10 Must-see Uganda Safari Animals. For your bucket list

A full list of Uganda safari animals would be longer, but we have picked the 10 must-see that will inspire your safari to the pearl of Africa.

As a Ugandan Safari and Tour operator, we usually ask our prospective visitors what they would like to see in Uganda. More often than we ask, our guests also ask us which animals they can see on a visit to Uganda’s many national parks and game reserves.

Uganda has a total of more than 340 species of mammals and more than 1000 bird species living in its parks and game reserves. This makes it difficult to fully answer the question of what animals should be on a Uganda wildlife safari bucket list.

This article is our list of 10 Uganda Safari Animals that we think should be on your bucket list. Is this list enough to cover all the interesting bits? No. It is barely scratching the surface.It is meant to inspire you.

As you go to see these 10, you will end up seeing more than 100 since wild ecosystems are rich with wildlife and diversity.

Top Uganda Safari Animals

1. Mountain Gorillas.

Going Ape Uganda Primates Safari

The reason why gorilla trekking safaris are highly regarded the world over is that an encounter with mountain gorillas is a moving experience. The hour spent watching these gentle giants going about their day is more breathtaking than the hike through the lush and dense forest they live in.

Seeing and learning about their day is nothing you can compare to another experience. Read our article about some interesting facts about mountain gorillas to learn more about the biggest of great apes.

2. African Elephants.

The African Elephant is the Largest Land animal on Earth and can weigh up to 6,000 kilograms. An elephant is one of the classic African Safari animals and seeing one up close is a revealing moment for how big it is.

Uganda safari adventure

There are two types of African Elephants, the massive bush elephants and the smaller (3000 Kg) forest elephants with downward-facing tusks.

The best place for elephants is Queen Elizabeth National Park, where both the bush and forest species can be found. One can also get to see them close during the Kazinga launch cruise.

Here is our article about African Elephants that will make you realize how BIG of a deal they are.

3. Tree Climbing Lions.

tree climbing lions

An African Safari wouldn’t be complete without the spotting of lions. Even better is when the lions climb up the tree and mind whatever business lions mind as they overlook the land and spot some prey in the lush savannah grass.

Lions are another safari animal that shouldn’t be missed on your list because they are found in many of Uganda’s national parks and are quick to spot.

Follow this article for more about tree-climbing lions.

4. Ugandan Kob.

male uganda kob

The Uganda kob is a type of Antelope that appears on the Uganda Coat of Arms as the National Animal. Uganda kobs are very common in most of Uganda’s National parks and live in grasslands near water bodies.

The safari guide is always eager to tell you all about their ways of life and some interesting and less-known facts. They will most likely be the first animals to welcome you to Uganda’s savannah wildernesses.

The Uganda kob is so common that it is represented on the Uganda Coat of Arms as well as the Uganda wildlife emblem because it signifies the abundance of wildlife in Uganda.

5. Chimpanzees.

Meet our closest animal cousins. An encounter with Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park is the best opportunity for one to see how closely related we are to these intelligent beings.

chimpanzee face

Learning about Chimps from the experienced guides will make it clear how closely related we are – and make you appreciate nature from a whole new perspective.

Here is our refreshed article with interesting facts about chimpanzees that will show you why chimps are special and why many visitors to Uganda enjoy seeing them.

6. Elands.

mburo eland

The Eland is the largest antelope species and can be found in only two of Uganda’s National Parks; Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Park.

Mature Elands can weigh up to 900 Kg and are said to produce milk that has better milk fat than a cow’s milk.

7. Zebras.

bush biking by mihingo lodge

While Theories abound about Zebras and their stripes, and whether any two zebras can have the same exact stripes.

Zebras live in small family groups but are social enough to mix with other antelope species as they feed – which also acts as protection against predators.

Learn more about how zebras can be interesting in this article about zebra facts.

8. Golden Monkey.

Golden monkeys are another primate species as rare as the mountain gorillas. Golden monkeys can only be seen in D.R. Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

golden monkey

Unlike mountain gorillas which can be seen in the two parks of Uganda (Bwindi and Mgahinga), Golden monkeys in Uganda are only in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. They are very playful and always flying around the various branches – which puts on quite the show.

Here is our blog post to introduce you to some of the fun facts about golden monkeys.

9. Rothschild Giraffe.

A visit to Murchison Falls National Park means seeing the tall and calm giraffes. Rothschild giraffes can only be found in Kenya and Uganda – with Uganda having the biggest population.

Kidepo Wildlife safari

The size and nature of a giraffe is just a marvel of nature that will astound you further as you learn about them from the game rangers.

A giraffe is one of the ‘big five’ safari animals and therefore deserves to be on your wildlife checklist. Check out this article we made that showcases all the incredible facts about Rothschild giraffes.

10. Shoebill

With more than 1000 bird species, it would be wrong to end this list without a mention of one of the birds that make Uganda a true haven for birders.

The Elusive and prehistoric-looking shoebill is interesting both for the birdwatcher and the ‘non-birder’ of us.

The shoebill can be found in several places of swamp vegetation such as Lake Mburo National Park, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls National Park and most popular of all in Mabamba Bay in Lake Victoria.

Shoebill Birding Tour


These 10 safari animals should be on your bucket list for a Ugandan Safari. However, they shouldn’t be the only ones. What these are, is a great start that is nowhere near enough.

Our past clients have highlighted the above and that is why we think you might want to start there. But planning a Safari isn’t about picking a few things to see, it is also about getting the right information to inform your plans.

In that same way, we encourage you to dig deeper into our blog for the various tips, tricks and hacks to help you in the process.

More safari inspiration can be derived from our already-made safari packages page. These will give you a concrete idea of how a safari progresses from place to place.

All represented itineraries can be customized to suit a person’s budget and needs – so that you don’t have to settle.

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