What is the best place to see leopards in Uganda?

The best places to see leopards in Uganda include; Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park. Uganda is a landlocked country found in the East African region. The country is also found in the Great Lakes region crossed by the equator.  Uganda experiences a tropical climate, which is wet and dry throughout the year. More so, the country is home to over 10 national parks, 12 wildlife reserves, and 1 wildlife sanctuary. Leopards are one of the big five animals found in Uganda’s different parks. They belong to the cat family and are one of the predators in Uganda’s national parks. Leopards are one of the mammals found in different parts of the country. Scientifically the leopards are called the Panthera pardus.

leopards in Uganda

Facts about the leopards in Uganda
  • Some of the interesting facts about leopards include;
  • Leopards live in isolated areas in the parks like tree shades, shrubs, and many others.
  • Males and females usually meet for mating only.
  • Leopards are nocturnal animals and they are more active in the night in search of food.
  • Leopards are the best at climbing trees and they usually spend their daytime in the trees.
  • More so, leopards usually communicate with others through hoarse cough which is used by a male to alert other leopards about their presence.
  • Leopards run up to 58 kilometers per hour.
  • Females usually give birth to 2 to 3 cubs per year and stay with them for 2 years
  • Leopards live for about 12 to 17 years in the wild
  • They are also carnivores that usually hunt other animals for food.
  • Their gestation period lasts for about 90 to 105 days.
Where to see the leopards in Uganda?

The leopards in Uganda are found in different national parks and some of these parks include;

Kidepo Valley National Park

The Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the northern-eastern region of Uganda at the border of South Sudan and Uganda. The park is regarded as a true African wilderness. During the search for the leopards in the Kidepo Valley National Park, the leopards can be seen around the park during a game viewing. The Narus Valley is the best place in the park to see quite several leopards than the Kidepo Valley.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Located in the western part of the country, this is the most popular park in Uganda with several wildlife including some of the big five animals. The park is covered by a savannah type of vegetation and is also home to many leopards. Leopards can be seen in the Kasenyi plains in the new breeding zone in the northern part of the park. Also in the Ishasha sector, the leopards can be sited there.

Murchison Falls National Park

The most visited park in Uganda originates its name from the world’s strongest falls the Murchison Falls. The park is located in North Western Uganda and is the largest park in Uganda. The leopards in Uganda are sited in the different tracks of the park like the Pakuba track, honeymoon track, Albert track, and many others. The leopards can be sited at night since they are nocturnal and always in the night and travelers on a Uganda safari usually on a night game drive.

Lake Mburo National Park

The smallest Savannah National Park is located in the western Uganda. The park originates its name from the Lake Mburo within the park. The park is the nearest to Kampala. Leopards in the park are located in the western part of the park. Usually, the leopards are sited during night game drives.

Toro Semuliki Game Reserve

The Toro Semuliki National Park is located in the western part of the country at the border of the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is a home of the leopards located in the Tooro Semuliki Game Reserve. The siting of these leopards was recorded in 2007.

leopards in Uganda

Threats facing leopards in Uganda 

Leopards in Uganda face a quite number of threats that they face and some of these include;

  • Human-wildlife conflicts through the land encroachment and also the poaching of the wildlife.
  • Reduced prey in the park
  • Competition and attacks from other predators like lions, and hyenas.
  • Diseases like canine distemper, and rabies also are threats faced by leopards
  • Lack of awareness and education of the people around the protected areas.
What to pack while visiting leopards in Uganda

During the Uganda safari to see leopards, the travelers are required to have the following.

  • A tourist Visa that lasts for 90 days per single entry.
  • Valid passport with clear information about the traveler.
  • Vaccination certificates for COVID-19 and yellow fever.
  • Lightproof articles of clothing since the country experiences a lot of heat.
  • Cameras, binoculars, and many others can aid in seeing the leopards.
  • Insect repellants since in the country, there are tropical insects like mosquitos.
What other activities can I do while on a safari to see the leopards in Uganda?

While on a Uganda safari, there are several activities that the travelers can engage in and some of these include;

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives of man sharing about 98% of the DNA. Chimpanzees are several in number the Uganda’s national parks. The encounter of the chimpanzee is through the chimpanzee trekking and this activity lasts for about 2 to 6 hours of the day upon when you see the chimpanzee. Only the habituated chimpanzees are tracked.

Gorilla trekking

The gorillas are one of the large primates found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. The gorilla trekking involves hiking within the park and the activity takes about 2 to 7 hours of the day. These are some of the endemic primates in the world. During the trekking, you will also see other small primates.

Rhino tracking

The rhino tracking is only done in the Ziwa rhino sanctuary. The activity is done on foot tracking the rhinos. The rhinos are only found in this sanctuary only in Uganda. During the rhino tracking, the other wildlife to be seen include the bird species and small primates.

Golden monkey trekking

The golden monkeys are one of the small primates in the park which can be tracked in the bamboo forests of the country. The golden monkeys in Uganda can be seen in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The tracking of these monkeys takes about 4 to 5 hours of the day.

What is the best time to see the leopards in Uganda?

The best time to see the leopards in Uganda is throughout the year and the best time is during the dry season of the year December to February and also June to September. During the dry, the national parks are more clear for the animal viewing during the search for the leopards in Uganda. Additionally, in the wet season, leopards can be seen in the parks. However, it is required to plan accordingly. During the season, there is less traffic during the search for the leopards. 

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