Queen Elizabeth National Park is found in the western region of Uganda, bordering the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi laying between lakes Gorge and Albert with the Kazinga channel crossing through its 700sq mile land area. The park is approximately 400kilometers by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s and largest city. The city of kasese lies to the northeast of the park, while the town of Rubirizi is to the southeast. The park was named after the queen of England in 1954 following her visit.
Queen Elizabeth national Park is the most popular savannah park in Uganda and famous for the tree climbing lions thus making it the perfect destination a traveler should not miss to visit for a Uganda wildlife safari. The park is blessed with a great diversity of habitats that includes; lakes, forests, savannah grassland and wetlands that serve as home to the biggest variety of large mammals in the whole country.
Wildlife in queen Elizabeth national park.
Queen Elizabeth national park is a home to over 95mammal species, which are the major attractions that visitors come to see and also four big five include elephant, leopard, lion and buffaloes. The park is known as a home to abundance of hippos that occupy the shores of kazinga channel, which connects lake George to lake Edward and also famous for having the largest number of hippos. The park is an open savannah with acacia and euphorbia trees that provide a habitat for wildlife like leopards, Uganda kobs, topis, elephants, buffaloes, hyenas, and big herds of buffaloes, mongoose, warthogs, bushbucks and waterbucks. And also a home to 618 bird species making it the 6th highest diversity in the world and in Africa making it a perfect destination for Uganda birding safaris, with 10 primate species like chimpanzees.
Attractions in queen Elizabeth national park.
Tree climbing lions:
visitors explore through the southern part of queen Elizabeth national park in Ishasha sector to track these lions, which spend their days resting on the branches of shady fig and acacia trees. Also view other animals like buffaloes, hippos, elephants, topis and more others.
The kazinga channel:
Boat cruises on the kazinga channel provide the most relaxing way to view game in queen Elizabeth national park. Here you spot huge number of Nile crocodiles, hippos, water birds, elephants, buffaloes and Antelopes which gather on the banks of the lake.
Kasenyi plains: The open grasslands of kasenyi are popularly visited by tourists on a Uganda wildlife safari. Also they are home to a very large number of Antelopes, the Uganda kobs, lions and several large predators.
Kyambura Gorge: The forest-filled kyambura gorge extends from the kichwamba escarpment to the kazinga channel. This green forested 100meter deep valley is a home to a large number of primates and popular for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda.
Mweya peninsula: Queen Elizabeth np’s main tourism Centre is found on mweya peninsula, 22km west of kasese-Mbarara Road, Mweya occupies an elevated plateau overlooking the kazinga channel and lake Edward, is also commonly visited during game drives as it offers perfect game views while travelling through the various game tracks.
Katwe Salt Lake: People of katwe town, 12km from mweya, have been extracting salt from the saline lake katwe using evaporation pans for several years, since that is the main economic activity in the area. Therefore, a large number of visitors tend to visit there to learn and observe the traditional method of salt mining.
The katwe Explosion crater lakes: These lakes are found in the northern part with the highest altitude of the park. Here tourists enjoy perfect sweeping views of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges, lakes George and Edward and the western rift valley escarpments.
Maramagambo forests: The shady maramagambo forest contrasts with the park’s open grasslands provides guided nature walks a chance of sighting primates and rare birds including the forest flycatcher, white naped pigeon and the striking Rwenzori turaco and also visit lake Nyamusingire a home to the African finfoot, it is formed by three connected crater lakes, the copper rich blue lake and the bat cave with its resident bat-gorged python.
Birding: Birding activities overlap within the wildlife viewing locations described above. Highlights include Easy sighting of resident and migratory water birds on the kazinga channel; spectacular seasonal congregations of flamingoes on the kyambura gorge and memorable shoebill sightings on the remote lake Edward flats in Ishasha.
Access to queen Elizabeth National Park:
Two routes run from Kampala to queen Elizabeth np. The most scenic route passes through fort portal about 410km and offers detours to kibale, semuliki and Rwenzori mountains national parks and another one runs through Mbarara and bushenyi and passes lake mburo np or by a charter flight.
When to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park:
In dry seasons that runs from January to February, June to September is the best time to visit with the peak safari time, whereas Migratory species arrive in August to December. Match to May offering the best time to do birding.
Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park:
Queen Elizabeth np has a variety of lodges, campsites, hotels and tented camps, it also offers accommodation for people who truly enjoy wilderness like Ishasha wilderness. Accommodation ranges from luxury, Midrange to budget facilities.