Queen Elizabeth National Park
Located in Kasese 380.8Km from Kampala in South Western Uganda, Queen Elizabeth is the renowned Medley of Wonders due to the diverse ecosystems, physical features, mammals and birds found in this Uganda safaris park. Queen Elizabeth National Park covers an area of 764 square miles (1,978 sq km). The national park covers the Maramagambo Forest area and stretches from Lake Edward in the south to Lake George in the north. It shares borders with the Kyambura Game Reserve, the Kigezi Game Reserve, Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Queen Elizabeth national park is Uganda’s most visited park and the park is famous its big cats mainly the tree climbing lions in Ishasha and leopards. The Big 5—elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and lions— apart from the rhino are present in the park, as seen on game drives. The park’s diversified habitats, which include vast savanna, shaded, humid woodland, dazzling lakes, and lush wetlands, give it the perfect home for other renowned large game, ten primate species, including chimpanzees, and more than 600 kinds of birds.
The park’s breathtaking views are set against the bumpy Rwenzori Mountains, and they include numerous enormous craters that have been dramatically carved into rolling green hills, expansive views of the Kazinga Channel, where mammals can be seen lazing in the water and quenching their thirst from the harsh sun, and the endless Ishasha plains, where lions can be spotted lazing in the top branches of fig trees. Other key attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park include Mweya peninsular, Lake Katwe salt works, Kyambura gorge and wildlife reserve, Maramagambo forest, Kasenyi plains, Kalinzu forest and Kazinga channel which connects Lake George and Lake Edward
During the game drive one gets a chance to view multiple wildlife species including leopards, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and many more except zebras and giraffes. The biggest Kob mating ground is in the Kasenyi section of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the Ishasha sector, known for its tree-climbing lions, is where the most of game drives take place. Tourists may also enjoy stunning views of the 72 craters of all sizes that are dispersed across the park during the game drives, which are further evidence of the area’s explosive volcanic history.
These are concentrated in the park’s northern region.
Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park is carried out at Kyambura gorge which is an ‘underground’ forest 100m below the Kichwaba escarpment. Chimpanzee tracking allows visitors in accompany with their guides as they search for chimpanzees in the forest and learn about their behavior there. Other nine primate species, such as black-and-white colobus monkeys and olive baboons, reside there.
Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel
The 2-3hour boat cruise is done both in the morning and afternoon on Kazinga channel. You get the opportunity to explore the wildlife oasis during the two-hour boat cruise on. Here tourists have sightings of elephants, hippos, monitor lizards, crocodiles, waterbucks, buffaloes, Elephants, bushbucks and numerous bird species. There are many boat sizes available, but all safaris glide to Pelican Point along the beach.
Bird Watching Safaris
With over 600 bird species both residential and migratory, Queen Elizabeth national park is a birders haven and is an important Birding Area (IBA) according to Birding International. It has the highest number of birds found in any protected area in East Africa therefore birds are relatively easy to spot.
The Kasenyi plains, a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, the Kyambura canyon, the Mweya peninsula, the Maramagambo forest, the Katunguru bridge, and various park lakes are prime locations for birdwatching in the park. Bird species that can be spotted include African mourning dove, Swamp flycatcher, Grey headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar and collared pratincole and the migratory lesser flamingos at the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka mainly in the period between August to November.
Community walks & Cultural experiences
Visitors may interact with local residents and take in their storytelling, music, and dancing. Or partake in local customs like gathering produce, preparing a quick meal of vegetables, and making crafts. The Kikorongo Women’s Community Project presents cultural shows that include dance, drama, singing, forging fire, basket weaving, and manufacturing paper beads.
Additionally, tourists are welcome to visit the salt pans on Lake Katwe to witness firsthand the perseverance of those who toil in such harsh conditions.
Community walks & Cultural experiences
For safety reasons, this are done with a ranger guide. You may find them at Maramagambo Forest and Mweya Peninsular, both of which provide fantastic birding, animal viewing, and picturesque views of Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. Visitors to the Maramagambo forest may explore the shadows, discovering species rarely seen on the open plains, stumble into hidden crater lakes, and be in awe at the sheer abundance of life found within a bat cave while being protected from the blazing sun by the forest’s deep canopy
Best Time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
The dry season, which lasts from January to February and from June to September, is said to be the best time to visit, with June to September being the peak month for safaris in Uganda. Migratory species come from August to December, and March to May is the greatest month for birdwatching. However, due to its tropical location, Uganda has significant annual rainfall. Additionally, it appears that weather patterns are altering, rendering regular seasonality irrelevant.
Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from Luxury, to midrange and budget lodges both within the park and outside the park/ park borders. Some of the lodges offered when you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park include: 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 Safari Camp, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Mweya Hostels and Cottages. You can reserve the accommodation that best fits your budget with the aid of our tour company.
Entry fees at Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Foreign Non-Residents – USD$40 per person
- Foreign Residents – USD$30 per person
- East African Citizens – UGX20,000 per person