Thanks to its hot equatorial climate, Uganda is a haven for many cold-blooded reptiles. The largest of these is the Nile crocodile, observed along the banks of rivers and lakes, basking open-mouthed in the heat as blackbird plovers pick tasty morsels from between their teeth. The species was once threatened with extiction as a result of being hunted for its high quality leather.
They typically grow to between 3.5 and 5 meters (11.5 to 16 feet) in length, though examples of over 6.5 meters have been reported!
Much less scary are the diminutive three-horned chameleons, living at higher altitudes on the slopes of the Rwenzori. They are often bright green, changing their color rapidly according to their mood and temperature.
One eye moves around independently of the other, giving them 360 degree vision, and they will whip out their extraordinarily long tongues in order to catch unsuspecting insects to eat.
This comical-looking creature seems to have an oversized head, protruding tusks, bristly mane and excessively long-skinny legs, causing it to kneel down to graze. When frightened, they run away with their tails standing vertically. Warthogs cannot dig so they use holes dug by other creatures to sleep in. When chased, they will back into a burrow, allowing them to surprise their aggressor by charging out, tusks first - they have even been known to kill lions by inflicting severe wounds.
Warthogs can easily be seen in Uganda’s savannah National Parks. Be careful not to store snacks in your tent if you are camping - they have been known to rip through the canvas if they can smell food!
Information sourced from African Wildlife Foundation
Lake Mburo contains around six species of fish, with tilapia being the most common. The designated fishing spot is at Mazinga.
Lake Mburo's key birding spots include swampy valleys and viewing platforms near the salt licks and in the forest. Species found at these locations include the Rufous-bellied Heron, Bateleur, Coqui Francolin, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard and Brown-chested Lapwing.
Horseback safaris are an exciting way to view wildlife including eland and buffalo. Also commonly sighted are warthog, topi, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebra.
Unusually, the whole park is open to walkers as long as they are accompanied by a ranger guide. Locations include the salt lick at Rwonyo, the lake's banks, Rubanga Forest and a hilltop with gorgeous lake views.
The network of game tracks in the east of the park passes a variety of landscape features including acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops and seasonally flooded valley floors.
The wildlife-rich eastern banks of Lake Mburo can be explored during a tranquil two-hour boat voyage. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, buffalo, and hippos as well as colorful Kingfishers, magnificent Fish Eagles and Hammerkops with their enormous nests.
Hike to the Lomej Mountains, take leisurely walks through the Narus Vally, meet members of the endangered IK tribe and wander the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of borassus palm forest.