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Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park known for having the Tree Climbing Lions at Ishasha sector of the park, it is also Uganda’s most pristine and top tourist destination because of the many wonders it offers to travelers thus being “The Medley of Wonders.” The park established in 1952 as Kazinga National Park but 2 years later following a visit from UK’s Queen Elizabeth II. Re-named after the Queen of England as Queen Elizabeth National Park.

About the park

A home to 95 mammal species including the 4 members of the Big 5 which are Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards and also Uganda kobs, bush bucks, oribis, bush pigs, forest hogs, hippos, sitatungas and over 600 Bird species like the African skimmer, rare saddle billed stork, grey headed kingfisher, African mourning dove, African crowned eagle, Nubian woodpecker, swamp flycatcher, grey capped warbler, little bee eater among other bird species.

This Park boasts to of about 5,000 hippos, over 2,500 elephants and more than 10,000 buffalos alongside the unusual Ishasha tree climbing lions, leopards, warthog, civet, aardvark, striped-side jackal, Uganda kob, bush babies, Defassa water bucks, bush bucks, spotted hyenas, giant forest hog and crocodiles. The Park is also home to primate species including black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed, olive baboon, vervet blue monkey, L’ Host’s monkey and not forgetting the Chimps among others.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular Park and it receives more visitors than any other park in Uganda. This immense area with 1,978sqkm includes game reserves of Kigezi and Kyambura, the Maramagambo forest, volcanic cones, Craters, Lake George and Lake Edward, and also the Kazinga Channel which links the two lakes together.

When it comes to scenic beauty and other naturally spectacular wonders, this Park  un-matched with its sprawling savanna, humid forests, sparkling lakes and varied ecosystem that all team up to rank it as a Top-Notch Tourist destination.


Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park

This park  has a variety of activities that Visitors can enjoy during their stay in the Reserve and they include;

Game Drives

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park  done in Mweya Peninsula, Kasenyi plains and Ishasha sector. Expect to see buffaloes, hippos, elephants, Topis and more, besides, the chances of sighting lions is particularly good in Ishasha since the local prides obligingly spend their days resting up in the branches of shady fig trees.


Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel

Launch trips on the Kazinga Channel give the most relaxing way to view wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This 2 hour return voyage between Mweya and the channel’s entrance into Lake Edward cruises beside banks lined with resident hippos, crocodiles and water birds and also visiting elephant, buffalo and antelopes.


Experiential Lion and Leopard Tracking

Experiential Lion and Leopard Tracking is an awe-inspiring activity in Queen Elizabeth National Park that gives you a close encounter with the predators of the Park. This activity involves driving off-track while following an individual or group of lions while learning more about their behavior, feeding habits and social or group dynamics. Experiential Lion and Leopard Tracking is done in the Northern sector of the park “Kasenyi planes” where you interface with the predators under the guidance of a ranger guide and researchers who drive around the park with radiation trackers that help them to find lions having radio collars placed around their necks.


Tree Climbing Lion Tracking

Tree climbing Lion Tracking done in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. While here, you will see lions on wide tree branches of acacia trees, sycamore fig trees which provide comfortable and wide spaces for their shelter and also during the wet season.


Chimpanzee Tracking

Chimpanzee Tracking is one of the must-do activities during your visit to this magnificent Park. This activity gives you a great opportunity to see these Unique Features in their Natural Habitat, Chimpanzee Tracking can be done in Kyambura Gorge or Kalinzu Forest sector of the Park. This activity starts early in the morning with a briefing from the park’s headquarters about the do’s and don’ts when you are with the Chimpanzee and upon finding them, you are allowed to spend a full 1 hour in their presence while learning their behaviors.

Forest Walks

Forest walks  done in Kyambura Gorge and this forest-filled Gorge extends from the Kichwamba Escarpment to the Kazinga Channel. Enjoy the giddy viewpoint on the edge of the 100m-deep chasm before descending into the depths to track chimpanzees with the UWA guides.

These walks can also be done in Maramagambo Forest at the foot of the Kichwamba Escarpment where the shady Forest contrasts with the park’s open grasslands. These guided walks provide sightings of primates and rare bird species including the forest flycatcher, white-naped pigeon and the striking Rwenzori turaco and also a visit to Lake Nyamusingire which is home to the African fin foot. This lake is formed by three connected crater lakes, the copper rich Blue Lake and the Bat Cave with its resident bat gorged python.


Crater Game Drives

Done in Katwe Explosion Craters where you get Lake exploration at Lake Katwe Explosion craters which is a 27km drive through the craters in Queen Elizabeth National Park, on your way you will spot some animals like the lonely male buffaloes and elephants, water bucks, Uganda kobs, sitatungas, antelopes, chimpanzees and also flamingos at Lake Munyanyange, termites and snakes among others. Upon reaching, you will see the number one salt distributor in Uganda and learn how salt is extracted, you will also see the Western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley and escarpments.


Hot Air Balloon Safaris

This is where the Tourists together with their guides get a chance to take a flight in the Hot Air Balloon so as to catch an aerial view of the park, wildlife, rift valleys and lakes.


When to Visit

The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the long dry season from June to August and also the short dry season from Mid-December to late February.


How to Get to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park can be reach by both Road and Air transport means.

By Road, accessed via Kampala – Mbarara highway and it is about 420km drive from Uganda’s Capital City Kampala.

Accessed via Kampala – Fort Portal road which is about 410km from Kampala City.

By Air, you can catch a Chartered aircraft from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe Airport to Mweya and Ishasha airfields located within the vicinity of the Park.


Queen Elizabeth National Park Entry Gates

The Park has a number of Entry gates and they include;

Katunguru gate

Ishasha gate

Kabatoro gate


Accommodations in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Accommodations  offer Comfort and Tranquility to the visitors of Luxury and they include;

Luxury Accommodations

Mweya Safari Lodge

Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Jacana Safari Lodge

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