Queen Elizabeth national park
the Park was named after Queen Elizabeth II of England on her visit during 1952. queen elizabeth national park is one of the most popular Uganda safari locations. It’s in southern Uganda, right on the Equator, with monuments on both sides of the road marking latitude 00.
The Albertine area, combined with Kyambura and Kigezi game reserves, comprises of Africa’s most diversified ecology. On an area of 1978km2, there is a great bio-diversity of crater lakes, forest, savannah, woodland, and acacia, as well as various animal, plant, and bird species.
Queen Elizabeth’s multiple crater lakes provide breathtaking views. Make a pit break at Nyamununka crater lake, commonly known as the animal hospital; many people come here to get their wounds treated or to see the aged animals since the water contains Sulphur. Visit the salt mining craters, Lake Katwe, and Lake Bunyampaka. Enjoy the sun setting over Lake Edward with the Rwenzoris in the background. The famed tree-climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park live in the Ishasha section of the park, where they prefer the branches of acacia trees after their night/early morning meals. The trees also give much-needed shade from the scorching heat, allowing people to enjoy the breezes.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is presently Uganda’s most rich biodiversity area, at over 95 big animal species and 600 bird species. It lives in grassland, woodland, moist tropical forest, and wetlands, as well as freshwater rivers and lakes and saline lakes. Approximately 40,000 hectares of land are covered with medium-altitude semi-deciduous forest.
There are roughly 5,000 hippos, 2,500 elephants, and 10,000 buffalo in Queens. Big cats can also be seen here, including tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha area. In Kyamburga Gorge, you may see chimps and a wide range of bird species.
There is certainly enough to enjoy for large cat enthusiasts. Lions can be spotted all around the park (with the lion research program offering excellent access in the Mweya Peninsula region), but they are most well-known in the southern Ishasha sector, where the species have learned to climb fig trees to avoid flies.
Leopard, civet, genet, and serval are also found. These are all far more elusive, with many being nocturnal, making a sighting all the more extraordinary.
The presence of big cats with traditional big game contributes to Queens’ appeal as a safari destination. These creatures emerge against breathtaking scenery, creating the ideal setting for a one-of-a-kind safari adventure.
Ten primate species live in the trees, and in some cases forage in the undergrowth. The largest of them include chimps, who may be found in the secret woods of Kyambura and the vast expanse of Maramagambo, as well as olive baboons (watch out for them stealing your meal).
The supporting ensemble of black and white colobus, red colobus, red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, blue monkey, grey-cheeked crested mangabey (Uganda’s sole indigenous primate), and vervet monkey is equally fascinating and worth hunting for.
There are around 5,000 hippo, 2,500 elephants, and 10,000 buffalo in Queens. There are no rhinos, but there is no historical proof of their existence south of the Nile and north of the Kagera.
Because the mammals may be found across the plains, forests, and shorelines, you will be able to see them in a variety of settings. There will be several photo chances, but there will also be opportunities to simply sit and study these extremely unusual animals in their natural environment.
Warthogs, waterbuck, Ugandan kob, topi, and the sitatunga antelope of the marshes around Lake George are also common herbivores.
Whenever a buffer zone has a diverse range of habitats, you know the birding will be spectacular. Queens will not disappoint you in this regard.
Approximately 600 species are waiting to be discovered and documented. While iconic species such as the Shoebill stork, pelican, and flamingo draw the most attention, each environment is home to a plethora of other big and tiny stars.
African mourning dove, Swamp flycatcher, Grey headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar, and collared pratincole are among the bird species to look out for. Flamingos may be found in the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka.
The ideal times to go game viewing are early morning or late evening because the sun is not as scorching and the cats prefer to hunt during these times.
The majority of the game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park take place in the Kasenyi region, which has the biggest Kob mating ground. The location is well-known for big cats due to the large number of Uganda Kobs on whom they hunt. Look out for buffalo and elephant herds as they graze in the Savannah. The wildlife drives take place in the comfort of a 4×4 safari vehicle from monumental expeditions, with each person having access to a window seat and an open roof.
The Kazinga waterway, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George, offers excellent game and bird viewing opportunities. You may see elephants drinking water and schools of hippos guarding their territory. Boat safaris departing from the jetty take around 2 and 3 hours and leave both in the morning and afternoon. There are communal boats available, but you may also lease private boats for you and your group.
Monitor lizards, crocodiles, waterbucks, buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, and other species are also common. With various bird species, the bird life is superb. The boat cruises are available twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, however for a birding expedition, we prefer the morning boat, which provides greater opportunity for bird observation.
The park is home to the Kyambura canyon, a ‘underground’ forest 100 meters below the Kichwaba cliff. It is home to eleven primate species, including chimps, olive baboons, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and others. Chimpanzee tracking must be pre-arranged with monumental expeditions. The odds of seeing chimps are slim, but the experience of walking through the jungle is unforgettable, with several sightings of gorgeous birds and other primates.
The park is a fantastic place to go bird watching in Uganda because it is home to 600 different bird species. Lake Munyanyange, which borders the park, serves as a bird refuge and a migratory stop for the lesser flamingo from August to November.
Other sites for birding in the park include the Kasenyi plains, a boat tour on the Kazinga canal, the Kyambura gorge, the Mweya peninsular, the Maramagambo woodland, the Katunguru bridge, and several lakes. In fact, every part of the park is a fantastic spot for bird viewing. The birds are very easy to locate, and you can expect to get some fantastic photos as you tour the park and its surroundings.
Aside from the incredible wildlife, Queen Elizabeth has a rich cultural heritage, with several fishing communities nearby to the park. Visitors may interact with local communities and enjoy storytelling, music, and dancing. Or participate in local activities such as gathering and preparing a simple veggie dinner and making crafts.
There are other villages around the park where you may hear about their activities and take part in community walks to learn more about their culture. The Kikorongo Women’s Community Project provides cultural acts such as dance, theatre, singing, and fire-making, as well as basket weaving and paper beads. You would need to make a reservation before coming because the ladies are not always at the project and many will be at their farms, where they spend the majority of their time.
Nyanzi’ibiri Cave Community – view of the surrounding surroundings. Paddle a canoe, go to the translucent lake, view monkeys and birds, and get a taste of local delicacies.
For safety precaution, this are done with a ranger guide. They are available in the Mweya peninsular, which offers excellent birding and views of the Kazinga canal and Lake Edward. In Ishasha, you may walk down the Ishasha River with your ranger guide and get up up and personal with the hippos. The famed bat cave and various bird species may be found in the Maramagambo forest.
Locals on the Kichwamba escarpment, which forms the eastern arm of the western rift valley, run an agrotourism initiative in which they accompany interested tourists to their farms and demonstrate traditional agricultural practices. You stroll through the community, seeing birds and medicinal plants and learning about how they deal with human-wildlife conflict because their fields edge the national park.
Access Queen Elizabeth National Park through charter flights from Entebbe International Airport, which land inside the park at Mweya Airstrip. Otherwise, you may travel from Kampala to the park through Mbarara OR from Kampala to the park via Fortportal.
The idea of “the ideal time to visit” does not relate to Uganda. Because the nation is tropical, it experiences rain for the most of the year. Furthermore, weather patterns appear to be shifting, rendering inflexible periodicity obsolete. So bring a rain jacket and be prepared for everything.
However, it is often drier from June to early October, and again from December to early March. Higher rainfall is typical in October and November, as well as March through May. The largest rainfall occurs in April, with May usually being quite dry in recent years.
- Around the park;
Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Twin Lakes Safari Lodge
Elephant Hub Lodge
Ihamba Lakeside Safaris Lodge
Kasenyi Safari Camp
- Within the park;
Mweya Safari Lodge
Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Ishasha Jungle Lodge