Queen Elizabeth national park, has got several attractions that has drawn many tourists in to the park, these attractions, are some of the top most features that travellers come to view and enjoy during their safari visit in Queen Elizabeth national park. queen Elizabeth national park, is the second largest park in Uganda after Murchison national park one of the oldest national park in Uganda, the park is situated in western Uganda in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukungiri. Queen Elizabeth national park, is one of the most popular and famous for the tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector and the best spot for visitors taking part in wildlife safaris. The park is savoured with savannah vegetation which is a home to a lot of animal species ranging from primates such as the chimpanzees that can be trekked in Kalinzu forest and Kyambura Gorge of queen Elizabeth national park, Wildlife species such as the Big five game and other animals , birds, the famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector at the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park. Queen Elizabeth national park, was gazetted in 1954 for conservation of the wildlife species roaming in different forests in Uganda, the park was first known as the Kazinga national park, but later during the visit of the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth the 11, the park was then named after the Queen of England. The park to date, has become one of the popular tourist destinations for wildlife safaris and many other activities offered in the park including; game drives, boat cruise at the Kazinga channel, lion tracking experience among others.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National
During your safari visit in queen Elizabeth national park, you will be able to view a number of attractions and many other activities to do while in the park, the park has a number of unique attractions that will offer you the best of your visit in queen Elizabeth national park. these include among others.
The primates, Queen Elizabeth national park, is among the other national parks best known to be a home to the primate species, the park harbour a number of primates and serves has one of tourist destination for primate safaris, the park harbours large number of chimpanzees, which has enable chimp trekking at the Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu forest of queen Elizabeth . other primates spotted here include, Black and White colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys, L’hoest monkeys, Bush baby, Blue monkeys, Pottos among others.
Wildlife species, queen Elizabeth national park is famous for the tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector, besides that, queen Elizabeth is a home to 95 mammal species namely the Big four of five wild game, including the lions, Elephants, Leopard and Buffaloes. There many other animals seen around the park besides the big five wild game such as; Warthogs, Bushbucks, Waterbucks, Oribi, hippos, Uganda kob, Mongoose, Giant forest hog, Crocodiles among others. The animals in park are best spotted during the game drives in park, around the Kasenyi plains, Mweya peninsular these areas, offer the best spots for wildlife viewing. Visitors enjoying the boat cruise in Kazinga channel, will also spot other animals in the water such, the Kazinga channel is known to be harbouring a higher concentration of hippos, Buffaloes, crocodiles, water birds seen around the shores and some animals feeding or drinking water around the channel.
Bird species, Queen Elizabeth national park best bird spotting destinations include, Maramagambo forest, Kyambura forest, Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains and long the Kazinga channel spotted during the boat cruise in the channel. The park harbours over 600 bird species some of which are endemics and others are migratory birds, Queen Elizabeth is birding paradise for travellers who are in love with birds, this park is the best place to be for bird watching activities, some of the birds spotted here include among others; African Jacana, African green pigeon, Black-headed batis, Long- tailed Cormorant, yellow warbler, Black bee-eater, African Emerald Cuckoo, Purple headed starling, Speckled tinker bird, Yellow- backed weaver, Pied kingfisher, Wattled plover, open billed stork among others.
The Big cats. The big cats ae one of the best attractions of queen Elizabeth national park, the big cats include, leopards, and the tree climbing lions of Ishasha sector in the southern part of queen Elizabeth national park. these lions are mostly found lying on top of the trees as they watch below waiting to catch the pry feeding around the savannah vegetation such as the antelopes among others. Other big cats seen around these areas include; Genal and Civet cats among others seen mostly during the nocturnal game drives along the Mweya Peninsular.
Numerous crater lakes in Queen Elizabeth gives incredible scenery. Having visits at the Nyamununka crater lake, also known as the animal hospital, others frequent the lake to treat their wounds or the aged animals since their waters contain Sulphur. Take a trip to the salt mining craters, Lake Katwe or Lake Bunyampaka. Enjoy the sun set over Lake Edward and Rwenzori’s in the backdrop. Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park is home to the famous tree-climbing lions that choose the branches of acacia trees after the night/early morning hunt they hung on top of the trees looking down on the grazing antelopes. The trees also provide the needed shed from the scotching sun.
The park has a range of habitat for Savannah birds, several crater lakes, wetlands and woods. There are numerous parts in which you go birding, i.e. Region of Kasenyi, peninsula of Mweya, Maramagambo forest and Kazinga. African mourning dove, Forest flycatcher, Gray headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar, and collared pratincole are among the bird species to watch out for, also Search for the flamingos in Katwe and Bunyampaka’s salt lakes.
Queen Elizabeth National Park activities- what to do during your visit in Queen Elizabeth national park
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park, takes place in twice a day that is the Early morning or evenings and these are the best times to go game viewing mainly because the sun is not as hot as it can be during the day and the cats prefer to hunt for pry during these times of the day. During the game drives, you will explore mainly the Kasenyi area, which has the largest concentration of animals seen around these areas like the Kobs, warthogs, Topis, Buffalos, Waterbucks, Leopards, Giant Forest hogs, Elephants as they graze through the Savannah among others. These areas are also famous for big cats because of the high population of Uganda Kobs which they prey on. Game drive to Ishasha sector of queen Elizabeth national park, will expose you to the lions, the tree climbing lions lying on top of the trees looking down on the antelopes grazing through the Savannah grass land. The game drives also enable you to view different bird species around the Savannah and the woodlands. The birds seen here include among others, brown-backed, Scrub robin, long-crested eagle, red throat spurfowl, grey crowned crane, White-backed Vulture, grey-backed fiscal and many more. The game drives are in custom-made vehicles for safari where each occupant has access to a window seat and open roof to enable you have clear views of the animals and all the attractions found in the park.
The nocturnal/ Night game drives, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the best national parks that offer Night game drives, during the night game drives, the visitors move in Vehicle alongside an armed ranger guide and spotlight to help in clear views of the animals, the nocturnal game drives normally happens around the Mweya peninsular and this is the perfect time to view nocturnal animals like the Genal, Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Civet, and also a great opportunity to view other animals that you could have missed during the morning game drive.
The boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National park takes place in the Kazinga channel, this is water body connecting Lake Edward and Lake George. Kazinga Channel, provides a fantastic game and bird viewing experience, you will have an opportunity to view animal species including, Elephants, Buffalos, Waterbucks, Crocodiles, Bushbucks, monitor lizards seen along the water banks. This are is known for the highest concentration of Hippos as they guard their territories. The Kazinga channel boat cruise, lasts for about 2 hours and starts near the Mweya peninsular. The boats are offered in two shifts that is the morning shift and the afternoon shift. The afternoon boat cruise is the best time for game viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park, during the boat, you will be able to view large number of animals both in the water such as hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles among others and on the banks of the lake including, Uganda Kob, Elephants, Bushbucks, waterbucks among others. The bird life is excellent with numerous bird species including, African jacana, Yellow-backed weaver, Black bee-eater, Papyrus gonolek, Fish eagle, Martial eagle, Pink-backed pelican, Yellow bellied stork, Long tailed Cormorant, Pied Kingfisher among others. Also, along the banks of the lake, you will spot fishermen preparing their nets for night fishing activity.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, is one of the famous activities in Kyambura Gorge and other site like the kalinzu forest, Kibale forest national park, Budongo forest. Chimpanzee trekking has become one the most popular activity after Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, chimpanzee trekking involves trekking in the forest in search for the habituated chimpanzee families, habituated meaning that they are used to the sight of humans and will not run away in hiding when you have an encounter with them. Kyambura chimpanzee trekking, takes place in twice in a day that is the morning and the afternoon shift at Kyambura Gorge, also known as the valley of Apes, during chimp trekking, you will be allowed one hour with the chimps in their natural habitat.
The park is home to the Kyambura gorge, an’ underground’ forest 100 meters below the Kichwaba escarpment that harbours ten primate species, including chimpanzees, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, etc. Tracking chimpanzees must be booked in advance. The odds of seeing the chimpanzees aren’t good, but the experience of walking through the forest is great as you have a lot of things to do and see during the chimpanzee trek.
The park is a perfect birding attraction in Uganda as it houses 600 species of birds. Lake Munyanyange next to the park is both a wildlife refuge and a migratory location from August to November for the lesser flamingo. There also other bird watching places that include the Kasenyi plateau, the Kazinga Canal Release Cruise, the Kyambura Gorge Mweya Peninsula, the Maramagambo Wilderness, the Katunguru Bridge and numerous lakes in the reserve. Each corner of the park is generally a great place for bird watching. The birds are pretty easy to spot, and as you explore the park and its environment, you should expect great picture photos.
Nature and forest walks
Nature walks id so exciting as you explorer the beauty of the forest with all that lives in it on foot, during the nature walk, you will be guided by the ranger guide for the purpose of safety reasons. The nature walks in queen Elizabeth national park, is done in the Mweya peninsular where you have a great birding and views across Kazinga channel and Lake Edward and some animal species like the Elephants, Mongoose, antelopes, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, among others. with the help of the ranger guide, you have an opportunity to walk along Ishasha River where you have an opportunity to get close to the Hippos, Maramagambo forest, is another famous site where you will be able to spot different bird species, primates, bat cave and some animals like antelopes, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, elephants among others.
C Besides the incredible wildlife, Queen Elizabeth has a rich cultural history with many fishing villages adjacent to the park. Visitors can engage with local communities and enjoy the stories, music and dance. Visitors will interact in local people’s daily activities such as harvesting and cooking a quick meal of vegetables and creating crafts. Community walks and Cultural experiences.
The community initiatives include; Kikongo Women’s Community – for cultural performances of dance, drama, music and fire-making, basket weaving, paper beads.
Nyanzi’ibiri Cave Community – view of scenery around the cave. Historical cave and museum, paddle a canoe, hike to the transparent lake, spot primates and birds among others.
Queen Elizabeth national park is open to visitors through out the year, but the park is best visited during the dry seasons of the year that is from the month of June, July, August, December , January to February, these months receive little or no rainfall at all which has influenced a number of activities to take place including chimpanzee trekking, birding experience, nature walks, boat cruise and others, during this time, the trails are dry and the ground is less slippery enabling easy access through the trails and also enables animal viewing since they gather around the water points in the park during the dry season these animal’s, are best spotted during the boat cruise on the Kazinga channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park can also be visited during the wet season from the month of March, May and September to November since the park is open and all the activities take place regardless of the rain. During the rain season, the park is green with plenty of food and fruits which attracts Many birds and by this time, there will be a lot of Migratory birds.
The park can be reached either by road transport or air transport.
Road transport, using road transport, the drive you can either take public means, private means or through the tour companies who will organise the transport for you to and from the park. The drive time lasts for about 6-7 hours on road via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kasese and then you will proceed to the park, the other alternative is from Kampala city to Mubende, fort portal, Kasese route, for the travellers opting to use public means, there are buses that offer transport from Kampala via Mubende, Fort portal to Kasese and then you will hire private car that will drive you up to the park headquarters.
Air transport, for travellers who do not want to spend much time on the road, may also opt for air transport, there domesticated chartered flights that offer transport to the travellers visiting the park, the flight offer services on a daily basis from Entebbe air port or Kajjansi airstrip to Kasese or Mweya airstrip situated in queen Elizabeth national park. the flight takes bout 2 hours to get to the park.
For any traveller planning or having interest in visiting queen Elizabeth national park, you can contact us at adventure in the wild safaris and we will help you with all the information you need and also plan and organise the safari for you. You can also take time and look in to some of our tour packages like 2 days queen Elizabeth national park safari, 3 days Queen Elizabeth national park, 4 days Queen Elizabeth national park, among others these safaris, will help you explore queen Elizabeth with all the attractions and the top activities offered for the visitors visiting the park.