Southwest Uganda

27th of April until the 12th of May 2018

Conveniently located between the Albertine Rift and the shores of Lake Victoria, the southwestern region of Uganda is home to a plethora of species, ranging from several endemic and near endemic species to wide ranging and Pan-African species. The many endemic chameleons of the Albertine Rift and several enigmatic viper species which can also be found here, lured me back to the African continent which I missed so dearly. Our time of visit proved to be fortunous in several ways. First of all, many tourists choose to visit in the dry season while our timing coincided with the waning rainy season. This meant we had all our hotels and lodges to ourselves and "muzungus" were a rare sight. Moreover the moist conditions, lush vegetation and lower temperatures meant peaking activity for amphibians and reptiles in the lower regions. For the higher regions (such as the Rwenzoris and Bwindi) the lower temperatures weren't so good and in these parts we had a hard time finding animals. All in all, the rule of thumb is that herping in Africa isn't like in the neotropics or Asia and can be hard work indeed. That doesn't matter at all. Even on days absent of interesting herps there is still an abundance of other wildlife. Encounters with a wild group of chimpanzees, gorillas or elephants are unforgettable. Our group was aided in the first 4 days by Jeffrey and Nsaggu. Nsaggu is an expert snake tracker who helped us in our quest and Jeff helped to translate between us and Nsaggu. The other days we were on our own but this proved no problem at all in Uganda and we could pretty much go herping wherever we wanted.

Our team for the first four days: Laura, Jelmer, Nsaggu, me, GJ and Jeff.
Our team for the first four days: Laura, Jelmer, Nsaggu, me, GJ and Jeff.

All images © Laura & Bobby Bok (unless stated otherwise)

27th of April 2018

From Schiphol we flew to Entebbe with a short stop in Kigali along the way. We arrived late in the evening but our new friend Jeffrey Luyinda was already waiting for us with our trustworthy Toyota Prado. We drove to our AirBnB close to the botanical gardens and went out for a short stroll in the vicinity. Several Balfour's Reed Frogs (Hyperolius balfouri), Guttural Toads (Sclerophrys gutturalis) and Tropical House Geckoes (Hemidactylus mabouia) were easily found. On a small tree along the road I discovered the first snake of the trip, a Pitman's Worm Snake (Leptotyphlops pitmani). An interesting sight to see this fossorial species climbing on the trunk of a tree. Also a dead Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus) was found. Shortly past 02:00 our weariness of traveling exceeded the enthusiasm of herping on new grounds and we headed to bed. 

Mityana

28th of April 2018

On our first morning we were already amazed by the bountiful birdlife in the gardens of the accommodation. Several Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills (Bycanistes subcylindricus) and Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae) brightened the skies. On the road to Mityana we had to drive through the horrible traffic of Kampala to change money, pick up supplies and collect our gorilla permits from the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. After making us wait for 2 hours (which is twice as long as you are allowed to spend with the actual gorillas) we were on our way again. At the parking we discovered several Bell's Hinged Tortoises (Kinixys belliana) and a single Helmeted Terrapin (Pelomedusa subrufa). Back on the road towards Mityana we saw many Black Kites (Milvus migrans), Marabou Storks (Leptoptilos crumenifer) and a single Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii) looking for scraps in this overcrowded city. 

After reaching the outskirts of Mityana and collecting Nsaggu at one of his houses we drove to a piece of swampy forest bordering agricultural land. Herping here is exceedingly hard, the vegetation is thick, the sun is beating down relentlessly and the high waterlevels make the terrain increasingly difficult. Nsaggu knows this place well and it wasn't for long that he found our first snakes of the trip: a small Montane Egg Eater (Dasypeltis atra) and a rather big Jackson's Tree Snake (Thrasops jacksonii). GJ found a third snake species but the Olive Sand Snake (Psammophis mossambicus) was fast as lightning. In the late afternoon we drove to our accommodation for the next five nights. The Wamala Lake View Hotel was not exactly what we expected but it certaily provided us with some interesting insights in every day life in Mityana. On the square in front of the hotel people were gathering to watch The Matrix, not the original but the very amateuristic, Lugandan dubbed version. It was very loud. People were also selling speakers which was also very loud. And the mosque was loud as well. Oh, and the people selling music and watching football were loud too. In this rackety place we found ourselves a very cheap and simple meal of rice, beans and mashed banana at Maggot's eh, Maggie's Restaurant. Back at the hotel we found out there wasn't any hot water, but the staff provided us with buckets of boiled water to have a wash. They also had to run to the store to provide us with enough MB's so we could make use of the wifi. 

29th of April 2018

We had a nice breakfast in the hotel with omelettes and katogo, a traditional Ugandan breakfast with starchy banana (matoke), rice and beans. First we collected Nsaggu from his second house and headed into an isolated patch of rainforest. Between the dense undergrowth it didn't take us long before we found one of our first main target snakes, a beautiful Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera) basking in a sunny patch of vegetation in the middle of the forest. A second snake was also found, another Montane Egg Eater but this time a more reddish individual. Herping here is hard work and reptiles are thin on the ground. But effort pays off and well pleased we headed to the Hotel Enro for some quality food. When darkness fell we headed to another nice patch of forest. At a small forest clearing GJ found the first snake of the evening. A very nervous Variable Burrowing Asp (Atractaspis irregularis). Also our first Blue-headed Tree Agama (Acanthocercus atricollis) and yet another Montane Egg Eater found by Laura. 

30th of April 2018

Today we didn't start our herping inside the forest, but instead searched a rather open Eucalyptus grove with many low bushes. Here we found a stunning Emerald Snake (Hapsidophrys smaragdinus). Close to midday it became another scorching hot equatorial day. Luckily the nearby rainforest provided shelter and while making our way through the thick undergrowth (there are practically no trails through the forest) we heard a shout from Nsaggu who had found something. When we found him in the dense thickets we couldn't believe our eyes, at our feet there was a massive snake laying between the leaf litter. A huge Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica)! This species is the heaviest venomous snake in the world and also has the longest fangs. The viper was very relaxed and easily allowed us to take many pictures. We were barely done witnessing how easily this viper blends in with its surroundings upon release, when Nsaggu called again. This time he found a venomous snake from a whole different order. The first elapid of our trip was a Jameson's Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni). This stunning green and yellow snake has a beautiful black tail and is the most arboreal of all mambas. What a fantastic day and it wasn't even over yet... After another greasy powermeal at Hotel Enro we headed back to the same patch of forest from the previous evening. Along the way we stopped in a small piece of agricultural land where there was a lot of amphibian activity. Lake Victoria Clawed Frogs (Xenopus victorianus) were found both in and out the water and Nutt's River Frogs (Amietia nutti) and Natal Puddle Frogs (Phrynobatrachus natalensis) were roaming the muddy banks as well. The reeds were full of calling Cinnamon-bellied Reed Frogs (Hyperolius cinnamomeoventris), Common Reed Frogs (Hyperolius viridiflavus), several sleeping Montane Side-striped Chameleons (Trioceros ellioti) and many Variegated Grasshoppers (Zonocerus variegatus). Also a group of three Spotted-necked Otters (Hydrictis maculicollis) was running past us as we made our way through the flooded fields. In the forest itself we struck gold once more. When we were halfway through the maintrail I spotted a small bush viper hanging in the vegetation, and one with an exceptionally spiky appearance. Our first Rough-scaled Bush Viper (Atheris hispida)! Not for long GJ found a second one, very close by and we decided to call it a night. We felt very lucky to have a day so rich in amphibians and reptiles, because that is not the norm on this continent.

1st of May 2018

The morning started heavily overcast and apparantly also some rain fell the night before. According to Nsaggu not the best conditions to find Rhinoceros Viper by day, because they like to bask in sunny patches on the forest floor. We still gave it a try in yet another forest fragment and at least here it was easier to walk through the forest. Apart from a single Tropical House Gecko we saw only one other reptile and it was a species that got us highly excited. Our second elapid of the trip was a Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca). The individual we found wasn't particularly big but it was very contrasty in colouration and very cooperative with the low temperatures. After releasing the snake back in the bush we had to say goodbye to our new friend Jeffrey. Sadly he had to leave again back to Kampala. We had dinner in the Enro Hotel again and in the evening we had our first nocturnal herping session with Nsaggu. He wasn't at the rendez-vous point but our instincts led us to the local bar where we found our lush friend. With some more beer we lured him in the car. We first had a few family visits along the way but then we were finally in the forest again. This particular forest is again highly isolated and surrounded by cornfields and eucalyptus groves, but Nsaggu said this was the place to find our most wanted snake of the trip. He didn't lie and literally within five minutes after stepping foot inside the forest we were gazing at a stunning Rhinoceros Viper (Bitis nasicornis) individual. With its spiky scales, contrasting pattern, vibrant colours and protruding nasal scales this snake must be amongst the most beautiful snakes in the world. We searched on a bit more and saw several Tropical House Geckoes, Lave Victoria Clawed Frogs, Reed Frogs, Nutt's River Frogs (Amietia nutti) and high up in the trees several Thomas's Bushbabies (Galago thomasi). Just before we were about to leave I spotted another Rough-scaled Bush Viper high in a tangle of vines but it was out of reach sadly. 

2nd of May 2018

Today we took it easy as it was our last day in the Mityana area. We spent quite some time in our "viper forest" to photograph the Rhinoceros Viper, where we witnessed the destruction of the forest. Chainsaws were whirring, trees were falling and already massive areas have been cleared. It won't be long anymore before this tiny forest remnant has been turned into charcoal and cornfield. In the evening we went back again but didn't find much else beside the occasional Puddle Frog, Lake Victoria Clawed Frog and River Frog. Also a strange robot who goes by the name Robin was heard calling from the swamp.

Kibale National Park

3rd of May 2018

After breakfast we finally left our base in Mityana and ventured west. On the long drive towards Kibale we spotted a big Central African Rock Python (Python sebae) dead on the tarmac. Also when we arrived in Kibale we found another highlight species, flattened on the road and we much preferred to see this Forest Wolf Snake (Lycophidion ornatum) alive. In this part of Uganda almost all natural areas are national parks and roaming around by yourself is very much restricted. At the ranger station we inquired if it would be possible to visit the forest at night. The rangers told us it is possible to book a bushbaby tour but they rarely see snakes. We decided to not do it, bushbabies are easily seen by yourself, the costs were rather high and the lack of snakes didn't sound promising. Also the chimpansee tracking for which they invited us we declined, luckily we did we would soon find out... A bit of the beaten track we found a very cool place to stay and very few regular tourists come here. For a small fee we could rent a cabin and the friendly staff would cook for us. Our new friend Isaiah offered to take us in the forest in the afternoon and again after dinner. We barely set foot in the forest or we were already surprised by a small group of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) right in front of us on the trail. No hours of tracking and no expensive permits required. Just the way we like it! We could observe them for quite some time until it was time to head back for dinner. In a small ditch I spotted a two meter long Forest Cobra but without gloves or snakehook on me I had to let it go sadly. The staff cooked an amazing dinner for us and with newly regained energy we ventured out. First an unsuccessful session of roadcruising and then a hike through the jungle. We barely set foot in the forest or we heard two huge land mammals making their way through the undergrowth. We placed some distance between them and us, and observed them from a safe distance. What an encounter to see two African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana) like this! These ecosystem engineers play a key role in the ecosystem. In and around their flooded footprints we saw several amphibian species such as Kivu Tree Frog (Leptopelis kivuensis), Christy's Tree Frog (Leptopelis christyi), Side-striped Reed Frog (Hyperolius lateralis), Kivu Reed Frog (Hyperolius kivuensis), a Grauer's Puddle Frog (Phrynobatrachus graueri), a Kisolo Toad (Sclerophrys kisoloensis) and Nile Grass Frog (Ptychadena nilotica). Several Montane Side-striped Chameleons were seen around the entrance of the camp but inside the forest we didn't find any chameleons. Luckily Laura saved the evening by finding a Fawn-headed Snake Eater (Polemon collaris).

The next morning we woke up to a campsite were Bushbuck (Tragelaphus sylvaticus) were grazing and a family group of Olive Baboon (Papio anubis) was foraging. Blue-headed Tree Agamas and Striped Skinks (Trachylepis striata) were basking on almost every building. Paradise! We decided to walk a small round through the forest and again encountered Chimpanzees. And a big group this time! Fantastic to be able to spend so much time again with our comical relatives.

Rwenzori Mountains - Bwamba Pass

4th and 5th of May 2018

From Kibale we drove in the direction of Fort Portal. Here we arranged a trek into the Rwenzori Mountains. After a quick lunch we packed the stuff we needed and were dropped off at the foothills of these steep mountains. After a short but steep hike we reached the Rwenzori Unique Ecotourism Campsite together with our two guides Acleo and Lucy. We put the stuff in our bandas and after a lovely cup of herbal tea Jelmer and I explored the surroundings. The forest has been cleared for corn and banana plantages at this altitude, providing very little habitat for reptiles, although some species persist. Thunderclouds came rolling in and not before long we had to run down the slopes to stay dry. Scaring the local children in the process when two tall muzungus came scampering along. During an amazing homecooked dinner by the campsite's owner Elisha, the rain stopped and we ventured out. Apart from dozens of Montane Side-striped Chameleons we didn't see much else. 

 

The next morning we prepared for a whole day of hiking up to reach the forestline. Nowadays the forest only starts at 2200m absl which meant a long strenuous hike along the steep and slippery trail. The children from all the surrounding villages were very interested in the muzungus going up the mountain and every single one of them wanted to know how we were doing. It was like a delirious fever dream with "how are you" questions flying though the air non-stop, haunting us on our way up. Luckily as soon as we entered the forest we met very few people. In the forest we saw several monkey species such as Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) and Black-and-White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza). While hiking up I found a couple of Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons (Trioceros johnstoni), we almost exclusively found this species in pairs. A single dead Western Green Snake (Philothamnus angolensis) was seen on the path as well. We hiked through the bamboo zone up to the highest point of the Bwamba Pass. This is the type locality for the Rwenzori Helmeted Chameleon (Kinyongia carpenteri), a rare species of the upper forest striata. While we were waiting for it to get dark and commence with our chameleon hunt, a massive storm rolled in. The thunderclouds burst and torrential rains turned the path into a stream. The wind howled and branches crashed down all around us. For a small hour we were confined to taking shelter in rainponchos and under umbrellas waiting for it to get dry. A miserable situation and we felt Rwensorry for ourselves. Luckily it did get dry and we made our way back down, looking for chameleons in the process. The deception was complete as we only found two additonal Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons and I spotted a single Boulenger's Pygmy Chameleon (Rhampholeon boulengeri). Although these chameleons are awesome, it was not really the score for which we'd hoped... Wet, tired and pretty cold we slumbered down the mountain. Back at the campsite, Elisha had a late dinner for us ready which went down pretty smooth! At around 02:00 we fell asleep like babies in our comfortable beds. 

Rwenzori Mountains - Nyakalengija

6th and 7th of May 2018

After descending the mountain we drove back to Fort Portal to collect our luggage. Our next stop would be further south in the central part of the Rwenzori Mountains. The drive from Fort Pothole to the Ruboni Community Camp was slowed because of the bad state of the roads, but in the afternoon we found ourselves exploring new grounds. The lush rainforest outside the camp is on the border with the National Park but not inside it, making it perfect for exploration on our own. While hiking towards the river I saw a tiny shape on the road. Closer inspection reveiled the third and final bush viper species of Uganda to us, a juvenile Great Lakes Bush Viper (Atheris nitschei). Happy days! We searched on a bit more along the river and at the hot springs but only saw a few skinks. The habitat and scenery looked breathtaking though with cloud-clad peaks, white water streams rushing through a vibrant green jungle and the promise of many hidden herp treasures awaiting us. We would come back here in the evening... During dinner thunderclouds came rolling in and despite better judgement, we still went out. Not for long the rains came pooring down on us and we took shelter in a nearby lodge where we had some popcorn and soft drinks. We lost a lot of valuable herping time there. When the rains stopped we herped our way through the forest but apart from Side-striped Reed Frogs, Kivu Tree Frogs, Montane Side-striped Chameleons and Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons we didn't see much else. 

The next day we expected to relax a bit at the hot springs and go herping along the river but again the weather decided otherwise. The whole morning a torrential rain came down leaving us with not much else to do than wait and record funny videos in the garden. In the afternoon the weather slowly got better and we all went out to find a special endemic chameleon species that lives here. With help of the local military we could search along the stream near their camp. While they found a female of the species we were after, Jelmer truly saved the day by finding a male Rwenzori Plate-nosed Chameleon (Kinyongia xenorhina). We bought the military guys some drinks to celebrate. At the camp several Jackson's Forest Lizards (Adolfus jacksoni) were active along the boardwalk. After another very tasty dinner we went back in the forest. We found plenty of Reed Frogs, Kivu Tree Frogs, Montane Side-striped Chameleons and Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons but this time also some Ruwenzori River Frogs (Amietia ruwenzorica), a juvenile Rwenzori Plate-nosed Chameleon and two more Boulenger's Pygmy Chameleons.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

8th and 9th of May 2018

We arrived in Queen Elizabeth National Park somewhere in the afternoon. After we dropped our luggage in the Engiri Game Lodge we tried to reach the famous Python Cave. Rain had fallen recently, making the road increasingly slippery and at one point we had to give up. We did see our first wildlife along the road such as African Bush Elephant, African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer), Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus), Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), Ugandan Kob (Kobus kob thomasi) and Olive Baboon and Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus). Long-crested Eagles (Lophaetus occipitalis) were a common sight along the road as well. Also during our first evening of roadcruising and frogging on the floodplains, we would encounter some of the bigger wildlife. While we were keen on finding some frogs, the sound of a Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) just a few meters away, send us scuttling back to the car. From our beds we weren't far from the big game either, and the call of a male Lion (Panthera leo) close by gave us quite a thrill. It was also a reminder that we should take more care, as we read the news of an attack by a leopard on a toddler just the day before we arrived. Jelmer and GJ were even closer to wildlife and had a room full of talkative, chattering bats to keep them company.

The next day we chartered a private boat to take us on the Kazinga Channel. We saw many Hippos, Elephants, African Buffalo and Waterbuck wallowing in the shallow water. Birdlife was equally vivid with Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus), Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus), Water Thick-knee (Burhinus vermiculatus), Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus), Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis) and African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). Our main targets however were Nile Monitors (Varanus niloticus) and Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). Nile Monitors we saw plenty but Nile Crocodiles aren't so common in this part of Africa and we saw only one big adult. Back at the lodge we enjoyed lunch and the birdlife around the camp, such as Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum), Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus), Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus) and Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura). In the afternoon we did another failed attempt in trying to reach the Python Cave. That was quite a big blow to us as we were all so looking forward. The roadcruising after dinner gave us a freshly killed Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) which was another set back. The staff at the lodge told us they also found a small one on the campgrounds the night before. Sometimes you are simply not lucky... At least the frogging at one of the floodplains delivered what we came for and we found a huge amount of Sharp-nosed Frog (Ptychadena oxyrhynchus), Grass Frogs (Ptychadena nilotica), Four-lined Banana Frog (Afrixalus quadrivittatus), Natal Puddle Frogs (Phrynobatrachus natalensis) and Bubbling Kassinas (Kassina senegalensis). Also a few William's Hinged Terrapin (Pelusios williamsi) were seen foraging and I had a close encounter with a big bull Elephant when I almost ran into it. Luckily both parties were equally startled and nothing happened... That night the roaring of lions made place for the cackling of Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta).

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

10th and 11th of May 2018

The drive south towards Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is exclusively on unpaved roads in various states of decay. Luckily we left early so we arrived somewhere in the afternoon at the Cuckooland Tented Lodge. This tented lodge is situated on a steep slope which is a 10min. hike from the parking area. From your tent you have a direct view on the densely vegetated forest on the other side of the valley and gorillas and chimpansees are known to also forage in the garden of the lodge. The staff cooked excellent food here and on our first night we went herping near a big pond next to the road, in the middle of the forest. Along the road I spotted our first Tolley's Forest Chameleon (Kinyongia tolleyae). Near the pond there was a lot of amphibian activity with species such as De Witte's Clawed Frog (Xenopus wittei), Cinnamon-bellied Reed Frog, Long-nosed Reed Frog (Hyperolius nasutus) and Congo Wot Wot (Phlyctimantis verrucosus) present in big numbers. 

The next morning we had to get up early to be on time at the ranger station in Ruhija for the gorilla tracking. The weather was luckily fine - no rain and not bwindy at all. After giving the safety instructions we were told the terrain was incredibly steep and hard and we should hire a porter. They even offered to bring stretchers so we didn't have to walk ourselves. Do we really look that incapable of hiking? Nice try to get even more money from us... We hiked over elephant trails full of dung and massive round footprints in search of the Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). It didn't take any longer than 20 minutes before they found the Bitukura gorilla family group. To see these gentle giants play with each other, climb tall trees with the greatest ease and peacefully have their breakfast amongst the thick vegetation was a very special experience. How easily they accept your presence, while we humans do so much to destroy the living world around them, is truly heartwarming but also a bit saddening. Our guide Augustine however was in a hurry and already wanted to leave again after 40 minutes, claiming our hour was up. We just ignored this annoying guy and after our hour was really up we wandered down the slope again in search of snakes. Our guide again was in a rush, telling us to hurry back down. And of course frequently asking for tips because he generously allowed us 6 minutes extra with the gorillas. Back at the ranger station we had a graduation ceremony where we received our gorilla tracking diplomas. What a ridiculous and commercial nonsense. Why should we be rewarded for walking 20 minutes to look at animals we haven't even found ourselves?

Slightly disillusioned we searched a bit along the forest edge but only found a single Kisolo Toad, several Jackson's Forest Lizards and some more Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons. After dinner we went back to the same forest edge in the hope to find some additional snake or chameleon species. Sadly that wasn't the case and only found Tolley's Forest Chameleons and Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleons. Also two African Civets (Civettictis civetta) were spotted along the road.

12th of May 2018

A long strenuous drive led us from Bwindi back to Entebbe with a few small search stops along the way. Although we didn't find many species, we did see several areas which are definitely worth a visit when we come back to Uganda. It was already late in the evening when we finally arrived in Entebbe where we had just enough time to get some food before the flight back to Amsterdam. 

Make sure to check out Laura's Flickr album as well for even more pictures!

Epilogue

It was fantastic to be back on African soil. The herping here is much harder than in other tropical places around the world and densities are in general low. But some of the species that live here are so special, that if you do find something, it makes it all very much worth it. Traveling by yourself in Uganda isn't a problem at all. In all areas we visited we could pretty much walk around freely and even at night. In some of the national parks it is required you take a guide with you, but even then you can pretty much go wherever you want with little restrictions. In that regard Uganda was really fantastic. The downside of Uganda is the immense human pressure on its natural resources. As in the rest of Africa, people use wood for cooking. The few forested areas that are still clinging to existance are under continuous threat from logging. On a daily basis we saw people chopping down trees or carrying firewood in their motorcycles out of the forest. Huge areas have been cleared already for this purpose. In some places in the Rwenzoris you have to hike for a day to reach the forestline, whereas the whole area used to be forested once. And its not only the collecting of firewood that poses a threat. All these people have to eat as well. In Queen Elizabeth NP we saw Buffalo with snares around their feet. There are many people fishing in the Kazinga Channel, explaining the absence of freshwater terrapins or many crocodiles. A week before our arrival a group of 11 lions was poisoned, most likely because they posed a threat to the cattle. In the Rwenzoris we encountered a group of poachers hunting for bushmeat such a monkeys. In short, human encroachment on he natural world is omnipresent like in many other parts of the world. It was also sad to read in the newspaper that the president thinks there aren't enough (!) people yet and more people will be better for the economy. A backwards way of thinking that will be the doom of our planet.

Species

Nutt's River Frog (Amietia nutti)

Ruwenzori River Frog (Amietia ruwenzorica)
Four-lined Banana Frog (Afrixalus quadrivittatus)

Balfour's Reed Frog (Hyperolius balfouri)

Cinnamon-bellied Reed Frog (Hyperolius cinnamomeoventris

Kivu Reed Frog (Hyperolius kivuensis)

Side-striped Reed Frog (Hyperolius lateralis)

Long-nosed Reed Frog (Hyperolius nasutus)

Comon Reed Frog (Hyperolius viridiflavus)

Bubbling Kassina (Kassina senegalensis)

Christy's Tree Frog (Leptopelis christyi)

Kivu Tree Frog (Leptopelis kivuensis)

Congo Wot-wot (Phlyctimantis verrucosus)

Grauer's Puddle Frog (Phrynobatrachus graueri)

Natal Puddle Frog (Phrynobatrachus natalensis)

Nile Grass Frog (Ptychadena nilotica)

Sharp-nosed Frog (Ptychadena oxyrhynchus)

Guttural Toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis)

Kisolo Toad (Sclerophrys kisoloensis

Lake Victoria Clawed Frog (Xenopus victorianus)

De Witte's Clawed Frog (Xenopus wittei)

Helmeted Terrapin (Pelomedusa subrufa)

Williams' Hinged Terrapin (Pelusios williamsi)

Bell's Hinged Tortoise (Kinixys belliana)

Blue-headed Tree Agama (Acanthocercus atricollis)

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)

Speckle-lipped Skink (Trachylepis maculilabris)

Striped Skink (Trachylepis striata)

Tolley's Forest Chameleon (Kinyongia tolleyae)

Rwenzori Plate-nosed Chameleon (Kinyongia xenorhina)

Montane Side-striped Chameleon (Trioceros ellioti)

Rwenzori Three-horned Chameleon (Trioceros johnstoni)

Boulenger's Pygmy Chameleon (Rhampholeon boulengeri)

Jackson's Forest Lizard (Adolfus jacksoni)

Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

Pitman's Worm Snake (Leptotyphlops pitmani)

Central African Rock Python (Python sebae) DOR

Forest Wolf Snake (Lycophidion ornatum) DOR

Olive Sand Snake (Psammophis mossambicus)

Fawn-headed Snake Eater (Polemon collaris)

Variable Burrowing Asp (Atractaspis irregularis)

Emerald Snake (Hapsidophrys smaragdinus)

Western Green Snake (Philothamnus angolensis) DOR

Jackson's Tree Snake (Thrasops jacksonii)

Montane Egg Eater (Dasypeltis atra)

Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

Jameson's Mamba (Dendroaspis jamesoni)

Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) DOR

Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica)

Rhinoceros Viper (Bitis nasicornis)

Rough-scaled Bush Viper (Atheris hispida)

Great Lakes Bush Viper (Atheris nitschei)

Variable Bush Viper (Atheris squamigera)

 

Many thanks to Jonas Arvidsson, Matthieu Berroneau, Eli Greenbaum, Andre van Hecke, Christoph Liedtke, Stephen Spawls, Colin Tilbury and Tom Williams.