My final installment of the recap of our trip to Uganda focuses on the wildlife we saw while we were there, which was of particular interest to both Kailee and me. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, and no one wants to read a rambling essay about the wildlife of Uganda, about which I still know a rather limited amount, this post will be mostly pictures. I hope you’re okay with that.
I’ll start with a few species of deer, some of which are very similar to the white-tailed variety that is so common here in the northwestern U.S. I was actually a little surprised to see such familiar-looking animals:
There were also two slightly more exotic-looking kinds of deer that were plentiful in the national park. One is the Ugandan kob.
The reddish color, noticeable in the photo, distinguishes it from other species of kob, which exist throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of two species featured on Uganda’s coat of arms, the other being the national bird, the crested crane, which is endangered and we weren’t fortunate enough to see.
Also common in the park was the majestic hartebeest:
…and the waterbuck:
The kob, hartebeest, and waterbuck are all types of antelope.
The last member of the deer family we saw I have not had any luck identifying yet:
They are very small, maybe two feet tall. Originally, I thought they were just fawns, but they are definitely a different species from anything else we saw.
Baboons were also very common in all the rural areas of the country. This one was at the ferry landing along the Nile, and it was carrying its baby around with it. They are very socialized, and try to steal food from people.
We also did see a few monkeys, but they were fleeting glimpses and we were unable to get any pictures of them.
I looked these ones up as soon as I got home. They are abyssinian ground hornbills, and they’re pretty cool looking. The one on the left is the male, and the one on the right is the female.
While we’re on the subject of birds, I’ll also introduce you to the Marabou stork:
Interestingly, we seemed to see these birds wherever there was fire. I later read that they like to move in front of the advancing fire so they can grab small animals that are trying to escape the blaze.
There were a few other birds we saw that I never did identify, but I like the pictures:
The last one’s not a bird; it’s a butterfly. I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
There were other things that fly, too. These bats slept every day in a stand of trees a block away from the house we were staying in, and every evening they would fly en masse to the Congo to go get food:
Often referred to in Africa are the Big Five, which are leopards, buffalo, rhinos, elephants, and lions. The only two we saw were elephants and buffalo, but we didn’t get any pictures of the elephants, because we were on a bus and didn’t have the camera handy (for shame!). We did see a lot of buffalo though, and took some pictures. Specifically, it is the Cape buffalo. Remember learning about symbiotic relationships in biology class? Check it out, he’s got a bird on his back, just like in the textbooks.
We also saw hippos in the Nile, which were super cool. Fun fact: the hippopotamus kills more people per year than any other animal. Who knew they were so ferocious?
Warthogs were plentiful in the park, and Kailee was keen to split hairs over which one looked most like Pumbaa.
That guy didn’t make the cut. Too hairy or wrinkly or something.
Oh hey, and there were reptiles too! Very colorful ones!
Okay, I saved the wildlife highlight for last. The moment you’ve all been waiting for: giraffes!
Look at ’em all! So tall, and spotty, and stuff…
Yeah, it was pretty awesome. Sorry this took so long to put up.
Now that’s I’m settled back into life back home, this all seems pretty surreal. I’m glad we took pictures.
Thanks for reading!