COMMONLY SEEN MAMMALS AND REPTILES OF LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Lion: Latin name: Panthera leo
Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the lions greatest threat. Their attack, killing and eating cows have led herdsmen around LMNP to poisoning lions with an intend of eliminate there treat on their livestock. In 1970s and early 1980s lions in substantial numbers roamed the plains of Lake Mburo, till one by one where either poisoned or hunted and killed to the point of being exterminated from the park. For over 10 years Lions where never sighted till of recent, when they have been reports of there reappearance, Lionesses in the wild frequently reach an age of 12-14 years, whereas male lions seldom live for longer than 8 years. However, there are records of lionesses living for up to 20 years in the wild.
Leopard: Latin name: Panthera pardus
A member of the cat family and the smallest of the four ‘’big cats’’. Relatively short legs and a long body, with a large skull. Its fur is marked with rosettes which lack internal spots. Males are about 30% larger than females, head and body length is between 90-190cm, Shoulder height is 45 to 80cm, weighing 37 to 91kg compared to 28 to 60kg for females. Primarily a nocturnal creature. Their diet consists mostly of ungulates and monkeys, but rodents, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish are also eaten. Gestation lasts for 90-105 days. Cubs usually born in a litter of 2-4, but infant mortality are high and usually no more than 1-2 cubs survive beyond their infancy. They are solitary, with a life span of 21 years of age in capacity and they live less longer than 21 years.
Hyena: Latin name: Crocuta crocuta
Although hyenas appear similar to dogs, they are actually more closely related to cats. Spotted hyenas are famed scavengers and often dine on the leftovers of others predators. But also skilled hunters that will take down oribi, impala, and other antelope. They also kill and eat birds, lizards, snakes, and insects. Gestation: 90 to 110 days. Lifespan: 25 years in captivity. Hyenas in LMNP have been so greatly reduced in the past years by cattle keepers who intended to kill big cats (lions, leopards) which attacked their cows. The few hyenas still surviving in LMNP and being nocturnal and shy, their presence in the park are more noticed from foot-marks than physically seen.
Serval Cat: Latin name: Leptailurus serval
The serval is a medium-sized African wild cat with beautiful patterned coat, related to the African Golden Cat. Slender animal, with long legs and a fairly short tail. The head is small in relation to the body, and the tall, oval ears are set close together. Females weigh 9-16kg, and males 12-26kg. Life expectancy is about 12-16 years in the wild, and up to 20-25 years in captivity. Although the serval is specialized for catching rodents, it is an opportunistic predator whose diet also includes birds, hares, hyraxes, reptiles, insects, fish and frogs. Outside protected areas, it is well known to farmers for farmers for snatching domestic birds such as chicken. They mainly hunt at night or dawn and dusk, although they are active during day in wet seasons.
Dwarf Mongoose: Latin name: Helogale parvula
A typical mongoose with a large pointed head, small ears, along tail, short limbs, and paws. It is much smaller than most other mongoose species (18-28cm, 210-350grs). The soft fur is very variable in color, ranging from yellowish red to dark brown. The limbs and belly are lighter colored. It is common in areas with many termite mounds. Its diet consists of insects mainly termites, grasshoppers and crickets, spiders, lizards, small birds and rodents supplemented with fruit. It is a diurnal animal and a social species that lives in family groups of 2 to 20 animals. A group consists of more females than males. There is a strict hierarchy within a group, headed by a dominant pair. The dominant female is the leader of the group, while the dominant male is very cautions and is often inspecting the surroundings from higher ground. Only the dominant female is allowed to give birth. After the gestation period of 53 days, six young mongooses are born.
Banded Mongoose: Latin name: Mungos mungo
A sturdy mongoose with a large head, small ears, short, muscular limbs and along tail, almost as long as the rest of the body. The rough fur is grayish brown, and there are several dark brown to black horizontal bars across the back. They have long strong claws that allow them to dig in the soil. Gestation period is of two months, and give birth to 4 young ones which are breast-fed by all milk-producing females of the group. An adult can reach a length of 30 to 45cm and a weight of 1.5 to 2.25kg. They are social animals that live in a pack of 15 to 30 individuals, the core of which consists of one dominant male and 3 to 10 dominant females. Their diet consists mainly of invertebrates, including insects (termites, beetles), centipedes, lizards, snakes, frogs, bird’s eggs and sometimes mice, but also eat roots and fruit. They have a close relationship with warthogs and baboons and are often found in their company.
White-tailed Mongoose: Latin name: Ichneumia albicauda
This specie of mongoose is a solitary nocturnal insect-eater mostly found in open savannah. Body length measures up to 1.5m and weigh 4-5kg. The coat is dark-grey in color, and the tails are distinctive with long, white hairs. Legs are black and front limbs appear short. The diet of the white-Tailed Mongoose consists mainly of insects, but will feed on a wide variety of other foods as well. Locusts, beetles, termites, and mole crickets make up the majority of their diet. Rats, mice, shrews, lizards, snakes, small birds are also eaten, along with the occasional fruits and berries. They do not stand on their hind feet for any length of time like other mongooses. By day they will rest in an abandoned burrow, termite mound, or in cavities under tree roots. Gestation period is of two months, and give birth to 2 or 3 young ones. Life span of 7 to 12 years.
Black-backed Jackal: Latin name: Canis mesomelas
The Black-backed or Silver-backed Jackal is a medium-sized canid and a very dog-like animal also referred to as fox. The species’ most distinguishing feature is the silver-black fur running from the back of the neck to the base of the tail. Chest and under parts are white to rusty-white, whereas the rest of the body ranges from reddish brown. Usually lives together in pairs that last for life, but often hunts in packs to catch larger prey. Lives mostly in open grassland habitant where they feed on rodents, Lizards, birds and their eggs. Very territorial. Mainly nocturnal, but sometimes comes out in the day or late evenings. Gestation period is 2-month. Each litter consists of 3-6 pups; each weighs 200-250 grams. At 8 months, the pups are old enough to leave their parents and establish territories of their own.
Buffalo (Wild cattle): Latin name: Syncerus caffer
Take a game drive, boat trip or a nature walk around swamps and salt-licks, and you will increase your chances of sighting a buffalo or a herd of them. A buffalo is reddish-brown to black wild Ox-like savanna animal. The species in LMNP is the Cape buffalo that you will find in the woodland savanna and in areas around water. They live in herds of 10 or more. Weigh 500-900kg with a shoulder height of 1-1.7m. Both sexes carry horns which in the male grow up to 1.5m. 1-1.7m. Both sexes carry horns which in the male grow up to 1.5m. Sight and hearing are both rather poor, but scent is well developed in buffaloes. Grass forms the greatest part of their diet, feeds mostly at night. Their gestation is of 11-12 months and lifespan of up to 20 years.
Eland: Latin name: Taurotragus (Tragelaphus
Eland, the largest of the antelope family live on the open plains of Lake Mburo National Park. They eat grass, branches and leaves. They are diurnal but tend to be inactive during the heat of day. Herds usually have 30 to 80 individuals, but are known to exceed 400. The common Eland has an unusual social life, leaving or joining herds as necessary without forming close ties. Eland in LMNP are unpredictable; however, the best place to see them is at points of water where most animals frequent to drink water. Such good places are around the swamps. The best time being 10am to noon.
Plains Zebra: Latin name: Equus burchelli
The plains zebra is the common black and white broad-striped zebra found over most plains of Lake Mburo National Park. Unlike other zebra species, the vertical stripes on this zebra’s back extend around to the belly. Some animals show a faint brown ‘’shadow’’stripe between the main flank stripes. Their stripes of black and white makes each individual different from each other and thus no two individuals look exactly alike. All have vertical stripes on the forepart of the body, which tend towards the horizontal on the hind-quarters. Weigh about 250-300kg however males may weigh 10% more than females. Although zebras can almost be seen anywhere on land in LMNP, often they tend to avoid bushy thickets or woody savanna and rather prefer open savannas. While they can as well be seen on a game drive, other good places to sight zebras are by water points (swamp edges) and salt licks.
Topi: Latin name: Damaliscus lunatus
The fastest antelope in the savanna plains of Lake Mburo National Park. A lean, sleek animal built for sustained speed, the topi looks like a smaller and darker hartebeest of Murchison Falls National Park, with higher forequarters sloping to lower hindquarters, but it has a less-elongated head and ordinary-looking horns, which are similar in box sexes. With a colorful coat of reddish brown is made more conspicuous by reverse counter-shading (lighter above and darker below). Young calves of all varieties are a similar light tan without markings. Social systems range from resident small herds to huge migratory aggregations and from large individuals territories to breeding arenas, or leks, where males crowd together and compete to inseminate females. Gestation is eight months, and which a single calf is born. Average weight: 140kgs.
Waterbuck: Latin name: Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa
Defassa Waterbuck, an antelope that stand 100 to 130cm at the shoulder and weigh from 160 to 240kgs. Their coats are reddish brown in color and become progressively darker with age, they have a white ‘bib’ under their throats and a white ring on their rumps surrounding their tails. The waterproofing secretions of the waterbuck’s sweat glands produce an unpleasant odor in its meat, unless the animal is skinned carefully. The long spiral structured horns, found only in males, sweep back and up. They are found in scrub and savanna areas near water where they eat grass. Despite its name, the waterbuck does not spend much time in the water, but will take refuge there to escape predators. They are diurnal. The Defassa Waterbuck is a subspecies in which the ring on the rump is solid white.
Bush-buck: Latin name: Tragelaphus scriptus
Bushbuck, also called ‘’bush antelope’’, is a shy antelope that spend much of its day time under cover in thickets and tends to be active early morning and late evenings. It is fairly common in the park’s woodlands. Easy to identify, has a light brown coat with up to seven white stripes and white splotches on the sides. Only male have horns that can reach over half a metre with only one twist. Female are smaller and weigh from 60 to 90kg while male can weigh up to 150kg. Basically they are solitary animals, though some live in pairs.
Reedbuck: Latin name: Redunca redunca
The Bohor Reedbuck is an antelope mostly living in grassland areas near water. It is reddish with lighter areas in the posterior and a white underbelly. Males have curved horns pointing forward and can weigh up to 55 kg. Live in small groups consisting of a few individuals or feeding among impalas or live alone. Very shy antelope and an exclusively grazer, that feeds on fresh green grasses and tender reed shoots and generally feeds during the night. Gestation period is about 7.5 months.
Sitatunga: Latin name: Lavia frons
Sitatunga, an amphibious antelope, live in papyrus swamps of LMNP and is very good swimmers. The males’ coats are grayish-brown, while the females’ are a reddish-chocolate brown, with six to eight vertical white stripes on the body. Males are considerably larger than females and have long, twisting horns. They take to the water to evade predators such as leopards or lions, lying submerged in pools with only their nostrils above the surface. They feed at dusk and early morning but sometimes active at night and day. Sitatunga eat sedges and the leaves of bushes in the swamps, as well as grass in adjacent riverine forests, fruit and chew the bark of some trees. They can be solitary; females tend to stick in herds while males become mostly solitary after mating. Males have a mane in length. To see a sitatunga in LMNP you have to take a nature walk around swamp edges.
Duiker: Latin name: Sylvicapra grimmia
Also known as Bush Duiker is a small antelope with small horns. It grows to about 50cm in height and generally weighs 12 to 25 kg. Shy and elusive creatures with a fondness for dense cover, most are forest dwellers and even the species living in more open areas are quick to disappear into thickets. With a slightly arched body and the front legs a little shorter than the hind legs, they are well-shaped to penetrate thickets. They are primarily browsers rather than grazers, eating leaves, shoots, seeds, fruit, buds and bark. They supplement their diet with meat; they take insects and carrion from time to time, and even stalk and capture rodents or small birds. Breeding is year round and the female gives birth to one fawn after a gestation period of what is variously estimated at 3 to 7.5 months.
Oribi: Latin name: Ourebia ourebi
A graceful slender-legged, long-necked small antelope found in grassland of LMNP. The back and upper chest is yellow to orange brown. The chin, throat, chest, belly and rump are white. The tail is short and bushy, the upper side black or dark brown, and the under surface white. The white crescent-shaped band of fur above the eye is a characteristic that helps to distinguish this species from other similar-looking antelope. Below each ear is a large round black glandular patch, the nostrils are prominently red, and on the sides of the face are vertical creases that house the pre-orbital glands. These glands produce an odorous secretion that is used to mark their territory. Only males grow horns, slender and upright. Weigh 2-22kg. Gestation 6 to 7 months. Lifespan of up to 14 years.
Klipspringer: Latin name: Oreotragus oreotragus
The Klipspringer, literally ‘’rock jumper’’, is a small African antelope that lives in the rocky northern part of LMNP. Reaching approximately 58cm (22in) at the shoulder, they are relatively small animals compared to most antelope. Only males have horns 10-15cm (4-6in) long. They stand on the tips of their hooves. With a gray, brown and yellow to olive green coat, blend in well with the rock outcrops, on which they are found. The belly and insides of ears are white. The ears have a conspicuous black border. The nose is black, as are the large preorbital glands. The body is sturdy and the hindquarters are overdeveloped. Herbivores, eating rock plants and never need to drink, as the succulents they subsist on provide them with enough water to survive. Mating season is September through to January. Gestation is 7 month. Life span up to 15 years. The best place to see klipspringers is around Mihingo lodge and Kopjes granite outcrops.
Impala: Latin name: Aepyeros melampus
A medium-sized savannah antelope. About 75kgs for male Impala while females weigh approximately 40 to 53kg. They are reddish brown in color, have lighter flanks and white underbellies with a characteristic ‘’M’’ marking on its rear. Males, referred to as rams, have lyre-shaped horns which can reach up to 90cm in length. Females, referred to as ewes, and they have no horns. Herds will use specific areas for their excrement. Impala are active during both day and night and are dependent on water. A herd is normally an indicator of water close by. Impala can thrive in areas where pure grazers cannot survive. When frightened or startled they can jump distances more than 9m (30 ft.) and 2.5m (8 ft.) high. Impala is similar in appearance to the kob, though the two species are not related. Impala are animals of open savanna and that is where they are easily seen than in the woody acacia savannas that they tend to avoid.
Warthog: Latin name: Phacochoerus africanus
A wild member of the pig family. The name comes from the four large wart-like protrusions found on the head of the warthog. Their ivory is taken from the constantly growing canine teeth. A pair of teeth in each jaw with the lower teeth being far shorter than the upper teeth. Both pairs grow upwards, with the upper teeth being by far the more spectacular in appearance. Diet is omnivorous, composed of grasses, roots, berries, bark and even small mammals, reptiles and birds. When feeding, they often bend the front legs backwards and move around staying on the knees. Fast runners, often running with their tails in the air. Can dig their own burrows of aardvarks or other animals. They enter burrows ‘’back-end first’’, with the head always facing the opening and ready to burst out as needed. Common around camps, lodges and hotels around the park. The male is called a boar, the female a sow, and the young piglets. A group is called a sounder.
Bush Pig: Latin name: Potamochoerus porcus
The Bush Pig, also known as Red River Hog is the most beautiful members of the pig family and one of the most colorful mammals that lives in the swamps of LMNP. The fur is reddish-brown, with black legs and black and white snout along the top, a white stripe goes end to end on the spine. They live in herds of 6-20 members, led by the strongest boar. Typically, 3-6 piglets are born at a time. Bush pigs eat grass, berries, roots, insects, Mollusca, and little vertebrates. The bush pig is mostly nocturnal. The best place to see bush pigs is at salt-licks at night, when they come to lick the salty soils in these places.
Hippopotamus: Latin name: Hippopotamus amphibious
Hippopotamus, a large mostly plant-eating mammal, that inhabiting swamps and Lakes of Lake Mburo Park. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud only to emerge at dusk to graze on grass. Reproduction and childbirth both occur in water, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of water territory. Grazing is a solitary activity and they are not territorial on land. The hippopotamus is recognizable for its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third-largest land mammal by weight (1.5-2 tons), behind the white Rhinoceros (3-4 tons) and Elephant (4-5.5 tons). A male hippopotamus is known as a bull, a female as a cow and a baby as a calf.
African Hare: Latin name: Lepus alleni
Famous in most African folk tales as trickster. The hare is nocturnal small mammal common in Lake Mburo savannah that can easily be seen while driving or walking at night. Similar to rabbits, and generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, black markings on their fur and live in the wild. Spends most of the day lying in a ‘’form’’ a depression in the ground or under bushes. Hares do not dig burrows like rabbits do. Female gives birth to 1-2 young, which are born fully haired and with open eyes. The mother only spends a short amount of time each day suckling the young, the rest of the time they hide in forms trying to avoid the attention of predators. To protect themselves, hares rely on camouflage, speed and their senses of hearing and smell. Hares eat leaves, buds, roots, berries, fungi, bark and twigs. Young hares, are called leverets.
Tree Hyrax: Latin name: Dendrohyrax arboreus
In spite of their rodent-like appearance, hyrax are more closely related to the elephant than to any other ungulates. Tree Hyrax are dark brown or grey in color with markings of conspicuous white patches above the eyes. They have short neck and tail, and short slender legs. Weigh only 4-5kg and of the size of a rabbit. Although related to the elephant, the only physical similarity between the Hyrax and the elephant, however, is the rounded nails on their toes, the gestation period of about eight months and the life expectancy of up to 14 years, which is remarkably long if one considers the size of the animal. This species is strictly nocturnal and is more often heard than seen. The call of the Tree Hyrax is one of the most extraordinary noises in the animal kingdom. Beginning with a loud creaking sound, the call builds up to a crescendo. They are primarily herbivores.
Yellow-winged Bat: Latin name: Lavia frons
The Yellow-winged bat, is a medium-sized bat, with forearm lengths ranging from 2.0-2.5 in (5.3-6.4cm), and weighing 25-35g. The combination of yellowish wings and ears and a long, blunt nose-leaf distinguish yellow-winged bats. Inhabit savanna woodland. Roost by day hanging from small branches in acacia trees. Roosting bats are alert and difficult to approach. Insectivorous, they hunt well above the ground, taking flying insects. Females bear a single young annually after a three-month gestation period. On a walk among acacia trees they can be seen flying off from tree branches and at night on compound or security lights, hunting lake-flies and other insects that are attracted to these lights.
Crested Porcupine: Latin name: Hystrix cristata
Crested porcupine is a herbivorous rodent having long, pointed spines, or quills, growing from the back and sides and from the head and tail. The quills, which have needle-sharp ends containing hundreds of barbs, can be erected by the muscles of the skin. Their loose attachment and ready removal have given rise to the popular but incorrect idea that the animal can project its quills like arrows or darts. These quills are used, for the most part, for defense and are usually marked with light and dark bands which alternate. The front feet of the crested porcupine have four developed and clawed digits with a regressed thumb, the rear feet have five. The ears are external and both the eyes and ears are very small with long whisker on its head.
Side-striped Ground Squirrel: Latin name: Xerus erythropus lacustris
The coarse fur covering its body identifies the species. The fur is frequently tinted the color of the soil in which the animal is found, creating an array of color from brownish to reddish grey to yellowish grey. The pads of the feet lack fur. A white stripe appears on both sides of the body running from the shoulders to the hind quarters. The total length of the body is between 20 to 45cm with tail length of 18 to 28cm. The tail is somewhat flattened and usually a shade darker than the rest of the body. Ears are small. Claws are present, long and slightly curved, but do not climb trees. Omnivorous animal whose diet consists of palm nuts, seeds, pods, grains, insects, small vertebrates, and bird’s eggs. Breed once yearly 2 to 6 offspring, after a gestation period of 64 to 78 days. Lifespan in the wild 2 to 3 years.
Tree squirrel: Latin name: Paraxerus Cepapi
Essentially tree climbing animals, but spend a great deal of time on the ground, foraging for food. When disturbed, Tree squirrels will always seek the refuge of trees. The total length is 350 mm, half of which is tail. This species only weighs 200 gram. The coat color varies but commonly pale grey. Head and legs are a rusty color. The tree squirrels’ bellies are white. These alert and ever busy creatures carry their long tails extended backwards. Primarily vegetarian, but like most rodents will take insect prey. Tree squirrels use their forefeet to manipulate food items when feeding. They scatter-hoard seeds next to tree trunks to grass tufts, thereby facilitating tree regeneration. They give birth to one to three pups, after a gestation period of 2 months.
African Grass Rat: Latin name: Arvicanthis niloticus
Lake Mburo National Park has at least 16 different species of rodents, 13 of which are rats and mice. These include; Bush rat, Giant rat, Groove-tooth rat, African soft-furred rat, Small mice, Mill rat, striped grass rat, African grass rat, and Narrow-footed thicket rat, Bush furred mouse, African dormouse, Marsh cane rat and savanna cane rat. Among which the Bush rat is endemic to Lake Mburo National Park, not found in any other National Parks of Uganda. The above specie, African (Un-striped) grass rat is both diurnal and nocturnal. During day, this rat is frequently seen from sunrise to mid-morning and from mid-afternoon to late in the evening foraging through grass looking for food. It eats almost everything ranging from plant seeds, flowers, fruits, eggs, nestling birds to earthworths and insects.
Baboon: Latin name: Papio Anubis
The Olive baboon, or Anubis Baboon, inhabits mostly the woody savannah areas and widely distributed in LMNP. They sleep, travel, feed and socialize together in groups of up to 50 or more individuals, consisting of 7 to 8 males and then females plus their young. These family units of females, juveniles and infants form the stable core of a troop, with a ranking system that elevates certain females as leaders. They are omnivores and selective feeders. Grass makes up a large part of their diet, along with berries, seeds, pods, blossoms, leaves, roots, and bark of a variety of plants. They also eat birds, vervet monkeys, and small antelopes. Gestation period: 6 months, lifespan: 20 to 30 years.
Black-and-White Colobus monkey: Latin name: Colobus guereza
Black-and-White colobus are closely related to the Red colobus monkeys. The word ‘’colobus’’ comes from Greek ekolobose ‘’hecut short’’ and is so named because its thumb is a stump or nearly absent. It has no cheek pouches. Its coat is a glossy black with a face and rump surrounded by white and a U-shaped white mantie on its sides and rear of back. Its tail is white at the end. Young are all white. Its hind legs are long and well-muscled for leaping through the trees and bounding along branches. Give birth to a single young born after a 5-month gestation, with offspring produced about ever 20 months. Young become fully mature in about 4-6 years. Their lifespan in capacity is upwards of 23 years.
Vervet Monkey: Latin name: Chlorocebus pygerythrus
The vervet Monkey is an Old World Monkey. Commonly lives in groups or troops of 20 or more. Their body is a greenish-olive or silvery-gray. The face, ears, hands, feet and tip of the tail are black, but a conspicuous white band on the forehead blends in with the short whiskers. The males are slightly larger than the females and easily recognized by a turquoise blue scrotum and red penis. Its tail is usually held up, with the tip curving downward. Its arms and legs approximately the same length. The mainly vegetarian diet of leaves, young shoots, flowers, fruit, bulbs, roots, and grass seeds is supplemented with insects, grubs, eggs, baby birds and sometimes rodents. Gestation: 5 1/2 months. Life span: 24 years in capacity.
Agama Lizard: Latin name: Acanthocerus atricollis
An agama is any one of the various small, long-tailed, insect- eating lizards. They can be found in many sizes and wide variety of colors. The blue-headed Tree Agama (Acanthocerus atricollis), widespread in LMNP savannah. Mature displaying males have bright blue head and throat. The tail is yellow/green turning to blue as it tapers. Females are not as bright as males. Their heads are grey with green speckling and blue patches. The Blue-headed Tree Agama spends most of its time on trunks of big trees, though sometimes be seen on rocks and termite moulds. Their diurnal sleeps at night on tree branches, tree holes or cracks and under tree barks. They are mainly insectivores. Their incisor-like front teeth are designs for quick cutting and chewing of they prey. They may also eat grass, berries, seeds and even the eggs of smaller lizards.
Nile Monitor Lizard: Latin name: Varanus niloticus
The Nile monintor is a larger member of the monitor lizard family. They grow to 1.5 to 2m (4.5 to 6.5ft) in length. Muscular bodies, strong legs and powerful jaws. The teeth are sharp and pointed in juvenile animals and become blunt and peg-like in adults. Possess sharp claws used for climbing, digging, defense or tearing at their prey. Their nostrils are placed high on the snout, indicating that these animals are highly aquatic, but are also excellent climbers and quick runners on land. They feed on fish, snails, frogs, crocodile eggs and young, snakes, birds, small mammals and large insects.
Striped Skink: Latin name: Mabuya striata
A brown, rufous or black colored skink with two cream or light yellow that run on the upper part of the body from the head to the tail, fading towards the tail tip. The Flanks are usually speckled with ywllow or cream, while the underside is colored cream with some grey to black speckling. The top of the head being reddish and slightly depressed. They have a short tail which is about half the total length in size. The Striped Skink has a maximum length of about 25cm with an average of 18-22 cm. Diurnal and essentially arboreal. Feeds on a wide range of insects.
Rock Python: Latin name: Python Sebae
With adults reaching lengths of over 6m (20ft), this is one of the world’s largest species of snakes. Color pattern is typically brown, with olive and tan irregular blotching, fading to white on the underside. Typically associated with grassland and savannah habitat, not too far from water, sometimes entering the edges of forests. Opportunistic feeders, and will consume almost any animal they come across and can overpower by constriction. Young pythons eat primarily small rodents. However, adults are capable of taking very large prey, including goats, and a number of antelopes. Females lay as 100 eggs at a time. They guard their eggs aggressively while they incubate for 2-3 months. Hatchings are between 45-60 cm (18-24in) in length.
Egyptian Cobra: Latin name: Naja Haje
Cobras are known for their intimidating behavior and as poisonous snakes of deadly bites. They are easily recognized by the hood they create with their skin around their neck, when the snake is disturbed or angry. The Egyptian cobra is olive or red brown in color, patterned with yellow scales at the back. Eyes are bronze with a subocular scale separating the eye from the upper labials. In length, it grows up to 2.8m and sometimes more than that. They are mostly found in dry savanna/woodland and commonly in termites holes. They are terrestrial and active both during day and night. They feed on a wide range of prey that include; frogs, rats, eggs, other snakes and other small mammals.
Nile Crocodiles: Latin name: Crocodylus niloticus
Nile crocodiles in LMNP can be sighted along the shores of L.Mburo when on a boat trip, basking in the sun in small open areas or on tree logs. Nile crocodiles have a dark bronze colourration, with black spots on the back and a dirty yellow on the belly. The flanks, which are yellowish green in colour, have dark patches arranged in oblique stripes. Like all crocodiles, they are quadrupeds with four short, splayed legs, long, powerful tails, a scaly hide with rows of ossified scutes running down their back and tail, and powerful jaws. Nostrils, eyes, and ears are situated on the tops of their head, so the rest of the body can remain concealed underwater.