Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most well-known national park, located in the country’s west and featuring a diverse range of terrain including volcanic craters, acacia woodlands, savannah grasslands, swamps, and tropical forests. Queen Elizabeth National Park was established in 1952 as Kazinga Channel National Park, but the name was changed to Queen Elizabeth in 1954 to commemorate the Queen of England’s visit to the country. Queen Elizabeth is located in the western region of Uganda, surrounded by the districts of Kamwenge, Kasese, Rukingiri, and Rubirizi. It’s an excellent location for Uganda safari tours.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park is located approximately 400 kilometers south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. The park includes Maramagambo forest, which borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kibale Forest National Park, and Kyambura Game Reserve, as well as Virunga National Park, which is located outside the park’s southeastern boundaries.
Queen Elizabeth National Park stretches on an estimated square kilometer from Lake Edward to Lake George and includes the Kazinga Channel, which connects the two lakes. The African Leopard, lion, Chimpanzees, Buffaloes, Nile Crocodiles, Kobs, Hippopotamus, Leopard, and Elephants can all be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Park is home to 95 mammal species and approximately 500 bird species. The park around the Ishasha in Rukungiri is home to some of the world’s most famous tree climbing lions. The park is adjacent to Virunga National Park, which is thought to be a potential lion stronghold in central Africa.
Volcanic cones, Crate lakes, deep craters, and other volcanic features can be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a variety of wildlife species found in most national parks across the country, but it is best known for its tree climbing lions, which can only be found in Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park. The well-established gaming tracks can introduce tourists to wildlife such as leopards, buffalos, elephants, Bush bucks, Ugandan Kob, waterbucks, bush pigs, reedbucks, warthogs, hippopotamuses, and many more.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only park in Uganda where tourists can enjoy viewing wildlife from the air. Though the cost is high, the reward is well worth it because tourists can see the entire flora and fauna as well as predators catching prey. This is always done early in the morning, and the safari concludes with a bush breakfast and a certificate.
The magical natural Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth’s Mweya sector connects Lake George and Lake Albert. The channel is a great place to see wildlife, especially during the dry season when the animals congregate on its shores. There are also a variety of water birds to see while on the Kazinga channel boat ride, as well as hundreds of hippopotamus and crocodiles.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park is a birder’s paradise, with over 600 different species of birds living there. During November, tourists can see migratory birds from North Africa and Europe, including the black-rumped button quail, white-tailed lark, black bee eater, white-winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, lesser and greater flamingoes, Chaplin’s flycatchers, African skimmer, corncrake, verreaux eagle owl, bar-tailed Godwit, pink-backed pelican, and Chimpanzee trekking is possible in Queen Elizabeth National Park at the magical Kyambura gorge, which is a stunning underground forest bordered by the Great Rift Valley escapements. Aside from chimps, tourists can see a variety of bird species and primates such as olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys, and red tailed monkeys. There are also numerous tree species and butterfly species.
A tour of Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the exciting tours that a tourist will take while in Uganda. The park is located in the western districts of Uganda, in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi, and Rukungiri. Because of the magnificent views and attractions located within, the park has attracted many tourists year after year.
If you want to explore nature at its best, Queen Elizabeth Park is the place to go. It not only offers wildlife experiences, but also outdoor experiences, cultural encounters, and a variety of activities designed to keep tourists happy. The park has attracted many tourists over the years due to the variety of flora and fauna.
How to Get to the Queen Elizabeth National Park
Tourists can easily access Queen Elizabeth National Park due to the area’s excellent transportation networks and systems. Depending on their budget, tourists can choose between flying and driving to get to the park.
The park is 410 kilometers from Kampala city, and for tourists who arrive at Entebbe International Airport, Queen Elizabeth, the distance from Entebbe to Kampala is 49 kilometers, taking about an hour. The park is accessible from Kampala via the Mbarara-Masaka highway. Along the way, tourists can make various stops that make the trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park memorable, including stops at the equator in Masaka and Mpambire drum makers. Tourists who have visited Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can connect to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the ishasha sector, which takes approximately 7 to 8 hours to reach the park.
Tourists can visit the park by booking charter flights from Entebbe to Queen Elizabeth, where Aero Link offers daily domestic flights to the park, which land at the Mweya and Kasese airstrips, which are quite safe, dependable, and simple to use.
ATTRACTIONS IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
The Uganda national parks tour will be the most rewarding when tourists take their Queen Elizabeth national park tour because the park is home to over 95 mammal species, 20 bird species, and for bird lovers, the park has over 600 bird species, making it a top destination for bird lovers. As explained below, the park has a variety of other attractions and activities that can be enjoyed.;
Flora and Fauna: Queen Elizabeth National Park is covered by various vegetation zones such as tropical rain forest, savannah grasslands, bushy grassland, acacia trees, swamp vegetations, and many more, all of which serve as habitats for various animal and bird species, not to mention butterflies for butterfly enthusiasts.
Tree climbing lions: One of the most fascinating encounters a tourist can have is with tree climbing lions, which can be found in the ishasha sector, which has a number of relief features such as the ishasha river, Lake Edward, which offers memorable experiences once tourists visit the sector, but what stands out about the sector is the tree climbing lions, which are believed to climb up the trees in order to locate their prey, and once they see the prey, they come down and chase after them, and if they are lucky enough, they can catch them.
Another reason the lions climb the trees is to escape the sweltering sun in the park and also to avoid insect bites, which is unusual behavior in lions, but for tourists interested in seeing the creatures, Queen Elizabeth is the only park and location where the animals can be seen.
Maramagambo forest: Queen Elizabeth National Park has many tourist attractions, including the forest, which is a tourist’s paradise once visited. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife species, including primate species such as L’hoest’s monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, and many others that can entice tourists. The forest is surrounded by two lakes, which provide beautiful scenic views and cool breezes to visitors.
Bird species: Bird lovers will find Queen Elizabeth quite interesting and rewarding due to the numerous bird species that can be found in the park. Some of the bird species seen in the park are endemic to the albertine rift, while others are migratory bird species. The park’s bird species are typically seen in the Ishasha sector, which is the best spot for bird watching, and the Maramagambo forest, which is home to a number of migratory and endemic species.
Butterfly species: The park is a haven for many wildlife species, which is quite rewarding for tourists who want to see a variety of wildlife species rather than just one. . A variety of butterfly species can be seen in the park while taking nature walks in Kyambura and Maramagambo forest.
With the number of flora and fauna tourists on their Ugandan tour, those taking a Queen Elizabeth National Park tour will have the opportunity to participate in the various activities described below.
Drives for game: Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are one of the most rewarding activities that tourists can choose to engage in while on their trip because tourists are guaranteed to see different animal species in the park, such as lions preying on antelopes, herbivores such as zebras and antelopes, and elephantsHerbivores such as zebras, antelopes, and Uganda Kobs, among others, can be seen feeding in the savannah grasslands. A tourist can also see four of the big five animals in the park, which include lions, leopards, buffalo, and elephants.
Tourists in the park will have the opportunity to choose from the various game drives available, such as the morning, evening, and night game drives, where nocturnal animals such as lions and leopards, which are difficult to see during the day, can be seen as they hunt for their prey.
The lion tracking experience: Another interesting activity that a tourist will participate in during their Uganda national parks tour is the lion tracking experience, which is done in the morning and late in the afternoon. Tourists will learn more about predators in their natural habitats as part of the activity.
With the help of radio collars found within the lions, the tourist is guaranteed to see a specific pride of lions. The experience is spearheaded by a Uganda carnivore’s project researcher who leads a limited number of tourists into the savannah plains where the lions can be found. Tourists should therefore book ahead of time to avoid missing out on the activity.
The activity will allow tourists to distinguish between male and female lions based on their physical appearances, such as the males’ black manes versus the females’ lack of manes. A tourist will be able to see how lions mark their territories in the park, for example, how a dominant male in a given pride continues to urinate on different tree stems to mark their territories as a way of informing another pride that would take over their territory.
Other methods of marking their territories include males digging a 20 cm hole with their hind feet, which clearly indicates to other lion prides that the territory has been taken by another pride.
Birding: Birding in Queen Elizabeth Park is an interesting activity because a variety of bird species, some of which are endemic and migratory, can be seen during the activity, including GriffonVulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Bateleur, Long-created Eagle, Martial Eagle, Grey Kestrel, African Crake, and Black-bellied Bustard. Temminck’s Courser, Crowned Plover, Senegal Plove, Hooded Vulture, African White-backed Vulture
National Park of Queen Elizabeth
The Mweya Peninsula, which is located between the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward, is another area in the park where birding can be done. Tourists can see raptors, African Mourning Dove, Diederik Cuckoo, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar, Blue-naped Mousebird, Grey-Headed Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, and Nubian Woodpecker in the area.
Other sectors in the park where numerous bird species can be seen include the Ishasha sector, which contains the shoe bill, and the Lake Kirongo sector, which is an extension of Lake George and contains various water birds such as the Common Squacco. Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Shoebill, Sacred Ibis, Knob-billed Duck, Black Crake, African Jacana, Yellow Wagtail, Katunguru sector where tourists can also see different bird species that can ensure tourist satisfaction.
Kyambura Gorge: Located in the park’s eastern region, the gorge is also known as the Valley of the Apes because it is the only location where primates can be seen. A visit to the gorge will provide tourists with unforgettable experiences that will leave them wanting more. Tourists on their Queen Elizabeth national park tour will have the opportunity to see various primate species in the area, such as red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, white colobus monkeys, red Columbus monkeys, and chimps, which are the most common in the valley/kyambura gorge. A number of bird species can be seen on the valley’s steep slopes, including greater and lesser flamingos, African skimmer, papyrus canary white tailed lark papyrus gonolek vereux eagle owl lesser, shoebill chapins fly catcher, all of which will enhance your experience at the park.
Chimpanzee trekking: Chimpanzee trekking in the park is only possible at Kyambura Gorge if habituated chimps are present. The activity is rewarding because the chimps are accustomed to human presence; thus, they will be able to carry out their daily activities even in the presence of tourists who will observe their feeding patterns and grooming patterns, which are typically performed by females who check for ticks in their young ones’ fur.
The valley is also ideal for nature walks due to the presence of an underground rainforest that shields tourists from the sun. The various trails in the gorge can open up a new world to tourists while on nature walks. They will discover hidden attractions within the gorge such as rivers and many more, all of which offer beautiful views.
Kazinga Channel: The 40-metre channel that connects Lake George and Lake Edward is another attraction that tourists can visit while on their tour because it is home to a variety of animals, including buffalos, elephants, Uganda Kobs, and many reptiles such as Nile lizards, crocodiles, and many more, as well as bird species that flock to the channel all year. During boat cruises on the channel, tourists can get a closer look at the animals.
Boat cruises: During the different boat cruises, tourists will be able to see different water birds such as the great cormorant, little grebe, northern lapwing, red-necked grebe, wandering albatross, pied king fisher’s which are usually seen trying to catch fish, and many more different animal species such as Nile crocodiles sunbathing along the shores, hippopotamuses taking dips in the waters, and many others.
Queens Pavilion: Another attraction that tourists should not miss out on seeing while visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park is the Queen’s Pavilion. It was established in 1959 when the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth 11, visited the park, and it has also been visited by the duke of Edinburgh in 2007 . The pavilion has undergone numerous changes, including the addition of a coffee shop and other amenities. Because of the history associated with it, it is an excellent location for tourists to take photographs while in the park.
Photography and filming: While on the Uganda national park tour, tourists in Bwindi impenetrable National park can also carry out filming as an activity, for example, they can film the different herds of elephants, bushbucks, kobs, and waterbucks while in their natural habitats, and this can be a memorable experience on their Uganda tour.
ACCOMMODATION IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Tourists on their Uganda National Parks tour will be able to select from various classes and types of accommodation based on their budget. Each accommodation facility, regardless of its size, is focused on meeting the expectations of tourists, resulting in visitor satisfaction with top-notch services such as bar services, dining services, and 24-hour room services that enable quality service delivery.
Budget accommodations are available.
Overland camp on the wild tracks
Simba safari camp’s elephant home
Safari lodge Tembo
Engiri game lodge and campsite Midrange lodging options
Buffalo Safari Camp
Safari lodge Marafiki
Facilities for luxurious lodging
Safari lodge Mweya
Elephants Plains Inn
Game lodge Engazi
You will not be disappointed if you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park while on your Ugandan tour.