Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular park Located in western Uganda understandably most visited by tourists, it covers an area of 1978 sq. km -764miles and is Uganda’s second largest after Murchison falls National Park. The park has diverse ecosystem which include sprawling savannah, shady,humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands that make it ideal habitat for classic big game, It hosts 95 mammal species of which 10 are primate species, including Chimpanzee and around 612 bird species hence being the only park with the largest number of wildlife species compared to other parks of the country.
Queen Elizabeth is set against backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the parks magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with Hippos, buffaloes and Elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, Whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda Kob.As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has fascinating cultural history. There are more opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more.The park was created in 1952 and is one of the oldest national parks in Uganda, initially it was called Kazinga National park till 1954 when her majesty Queen Elizabeth visited it and thereafter it was renamed for her visits commemoration.
Activities of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth is classified as ( IBA ) Important bird area by birding international, Queens great variety of habitats make it great to accommodate 612 bird species. This is the highest of any East Africa’s National park and phenomenal number for such a small area, the park s influence of savannah and forest, linking to the expansive forest of DR Congo allows visitors to spot East as well as central African species.
Nature walks to the Cave;
The tucked beneath the shady canopy of the Imaramagambo forest is the “Batcave”. The cave has viewing room from which visitors can observe the resident Bats and python, that often comes to feed. The round nature walk takes 2 hours with a park ranger guide.
The Kyambura gorge and Karinzu forest experience is more than discovering Chimpanzees in their natural environment; Kyambura gorge It teaches visitors about the ecosystem and its Atmospheric “underground” rain forest, including vegetation types, bird identification and behavior, and Chimp and monkey ecology. The tracking of these Chimpanzees is amazing experience which is done twice a day morning session and afternoon session.
The Kazinga channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park, and taking a boat cruise along it gives visitors the chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of enormous Hippos buffalos, crocodiles and Elephants sometimes coming to drink from the shores as well as huge flocks of aquatic birds, The Kazinga channel is a home to one of the largest hippo populations on the planet hence making the launch cruise the most popular and the highlight of the visit to this park
For a classic African Safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the north Kazinga plain and the Ishasha sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, Antelopes, and Elephant sightings along with warthogs and baboons. This is also popular way of game viewing for people visiting this park. Ishasha game drive is gives visitors chance to encounter the famous tree climbing lion which are seen clinging between branches of fig trees. Another alternative of doing game drive is,taking a Hot Air balloon that flies over Kasenyi plains as it give occupants good sightings at close range.
Explosion crater drive
This is a scenic 27 km route that winds through the crater between the main gates and the Queens pavilion at the crater gate, this area is not good for game viewing but makes it all for the best scenery. Although the entire drive is stunning, there are few highlights, the massive Kyemengo Crater which is located at baboon Cliffs is by far the largest crater and standing atop the rim is slightly a dizzying experience.
Wildlife research tour;
For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals that fill the park, especially lions using locator devices and learn habituation calls as well as monitoring weather surrounding and behavior.
Getting to Queen Elizabeth National Park
By road; Queen Elizabeth National Park can easily be accessed from Kampala, The tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara and Bushenyi leads to the center of the park. And 22 km to Mweya peninsula, its 420 km from Kampala to the park
By Air;The Charter flight can be arranged to existing Airstrips of Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha.