The Nile Crocodiles Of Rwanda : The Nile crocodile is the most feared and impressive creatures in Africa. The animal can grow to over 15 feet long and can weigh more than two tons. The Nile crocodile is the largest living reptile and one of the biggest five amphibians in the world. The Nile crocodile lives in the waters of the White Nile and is a fresh water species. It’s both a territorial creature and solitary. The Nile crocodile prefers to live alone in a single body of water or along a river where it can catch fish as well as other prey. However it can also live with other crocodiles when there is no enough space or food for an individual to live in isolation.
The Nile crocodile shares its habitat with a variety of other animals such as otters, African buffalo, hippopotamuses, baboons, lizards as well as warthogs. Just like any other animal, the Nile crocodile has a number of predators that pose threat to its survival within the wild.
WHERE TO SEE THE NILE CROCODILES IN RWANDA
Within Rwanda the habitat of the Nile crocodile is Lake Kivu at the side of Rubavu. You can easily spot them on the shores of the lake or in the remote areas of the park where it is seen swimming in the water.
HOW TO WATCH THE NILE CROCODILES
While on a safari within Rwanda, you will head to the shores of Lake Kivu in Rubavu district to see the crocodiles in the water or on the shores. They are easily seen from the car park at the Uwinka side. You can as well walk along the park trail starting from the lake and walk towards the hill behind the lake where you can find them on the land as well.
BEST TIME TO WATCH THE NILE CROCODILES ON THE RWANDA SAFARI
The best time to spot the crocodiles in Rwanda is during the dry season from June to September when they are more active and begin to come out of the water to hunt for food. Their numbers are at the peak during this time and thus can easily be spotted as they hang around the shores and the banks of the river where they are seen resting in the sun or hunting. During the rainy season they are majorly found within the water and its best to watch them at this time when they are breeding and more active.
The major cause of the crocodiles reducing is the illegal harvesting of their meat and skin for the international leather trade. The skins are as well used as decorative items in the local communities for religious rituals and religious items such as drums, amulets, belts and shoes.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE NILE CROCODILES
The Nile crocodiles live in the tropical swamps and rivers throughout Africa and have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom. Its bite can exert a force eight times more powerful than that of a great white shark and 15 times more than a Rottweiler’s.
The female crocodiles show impressive maternal care to the young ones as they use their massive jaws to transport the newly hatched young to the nursery pool where they protect them from predators.
Large Nile crocodiles swallow stones known as gastrolith. These act as ballast that help them to balance their body under water.
The sex of the crocodile hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the eggs incubate. At 30 degrees Celsius or less they will be females mostly, at 31 degrees Celsius they will be mixed up and at 32 degrees Celsius, they will be mostly males.