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The Reptiles found in Uganda – The Pearl of Africa

Posted by on June 30, 2020

The Reptiles found in Uganda in Parks, Reserves and other Places

The Reptiles – some of which you rarely come across during your visit to Uganda

Reptiles found in UgandaThe Reptiles found in UgandaInformation, Background, Parks, and Wildlife Reserves where reptiles such as Nile Crocodiles, Snakes, Lizards, Tortoises, Terrapins, and Chameleons are found in Uganda. The common reptiles seen by Tourists are the enormous Nile Crocodiles and Nile Monitor Lizards. Various Chameleons are also often spotted by Tourists on a safari.

Though Snakes are common in Uganda, they are rarely seen on a Safari.  House Geckos, Tortoises, and Terrapins are often more seen by Visitors.

Preventative Snake attack measures can quickly be taken, such as wearing, boots, thick socks, and long trousers. None of our clients have ever been attacked by a snake while on a Safari.

Most likely, you will see many crocodiles, monitor lizards, and chameleons.

The Nile Crocodiles of Uganda:

Thank goodness that Nile Crocodiles feed mostly on fish, and the ones found in Uganda are the largest living reptile in Africa dating back 150 million years.

They will prey on mammals as they come to water, and here in Uganda, you have cases along lakes where every year someone is killed by a crocodile. Still, you coming on Safari are quite safe since you will view them on a boat launch trip along the Nile at Murchison Falls, or along the Kazinga Channel Shores and at Lake Mburo as you take your journey on the lake.

The recent flooding of Lake Victoria and other lakes has caused a marked increase in the presence of Nile Crocodiles near villages.

Monitor Lizards: 

If you come across one, do not fear, they are harmless to you.  The look like crocodiles but do not behave like them.  They raid Crocodile Nests for the eggs that are there.

Here in Uganda, you find the savannah monitor and the water monitor. You will see them on game drives and on boat launch trips.

The water monitor can often be found along Kazinga Channel.  In Murchison Falls, there is an excellent chance to come across the savannah monitor and the Water Monitor Lizard along the Nile.  The savannah monitor can be over 2 meters long.


There are many different kinds of snakes found in Uganda.  The good news is this, they usually are quite shy and slither away as they sense your approach. You might see a few cross the road in front of your vehicle and spot a Rock Python or two along with your Safari.

Rock Pythons:  This is Africa’s most giant snake, lengths often over 5 meters in length.  Gold on black mottled kind of skin.  They are not venomous and kill their prey by strangulation wrapping their bodies around them, swallowing it whole, and off to a nap that can last a couple of months.  They feed on large rodents, small antelopes, they could kill a small child.  You will not come across too many, a good place is the bat cave in Maramagambo Forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Puff Adder:  That is most one of the most often encountered snakes in Uganda, they are found in the savannah parks.  It feeds mostly on rodents but will strike when threatened.  It is a sluggish kind of snake, and because of that, you can more easily disturb it, but again it is not often that a safari visitor comes across one.

Gabon Viper:  This is the largest African Viper over 2 meters long, has a stout build, black and brown skin pattern with some gold on it.  A perfect mix for the rainforests of Uganda.

Black Mambas:  A most poisonous snake, this snake is associated with many stories about killing villagers. Usually, the Black Mamba will only strike when attacked and then repeatedly.  It is found in Uganda, especially in the eastern part of the country. Black Mambas are quite fast and able to move faster than humans. They are not black in color, but the interior of their mouth is.

Green Mambas:  You usually do not see the Green Mambas on the ground but in trees, even in the roofs of homes, latrines, also in shrubs and bushes, poisonous but not as aggressive as the Black Mamba.

Boom Slang:  A tree snake, it is back-fanged and non-aggressive in behavior, and yet it is a very venomous snake.  It has not caused any fatalities in Uganda and, for that matter, in the rest of Africa.

Green Tree Snake:  A non-venomous snake found in trees.

Mole Snake:  Up to 2 meters in length and found in the savannah parks and feeds on moles as the name suggests and other rodents.

Egg Eating Snakes:  Again, the name tells the story, this snake feeds on bird eggs.  The swallow the egg whole and regurgitate the shell sometime later.

Chameleons: In Uganda, there are many chameleons but few to be seen.  We know them best for being able to change their colors depending on the mood they are in rather than their background and surrounding.

Here in Uganda, you might come across one along a path or a road as you travel or take a walk, such as in the Foothills of the Rwenzori Mountain.

Flap-Necked  Chameleon:  You can find in the savannah and wooded areas.  It is around 15 cm long, bright and green in color, but they can grow to double in size and will turn tan or brown under certain conditions.

Graceful Chameleon:  Yellow and green in color, and white stripe along the flanks of it.

Giant Chameleon:  It is bulky and dark green in color with yellow stripes and a small horn.  It feeds on small reptiles and insects.

House Gecko:  No matter where you go, you just find this little visitor in your room, almost plastic-like, don’t worry, they are harmless and eat insects.

Tortoises:  Most common is the leopard tortoise, with a shell that is leopard-like in the pattern.  They can weigh up to 30 kilos.

Terrapins:  Somewhat flatter than tortoises and the most common found on a rock near the water will be the Nile soft-shelled Terrapin, a wide flat shell can be one meter in length in some cases.

The Reptiles found in Uganda, they are there. However, most visitors to Uganda rarely see a snake in Uganda, but reptiles are here in Uganda, including the various snakes listed above.  Most often, you come across crocodiles, monitor lizards, chameleons, a turtle here or there – you might see a python on a game drive or at the Maramagambo Bat-cave where they live right with their prey…enjoy Uganda…

The Reptiles found in Uganda – not as scary as it might sound


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