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The term “Big Five” originally referred to the difficulty in hunting the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo. These five large African mammal species were known to be dangerous and it was considered a feat by trophy hunters to bring them home. The Big 5 include; Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards and Rhinos. The Big 5 were established by the big game hunters, but Big 5 was not just the size of the animals but the difficulty of hunting them. These days the term is used by Tourism companies as well as Safari Travelers to Africa. Uganda Tourism companies offer travelers not only the Big Five, but also mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Forest Elephant and Forest Buffaloes.

So to be able to see these great animals, you must book a safari trip to Uganda in the following national parks;

RHINOS: to be able to see rhinos in Uganda, they are found in Ziwa Rhino Reserve on your way Murchison Fall National Park where you can see most of the big 5. Rhinos have poor vision and will sometimes attack trees and rocks by accident. However, their hearing and sense of smell are excellent, and often making up for their poor eyesight.

LIONS: in Uganda are found in several Uganda National Park including; Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park home to the tree climbing lions in the ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth and few in the remote area in Kidepo Valley National Park and they have been sighted in Lake Mburo National Park. Conservationists say that lion hunting is one of the most lucrative trophy hunts, with each outing bringing in up to $71,000 on average, which includes the trophy fee, a professional guide, transportation and lodging as a whole. Without the trophy hunt money, locals would increasingly poison lions, which are considered dangerous to humans and their livestock.

LEOPARDS: of Uganda are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo valley National Park and Mount Elgon National Park. The leopard is the smallest of the Big Five trophy animals, Leopards are mostly nocturnal but tourists can take a game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park and might spot some of them during an early game drive in some of the above.

BUFFALOS: of Uganda are quite powerful and can be found in many of Uganda’s National Parks such as Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park. The buffalo is sometimes said to be the most dangerous of the big five, and it is the most popular with hunters. It is also the most plentiful, with its population.

ELEPHANTS:  of Uganda have both the Savannah elephants and the forest elephants which look a bit smaller and hairier than the Savannah cousins and you can find them in many Uganda national parks except Lake Mburo national park. You can see them at Murchison falls national park, Kidepo Valley national park, and Queen Elizabeth national park. Elephants are among the most sought-after in Africa, but the biggest threat they face is not from hunters, it is from poachers.

Other primates close to the big 5;

The mountain gorillas: in Uganda are found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park. Mountain gorillas are normally skipped out of the list of the big 5 and they are featured attraction since they are only found in 3 African countries.

The chimpanzees in Uganda: the best park to track them is Kibale forest national park, a dense rain forest and a perfect habitant with more primates than any other place in East Africa. Visitors can also track chimps in Budongo forest near Murchison falls national park at Kyambura  Gorge at Queen  Elizabeth national park and Semliki national park. Another habitat for chimpanzees is Ngamba Chimpanzee Island where orphaned chimps live.

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