Located within southwestern Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is not only the most visited wildlife park in the country but also among the most beautiful ones. It extends from the foot of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges covering the lake shores of L. Edward, to the distant river Ishasha in the south. It covers a total area of 1978 sq. km that include different wildlife habitats such as the savanna, wetlands as well as the lowland forest. The park is home to more than 550 different bird species plus over 90 mammals including some of Africa’s Big Five.
What to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Wildlife Viewing / Game Drives
There are game drives conducted in 4WD vehicles in the early morning as well as in the late afternoon during which you will explore the various tracks across the park. You will visit the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs, see various animals including lions, buffaloes, bushbucks, elephants, forest hogs, spoted hyena and striped jackal among several others
The Launch Cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Enjoy a two hour boat ride on the Kazinga channel a natural water-channel that connects Lakes Edward and George whose banks are swarmed with various animals such as hippos and Crocodile. You will also see some buffaloes and elephants in addition to several water birds. The launch cruise offers a great opportunity for photography so don’t forget your camera behind.
Nature Walks in Maramagambo Forest
There are short as well as longer guided nature walks within the Maramagambo forest during which you will have a chance to visit the bat caves located close to the stunning Blue Lake, and these caves shelter hundreds of bats plus large pythons. You will also be able to see several birds in the forest.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
This reserve is located in the eastern part offering shelter to various wildlife including birds and primates such as Black -and – white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and olive baboons. The primary activity here is chimpanzee tracking
Search for the Tree-Climbing lions in Ishasha
A visit to the Ishasha area found in the southern part of the park will offer you a chance to see the tree climbing lions resting in the branches of the large fig trees. You will also see other animals including buffaloes, topi and the Uganda Kobs.
Bird Watching Trips
Don’t miss out on exciting guided bird watching trips during which you will encounter various species. For enthusiastic birders, this is a great place to visit as it has a bird list of more than 500 species among which are the: African Mourning Doves, Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Swamp Fly-catcher, Long-tailed Cormorants, Squaco Heron Grey-capped Warbler, African open-billed Stork, among several others.
Visit the Traditional Katwe Salt Mine
You will have a chance to visit this ancient slat mine which has been in existence since the fourteenth (14) century, to date and see how the locals use traditional method to mine salt from this ore. This visit will actually give you an opportunity to interact with the local people in this area and even learn about their traditional way of life.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park can be accessed either by road or air. Those traveling from Kampala can use the Kampala-Mbarara-Kabale highway and drive through Kihihi to the park. However even those connecting from Bwindi can easily access the park.
Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park / Accommodation
There are a variety of accommodation facilities inside and around the park available for all types of tourists depending on one’s budget. Among these are the Luxury facilities (Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge), mid-range facilities (Enganzi Game Lodge, Bush Lodge, Marafiki Safari Lodge), budget facilities ((Pumba Safari Cottages, Kazinga Channel View Resort)