Hippo Census in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Hippo Census, this is a scientific meaning of counting hippopotamuses that still exist and it was done in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It can be done once in twice a year by monitoring the population of hippos in water bodies around the park including Kazinga channel, Lake Edward, Lake George, Ishasha River and other several crater lakes around the park. The counting of hippos can be specialised through counting all visible hippo heads along the above mentioned water bodies on the shorelines and this is an activity done by two people or more.  

Hippo Census

The hippo census is a unique and thrilling experiential activity that provides a chance for visitors who are interested in contributing towards the achievement of objectives of management programmes but before involving in hippo census they first plan for at least three weeks before the date of counting. The hippos inhabit the water bodies within Queen Elizabeth national park such as lake Edward, Lake George, kazinga channel. Rivers like Ishasha, kyambura and identified crater lakes like kyasanduka, nyamusingiri among others. Recently the number of hippos that were counted on the Kazinga channel was approximately half to the current population in the park. The hippo population was affected by the anthrax virus that struck sometime back.

The activity of counting hippos is conducted using a boat in areas where the water bodies are narrow and the terrain is rough, though some times can be done on foot along the shoreline of the lakes. But by boat, it is a quite exciting and rewarding experience.

However, before the hippo census is carried out, the census team plans have to first monitor the boat to be used by checking the mechanics in order to ensure that they are in good condition. The two operators can be identified through racing the boat which will be used during the counting of aid observers to make a closely accurate estimate. The census team has to be trained first, to learn how to approach a school of hippos through quickly scanning the visible heads, since hippos are aggressive animals and one is advised not to attempt to get closer.

The clear viewing of these hippos can be easily equipped with binoculars in order to maximize the sightings and the one who is in charge of data recording must be equipped with datasheet records to capture all the counts made by the spectators and the visitors. Through observing the hippos along the water, there is a possibility of taking photographs of different schools to help you in verifying the counts and rewardable sight-seeing of bird species mostly the fish eagles.   

Immediately, when the count of the school is done, the one recording announces the actual number they have made. There must be a decision made to count them separately or together.

What is the actual time of counting hippos?

The Hippo census starts in the evening hours because it’s when the hippos go out to feed and come back to the water in the morning. You should conduct the hippos counts before too much sunshine raises out in order to prevent rough waves that can rock your boat.

Hippo Characters

  • They are the 3rd largest type of animals on land and herbivorous mammals despite their physical resemblance to pigs.
  • They have hairless bodies, columnar legs and large size.
  • They have a wide-open mouth and large canine tusks.
  • They live in freshwaters.
  • The adult hippos weight average of 1500kg and around 1300 kg are for males and females respectively.
  • The fact is that they have stocky shape and short leg and they can be capable of running a short distance of about 30 kilometres.
  • They have a gestation period of eight months. 
  • They can hike at night and graze on grasses and in the morning returns to the water where they can rest near each other.
Hippo Census
Hippo Census

Where can you do hippo census in Uganda?

Hippo census can be done in only one recognised and protected national park Queen Elizabeth National park which sits in the south-western region of Uganda approximately 400 kilometres from Kampala Uganda’s city and the hippo census can be conducted on water bodies of kazinga channel, lake Edward, Lake George within the park.

However, it is recorded in 2012 there was a higher average number of hippos of about 4,800 hippos and the number has decreased when we compare it to the recent hippo population. Travellers while planning for your itinerary on Uganda wildlife safaris to Queen try to include in hippo census activity which is quite thrilling and amazing to get a closer encounter with wildlife species on the calm waters of kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth national park. Through participating in this gorgeous activity you can contact any recognised tour company or you can as well contact us for your quick bookings with care.

The park boasts with several amazing tourist’s activities that have made it be the most visited one on Uganda safari tours and such tourists activities in Queen Elizabeth national park include game drive, chimpanzee trekking at the impressive kazinga channel, bird watching, visiting the bat cave along maramambo forest

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