Facts about the Nile crocodiles

Crocodiles are a common sight in Africa and there are four main types: The Nile, Slender-snouted, West African and Dwarf crocodiles. Nile crocodiles are found anywhere with a water source. They like rivers, lakes, marshes, streams, swamps and dams. The Nile is a fresh water river with its headwaters in Lake Victoria and that is why Nile crocodiles love it so much.

The Nile crocodile also known as Crocodylus niloticus is the biggest crocodile found in Africa and the world’s second largest crocodile after the saltwater crocodile.

Below are some of the facts about the Nile crocodiles;

  • They have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom, exerting a force eight times greater than that of the fearsome great white shark.
  • They can swim underwater for 30 minutes before coming to the surface for oxygen.
  • They can take down a full sized hippopotamus. Everything is prey including humans and fellow crocodiles.
  • The Nile crocodiles are thought to live for 70-100 years.
  • They can survive for years without a meal, their tail stores fat during prolonged shortages in the water supply.
  • They have clawed hands and webbed hind feet which make them masters both on land and in water.
  • Female crocodiles are protective mothers. They use their massive jaws to transport their newly hatched young to a nursery pool where they guard them from predators.
  • The sex of crocodile hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the eggs incubate. At 300C or less they will be mostly female, at 310C they will be mixed, while at 320C they will be mostly male.
  • Large crocodiles swallow stones known as gastroliths, which act as a weight in the stomach, helping them to balance their bodies while under water.

Explore the pearl of Africa on the Water
One of the great ways to enjoy a wildlife safari is by getting on a boat cruise. Murchison Falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park and Lake Mburo national park are some of Uganda’s conservation parks offering canoe or boat safaris but most importantly to make sure to keep your distance away from the crocodiles.