QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park a true medley of wonders is Uganda’s one most splendid safari destination. This park extends up to 1978 square kilometres and this makes it the second largest national park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is largely a savanna grassland conservation area and comprises of diverse wildlife species dwelling within its sprawling savanna, humid forests, and shady and fertile wetlands. 4 of the big 5 game do thrive within Queen Elizabeth National Park and 10 primate species including chimpanzees and over 620 bird species. This park was established in 1952 to offer refuge to its diverse wildlife species. It is set suitably in western Uganda and surrounded by Kasese, Bushenyi and Bundibugyo districts.
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of its huge concentration of wildlife species including over 5000 hippos, 3000 African elephants and over 10000 African Buffaloes, several water bucks, Uganda Kobs, topis, warthogs and over 620 bird species. Besides, there are also chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and baboons a mention but a few.
The ethnic groups that live around Queen Elizabeth National Park include Bakonjo, Bakiga, Banyankole and others. They do more of traditional and contemporary economic activities for instance salt mining, crop and animal farming and others.
Activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for wildlife viewing. Its extensive savanna grassland offers the best and clear sight at varied wildlife species including African elephants, buffaloes, lions plus the tree-climbing lions, leopards, Uganda Kobs and numerous bird species. Kasenyi sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the significant wildlife tracks that offer the best sights at varied wildlife species. Ishasha sector is another exceptional site for you to catch a glimpse at the unique tree-climbing lions.
Launch cruise is another exciting safari experience that you need to take part in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It takes you through the Kazinga channel about 2 hours and rewards you with the best sights at a huge concentration of hippos, Nile crocodiles, water birds as well as buffaloes, elephants, antelope families that can be spotted at the banks of Kazinga channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a home to over 620 bird species and this makes it a true birder’s haven. The birds to sight while on bird watching tour in Queen Elizabeth National Park include black bee-eaters, martial eagle, African skimmer, white winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, and papyrus canary, and corncrake, flocks of flamingos, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill and shoebill storks, African Jacana, Malachite, Pied kingfisher, black rumped buttonquail, African fish eagle, Gabon and Slender tailed mourning dove, Nightjars, common squacco heron, collared prancticles, white winged terns, a mention but a few.
Nature walks and hikes
With nature walks, you get the best of hidden treasures within this park. You can embark on this thrilling experience in Maramagambo forest, Kyambura Gorge, the Mweya peninsular and hike via the Ishasha River.
The Ishasha visit
The trail to Ishasha sector takes you south of Queen Elizabeth National Park which gets you the best sights at the tree climbing lions. These can be spotted on the large fig trees as well as several topis, Uganda kobs, buffaloes and many more.
Chimpanzee tracking safaris are conducted around Kyambura gorge famously known as the lost valley. This area is the valley for primates that you can find in the gash savannah. There are over 10 primate species in Queen Elizabeth national park and along your trek in the gorge, you will meet a variety of wildlife species and birds as you enjoy your exciting moments in your life.
Volcano explosion craters
The volcano explosion crater exploration in Queen Elizabeth National Park takes you through the 3 main crater explosions; the Katwe explosion craters, Ndali Kasenda crater field and the Bunyaraguru crater field.
Hot air balloon safaris in the Queen Elizabeth National Park
A hot air balloon tour is a new safari experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This rewards travel endeavors with astonishing sights at varied wildlife species, Rwenzori Mountains of the moon, great western rift valley, explosion of craters, lakes such as Lake George and Edward, elephant’s herbs, buffaloes all kinds of antelopes. There are two balloons and well trained pilots are available to take you through your activity. Balloon adventures in Queen Elizabeth National Park or Murchison Falls National Park are certified by the Uganda Civil Authority (UCA).
Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are many accommodation options in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park. They range from luxury to budget and they include Mweya safari lodge, Kyambura gorge lodge, Kyambura game lodge, jacana safari lodge, Ihamba safari lodge, Bush Lodge. Marafiki Safari Lodge, Enganzi lodge and the samba safari camp as well as Pumba Safari cottages, Kazinga Channel View Resort, Simba Safari Camp, Mweya hostel for the budget visitors.