Queen Elizabeth national park is Uganda’s most famous national park situated in the western part of the country with large variety of terrain including volcanic craters, acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, swamps and tropical forests. Queen Elizabeth national park was established in 1952 as Kazinga channel national park but to commemorate the Queen of England’s visit in the country the parks name was changed to Queen Elizabeth in 1954, Queen Elizabeth is located in the western region of Uganda it’s surrounded by Kamwenge, Kasese, Rukingiri and Rubirizi districts. Its a great place for Uganda safari tours.
The park is approximately 400 kilometers by road south-west of Kampala the capital city of Uganda. Rubirizi is located outside the parks southeastern boundaries and Kasese town is located in the northeastern part of the park, the park includes Maramagambo forest which borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kibale Forest National Park and Kyambura game reserve, Virunga National park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park extends from Lake Edward, Lake George, Kazinga channel on an estimated square Kilometer of 1978 part of this includes the Kazinga Channel which connects with the two lakes. Queen Elizabeth National park is a wildlife hub which includes African Leopard, lion, Chimpanzees, Buffaloes, Nile Crocodiles, Kobs, Hippopotamus, Leopard, Elephants. The Park is a home to 95 mammal and about 500 bird species. The park around the Ishasha in Rukungiri is one of the famous tree climbing lions in the world. The park is adjacent to Virunga National Park, very considered potential lion stronghold in the central Africa.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a number of volcanic features which includes the Volcanic cones, Crate lakes, deep craters and many more. Queen Elizabeth national park harbors various wildlife species found in most national parks in the country its mostly famous for the tree climbing lions that can only be seen in Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania. The well established gaming tracks can expose tourists to wildlife such as Leopards, buffalos, elephants, Bush bucks, Ugandan Kob, waterbucks, bush pigs, reedbucks, warthogs, hippopotamus and so much more.
Queen Elizabeth national park is the only park in Uganda where tourists can enjoy viewing wildlife on air, though its expensive the reward is worth tourists can spot the whole flora and fauna and have clear views of predators catching prey. This always takes place very early in the morning and the safari ends with a bush breakfast and a certificate.
The magical natural Kazinga channel found in Mweya sector of Queen Elizabeth connects Lake George and Lake Albert. The channel is an ideal place for wildlife viewing especially during the dry season when the animals are concentrated on its shores. There are also various water birds to be seen while on the Kazinga channel boat ride with hundreds of hippopotamus and crocodiles to be seen close to your boat.
Queen Elizabeth national park is a birders paradise where bird enthusiasts can spot some of the 600 species of birds living in the park. During November tourists can spot some migratory birds from north Africa and Europe, some of the birds at queen Elizabeth national park are; black rumped button quail, white tailed lark, black bee eater, white winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, lesser and greater flamingoes, Chaplin’s flycatchers, African skimmer, corncrake, verreaux eagle owl, bar tailed Godwit, pink backed pelican and African broadbill to mention a few.
Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be done at the magical Kyambura gorge, the gorge is a stunning underground forest bordered by the Great Rift Valley escapements. A part from chimpanzees’ tourists can identify various bird species and other primates like the olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys and red tailed among the rest. There are also various types of trees and many species of butterflies.
Queen Elizabeth National Park tour is one of the exciting tours a tourist will participate in while they are on their Uganda tour. The park is located in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi and Rukungiri in the western part of Uganda. The park has attracted many tourists to visit it year in and years out because of the magnificent views and attractions that are situated within.
A tourist interested in exploring nature at its best, Queen Elizabeth is the park to choose because it not only offers wildlife experiences but also outdoors experiences, cultural encounters and many activities which are designed to ensure tourist satisfaction. With years passing, the park has attracted many tourists because of the variety of flora and fauna which is quite unique and exciting t
How to access Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park can easily be accessed by tourists because of the good transport networks and systems within the area. Depending on the tourist’s budget, they can either choose air or road transport to reach the park.
The park is 410 kilometres away from Kampala city and for tourists that have landed at Entebbe International Airport, Queen Elizabeth the distance from Entebbe to Kampala is 49 kilometers which will take the tourist about an hour to reach the city. The park from Kampala is accessed through the Mbarara-Masaka highway on the high way tourists can make different stopovers which makes the trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park memorable stopovers at the equator in Masaka, Mpambire drum makers. Tourists that have visited Bwindi impenetrable national park can also connect to Queen Elizabeth national park through the ishasha sector which can take about 7 to 8 hours for tourists to reach the park.
By air, tourists can visit the park by booking charter flights from Entebbe to Queen Elizabeth where Aero link offers daily domestic flights to the park this land at the Mweya and Kasese airstrips which is quite safe, reliable and easy for tourists to use.
ATTRACTIONS IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Carrying out the Uganda national parks tour will be the most rewarding when tourists carryout their Queen Elizabeth national park tour because the park is a home to over 95 mammal species, 20 bird species and for the bird lovers, the park has over 600 bird species which makes it a top destination for bird lovers and it is not only tourists interested in seeing the animal species that will be attracted to the park. The park has a variety of many other attraction s and many activities that can be engaged in as explained below;
Flora and Fauna: Queen Elizabeth National park is covered by different vegetation zones which include the tropical rain forest, savannah grasslands, bushy grassland, acacia trees, swamp vegetations and many more all of which act as habitats to the different animal and bird species not forgetting the butterflies for butterfly enthusiasts the availability of the habitats has enabled reproduction and feeding of the animals and bird species.
Tree climbing lions: The most interesting encounters that a tourist can come across is the tree climbing lions which are found in the ishasha sector which has a number of relief features like the ishasha river, Lake Edward which offer memorable experiences once the tourists have visited in the sector but eye catching about the sector is the tree climbing lions which are believed to climb up the trees in order to locate their prey and once they are able to see the prey they come down and chase after them and if they are lucky enough they can catch.
Another reason for the lions to climb the trees is to get shed from the scotching sun in the park and also trying to escape insect bites and so on which is an unusual behaviour in lions but for tourists interested in seeing the creatures then Queen Elizabeth is the only park and place where the animals can be seen.
Maramagambo forest: Queen Elizabeth national park is truly gifted by nature with the many tourist attractions including the forest which is a tourist’s paradise once visited. The forest is a habitat to a number a number of wildlife species like the primate species like the L’hoest’s monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and many more that can attract tourists. The forest is bordered by two lakes that offer beautiful scenic views and cool breezes to tourists while they visit them.
Bird species: Bird lover will find Queen Elizabeth quite interesting and rewarding because of the numerous bird species that can be found in the park some of the bird species that are seen in the park are endemic to the albertine rift and others are migratory bird species in the park. The bird species in the park are usually seen in Ishasha sector which is the best point for bird watching and the Maramagambo forest where a number of migratory and endemic species can be seen.
Butterfly species: The park is a haven to many wildlife species which is quite rewarding for tourists that are interesting in seeing a variety of wildlife species other than one attraction. In the park, a number of butterfly species can be seen while carrying out nature walks in Kyambura and also in Maramagambo forest
With the a number of flora and fauna tourists on their Ugandan tour, carrying out a Queen Elizabeth National Park tour will have a chance to participate in the different activities as explained below;
Game drives: Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are one of the most rewarding activities that tourists can choose to engage in while on their because the tourists are guaranteed to see different animal species in the park for instance a tourist if lucky can have a chance to see lions preying on antelopes, herbivores like the zebras, antelopes, Uganda Kobs among others can be seen feeding in the savannah grasslands a tourist can also see 4 of the big five animals in the park that including the lions, leopards, the buffalo and the elephants which can be seen.
In the parka tourist will have a chance to choose from the different game drives available for instance the morning game drives, the evening and the night game drives where nocturnal animals like the lions, leopards which are hard to see during the day but during the night game drives, a tourists can see them as they hunt for their prey.
The lion tracking experience: The lion tracking experience which is done during the morning and late in the afternoon is another interesting activity a tourist will engage in during their Uganda national parks tour. The activity involves tourists learning more about the predators in their natural habitats.
The tourist is guaranteed to see a given pride of lions with the help of the radio collars that are found within the lions, the experience is spear headed by a Uganda carnivore’s project researcher who leads a limited number of tourists into the savannah plains where the lions can be found. It is therefore advisable for tourists to book in advance in order not to miss out on the activity.
The activity will enable tourists to distinguish between the males and female lions with their physical appearances for example the male have a black mane where as the females have no manes. A tourist will be able to see how the lions mark their territories in the park for instance a dominant male in a given pride goes on urinating on the different tree stems to mark their territories as a way of informing another pride that would take over their territory.
Other ways of marking their territories is by the males digging a 20 cm hole by using the hind feet which will clearly be visible to other prides of lions that the territory is taken by another pride. The males can also be seen rubbing their manes on shrubs.
Birding : Birding in Queen Elizabeth is quite an interesting activity in the park because a number of bird species can be seen during the activity some of which are endemic and migratory which can be seen in different area in the park that is Kasenyi Area bird species like GriffonVulture, Lappet faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Bateleur,Long-created Eagle, Martial Eagle, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, Black-bellied BustardTemminck’s Courser, African Wattled Plover Crowned Plover Senegal Plove Hooded Vulture, African White-backed Vulture.
The Mweya Peninsula is also another area in the park where birding can be carried out in the park which is the area between the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. In the area, tourists are able to see bird species like; Raptors, African Mourning Dove, Diederik Cuckoo, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey-Headed Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Nubian Woodpecker
Other sectors where numerous bird species can be seen in the park include the Ishasha sector where the shoe bill can be seen, lake Kirongo sector which is he extension of Lake George where different water birds can be seen such as; Common Squacco Heron Saddle-billed Stork Shoebill, Sacred Ibis, Knob-billed Duck, Black Crake, African Jacana, Yellow Wagtail, Katunguru sector where also tourists can see different bird species which are able to ensure satisfaction of the tourists.
Kyambura Gorge: The gorge is situated in the eastern part of the park and it is also known as the valley of apes because it is the only area where the primates can be seen in the park. A visit to the gorge will offer memorable experiences to the tourists which will leave them wanting more.
Tourists on their Queen Elizabeth national park tour will have a chance to see different primate species in the area, for instance, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, white colobus monkeys, red Columbus monkeys and the chimpanzees which are the most common in the valley/ kyambura gorge. At the steep slopes of the valley, a number of bird species can be seen like the greater and lesser flamingos, African skimmer, papyrus canary white tailed lark papyrus gonolek vereux eagle owl lesser, shoebill chapins fly catcher all of which once seen will enhance your experience at the park.
Chimpanzee trekking: Chimpanzee trekking in the park can only be carried out at kyambura gorge with the presence of habituated chimpanzees in the area. The activity is rewarding because the chimpanzees are used to human presence, therefore, they will be able to carry out their daily activities even in the presence of the tourists who will see their feeding patterns, grooming patterns which is usually done by females who check for ticks in their young one’s fur.
The valley is also perfect for nature walks with the presence of the underground rainforest which protects the tourists from the sunlight. The different trails in the in the gorge are able to open a new world to the tourists while carrying out the nature walks they will discover hidden attractions within the gorge like the rivers and many more all of which offer beautiful views.
Kazinga Channel: The 40 metre channel adjoining lake George and Edward is another attraction that can attract a tourist while on their tour because it is a home to a number of animals mainly the buffalos, elephants, the Uganda Kobs etc many reptiles like the Nile lizards, crocodiles and many more and bird species that flock the channel all year round. The tourists can have a closer look at the animals during the boat cruises on the channel.
Boat cruises: Tourists on their tour during the different boat cruises will be able to see different water birds like the great cormorant, little grebe, northern lapwing, red-necked grebe, wandering albatross, pied king fishers which are usually seen trying to catch fish and many more different animal species can be seen during the cruises like the Nile crocodiles can be seen sunbathing along the shores, hippopotamuses taking dips in the waters and many others.
Queens Pavilion: The queen’s pavilion is another attraction that a tourist should not miss out on seeing while on their queen Elizabeth national park tour. It was established when the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth 11 was visiting the park in 1959 and it was also visited by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007. The pavilion has undergone, many changes including establishing a coffee shop and many more facilities. It is a great spot for tourists to take pictures while in the park because of the history attached to it.
Photography and filming: Tourists interested in capturing and filming the different memories while in the park, While on the Uganda national park tour tourists in Bwindi impenetrable National park can also carryout filming as an activity for instance they can film the different herds of elephants, bushbucks, kobs, waterbucks while in their natural habitats and this can be a memorable experience on their Uganda tour.
ACCOMMODATION IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Tourists on their Uganda National Parks tour will have a chance to choose from the different classes and varieties of accommodation depending on their budget. Each of the accommodation facilities that are chosen regardless of their is focused on meeting the expectations of the tourists hence leading to visitor satisfaction with top notch services like bar services, dining services, 24-hour room services which enable quality service delivery.
Budget accommodation facilities
- Wild tracks overland camp
- The elephant home
- Simba safari camp
- Tembo safari lodge
- Engiri game lodge and campsite
Midrange accommodation facilities
- Buffalo safari lodge
- Marafiki safari lodge
Luxury accommodation facilities
- Mweya safari lodge
- Elephants plains lodge
- Engazi game lodge
Unlock nature’s secrets by visiting queen Elizabeth national park while on your Ugandan tour and you won’t be disappointed.