Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Located in Kasese District, in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, Queen Elizabeth covers approximately 2,056 sq. km. It was named after the present queen of England following her visit in 1964; this national park offers you a little bit of everything. Queen Elizabeth National Park has been designated a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity under the auspices UNESCO. Queen Elizabeth National Park lies against the back of the great Rwenzori Mountains with stunning and panoramic views that are made up of various crater lakes. These lakes are carved dramatically into the green rolling hills.

This park features a diversity of habitats like savannah grasslands, lowland forests, green meadows, and wetlands, so this means a wide variety of wildlife potentially including several big cat species including the famous tree-climbing lions are a specialty of the Ishasha sector of the park, where they can often be found in huge fig trees, chimpanzees, giraffes, antelope species, zebras, crocodiles, elephants, baboons, monitor lizards. There are many interesting antelope species such as Uganda Kob, Topi and bushbuck. Hippo and crocodiles are common in the Kazinga channel. A troop of chimpanzees has been habituated for tracking with other primate species including the black-and-white colobus monkey in the steamy, tropical forest of Kyambura Gorge. Buffalo are particularly attractive as they are often reddish-brown due to interbreeding with forest buffalo from neighboring Congo.

Due to the wide variety of habitats, from savannah to forest to wetland, the park harbors some amazing birds totaling to 611 bird species which are regarded as specials within East Africa and this makes it a prime destination for birders. The swamp areas in the Ishasha sector are a good place to look for the elusive shoebill stork. The park is great for raptors as well. Besides the usual wildlife drives, the park is well worth a visit for the wonderful boat trip on the Kazinga Channel and a walk through beautiful Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge.

The park is also home to incredible scenery and natural wonders such as a volcanic Crater Lake, Lake Katwe Explosion Crater, awe-inspiring Mountains of the Moon, the Blue Mountains of the Congo and Lake Edward. Best of all, you can explore this national park by way of lake cruises, hot air balloon rides, hiking trails, and safaris (both day and night).

There are many scenarios and opportunities for tourists to meet up with the local communities and be part of amazing cultural activities like traditional dances, storytelling moments, listening to traditional music and more. You can further engage in community projects and leave footprints behind.

When visiting the park, you can also engage in the eye-catching crater drive of about 27km, with the attracting crater lakes like Katwe and Nyamunuka. These lakes provide a good hiking ground like around Nyamunuka crater you can watch flamingos, warthogs and other animals.

Accommodation: Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from Luxury to midrange and budget lodges that suits your budget. Some of the lodges offered when you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park include: Mweya Safari Lodge, Kasenyi Safari Camp, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Enganzi Lodge, Park View Lodge, Elephant Plains Lodge, Elephant Hub Lodge, Simba Safari Camp, Queen Elizabeth Safari Camp, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Mweya Hostels and Cottages, Lake Chibwera Camp, Kyambura Tented Camp, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, White house hotel, Pumba Safari Cottages, King Fisher Lodge Kichwambwa, Katara Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Ishasha Ntungwe River Camp, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Ihamba Safari Lodge, Ishasha Tented Camp and Kitandara Hippo Hill Lodge.

Activities in Bwindi impenetrable forest

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited throughout the year, but the best time for wildlife viewing is the Dry season from June to August and January to February when animals are concentrated near rivers and waterholes. Some of the roads can become impassable after heavy rain.

Best Time for Bird Watching

The birdlife in Queen Elizabeth NP is good year-round, but at its best from late May to September, when the rain is less and food is abundant. June to July has the least rain, while April to May and September to November have the most rain. The heavy rains might result in delays due to impassable roads and slippery hiking trails. These may limit your bird-watching time.

From November to April, migratory birds can be found in the park.