Queen Elizabeth National Park is a national park in the Western Region of Uganda. It was established in 1952 as Kazinga National Park. It was renamed 2 years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. As Uganda’s second largest National Park, after the Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a place of outstanding beauty and extreme biodiversity which is about 1,978 square km in area.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its wildlife, including hippopotamus, African buffalo, Ugandan kob, giant forest hog, warthog, Nile-crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee. It is home to 95 mammal species and more than 500 bird species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most beautiful Park with a lot to offer to visitors. The surrounding sceneries are impressive, the wildlife and bird numbers are prolific. This is one of the Park in Uganda that you MUST surely visit during your stay in Uganda. Visit Queen Elizabeth with Africa Adventure Vacations and out why it’s referred to as…’ the Medley of Wonders’.
For wildlife lovers, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers great opportunity for wildlife experiences. Most amazing is to closely encounter with the Big games alongside many other wildlife and of course not forgetting the many primate species.
For ultimate safari experience, contact Africa Adventure Vacations for a lifetime African Safari experience. During your game drive, connect to Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains-open plains filled with savannah just perfect for game viewing and photo shooting and the Ishasha Sector. These areas will not only offer encounter with great species of wildlife but also breath taking spectacular views of the area is something you shouldn’t miss out. When you are in the heart of these areas, watch out for an encounter with the unusual Ishasha tree-climbing lions resting on the lower branches of trees in the Ishasha sector found in the southern part of the Park, African Elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs, baboons, pride of lions, and according to your luck, you might even sight the elusive leopards.
Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park is done on the Kazinga Channel and is one of the highlights of superb safari trip to this Park. It offers extremely unique close wildlife encounter as well as bird watching experience for not only wildlife lovers but to all kind of visitors seeking great Africa safari. Launch boat cruise on this channel is the most ideal way to spend your time relaxing and seating back while watching variety of wildlife, different aquatic and non-aquatic bird species. By so doing, you will realize the essence of Africa safaris.
You may opt for a double decker ferry or smaller jetty boat but the experience remains the same. The Park residents that you are likely to encounter with are countless Hippos, giant African Elephants, Cape Buffaloes, Uganda Kob, crocodiles busking on sun, waterbucks…to mention just a few. In Queen Elizabeth National Park, wildlife usually spend the day on the savannah, sheltering, and then later rash to the channel to quench their thirst.
During the cruise, there are also some bird species you are to encounter with like cormorants, Africa spoonbill, African fish eagle, Martial Eagles, African Skimmers, Papyrus Gonolek, pelicans, and even the rare and un seen shoebill.
The Park too provides you with opportunity to trek the chimps-Our closest relatives. Trekking these marvelous Alps is usually conducted in Kyambura Gorge; a chimp tracking haven harboring a number of habituated chimps. Kyambura Gorge is a forested fairly steep landscape located in the eastern side of the Park.
Though trekking is a bit challenging as involves passing through steep landscape jungle lined with creepers, the experience remains unique. It’s fantastic to trek the chimps. When you are in Kyambura Gorge tracking the chimps, it’s self-explanatory that you are in the Center of the jungle with beautiful rainforest vegetation all over you. Trekking is normally for about 1/2 hours and is always done twice a day-morning and afternoon. While in Kyambura, the different species of birds, trees and butterflies are simply fabulous.
About the chimps; Chimpanzees who are said to be the closest living relative to human beings than to any other living creature are among the most attractive primates in the country to travelers, it’s a tropical rainforest/woodland primates with black fur, human-like figures and toes. They display a complex structure of communication, emotions, including laughing out so loudly. Chimpanzees live in large, loosely bonded communities based around a core of relate males with an internal hierarchy topped by a benevolent alpha male. A troop has well defined core territory which is fiercely defended by regular boundary patrols.
It’s hard to leave out Queen Elizabeth National Park when it comes to top country’s birding destinations. With over 600 different species of Birds, there is no doubt that this Park is a paradise for Bird lovers. The Park has diverse Vegetation type that harbors specific species of birds including forest birds, savannah birds, swampy and aquatic species. It has many birding sites, so you choose where to go for birding. The sites where to do birding include; Ishasha sector, Katwe sector, Maramagambo forest area, Lake Kikorongo area, Katunguru area, and of course not forgetting the Mweya Peninsula area as well as kazinga area during your cruise.
During birding exercise, the renowned species you are likely to encounter with include; African fish eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Bee eaters, kingfishers, African jacana, shoebill stork, African White tailed Lark, falcons, eagles, papyrus Gonolek, vultures, flamingos, Pink-backed Pelicans, White-winged Tern, Gardon and Slender-tailed Morning Dove, Black-rumped Button quil, Pin–tailed wyda, African skimmer, African fish eagle, White-winged warbler, night jars and Grey-Capped Warbler.
Birding is best during the dry season especially in the December, January and February months.
Nature Guided Walks and Hiking
Experience Nature on foot is even more thrilling and amazing. Nature walks involves incredible walk within the Park to encounter wildlife, bird species as well enjoying the wonders of the work. It may go for 2-4 hours depending on the weather.
You can choose to do Nature walk in the tropical rainforest of Maramagambo which has well established nature walk paths or take a walk in the Mweya Peninsula. You may also do your nature walk along Ishaha River towards the south. These areas have beautiful views of savannah, woodland, forest vegetation. The walk will make you encounter different bird and mammal species.
Community cultural tours
Queen Elizabeth National Park does not only provide opportunity for excellent wildlife encounter but also a place to do great cultural tours. The Park is surrounded by many local communities like; Muhokya, Kikorongo women community, Nyanzi’ibiri cave community who have rich cultures and norms. In these area, you can choose to tour traditional huts of the Banyabindi, Bakonzo, and Basongora ethnic groups, watch or participate in traditional song and dance performances. In this way you will get great deal of cultural experience.
If you are a cultural lover, the Park cultural tour will give you the best experience you have never thought of beyond your personal expectation. They arrange cultural tours to some of the most enchanting and picturesque local community’ cultural pot around the Park. These places are historically significant and culturally rich, they each have unique museum and cultural shops packed with variety of cultural artifacts where you can even purchase some of the artifacts like baskets, bowls, purses and woven belts.
During your Cultural tour, why not take a walk to Lake Katwe area to meet the locals in their daily salt mining activity as a source of getting income for a living. This will add on the experience of visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park. Have a walk through a network of paths that cross the lake. See villagers at work on the lake, cross the mud walkways and enter a traditional grass hut is so a fascinating thing that you surely shouldn’t miss.