Wildlife Parks Where you can find Hippos in Uganda
The Best places to see Hippos both in Uganda
Best places to see Hippos – Uganda is home to thousands of hippos found in its many lakes and rivers – visitors to Uganda will find them in abundance in four of its National Parks. Hippos are unique, and one cannot mistake them for any other animal in the Ugandan wild. The full name for Hippos is Hippopotamus (a Greek word meaning River Horse) – however, most refer to them as Hippos since it is easier to pronounce and spell.
Hey, they are Herbivores and primarily eat grass – and grass they can eat – stripping the areas of their habitats, such as Kazinga Channel and near the River Nile at Murchison Falls to the stubble. They generally feed at night, consuming up to 150 pounds of mostly grass– during the daytime, they stay in the water to shield themselves against the sun – their bodies emit a natural sunscreen which is red, and some refer to it as blood sweat.
They are the second largest land animal in the world. Only the elephant is more enormous –they are the third heaviest animal in the world. Only elephants and rhinos weigh more. A full-grown hippo can weigh between 1 1/2 to 3 tons… which is a lot of weight. Males are more significant than females.
They are semi-aquatic since they spend so much time in the water -however, they do not swim but bounce on the bottom of the lake or river. Even though they may weigh 3 tons, they are surprisingly fast and can run faster than humans (30 to 40 kilometers an hour for short distances).
Some people assume that hippos are related to pigs but are connected to whales and porpoises.
Their life span is 40 to 50 years, and they reproduce and give birth while in the water. They grow in size until they are about 25 years of age. They live in pods. Male hippos are bulls, females are cows, and baby hippos are referred to as calves. Hippos are considered some of the most dangerous animals in the world, and many a death in Africa is due to an encounter with a hippo by a fisherman or villager. When you are on foot, and a hippo is near – keep your distance for your well-being.
Hippos are hunted for their meat, hide-tusks sold as ivory, and they are hunted because they are considered dangerous to the communities surrounding their habitat, including fishermen in their boats that are overturned by hippos.
Places to see Hippos in Uganda’s National Parks:
Queen Elizabeth Park – Kazinga Channel:
The 40-kilometer-long Kazinga Channel connecting Lake George and Lake Edward has the highest concentration of hippos in all of Africa – during the Kazinga Channel boat ride, you will see hundreds of hippos in the water and on shore – a most fantastic sight.
You can also see evidence of their grazing habits on the shore where there is no grass – having been stripped clean by hippos. In the early 1960s, there was a significant hippo cull since there were many more hippos than the surrounding area could support.
Local communities were given hippo meat and developed a taste for it. The idea was even floated to sell cans of hippo meat, and various ways of preparing hippos for human consumption were also looked into– They tested different hippo recipes. Still, that idea died out after Uganda gained independence. Today you can see vast hippo herds at Kazinga Channel. You will also observe hippos in other parts of Queen Elizabeth Park – including the Ntungwe River in the Ishasha sector.
Murchison Falls Park Nile River Boat Safari:
There is nothing like a boat rides up the River Nile to the bottom of the Falls – along the route, you will see many hippo pods, and Murchison Falls Park is one of the best places to see hippos up close from the boat you are riding in and usually you have the opportunity for some great photo shots including open mouth ones, or hippos fighting with one another.
Next to Kazinga Channel – Murchison Falls National Park River Nile Boat Ride gives you the best opportunity to see hippos. Either on the Nile to the Falls Cruise or the Delta cruise.
You can also find them on a downriver boat ride to Lake Albert and as you drive near Lake Albert Nile on a wildlife Game Drive.
Murchison Falls Park along the Nile is one of the best parks in Africa where you can see Hippos.
Lake Mburo Park – Boat Ride Cruise:
The Lake Mburo Boat Ride provides the opportunity to see many hippos that make Lake Mburo their home and habitat.
The boat moves along the Eastern Shore of the Lake. During that time, you will see various pods of hippos – though not in the numbers found at the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth Park, the River Nile, and Lake Albert in Murchison Falls Park, you will still see lots of them on a cruise of Lake Mburo along with crocodiles, wildlife, and birds.
There are five lakes within Lake Mburo National Park, and you will come across them on game drives.
Hippos are not the reason to come to Lake Mburo Park; they are something you will not miss while visiting the park.
Semliki Wildlife Reserve:
Here you can find hippos in the Semliki River and if you take a boat ride into Lake Albert. One side of the River is in Uganda – while the other is in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There used to be a huge population here, but the disturbances and conflicts in the Congo harmed the wildlife, including hippos. (the most significant number of hippos have been poached and slaughtered in the Congo – the value of their teeth)
Both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda are focusing on the hippo population along the Semliki River to conserve hippos and other species.
Of course, the hippos do not recognize human-created boundaries, so they roam on both sides of the Semliki River.
Best places to see Hippos –Uganda offers many opportunities to see hippos – the above are 4 of the best National Parks where to do so…however do not be surprised if you come across hippos at other locations outside of the parks.