits.

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.

Praying Mantis

The mantis can turn its head 180 degrees.

Puff Adder

This large snake is so-named because it will puff up its body to appear bigger than it is when directly threatened by a predator or person.

Quail

Inhabits woodland and forest areas worldwide!

Rabbit

There are more than 50 different species!

Rat

Omnivores that eat anything!

Red-Billed Quelea Bird

Is the most populous bird in the world

Redstart

They build their nests off the ground in tree holes, cavities, stone walls, and roofs

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.

Rooster

Will mate with the entire flock!

Sable Ferret

Ferrets were used during the Revolutionary War to keep down the rat population.

Scorpion

There are around 2,000 known species!

Sea Eagle

The sea eagle tends to mate for life with a single partner

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.

Short-Eared Owl

The short-eared owl is one of the most widespread owl species in the world, covering five continents.

Shrew

The spinal column of the shrew Scutisorex somereni is so strong and reinforced that it can support the weight of an adult human.

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Sivatherium

Sivatherium was a large giraffid and also one of the largest ruminants of all-time.

Skink Lizard

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

Slug

They glide around on one foot, which is aided by the slime they produce

Smokybrown Cockroach

Has up to 45 eggs per egg case

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.

Spiny bush viper

These shaggy snakes are only 2 feet long and mostly arboreal.

Spitting Cobra

Spitting cobras are types of cobras that can spit venom at predators and prey.

Squirrel

Small rodents found in woodlands worldwide!

Stick Insect

There are more than 3,000 different species!

Stiletto Snake

Because of their unique venom delivery system, stiletto snakes are almost impossible to hold safely in the usual way (with fingers behind the head) without being bitten.

Stork

They can’t sing like other birds.

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!

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula hawks are excellent pollinators, especially for milkweed.

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.

Tick

They inject hosts with a chemical that stops them from feeling the pain of the bite

Tiger Beetle

The adult tiger beetle is one of the fastest land insects in the world

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.

Turaco

Their name means “banana-eater,” but they rarely ever eat bananas.

Turtles

Some species of aquatic turtles can get up to 70 percent of their oxygen through their butt.

Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

Viper

Vipers are one of the most widespread groups of snakes and inhabit most

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!

Welsh Black Cattle

Welsh Black Cattle were once used as currency in Wales and referred to as “black gold”.

White Ferret / Albino Ferrets

There are two different types of white ferrets!

White Rhinoceros

The second largest animal on the land!

Wolf Spider

Carnivorous arachnid that hunts its prey.

Woodlouse

This animal can roll up into a ball

Woodpecker

There are 200 different species!

Worm

Doesn’t have eyes.

Wryneck

They feign death by making their bodies limp and closing their eyes.

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

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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.