Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park from a different angle – through the eyes of a banded mongoose! These small mammals have gigantic appetites and complex social and communication systems which fascinate wildlife researchers. The band of mongooses living at Mweya were featured on the BBC documentary series Banded Brothers.
Working in groups of up to four people, participants will have the opportunity to accompany the researchers through areas of the park normally off-limits to tourists, and record the behavior of these highly social creatures. They will learn to identify individuals, register their weight, record weather, surroundings and location, and monitor the mongooses’ behavior.
As well as enjoying a thrilling experience, visitors can also make a valuable contribution to a longstanding research project, as the data collected will be used by the researchers at the Banded Mongoose Research Project. This supports the ongoing research and conservation at Mweya.
Sessions last between 1-3 hours
Tracking is possible at 7am or 5pm. Morning sessions tend to be more active and are more likely to last longer. Book your Mongoose Research Tour at least 24 hours in advance through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya
With the Banded Mongoose found in Uganda, it is very possible to also participate in another exceptional activity so as to understand these mammals and their behaviors more. In Uganda, the Banded Mongooses are found within Mweya peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can now actually participate in filming or photography when you head into the Park with the Ugandan Banded Mongoose researchers.
Mongoose Filming in Queen Elizabeth Game Park
These mammals are known for their long tails and claws used for defense against enemies and digging. Researchers from the University of Exeter habituated the banded Mongoose in the Northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known as the Mweya Peninsular and are always available for research, observation and definitely filming.
Banded Mongoose filming in this National Park requires permission from the Researchers who always have daily access to several habituated groups. Filming costs only $300 per day and is supposed to be paid to the researchers before filming can actually take place but should also be with approval from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Not only that, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) also known as Uganda Wildlife Authority filming contract (or UWA filming permit) must be acquired and with the help of a tour company, the safari can be organized as long as you provide all the necessary information and details required and requested by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
The Authority will also require an official letter entailing why and when you desire to film the Banded Mongoose and how it will benefit Conservation of Wildlife species and tourism promotion in general. The rates charged depend on the number of crew members and days spent filming these exceptional mammals within Mweya peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Banded Mongooses, scientifically known as Mungos mungo are tinny (just 1.5 kilograms) diurnal mammals that belong to the Herpestidae family. They live in mixed sex families with an average of 20 members but families, may at times grow up to 70 members. Each of the families is made up of many breeding females and males as well as sub-adults and infants.
Families live in a communal den that is changed after every 3-5 days of occupying. They always come out at sunrise and feed as a group in the morning and afternoon before returning to their home at sunset. Normally, there is no reproductive suppression of the subordinate females within the Banded mongoose. Interestingly, the females conceive in every breeding attempt and give birth to a number of pups.
Pups are left underground for three to four weeks before finally getting out from the den to join the other family members on feeding trips. During this time, the infants are protected at the home by one or more babysitters normally males. Even when they start travelling, the infants are guarded by strong adult escorts mainly the males.
Best Time for banded Mongoose filming in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The best time to film the Banded Mongoose in this National Park is the morning and afternoon hours, but can visit the park at anytime of the year. For filming and more information about these small mammals, interested tourists have to visit Mweya Peninsular within Queen Elizabeth National Park during Uganda Safaris and this will be one of the most unforgettable moments in the country.