Queen Elizabeth National Park – Truly a Medley of Wonders
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. This park boasts of diverse ecosystems. This sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands. It is for the same reason the park is ideal habitat for classic big game. Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to ten primate species including chimpanzees. The park is also home to over 600 species of birds.
Queen Elizabeth National Parks is set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains. The park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters. These craters are carved into rolling green hills. They enjoy panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel. The banks of the channel are lined with hippos. There are also buffalo and elephants and other animals going to drink.
In the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the endless Ishasha plains. Here, the fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities. You will enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems. This has in turn benefits the surrounding communities.
Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is a Medley of Wonders!
Queen Elizabeth National Park at a glance
- Size: 1,978km².
- Queen Elizabeth spans the equator line. There are monuments on either side of the road mark the exact spot where it crosses latitude 00.
- The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
- The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species.
- The Katwe explosion craters mark the park’s highest point at 1,350m above sea level. The lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.
What To Do In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Launch Trips in Queen Elizabeth
The Kazinga Channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park. Taking a boat tour along it gives visitors the chance to cruise on the channel. The boat takes you just meters from hundreds of enormous hippos and buffaloes. You will see while elephants linger on the shoreline. This is also the best way to see water water birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth
Are you looking for a classic Uganda safari experience? Do not miss to drive through the tracks in Kasenyi. The North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector are places not to miss. the offer guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. You will need the services of an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk. That way you will have the most successful way to track down a pride of lions and maybe even the odd leopard.
Chimp Tracking in Queen Elizabeth
The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment. It also teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground”. There is the rain forest including vegetation types. You cannot miss bird identification and behaviour and chimp and monkey ecology.
Birding in Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth National Park is classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA). This is a classification by Birding International. The park has great variety of habitats and is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, links to the expansive forests of the DR Congo. This allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.
Wildlife Research Tours in Queen Elizabeth
This is for those who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna. A research trip will be the best way for a rewarding adventure. This is a new and unique experience within Uganda National Parks. It allows visitors to take part in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals. You will be using locator devices and learn habituation calls. You can also help in monitoring weather, surroundings and animal behaviour.
Cultural Encounters in Queen Elizabeth
There is much that goes on in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can enjoy the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers. You can visit the workers harvesting salt on Katwe Salt Lake. Visit a traditional Banyaraguru hut or an agricultural village. All these is by those who know them best – local community members.
Caves in Queen Elizabeth
The ‘Bat Cave’ is tucked beneath the shady canopy of the Maramagambo Forest. The cave has a viewing room from which visitors can observe the resident bats and pythons. You can take trip to the historic cave at Nyanz’ibiri community for more culture tours.
Hiking/Nature Walks in Queen Elizabeth
Nature treks and trails are one of the more active ways to explore. You can explore the landscapes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth by trekking. Places to visit include the shady Maramagambo forest. There is the Mweya Peninsula with its scenic views. You cannot leave out Ishasha River. Here you may spot a variety of forest and savanna species. There is also unique opportunity to get close to hippos – on foot!
Wildlife and Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park has an astonishing 5000 hippos. There are 2500 elephants and over 10,000 buffalo thriving in its grasslands. This also includes the shorelines of Kazinga Channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park guarantees sightings of some of Africa’s most iconic species. The elephants’ calls reverberate around Queen’s crater-filled valleys is a magical experience.
Other common herbivores include warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi. You may be lucky to see rare sitatunga antelope.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has ten species of primates. Here the most popular of which is the chimpanzee.
Vervet and black-and-white colobus monkeys can be spotted in the trees. But, the boldest of all are the baboons. Just be sure to keep car windows closed to avoid food thefts!
Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat. this park contains a variety of habitats. This range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests.
This diversity is reflected in the list of over 600 bird species. This is the biggest of any protected area in East Africa. A majority of the birds found in this area are famous birds of East Africa. Queen Elizabeth National Park is a must for birdwatchers in Africa!
Queen Elizabeth National Park’s most elusive inhabitants are its felines. We are talking about the lion, leopard, civet, genal and serval cats.
Lions are throughout the park, but the most renowned live in the southern sector of Ishasha. Here they rest on the limbs of fig trees.
Solitary leopards are nocturnal and well camouflaged, making a glimpse all the more rewarding! The smaller cats are nocturnal and best spotted on night game drives.
How to Get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national Park is located in western Uganda. The park is shared by districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Bushenyi.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1978km2 in size. The park lies 5-6 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara. Those on Uganda safari tours can also be reach Queen Elizabeth National Park on a dirt road from Bwindi.
The Park includes parts of Lakes Edward and George. The two lakes are are linked by Kazinga channel.
You can access the park from Kampala is either on tarmac through Mbarara (420 kames). Other alternatives are through Fort Portal via Kasese (410kms). The park is 5-6 hours from Kampala on surface road via Mbarara.
If you are from trekking gorillas in Bwindi, you can get to the park via Ishasha sector. This is on the North of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.