queen elizabeth national park

Overview – Queen Elizabeth National Park

Take your time to travel and you will meet an adventure in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It  is one of Uganda’s most beautiful national parks with the best game view. Located in  Kyambura, it  surrounds the south eastern banks of the kazinga channel consisting of four crater lakes, with a sector in Ishaka that contains a variety of wildlife and the Maramagambo forest stretching up to the eastern escarpment.

Located in the mid of south western Uganda, it amalgamates with Kigezi and the Kyambura Wildlife Reserves to form one of Africa’s the most unique ecosystems stretching from the views of crater lakes region on the linings of the tall standing Rwenzori Ranges extending along the shores of Lake Edward to River Ishasha in the southern part of the National park.

Experience the positive vision of wildlife, plenty of scenic craters blended into rolling green hills, views of the Kazinga Channel which is blessed with hippos, buffalo and elephants along its banks, and the endless Ishasha plains with a series of Lakes of different types and sizes which range from great fresh water Lake and inland salt Lakes to mirror surfaced crater Lakes.

The best sight to animals is with the morning game rides, you get to see them as they wake up and cross the bushes across the plains in search of a little morning sun. You can never go wrong with the concentration of wildlife.

Vegetation in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Blessed with small acacia and euphorbia trees which are varied with broad crater lakes and swamps, Queen Elizabeth presents a natural serene habitat with plenty of Savannah plains covered by the snow-covered peaks of the Mountains of the Moon. This different vegetation including; forest, grassland, bushy grassland, Acacia woodland and swamp vegetation depicts the ability of the park to house 95 types of mammals and the most bird species with 612, more than any other number found in any protected area in Africa.

Attractions in Queen Elizabeth

queen elizabeth national park

As already mentioned, the tourists love traversing the diverse scenic and tranquil flora and Fauna in the park. It  has numerous attractions that contribute to a reason why almost even traveler dreams of a sight into the area. These include;

Mweya Peninsula

At this peninsula, one can get a look at Katwe bay of Lake Edward and is one of the activities with excellent accommodation in the park and if you get in touch with a game ranger, this is the best site to recommend.

Kazinga Channel.

This stretches about 40 meters long adjoining Lake Gorge to Lake Edward with a great scenery of the parks’ major wildlife ventures. There is a large concentrate of mammals along its shores with birds as well as reptiles all year.

Tree Climbing Lions

queen elizabeth national park

These are located along Ishasha River and Lake Edward.Another opportunity is the  rare shoe-bill stork which gives a genuine Africa wilderness experience.

The Equator and the Queen’s Pavilion

The Uganda’s Equator provides a beautiful place For photo shooting along with craft shops that can make you get a lifetime experience, you win a lottery with the Uganda’s Equator. It has a Queen’s Pavilion easily seen at the northern entrance to the Crater Drive.

Katwe Explosion craters

These magnificent volcanic craters spread along the 27 kilometers drive between Kabatoro gate and Queen’s pavilion with sight-viewings of the enormous craters, circular Lake, the Rift valley escarpment and the Kazinga channel all in beautiful and gigantic backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains

Kasenyi plains and Lake George

There is a plain Savannah grassland opportunity in the Kasenyi plains that depict the dream of photography in this scenic area therefore a trues safari experience of the Uganda Kob breeding ground that attract lions, warthogs grazing down on their knees, large dark elephants, buffaloes and numerous grassland bird species.

The Swamp between Lake George and Kikorongo

I recommend this for bird lovers, this is the best for you to sight the rare shoe-bill stork and many native birds on the Lake and papyrus endemics like papyrus gonolek and papyrus warbler and white winged warbler and during the northern winter big number of migrant waders and waterfowl.

There is also the semi aquatic sitatunga antelope in this papyrus swamp presenting an opportunity for photo shoots.

Maramagambo forest and Kyambura gorge

They are  in southeastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park habouring chimpanzees, baboons and many monkey species with the Kyambura gorge being a residence to crater lakes, chimpanzees and bird species such as the greater and lesser flamingos and great egrets.

The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest Reserve

The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest is near Queen Elizabeth Park, south of the Kazinga Channel and Lake George is a place of discovery with primates, birds, hiking trails and crater lakes.

To conclude, if you are drawing plans for your next vacation, the beautiful Queen Elizabeth National Park ought to be included

Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Being one of the most visited destinations in Africa, travelers should get pumped for a vast majority of activities which include:

Boat Safari along the Kazinga Channel

Being 32-km-long and wide connecting Lake Edward with Lake George, Kazinga Channel offers an opportunity  to experience nature in Queen Elizabeth Park with a bunch of animals and 60 species of birds during a boat ride including the great white and pink-backed Pelicans, African shoebill, yellow-billed stork and long-tailed cormorants with one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes that invade the areas from the surrounding Savannah to drink and search for some fresher pastures.

Wildlife Game Drives

Wildlife Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth are proven beautiful journeys with an awesome number  of animal life including 3,000 Elephants, over 10,000 buffaloes, warthogs, water-bucks, Uganda Kob, Topi Antelopes, the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelopes that have webbed toes.

Nocturnal Game Drives

These present an opportunity to find the feline cats, that traverse the parks on during the nights. They present an opportunity of photography due to their glittering eyes

Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge

This gorge is drained by the Kyambura River and includes some of the most impressive landscapes in Uganda. It  houses a variety of wildlife in its tropical rainforests. Here you will find chimpanzees, baboons, colobus, vervet, and red-tailed monkeys as well as many other mammals and birds.

Tree-Climbing Lions in Ishasha

The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is known as the home to the famous tree-climbing lions and is thought that they sit in the branches to get away from the tsetse flies and to enjoy a cool breeze.

Nature Walks in the Kyambura gorge

Try taking a nature walk in this amazing gorge and you will be treated to an amazing spectacle.The unbelievable sights to  three crater lakes, which attract large numbers of Flamingos that are not found anywhere else in Uganda.A guided nature walks takes visitors into the gorge and offers a great chance to track habituated chimpanzee in their natural habitat.

Alongside the black and white colobus and red-tailed monkeys, Olive baboons and other primates as well as plenty of forest birds.

Birding

queen elizabeth national park

The park has always been considered as one of the best birding locations in Uganda since the early days  with over 619 species including 54 raptors and various migratory species including the Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink-backed Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit.

Traditional Salt Work Visit

You can take a visit to one of the oldest salt mines and industries in Uganda is rewarding at the mighty nearing of  L. Katwe town. This lake is very salty to support much wildlife though has ensured the survival of the Katwe villagers as they harvest salt from its milky and pure waters.

Mongoose Tracking on the Mweya Peninsula.

This is a rare opportunity to see mongoose and other wildlife, birds along the hikes of Kazinga Channel on the Mweya Peninsula. One can see mongeese for a maximum of 3 hours, which is way enough to learn about their habbits.

Lion Research Tracking

Lion Tracking Research Experience lasts between 1-3 hours where lions with radio-collars attached to them. You will be with researchers and learn the habits of the Lions in Queen Elizabeth Park.

Leopard Village

Leopard Village is a community-run, socio-economic development initiative that promotes cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism. Visitors can tour replicas of the traditional huts of the Banyabindi, Bakonzo, and Basongora ethnic groups, watch the traditional song and dance performances, and buy handicrafts made by local communities.

These are just the few of the activities that travelers can engage in on their visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park as part of your Uganda Safari as an extension from the Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Because the park is constantly visited, a variety of lodging services with a range of budget friendly options. The lodges are located either in the Ishasha and the Mweya sectors of the park  including;

  • Mweya safari lodge
  • Kasenyi Safari Camp
  • Ishasha Wilderness Camp
  • Enganzi Lodge
  • Park View Lodge
  • Elephant Plains Lodge
  • Elephant Hub Lodge
  • Simba Safari Camp
  • Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge
  • Mweya Hostels
  • Lake Chibwera Camp
  • Kyambura Tented Camp
  • Kyambura Gorge Lodge
  • Pumba Safari Cottages
  • Kingfisher Lodge Kichwambwa
  • Katara Lodge
  • Jacana Safari Lodge
  • Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp
  • Ishasha Jungle Lodge
  • Ihamba Safari Lodge
  • Ishasha Tented Camp
  • Kitandara Hippo Hill Lodge

The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park

January, February, August and September are best months to travel there although one can visit any time. June, July, August, September, January and February are the drier months of the year during which the animals can easily be viewed as they draw closer to the water sources. This is the best time to go on game drives to view wildlife, take guided walks and go on chimpanzee tracking expeditions when the trials are not slippery and impassible

During the wet season of October, November, December, March, April and May, the scenery in and around the park is extremely beautiful with green and lush vegetation capturing the true picture of the tropics. There are migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa in the park during this season which makes it the best to go bird watching.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park lies within the Western Rift Valley of Africa running from the north through neighboring Malawi and south to Uganda and is between the Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri districts in southwestern Uganda.

According to the persons prefence, one can use either air or road transport

By Road

  • Kampala to Mbarara to Bushenyi

The tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara town and Bushenyi leads to the center of the park and covering a distance of 420 km while the north through Fort Portal covers a total of 410 km to the Mweya Peninsula, the main tourism hub.

  • Kampala to Kasese to Fort Portal to Bushenyi

The park can be accessed on the tarmac road through Mbarara to Kasese to Fort Portal covering a distance of 410 km. The park is 5-6 hours from Kampala on surface road via Mbarara.

  • Queen Elizabeth national park can also be reached via Ishasha sector, which is south of the park and takes 2-3 hours and 3-4 hours to Mweya sector.

By Air:

Queen Elizabeth National Park is also accessible by air through the nearby airstrips of Kasese, Mweya or Ishasha by scheduled flight  or chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala.

ENQUIRE NOW