Antelopes in Uganda within National Parks : Uganda as the pearl of Africa contains the golden diversity and exclusivity. This term, although coined over 100 years ago still resonates with the actual reality that is in the country today. This is explained by the 18753 species of fauna and flora that are hosted within the 241,037 km² of land area that the country holds. Such species include the phenomenal herds and beauties of antelopes that inhabit the country’s wildlands and wildlife-dotted savannahs. Examples of the savannahs national parks include; Murchison falls National park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. There are however, some forest national parks that also contain the gems. These include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Semuliki National Park and Kibale Forest National Park. Antelopes can also be spotted in mountainous national parks such as Mount Elgon National Park and Rwenzori mountains National Park. Antelopes are so numerous and are the most common on any savannah safari in Uganda. They can be observed in 9 out of 10 national parks and thus possess one of the greatest range distributions that land animals usually have. Whether you go into the forest, you have chances of seeing them. As you are climbing the mountains, they wait in hiding for you to pass and then feed on some the vegetation you will encounter on the way. As you drive through the savannah, you will witness their breeding, feeding and ecological behavior.
The country is blessed with thousands of wildlife species and spectacular landscapes that are uniquely distributed across the different regions within it. Such regions act as the hallmarks that redefine the meaning of happiness to every traveler. When you visit the Central region, you will see wonderful people and culture preserved for hundreds of years. To the West, you will see the definitions of perfection resting within the green of old (forests) and the extensive savannah plains. To the East, there is an array of wildlife and scenery that will remind you of the classical age music composition. Then maximize the excitement with the Northern terrain where expectation meets awesome experiences that would surely know your name! In all these, the Antelopes in Uganda form part of the highlights.
Antelopes are some of the most interesting animals to encounter on any Uganda safari and East Africa Safari. They form a broad and significant number in their composition in both Uganda and Africa at wide. The term “Antelope” represents a great number of individual species that one can come across on an East African safari. Uganda hosts a phenomenal 29 species of antelope, including the eland- the world’s largest antelope. Antelopes are so important to Uganda that the country’s national emblem contains one of them, the Uganda kob. Species of antelopes are differentiated from each other by their characteristic appearance that changes either by color, fur, patches, size and shape.
Antelopes are usually classified as a result of their reproductive behavior. Small antelopes, such as dik-diks, tend to be monogamous. They inhabit forested environments with few resources. Males are unable to monopolize more than one female due to the sparse distribution. Larger forest species often form very small herds of two to four females and one male. There are about 91 antelope species, most of which are native to Africa’s wildlands and occur in about 30 genera. Antelopes are not a cladistics or taxonomically defined group. The term used to describe all members of the Bovidae family that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goats. Usually, all species of the Alcelaphinae, Antilopinae, Hippotraginae, Reduncinae, Cephalophinae, many Bovinae, the grey rhebok, and the impala are called antelope. About 25 species are rated by the IUCN as endangered, such as the dama gazelle and mountain nyala. A number of subspecies are also endangered, including the giant sable antelope and the mhorr gazelle. The main causes for concern for these species are habitat loss, competition with cattle for grazing, and trophy hunting.
Below are some of the Antelope species in Uganda distribution within specific National Parks
Uganda has about 29 Antelope species including the elands, the greater kudu, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbuck, sitatunga, Grant’s gazelle and the Uganda kob, among others.
In Murchison falls national park, located in the north-west of Uganda, there are numerous species of antelopes. These include the Uganda kobs, the oribi, the defassa waterbuck, the grey duiker, the bushbuck and the Jackson’s hartebeest (which is endemic to the country) among others.
Kidepo national park is another place to see antelopes. The park is located in the far northeast of Uganda and has approximately 12 species of antelope. These include the Oribi, Eland, Uganda kob, klipsringer, Jackson’s hartebeest, greater and lesser kudu, Mountain reedbuck, Guenther’s dik-dik, Roan antelope, Bright gazelle and the Beisa oryx among others, Antelopes in Uganda within National Parks
Queen Elizabeth national park is also another area that is home to numerous species of antelopes. Although, Queen Elizabeth national park is the most visited tourist destination in Uganda, it has fewer antelopes compared to the other 3 savnnah national parks in Uganda. We can mainly see the following antelopes in Queen Elizabeth national park; the Uganda kob, topi, sitatunga, waterbuck, reedbuck, duiker and bushbuck among others.
Lake Mburo national park is located in the western part of Uganda and it boosts as an area that hosts most antelopes. The park is importantly the only place where Impalas can be found in Uganda. Other antelope species in the park include: the Burchell’s zebra, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck, topis, klipspringer, sitatunga, bushbucks and duikers among others.
Toro-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve and Semiliki national park also located in the western Uganda has about 53 mammals, 27 of which are large mammals. Some of the antelopes here include the pygmy antelope, which is endemic to the area. Other antelopes include the Uganda Kob, waterbuck, bush buck and 9 species of duikers among others. The duikers in the area include the red duiker, blue duiker and bay duiker among others. Semuliki is said to possess the world’s largest forest antelope that was captured on a camera trap. This was the lowland or western bongo. This mammal can weigh up to 800 pounds
Mount Elgon national park is known for small antelopes like the duiker, the oribi, bushbuck and the waterbuck among others. Among its 70 mammal species, Antelopes in Uganda within National Parks
Mount Rwenzori national park also has similar antelopes like the harnessed bushbuck, the red forest duiker and the yellow-backed duiker among others. Although these are present, the dense forest makes them hard to see.
Kibale national park is also known to inhabit antelopes in Uganda. The park is home to 5 species of antelope which form part of the 60 mammal species found in the park. These include the blue, peter and red duikers, bushbucks and sitatungas.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is known to host some small 6 species of antelopes as part of the 120 mammal species found in the park. These include the sitatunga, bushbuck and five duiker species.