Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park takes its name from Queen Elizabeth II of England and it is remarkably one of the best Uganda safari destinations. This park is set in Western Uganda, about 5-6 hours’ drive away from Kampala and forms part of the vast Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area which also covers Kyambura Wildlife Reserve. It was founded as a national park in 1952 as Kazinga Channel National Park and later, its name changed to Queen Elizabeth National Park in 1954.
This protected area is bordered by western districts of Rukungiri, Rubirizi, Kamwenge and Kasese. It extends to cover about 1978 which makes it Uganda’s second largest park just after Murchison Falls National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is credited for its eco-diversity ranging from forest dwellers, savanna, crater lakes, woodland, acacia, flora and avifaunal species. This makes it an exceptional Uganda safari destination to explore by visitors who would like to uncover the hidden treasures in Uganda’s magical wilderness areas.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of its biodiversity which include huge profusion of wildlife including among others buffaloes, elephants, lions plus the tree climbing lions, hippos, Nile crocodiles, warthogs, leopards, antelopes such as water bucks, bush bucks; banded mongoose, bush pigs and many others. There are also several primate species including olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.
An estimate of about 620 bird species are distributed in different habitats in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The birds to expect to identify on Uganda safari in this park include pin tailed whydah, slender tailed nightjar, African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, collared pratincole, grey headed kingfishers, flamingoes, black rumped button quail, white tailed lark, Chaplin’s flycatchers, verreaux’s eagle, bar tailed godwit, African skimmer, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill, African finfoot, black bee-eaters, Caspian plovers, great blue turacos, grey winged robin chat, palm nut vultures, papyrus gonoleks, Pel’s fishing owl, common sand martin, Heuglin’s gull, red chested sunbird, rufous bellied heron, white winged tern, yellow bellied wattled eye, yellow throated cuckoo, spotted redshank and many others. The best birding sites in Queen Elizabeth National Park include Maramagambo Forest, Kazinga Channel, Kyambura Gorge, Katunguru bridge and many others.
Other attractions to explore in Queen Elizabeth National Park include Lake George-Ramsar wetland site in the park, explosion craters, Katwe Salt Lake, Mweya peninsula, Kazinga channel, Kyambura Gorge and many more
Tourist activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Game drive
What distinguishes Queen Elizabeth National Park from other safari parks in Uganda is its exceptional game viewing experiences. Game drives in this park are best conducted via Kasenyi sector and Ishasha area.
On a game drive, expect to sight wildlife species such as buffaloes, elephants, lions plus the tree climbing lions, hippos, Nile crocodiles, warthogs, leopards, antelopes such as water bucks, bush bucks; banded mongoose, bush pigs.
- Bird watching
On bird watching tour, the birds to expect to identify in Queen Elizabeth National Park include pin tailed whydah, slender tailed nightjar, Chaplin’s flycatchers, verreaux’s eagle, bar tailed godwit, African skimmer, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill, African finfoot, black bee-eaters, Caspian plovers, great blue turacos, African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, collared pratincole, grey headed kingfishers, flamingoes, black rumped button quail, white tailed lark, grey winged robin chat, palm nut vultures, papyrus gonoleks, Pel’s fishing owl, common sand martin, Heuglin’s gull, red chested sunbird, rufous bellied heron, white winged tern, yellow bellied wattled eye, yellow throated cuckoo, spotted redshank.
- Launch cruise
Launch cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park is best done along Kazinga Channel which links between Lake George and Lake Edward. This watersport lets you sight crocodiles, hippos, birds and other wildlife species including elephants, waterbucks and many more.
- Chimpanzee tracking
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzee tracking is conducted in Kyambura Gorge where you will explore more about chimpanzees, take pictures while they are in their natural habitat. Chimpanzees share about 98.7 percent of their DNA with humans making them our closest relatives in the wild. You can arrange your chimpanzee trekking safari with Mega Wild Safaris and you will be rewarded with lots of lasting memories.
- Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks allow you get close to nature, explore the varied wildlife species that Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of. Nature lovers can take on different trails and among other places to explore on guided nature walk include Mweya peninsular, Ishasha River, Maramagambo Forest and many others. You stand a chance to sight variety of bird species, primates and other wildlife species.
- Cultural experience
Besides game viewing, visitors on Uganda safari can also engage in cultural tours which reward travel endeavors with authentic African cultural experiences. The communities to visit on cultural tour include Kikorongo Women’s Community, Nyanzi’Ibiri cave community.
- Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is strategically located astride equator thus experiencing favorable weather and climatic conditions which make it an all year-round destination. However, the ideal time to visit this park is usually around the dry months of the year which start in June, July, August, September and December, January, February. This is ideal for visitors on Uganda safari and they plan to visit the park for game viewing. Bird watching is ideal starting in March, April, May and October, November.
- Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are various accommodation alternatives to choose on Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park for a night stay. They include Mweya Safari lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Kasenyi Safari Camp, Katara Lodge, Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Ishasha Jungle Lodge and many others.
- How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are two ways to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park; by road and by air. By air, travelers on Uganda safari can reach the park starting from Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi route and this is 6 hours’ drive route. The second route takes you from Kampala via Mityana-Mubende-Fort Portal then to Kasese to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
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