When planning a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park in 2023/2024, the best time to go is typically between Mid-December and Early March. This period is one of the most popular times to visit the park due to the abundance of wildlife and natural vegetation. During this time the park is lush with vegetation and wildlife can be more easily spotted around waterholes, rivers and other water sources.
With the dry season in full swing, game viewing takes on a whole new level of excitement as the animals congregate around these patches of water. The weather is also pleasant, with fewer mosquitos and heat, allowing visitors the opportunity to fully enjoy their experience in the park. Taking a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel is also a great experience during this time, as the abundance of wildlife and spectacular views provide a perfect way to end your days in this majestic national park.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park in 2023/2024
The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park in 2023/2024 is during the dry season, typically between Mid-December and Early March. This period is one of the most popular times to visit the park due to the abundance of wildlife and lush vegetation.
The dry season offers perfect conditions for exploration as the animals can be easily spotted around waterholes and along the river banks. This period also brings with it milder temperatures, with fewer mosquitos and other nuisance bugs, allowing visitors to fully enjoy the beauty of the park. Taking a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel is also a great experience during this time, as the abundance of wildlife and spectacular views create a truly magical safari.
Visiting Queen Elizabeth national park during the dry season
The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park in 2023/2024 is during the dry season from Mid-December to Early March. This period is one of the most popular times to visit the park due to the abundance of wildlife and lush vegetation.
The dry season offers perfect conditions for exploration as the animals can be easily spotted around waterholes and along the river banks. During this time the park is ideal for viewing game, birds and enjoying the park from a boat cruise, with fewer mosquitos and a pleasant climate. In addition, the trails are dry and passable, making chimpanzee trekking easy.
Additionally, many animals like elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and more gather around the water bodies like Kazinga Channel providing great opportunities for viewing wildlife and taking pictures. However, it is important to note that during peak season the park may become crowded, so booking in advance is highly recommended.
Visiting Queen Elizabeth national park during the wet season
Visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park in the wet season, from March to November, has a range of advantages. Firstly, the park tends to be much quieter with fewer visitors, allowing you to explore and enjoy the park in relative peace. The wet season also offers the chance to avail of discounts at luxury lodges, as they are keen to attract visitors.
Additionally, during this time the landscape of the park is lush with vegetation, making it a great opportunity to view a range of wildlife. However, it is important to note that the wet season can make chimpanzee trekking trails and game drive tracks more difficult, as they become muddy and slippery. Preparing for these conditions before you visit will help you make the most of your safari experience.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great destination for safari adventures, offering a multitude of activities for visitors to experience. During their stay, tourists can take a game drive to view animals like buffaloes, elephants, lions, warthogs, and many more.
The park also offers the chance to take a boat cruise down the Kazinga Channel, giving unparalleled views of the abundant wildlife. The park also boasts a great bird watching experience, with over 600 species to be found. In addition, guided chimpanzee trekking can be undertaken in Kyambura Gorge, along with guided walks to view the lush vegetation. Other activities such as fishing and sport viewing can also be enjoyed during a stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
1. Game Drives
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are a great way to experience the abundance of diverse wildlife within the park. Taking a game drive in the morning, evening or night provides visitors the opportunity to observe many animals, including buffaloes, lions, elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, topi, bushbucks, hippos and Uganda kobs.
All game drives are conducted in comfortable safari vehicles, with a knowledgeable and experienced driver-guide to help point out wildlife and provide further insight into the park’s many wonders. Seeing the wildlife in their natural habitats is an unforgettable experience that all visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park should be sure to take advantage of.
2. Bird Watching
Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to an incredible variety of over 600 bird species, making it one of the best bird watching destinations in Uganda. During your bird watching experience you can follow the various trails in Maramagambo Forest, Kasenyi Plains, Ishasha sector, Mweya Peninsula Area, Katunguru Bridge area and Katwe area.
Here you can spot birds like Pel’s fishing owl, Collared Pranticole, Swamp Flycatcher, African Finfoot, Common Sand Martin, Broad-billed Roller, Black Bee-eater, Great White Pelican, African Skimmer and Western Banded Snake Eagle. This unique experience will give you an insight into the rich and varied bird life that call Queen Elizabeth National Park home.
3. Boat Cruise
A boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great way to experience the abundance of wildlife in their natural habitats. Cruises are done on Kazinga Channel which connects Lake Edward and Lake George, and they typically begin at 9:00 AM in the morning or 2:00 PM in the afternoon. During the cruise, visitors have the opportunity to see huge herds of hippos and Nile crocodiles in the water, as well as a wide variety of animals along the shoreline.
Birdwatchers will also have a great time spotting cormorants, egrets, terns, bee-eaters, shoebills, and a variety of other water birds. In addition, you may catch a glimpse of some of the local fishermen preparing their fishing equipment. The boat cruise is a memorable and magical experience that should not be missed.
4. Nature walks
Nature walks in Queen Elizabeth National Park offer a unique opportunity to explore the park on foot, accompanied by an experienced park guide and an armed park ranger. During the walk, travellers have the chance to observe the diverse wildlife species, including colorful butterflies, and to listen to the sweet sounds of the park’s bird population. The nature walk also allows for visitors to get up close and personal to these creatures, creating a memorable experience.
5. Chimpanzee trekking
Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a unique and exciting experience that can be done in Kyambura Gorge. The activity typically begins with a briefing on the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. Following the briefing, visitors move into the tropical rainforest in search of the chimpanzees.
Trekking can take anywhere from two to five hours, depending on where the chimpanzees have moved to in search of food. During this time, trekkers may also observe other wildlife species. After the chimpanzees have been found, visitors can spend an hour with them in their habitat. This gives travellers the opportunity to watch the primates in their natural environment, whilst learning about their behaviours. Photos and videos are also allowed during this time.
6. Cultural tours
Cultural tours in Queen Elizabeth National Park offer visitors the chance to experience the park from a different perspective. They provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture and way of life by interacting with the park’s neighbouring communities. The tour is an exciting activity that allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the local environment and its people.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is conveniently located in the western part of Uganda, and can be accessed by a number of means. Those travelling by road can take the approximately seven to eight hour journey from Kampala through Masaka, Mbarara or Mubende and arriving at the park headquarters in Fort Portal.
Those travelling by plane may instead consider booking scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe airport to Mweya or Kasese airstrip, and then connecting to the park headquarters. Whichever mode of transport is chosen, Queen Elizabeth National Park is ready to welcome visitors with its many majestic wild animals, stunning views, and exciting activities that cannot be overlooked.
What to pack for your safari in Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most popular safari destinations in Uganda, renowned for its abundance of wildlife, stunning scenery and exhilarating activities. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, a safari in this park is bound to be an adventure unlike any other. To make sure you are fully prepared for your journey, it is important to know what you should pack for your safari in the park. From essential equipment to the basics, this guide looks at all items you need to ensure you have an unforgettable experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
• Lightweight and comfortable clothing (pants and long-sleeved shirts, light jackets).
• Sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
• Insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects.
• Binoculars and cameras to capture the unforgettable moments while out in the park.
• Flashlights or headlamps as most activities may occur at night.
• First aid kid in case of any injuries or accidents.
• Drinking water to stay hydrated throughout the safari.
• A valid ID and extra cash.
• Comfortable shoes that can handle a variety of terrains.
In conclusion, Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible destination for safari adventures, and the best time to visit depends on individual goals. During peak season from June to October, the park can become busy, making it ideal for those who want to avoid crowds and find the best deals. However for those seeking an abundance of wildlife and bird watching opportunities, the wet season from March to November may be the best option. No matter when you choose to visit, Queen Elizabeth National Park is sure to provide a magical and unforgettable experience.