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Queen Elizabeth National Park; Uncover the Untold Mystery.

by | Jul 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth National Park; Uncover the Untold Mystery.

In the heart of Africa, where the savannah plains of Uganda meet the well know “Mountains of the Moon” – the Rwenzori Mountains, lies an extraordinary sanctuary known as Queen Elizabeth National Park. Located in the southern region of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second largest national park in Uganda after Murchison Falls National Park and it spans districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukungiri, and Rubirizi.

The park is the most visited tourist destination in Uganda, and it is renowned for its unique geographical features such as the Kazinga Channel, the Kyambura Gorge and also characterized by the diverse eco-systems such as the Savannah grasslands, dense forests, wetlands, and crater lakes.

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a wide range of activities such as game drives, boat safaris, birding safaris, Chimp tracking, nature walks, and also cultural encounters. Queen Elizabeth National Park was named after Queen Elizabeth II of England who visited the park in 1954 and it spans an area of 1,978 square kilometres.

The Location of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the southern region of Uganda. It highlights the majestic Rwenzori Mountains also known as the “Mountains of the moon”, it is nestled between lake Edward and lake George and connects them through the Kazinga Channel and also includes the Maramagambo forest area while sharing borders with Kyambura Game Reserve, Kigezi Game Reserve and the Kibale National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in DRC.

Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 95 different mammal species which include the four big five (the Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, and Leopard), the Uganda Kob, the Topi, Spotted hyenas, Defassa waterbuck, Rothschild’s giraffes, warthogs and primate species like the Black and White Colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, Olive Baboons and the critically endangered chimpanzees. You get to witness all these mammal and primate species by partaking in game-drives.

The Lakes (Lake Edward and Lake George) and the Kazinga channel also offers great opportunities to witness aquatic species such as the crocodiles and hippos. Partake in boat cruise safaris and get to witness all these aquatic species.

The park is also home to number of bird species which include the African fish eagle, Shoebill stork, Martial eagles, Grey-crowned crane, African skimmer, African jacana, Hamerkop Marabou stork, African hoopoe, African green broadbill, African pied hornbill, Brown-chested lapwing, Grey-headed kingfisher, Red-throated bee-eater, and the African paradise flycatcher.

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Things to do.

Game drive

Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a popular activity to do in the Kasenyi Plains. You get a lifetime opportunity to witness the breathtaking landscape, four of the big five sighting.

Encounter the majestic Elephants as they transverse the savanna plains, witness the Buffaloes which are renowned for their strength and adaptability, view Lions as they prey on the Uganda Kobs and Leopards which are well known for camouflage and incredible speeds.

Witness the various wildlife such as the Topis, Spotted hyenas, Defassa waterbuck, Rothschild’s giraffes, warthogs and primate species including the critically endangered chimpanzees.

Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Lion Tracking

In Queen Elizabeth national Park, you get to do an awe-inspiring activity known as lion tracking where you partake in game drives to witness the famously known “Tree Climbing Lions” in the Ishasha sector, these unique lions are only found in this sector in the whole of Uganda.

Lion tracking is the second interesting activity to do in the park and it is conducted by professional researchers from the Uganda carnivore program through the open savanna plains giving you a lifetime opportunity to witness the lions well known as the “king of the jungle” in their natural habitat.

Chimpanzee Tracking

This is one of the best-done activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park and it is carried out in Kyambura Gorge which is located in the eastern part of the park and well known as the “valley of Apes”. Chimpanzee Tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park is done in two sessions that is the morning session and the afternoon session.

During the activity, you get an opportunity to witness the endangered chimpanzees, baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white Colombus, and the chimp tracking activity takes about 2-3 hours with these Apes in their natural habitats.

Bird watching

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 619 bird species, and this makes it a popular Birders’ haven for bird watching. The park has a number of birding areas such as Mweya Peninsular, Kyambura Gorge, Kasenyi Plains, Kazinga Channel and also the Lake Katwe area.

During the birding activity, you get to witness the various bird species including the African fish eagle, Shoebill stork, Martial eagles, Grey-crowned crane, African skimmer, African jacana, Hamerkop Marabou stork, African hoopoe, African green broadbill, African pied hornbill, Brown-chested lapwing, Grey-headed kingfisher, Red-throated bee-eater, and the African paradise flycatcher.

Boat Cruise

Another awe-inspiring activity to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park is boat cruise which is carried out on the Kazinga channel that connects Lake Edward to Lake George. Boat cruise is mostly done in the morning and afternoon hours when the aquatic wildlife is most visible.

During the Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, you get to witness crocodiles lurking on the shores and encounter the large concentration hippos in the water. Kazinga Channel is well known for high concentration of hippos in Africa.
While boat cruising, you get to witness animals drinking water on the shores like elephants, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, buffaloes and view various bird species on trees all around the shores.

Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise

Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise

Nature Walks

This adventurous activity involves exploring the park on foot, while appreciating the cool breathtaking landscape, enjoying the fresh-wild wind, and also the sound of nature in far distances. Nature walks in Queen Elizabeth national park are done the Maramagambo forest, Kyambura Gorge, and the Mweya peninsular.

During nature walks, you get a close view of wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, chimpanzees, white and black colombus monkeys, also bird species such as woodpeckers, chestnut wattle eye among others.

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What is the best time to visit?

It is important to note that Uganda’s tourist destinations are open all year long, and Uganda has two seasons that is the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ seasons. The best time to visit the Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the dry season when the Chimp trails are less slippery and also the open savanna is drier for easy vehicle movement during wildlife viewing.

How to get there?

Queen Elizabeth National Park lies in the southwestern Uganda and can be accessed by either road using public/private means of transport from Kampala to the park which takes about 6 – 7 hours while driving and also by air using an aircraft from Kajjasi airstrip to Kasese airstrip and it takes 1 – 2 hours.

Where to Stay?

You get an opportunity to decide where to stay due to the wide range of Luxury, midrange and budget accommodations available in the park where you can stay, and these include.

Luxury Lodges such as Katara Lodge, Elephant plains Lodge, Kyambura Gorge lodge, Midrange Lodges such as Engaji lodge, Elephant hub, and also Budget lodges such as Topi Lodge, Pumba Safari Cottage, Engeri game lodge.

 

katara Lodge

Katara Lodge

With that in-depth about Queen Elizabeth National Park, you now know what to do, where to stay, what to see, how to access the park and mostly when to visit the park.
Are you ready to set off to the heart of Africa and uncover the breathtaking savanna landscapes in Uganda yet still not sure where to start from? Friendly Gorillas Safaris is here to walk you through the whole process from arrival to making unforgettable memories and then to departure. Book now or email us on [email protected] for inquires.

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About the Author

Frank

Enthusiastic Tour Consultant. Self-Motivated and passionate about crafting Un forgettable African safari experiences.

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