Where can I see the big five in Uganda /Best place to see the big fives in Uganda? However, there are four outstanding largest savanna parks to adventure the big five in Uganda that is; Murchison Falls National Park ‘’MFNP’’, Kidepo Valley National Park ‘’KVNP’’ and Queen Elizabeth National Park ‘’QENP’’ and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary the only home in Uganda to see the white rhinos. Therefore, in Uganda there are three recognized national parks and a sanctuary to explore all the big fives.

Apart from Uganda being a home of the big five, it also hosts unique attractions of primates the great mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden monkeys among other species which can be adventured on a combined safari itinerary – Visit Murchison Falls & Bwindi Safari Tours. However, Uganda being a home of Big five which offers a great unforgettable experience of photographing, viewing and meeting the wild animal at closer view. Below are the big five mammals that are popular to visit and see till today are the Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopard and White Rhino.

In addition to Uganda wildlife experience, you can visit Uganda’s exquisite cultures, people and viewing of the scenic landscapes, though your trip to Uganda will not reward you unless you meet these world’s magnificent animals. Below is the list of the Big fives to see in Uganda’s untouched wilderness.

African Lion ‘’Panthera leo’’

The largest and most explored African carnivore and most sought after member of the Africa big 5, the African Lion which is the most sociable of the large cats which live in a group of five to 15 animals. Lions have special cultural significance in most countries on the Africa continent. In Uganda, they are named as the kings of the beasts or kings of the jungle which symbolizes royalty, strength and bravery.

Where can I see the big five in Uganda
African Lion

In Uganda lions are mainly explored in the three largest national parks; Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National park and Queen Elizabeth national park.

  1. Lion

Queen Elizabeth national park, a home to diversity of wildlife species the only place to adventure the unique tree climbing lions which have been branded the Ishasha tree climbing lions by tourists who visit this sector. However, the park is located in southwestern region of Uganda approximately 5 to 6 hours’ drive and 1-hour travel by domestic flight Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe International Airport. Other places to see lions in Uganda are Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Park.

2 Leopards ‘’Panthera pardus’’

This species is the smallest among the Big five mammals though it’s bit challenging to spot them since they are naturally shy and exclusively nocturnal and spend the daylight hours hidden from view.

Leopards are shy cat animals that can be distinguished from cheetahs by their rosette shape explore and rocky habitats. Still can be found in virtually habitats offering adequate cover. And can be seen in most Ugandan National Parks and forest reserves.

However, on Uganda Wildlife Safari, leopards can be spotted in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve among others.

African Elephant ‘’Loxodonta Africana’’

African Elephant are known as the World’s largest of all Africa big five, perhaps they are symbolized as the nature’s grace and fragility. This species is one of the most intelligent and entertaining to watch on a classic Africa Safari Game Drive.

Facts about Elephants;

A fully- grown male elephant can weigh a whooping of 6300 kilos, even the smallest adult male rarely dips below 4000 kilos. Its weight way more than twice the weight on an average family SUV. Female elephants weigh over half of the male.

One planning a successful Africa Safari in Uganda to meet up these magnificent species, the probability of seeing them is high on safari to Uganda since can be seen in all the national park except Uganda’s Lake Mburo National Park. Most likely to be explored in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo National park. So we recommend you take a boat safari on the Nile in Murchison and boat cruise along Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park to get a sight of these gentle giants gracefully flocking the water banks in massive herds.

African Buffalo

This is a wild African buffalo an adoptable species which widely spread in large herds on the savanna and smaller herds in forested areas. The African buffalos same time called Cape Buffalo known as the most dangerous of all African game species especially if it is wounded. Their reputation has placed it on the African Big Five animals recognized worldwide.

African buffalo are very large, toed ungulates, characterized by their stocky build and heavy horns. Their horns present on both sexes and they are not ridged. They can be easily distinguished from other animals because of its dark black color, horns smaller and characterized of lighter curving outward, backwards and upwards.

African buffalos have ears which are large fringed with hair that hang below massive horns.

However, they can be seen in all Uganda’s national parks and large forests. National parks like Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Park where you may be able to see the savanna buffalo of east Africa and the red buffalos of the west African forest.

5. Rhinoceros

In Uganda, Rhinoceros can be seen in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located in Nakitoma village in Nakasongola district, the same route to Murchison Falls. Meaning, a visit to Murchison Falls you can combine it a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to make a successful view of all the big five. Fact, Rhinoceros are known as a large herbivorous mammal identified by its characteristic horned snouts. The word ‘’rhinoceros’’ derives from the Greek words ‘’rhino’’ nose and ‘’ceros’ ’horn’

Where can I see the big five in Uganda
Ziwa Rhinos

These are the species which are recognized by their massive bodies, stumpy legs either one or two dermal horn. Though some species, the horns may be short or not obvious. Rhinoceroses famously known for having poor eyesight but their senses of smell and hearing are well developed.

The biggest percentage in Uganda inhabitants the Northern white rhino and can only be seen in the massively protected Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe referred to as the Zoo.

Other Spotted African Animals -Primates in Uganda

They include; Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzee among others.

Mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas are popularly known as the largest land mammal, of which a full grown mountain gorilla can weigh about 300 to 485 pounds. This species has attracted thousands of tourists to flock into Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to have time with these magnificent gentle giant. For that matter mountain gorillas also qualifies for the Big African wildlife list. The best wat to see them is to participate in gorilla trekking safari in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park, gorilla trekking can be done with valid gorilla permit purchased directly to ‘’ UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority. Uganda’s gorilla permits cost USD700 per person and spend one hour sitting in their presence. If you want to stay with mountain gorillas for long hours do Gorilla take a Gorilla habituation experience safari and spend 4 hours with them. Goes at USD1,500 and can only be done in Uganda’s Bwindi National Park.


In Uganda chimpanzees can be seen in several areas of Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semliki Wildlife Reserve and the Budongo and Kaniyo pabidi forest. Although the best recommended place to encounter the highest number of chimpanzees is Kibale Forest National park.

Lastly ,on visit to Uganda’s Big five Safari you can choose to do a combined safari tour package ‘’Visit to Uganda Big five & Gorilla trekking Safari.

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