Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park safaris
Queen Elizabeth National Park is uganda’s second largest national park after Murchison falls national park covering a total area of 1978sqkm. It is located in the western part of Uganda and is shared by seven districts the nearest town being Kasese. The park can be accessed by road from kampala through mubende ,fort portal and to kasese covering a distance of 410km for about 6-7 hours or via mbarara town through bushenyi covering a distance of 420km. with an alternative of air transport, one can fly from Kajjansi airfield to mweya airstip or from Entebbe international airport to kasese airfield and connect by road from kasese to mweya in an hour and a half which is the park’s main hub.
Among the diverse ecosystem of queen Elizabeth national park, the tree climbing lions in the ishaha sector located in the south are the most popular tourist attraction.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth national park
Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A ride on the natural Kazinga channel that connects two lakes Edward and George is one of the park’s daily tourism activities done at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00. Each trip lasts for two hours and covers a distance of 14km near mweya peninsular to the point where the channel releases the water into L. Edward. The trip starts with a cool breeze on the body as the boat sets off and the ever diving hosts to be watched slightly ahead to the turning point are the hippos. There are populous birds including pied kingfishers, African fish eagles,egrets, and big populations of pelicans and maraboustocks at the kazinga bird sanctuary. Encountering a huge mature nile crocodile at the showers to sunbathe makes this whole experience incredible. Apart from hippos and cape buffalos, on several occasions savannah elephants come to the channel to drink and cool their bodies and sometimes will be seen swimming in the waterbody.
Kazinga fishing village attracts a lot of questions into everone’s mind watching the fishermen get onto their boats without fear of the hippos and buffalos.
Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
game drives are done in the morning and evening and each of these is lightened up by the beautiful sunrise and sunset respectively. The drives are conducted through trucks in kasenyi which has open savannah grasslands and thickets where lions and leopards hide when hunting. The area is highly populated with Uganda kobs which the predators mostly feast on. Hyenas, waterbucks, elephants and some warthogs may be spotted.
A number of savannah birds and birds of prey are may be seen and flamingos at a glance at bunyampaka Crater Lake.
For an experience to see the king of the jungle elevated high and easy to view, game drives to the ishasha sector in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth are worth doing. Lions climb fig tree and comfortably lie on their wide branches as they enjoy nature’s cool temperatures.
Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The 100 meters deep kyambura gorge with a burbling stream of water and a thick underneath rainforest is a home to ten primate species and the main attraction here are the habituated chimpanzees. As you drive off the main road to the truck leading to kyambura visitors’ centre, you’ll be entertained by the continuous songs of birds in the surrounding savannah grasslands. A nature walk inside the gorge is led by an armed ranger to track the chimpanzees that are always up either in their nests to relax or picking fruits for food. Once the chimpanzees notice that there are visitors, they’ll move down from the tree and this gives the tourists a better view and chance to closely study their behaviors and opportunity to take the best photos . Also reffered to as the “Valley of Apes”, kyambura gorge is a home to red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue colobus monkeys, olive baboons among others. The gorge is a comfortable place for many bird species, for example white napped pigeons,the fin foot African bird, fly catchers and many more. The rich biodiversity of the gorge doesn’t exclude the beautiful butterflies.
To track the chimpanzees in the gorge, one is required to be physically fit because of the long distance to be moved in addition to the sleep slopes of the gorge.
Nature walk and birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Mweya peninsular is one of the most spectacular places for nature walk. it is mainly done in the evening at a fee of $15 The peninsular has kazinga channel on one side and L. Edward on the other side leaving the small piece of land between to access the peninsular. At the road to the peninsular, both waterbodies are viewed at different angles standing at the same point. The peninsular is a favourite home for mnay bird species like weavers, gonoleks among others. It also provides a good ground for scenic viewing and a stunning sunset.
This activity is also done at Mweya peninsular on foot through the trails of the mangoose which may also be tracked by the people working with the mangoose project. It is scheduled for three hours, as you learn about these endangered animals. They create a wonderful experience as they can’t avoid living in their families and giving birth in the same period.