Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park located in the western part of Uganda is one of the top tourist destinations given the fact that it hosts a number of species. The park named after the queen of England after her visit in 1954, covers an area of 1,978 square kilometers making it the second largest national park in the country and stretching through districts of Kamwenge, Kasese, Rukungiri and Rubirizi. While here, you’ll be able to spot the popular tree climbing lions and leopards found in the Ishasha sector.
The park is covered with grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes acting as a haven to over 5,000 hippos, over 2,500 elephant, over 10,000 buffalo, chimpanzee which are found in the Kyambura sector and with over 618 species of birds making it one of the top spots in Africa for birding. Its also should be noted that zebras and rhinos can’t be found here.
Activities in queen Elizabeth national park
Due to a variety of species in the park, there a number of activities that do take place which include;
Game drives commonly done in the early morning hours and evening through the park will give you a chance to look at several wild creatures as they wander around the park. During the drives, you will be able to view famous lions in the southern Ishasha sector where the population has learnt to climb fig trees to escape the flies. Other animals in other sectors like leopards, buffaloes, birds elephants, giraffes and many more.
Chimpanzee trekking is done in the Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest reserve giving you a close look at man’s closest relative.
Boat cruise done along the Kazinga channel which connects lake Edward to lake George gives you a chance to explore big populations of hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants on the shoreline, birds and many more. Boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth national park are offered on a daily basis in two session both starting as early as 09:00 am in the morning and 02:00 pm in the afternoon and the cruises last for about 2-5 hours.
With over 618 bird species available in the park to explore, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the top tourist destinations in the world best for birding. Get to view the famous shoe bill, flamingoes, pelicans and many others.
Nature walks through the Marambagambo forest are relieving as you listen to sounds of nature and birds. Under the dense canopy you will also be able to discover some new species that are hardly seen during day.
Cultural tours are one of the activities still carried out in the park. Kikorongo performers mines at the equator will also be ready to sing and dance for you. You will also be able to interact with the local communities, learn their traditional way of life.
Queen Elizabeth national park has a total of 72 craters all scattered and in different sizes. The lakes were formed as a result of volcanic activity centuries ago and as of today, they are contributing so much in the ecosystem harboring fauna and flora.
Ishasha province found in the south west of the park is home to the tree climbing lions. In the open woodland, these cats are always tracked down by rangers or tour guide using a tracking device that’s used to locate them. The lions have collar devices in their necks and are always either seen resting in savannah grasslands looking for their prey or hanging at acacia and fig trees. Its an amazing experience watching these brave cats rest on tree branches.The park also has the recently innovated hot air balloon giving you an aerial view of the beautiful landscape, the species in the park, the Rwenzori Mountains, lakes and more.
Like any other national park in Uganda, accessing Queen Elizabeth national park too requires one to pay some conservation fee that’s used to support Uganda wildlife’s conservation projects. The fees vary for different groups of people and you must remember to take identification with you while heading to the park. Foreign travelers are required to show their passports, foreign born Ugandans must present a one-year work permit while Ugandan citizens have to show their national identification cards. The fees are as follows; foreign travelers have to pay $40, Foreign born Ugandans must pay $30 while Ugandan citizens are charged UGX150,000.
How to get to queen Elizabeth national park
Roads in Uganda have been improving for the past few years easing access to the park. today, regardless of the route you will take to Queen Elizabeth national park you won’t experience any delays due to bad roads since they’re all now tarmacked. The park is at a distance of about 402 kilometers from Kampala-Kasese by road that is via the Mbarara route and about 420 kilometers when you use the Kampala- Kasese via the fort portal route. Getting to the park will take you about 5-6hrs and 6-7hrs respectively. The park can also be accessed by using a chartered air plane from Entebbe international airport and Kajjansi air strip to Kihihi airstrip, Kasese airstrip and Mweya airstrip then connect to the park.
Accommodation in the park.
There five main sectors in queen Elizabeth national park namely; Rift Valley Escarpment, Mweya peninsula, Ishasha sector, Kyambura gorge and the Northeast escarpment. Each of these does have accommodation services that rage from luxury, midrange to budget. Elephant plains lodge in the Northeast escarpment is among the luxury hotels that have been recently introduced. While here you will be able to spot some of the wild life as they wander in the pains from your room.
Other accommodation facilities in the park include: Pumba safari cottages, Queen Elizabeth bush lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Ishasha wilderness camp, park view lodge, elephant plains lodge, elephant hub lodge, Enganzi lodge, Simba safari camp, Kasenyi safari camp, Queen Elizabeth safari camp, Kitandara hippo hill camp, among others.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
Tourism in Uganda has always been an all-season success however, June to September and December to February are the best months to visit the park because that’s when the skies are clear, less rain, more sunshine, and vegetation is less. The water holes attract a big number of animals and as they gather around main water sources, it makes it easier to spot them.
There a number of other tourism destinations you can combine with your safari to queen Elizabeth national park. like visit Bwindi impenetrable national park known for gorilla trekking, Kibale national park for chimpanzee tracking and many others. With our well detailed itinerary, you will be able to enjoy your safari while in Uganda. Reach out to us today