Buwama Crocodile Farm is situated in Mpigi district in Central region about 70km from Kampala city and the area is covered for about 68,800sqkm. After reaching Buwama town main road, take left and travel for more 9km to the farm. This farm has over 4000 male and female crocodile species at different ages and sizes.
This farm is located on shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water body in the world. According to the history, Buwama Crocodile farm had 2 lovers Romeo and Juliet who are over 60 years old but now they are found in Murchison National Park. They are both very dangerous Nile crocodile.
This place doesn’t only have crocodile farm but also has greenly place on the Lake Victoria shores where everyone can enjoy around, Kitebo Pier, Accommodations, Boat cruise along Lake Victoria, Bird Watching, Picnic Viewing and many more.
The main objectives of Buwama Crocodile Farm is to examine tourism opportunities that can be developed at the farm, to identify tourism resources at the farm and also to establish challenges associated with Buwama Crocodile Farm.
Crocodiles at Buwama Crocodile Farm have different characteristics such as;
- Crocodiles are found in different stages in where they live
- Their skins are exported to make leather shoes, bags and belts
- Crocodiles have V shaped mouth
- They are short tempered and can easily attack human beings.
- Have an average life span of about 30-40 years but also have the ability to live up to 100 years and above.
- They do not sweat since they sleep with their mouths widely open to release off heat.
- They are extremely fast in water since they can swim up to 35km per hour
- They swallow small stones to improve their digestion.
At Buwama Crocodile Farm, there are two different categories of crocodiles such as Australian Salt Water and African Nile crocodile.
AFRICAN NILE CROCODILES
They are also known as Crocodylus Niloticus. Crocodylus comes from a Greek word to mean lizard and Niloticus to mean Nile River. It belongs to crocodylidate family and class Reptilia. It looks like a giant lizard.
Nile crocodiles’ body is covered in tough scales that are grayish-brown in color.
It has four short legs along with clawed feet and have green eyes with vertical pupils which helps them to see in watery environment in the night.
They have an average length of 16feet and they weigh from 500 pounds to 1650 pounds.
These reptiles live in fresh water habitants and they are so confident when attacking large prey such as fish, hippos, zebras and birds.
For female Nile crocodile there gestation period is 84 to 90 days. Mating period of this type of crocodile happens during dry season. When a female Nile crocodile hatchlings are in danger, she may hide them in a special pounch inside her throat.
They are carnivores and has a very strong biting force which helps to grab onto its prey. Also have dark scales to blend into the environment which helps them to stalk and attack their prey. They hunt in the evening and at night
Adult Nile crocodile doesn’t have any natural predators except human beings while baby Nile crocodile fall a victim. Poaching is also another threat to these crocodile since they are hunted for their meat and eggs.
AUSTRALIAN SALT WATER
It’s also known as Crocodylus Porous to mean “Pored Crocodile.” It’s also the earth’s largest living reptile. They are night hunters, spending the day time hours moving through water or sunbathing. They are cold-blooded animals, when it’s hot they usually dive into water leaving their eyes and nostrils above the surface until they cool down. When it’s low, they climb on flat rocks and busk in the sun to warm up.
Australian Salt Water are also carnivores, the young crocodiles feed on small prey such as insects, small species of fish and reptiles while the adult crocodiles consume larger prey such as mud crabs, snakes, birds, wild boars, monkeys and buffaloes.
The male salt water crocodiles have a polygamous mating system where males mate with multiple females. Male crocodiles are sexually mature at 16 years and female by an age of 10-12 years.
The breeding season of this species matches wet season and 40-60 eggs are laid on the river bank and incubated for around 90 days. They live mainly in salt water but breeds in fresh water areas.
Being the largest living reptile, Australian Salt Water has a reputation of having the most wanted high quality hides around the world market.
The following are one of the importance of Buwama Crocodile Farm in Uganda such as;
- Crocodiles do a great job in maintaining a well-balanced ecosystem in a way of keeping the waterways clean and healthy for many other species.
- Buwama Crocodile Farm generates a lot of government revenue from tourists within and outside the country.
- It also increases government taxes due to increased demand for their hides.
- Crocodile hides are used in production of handbags and other luxury items such as shoes, belts, wallets and furniture.
- It’s a source of employment opportunities for traditional land owners and regional communities.
- On-Farm breeding helps to maintain state of farm and educate the public about the role of crocodile farming in Uganda especially through case studies.
- Crocodile meat is a low fat and reach in high protein which is not only delicious but very good for blood circulation, heart, lungs and its known to cure asthma problems.