Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most visited national parks of Uganda founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and renamed two years later to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. The Park is the most popular and sought after savannah park in Uganda, and is undoubtedly the best place to enjoy game drives in Uganda, to see various wildlife especially the tree climbing lions, making the Park the best destination for Uganda wildlife safaris. The Park is a beautiful savannah park with lakes like Lake Edward and George, vast savannah grasslands, forests and wetlands which are a great habitat for wild animals and birds.
Location of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Where is Queen Elizabeth National Park located? The Park is located in the western region of Uganda, laying between Lake George and Lake Edward, with the Kazinga channel connecting the two lakes. Queen Elizabeth National Park is set against a backdrop of rugged Rwenzori Mountains, with commanding views of craters.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great Uganda national park home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species which travellers can encounter on various activities in the Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park attractions
There are a number of attractions in Queen Elizabeth national Park that tourists can encounter while on Uganda wildlife safari tours in the park. Below are the various attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park;
Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The wildlife in the Park is the sole reason that tourists do visit Queen Elizabeth National park. There are over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species in Park, making the park one of the best wildlife safari destinations in Africa. Some of the the Park animals that tourists can encounter on Uganda wildlife safaris include elephants, lions, buffaloes, antelopes, and primates like chimpanzees among so many others.
Tree climbing lions. Tree climbing lions are one of the top attractions in the Park that travellers can encounter on Uganda wildlife safari tours in the park. Tree climbing lions can be found in Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and game drives through the Ishasha sector can be very rewarding giving you an opportunity to see the tree climbing lions up in the acacia trees.
Birds. Birds in the Park are recorded to be well over 600 species roaming the park. Birds in the Park make the park one of the best birding destinations in Uganda, rewarding travellers with more opportunities to sight different bird species.
The Kazinga Channel. The Kazinga Channel is one of the best places to be at while on a Uganda wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Kazinga Channel is a water channel that connects Lake George to Lake Edward, and is one of the best places to see a variety of wildlife in the park. While on a boat safari on the Kazinga channel, hippos and crocodiles in the water, as well as a number of other land animals like elephants, and buffaloes having a drink of the fresh water.
Kyambura Gorge. The Kyambura Gorge is a verdant forest of about 100m deep valley hosting a number of chimpanzees which travellers can encounter on chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura safaris in the Park.
Katwe Explosion Crater Lakes. The Katwe Explosion Crater Lakes are found in the northern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and they do mark the highest point of the Park at 1350m above sea level and the lowest point at 910m. While at the highest points of the Park, tourists can enjoy spectacular views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the western rift valley escarpments and Lake George and Lake Edward views.
Queen Elizabeth National Park activities
With all the attractions there are in the park, there are a number of activities in the Park that tourists can do and they include;
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the best way to see the wildlife in the park. Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be done the whole day, with early morning and evening game drives being very rewarding. Night game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are also allowed in the park and can be done in the guidance of a ranger guide. Game drives in the Park takes travellers through some of the most rewarding trails like the Kasenyi plains.
Boat safaris in Queen Elizabeth national Park take place on the scenic Kazinga Channel which gives travellers an opportunity to see a number of wildlife like hippos, elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles mong so many others including birds which could be seen on top of buffaloes or hippos. A boat safari in Queen Elizabeth takes about 2 hours, and can be done in the morning and afternoon.
Birding safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park have travellers going through a number of developed trails to see a number of birds of the park. make use of a bird guide, as well as remember to carry good pair of binoculars and a bird list to tick off all that you shall see while bird watching in the Park.
Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be done in Kyambura Gorge or Kalinzu Forest which give you an opportunity to see the chimpanzees in the park if pressed with time to continue to Kibale Forest national Park which is the best place to do chimpanzee tracking in Uganda.
Cultural tours are a great way to connect and interact with the locals in and around the park. during cultural tours you get an opportunity to take part I a number of local activities done by the indigenous people like locally harvesting salt from Lake Katwe, visit homesteads and take part in a number of activities therein say cooking locally, making fire, digging and so much more.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited all throughout the year. It is however during the dry season that is best to visit the Park, a season that usually runs through the months of June to September and late December to February. The dry season is the best time for game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and yet the wet season is the best time to visit from birding safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park especially in the months of April and November which is when there are migratory birds on the park which are a great add on to the already big bird list of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is about 389km away from Kampala, and is easily accessed by road on a roughly 6 hours and 30 minutes road drive via Masaka-Mbarara Road on mostly tarmacked roads. Alternatively, travellers can choose to fly to Queen Elizabeth National Park chartering flights from Entebbe or Kajjansi to any of the airstrips in and around the park say Kasese airstrip and Mweya airstrip, which saves on time to those travellers not after long drive safaris.
Where to stay/ accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are a number of accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park that tourists could opt to use. These accommodation in the park vary according to budgets, and can be found in the different parts of the park as well as outside the park. Travellers can have options ranging from luxury, to midrange and even budget options thereby catering for al budgets of travellers. Some of the lodging options you could choose to stay in while in Queen Elizabeth national park include the Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Isunga Lodge, among so many others.
Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the best wildlife safari destinations in East Africa which you could visit solely on say a 3 days Queen Elizabeth National Park safari, or even spend more days there. You could also incorporate your Park safari with a gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is only about 4 hours from Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector famous for the tree climbing lions. Get in touch with a trusted tour operator like Focus East Africa Tours to help you pitch together an amazing Uganda wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park and beyond.