ROAMING GIANTS, HIPPOS OF UGANDA.
Hippos of Uganda, scientifically knowns as Hippopotamus amphibious, are large semi-aquatic mammals.
Uganda known as “pearl of Africa” is a home to a remarkable population of hippos, which play a significant role in its diverse ecosystem.
Hippos of Uganda are gentle and docile animals but they are considered as one of the world’s dangerous beasts.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE HIPPOS OF UGANDA:
- Hippos of Uganda are the second largest land mammals having barrel-shaped bodies with short legs and long muzzles.
- They are great swimmers. They can hold their breath underneath water for 5 minutes and this enables them to swim under water. No wonder the nick name “river horse”.
- Hippos are herbivores. This means they feed on plants and they can feed on an average of 80 pounds of grass.
- They are most active at night. They are not nocturnal animals but are active during the night and this is so because they leave their resting waters near dusk and return in the morning.
- Gestation period. They have a gestation period of eight months which is 243 days. Their babies are called calves and weigh between 30-50 pounds.
- They form groups of 8-30 individuals. These groups are called herds.
- Hippos mark their territories defecation. They do this by spinning their tails to distributed their poop long enough. A dominant bull controls a stretch of 200m with about 10 females.
- They leave both in water and land. These mammals leave on land but prefer to spend most of their day time in water because they need to cool from the Ugandan hot sun.
- Life span. They can live for 40-50 years.
- Hippos are dangerous animals. They are dangerous to other animals and people and they kill 430 people every year. Most the deaths result from invading the hippo’s territory or if one tries to act their young ones.
Hippos of Uganda are found in conserved areas namely;
- Murchison falls national park. This national park offers a variety of activities including a River boat ride. On this boat drive you will see many of them along the shores and in the waters of the Nile river.
- Lake Mburo national park. Lake Mburo offers a boat cruise on the lake which gives you an opportunity to various pods of hippos.
- Queen Elizabeth national park. Queen Elizabeth park has the highest population of these animals in Uganda and they can be spotted in and around the Kazinga channel and the Ntungwe river.
- Semuliki national park. A boat cruise on the Semuliki river into lake Albert offers you a chance to view the hippos.
Hippos are amazing and adorable animals, seeing them in their natural habitats can be such a spell-bounding experience. Visit the docile looking animal that is the most dangerous in the savannah with Inspire African Safari