QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated in the Western part of Uganda about 400km from Uganda’s capital city spanning to four different districts in the country i.e., Rubirizi, Kasese, Rukungiri and Kamwenge. This National Park was gazetted in 1952 after the visitation of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, before the park was known as Kazinga National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second biggest park in Uganda sitting on 1,978 square kilometers (764) square miles
WILDLIFE IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
This park is commonly known for its abundant wildlife, including African Elephants, Tree climbing lions mostly on the southern sector of Ishasha, Chimpanzee trekking at gorgeous views of Kyambura Gorge, African Buffalos, Uganda Kobs, Crocodiles, Warthogs, Water Bucks, Leopards, Topi, Water bucks and more The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. The Katwe explosion craters marks the parks highest point at 1,350m above sea level, While the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.
With its richness in diversity the park is a home to different bird species likes of Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egrets, Great Egrets, Goliath Heron, Pink-backed pelican, Hamerkop and more are likely to be spotted, the gorgeous channel of Kazinga channel links to Lake Edward and George world’s largest concentration of hippos as the channel is 32 kilometers with cool and fresh air views of the park will make you feel heaven on earth
ACTIVITITIES IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
CHIMPANZEE TREKKING AT KYAMBURA GORGE
Chimpanzee, often shortened to chimp, is the common name of the two extant species in the genius. The better-known chimpanzee is panning troglodytes. kyambura gorge is an underground tropical forest found in Queen Elizabeth National Park .1km long with an extension of kyambura game reserve. This tropical forest is characterized by dense tropical rain forest that holds large number of birds, primates, mammals.
Chimpanzee tracking is arguably most attractive thing to do kyambura gorge, chimps live in communities of between 30 to 80 members, this activity is divided into two sessions morning session and afternoon. The first activity in morning starts with the briefing by the ranger/guide ,to track chimpanzees one needs to first acquire permit of which are got from the park offices in Mweya .Each season the Authority offers eight permits hence a total of 16 permits per day ,from Mweya the visitors need to drive to the gorge for briefing, After the briefing visitors are assigned a walking stick and guides to lead them down to the Gorge .First task is to go down the valley ,chimps are very vocal and there location is easily identified by following their hoots and distant cries in case they are quite ,there are always foot prints in mud and their poop can assist to be traced. The whole activity takes between 2 to 3 hours, chimp permit is costed at $50 Foreign Nonresidents and $40 Foreign residents. The Age limit for chimpanzee trekking is 12 years
BOATCRUISE ON THE KAZINGA CHANNEL
The boat cruise is roughly a tour hours ride costing $30 per person, bringing you closer and closer to the lots of wildlife and bird species. The three-hour boat cruise along the channel, twisting approximately 32 kilometers ribbon of water that connects Lake Edward and Lake Gorge. The Boat cruise is done twice a day in the morning and afternoon, morning cruise starting at 11:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm as second cruise starts from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
BIRDING IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Birding activity is one of the major leading activity in the queen Elizabeth national park with over 600 bird species making it first destination for birders in Uganda where by migratory birds are seen from November to April, however birds can be seen through the year .One can spot birds under swamps of the Katunguru bridge which act as home of various birds including Winged warbler ,papyrus gonolek, Caruthers not forgetting the lake Edward flats in the Ishasha sector that contains the elusive shoebill stork .Lake Munyanyage welcomes you with the unique flamingoes Queen Elizabeth national park holds a lot of Galliformes include; Common quail, Harlequin, Blue quil,Heuglins ,Hildebrandt’s fraclolin
Birdwatching in Queen Elizabeth National Park is best during late May to December. However, it is also okey through the year November to December to
GAME DRIVE EXPERIENCE IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
This activity involves the tourists to view variety of animals since the park has several spots of well-maintained game viewing tracks with the advantage of meeting the big four i.e., Lions, Buffalos, Elephants, Leopard and so many species like swamp antelopes e.g. Topis, Uganda Kobs, Bushbucks, Reedbucks .Queen Elizabeth National Park hosts unfamiliar species like tree climbing lions which can be spotted along kasenyi and Ishasha sector of the park, game drive can also be carried in the southern Ishasha wing which is located in the wetlands under the vast Albertine rift valley edges.
Game drive in this park is conducted by a well-trained guide in a safari vehicle, some game drives are done at night and usually starts at 9:00pm others late evening hours from around 3:00pm to 6:00pm, but best morning drive is done in the morning when the mammals are just from their hiding places looking for food.
SALT LAKE MINING EXPERIENCE IN LAKE KATWE
Lake Katwe is a custom lake on which salt is formed through long ago volcanic eruption close to 10,000 years back. The local community extracts the rock salt directly from this lake to the nearby landsites and there is dried and later taken to markets, this lake is a hypersaline lake and highly renowned by its high salt concentration located in small town of Katwe on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Lake Katwe is an ancient, salty crater lake that is 100 meters deep, based on the volcanic caldera that erupted 1,0000 years ago and its 9 km wide and the deepest point is 9feet. One of the most famous look out points in Uganda is in Lake Katwe where they practice traditional salt mining.
TREE CLIMBING LIONS ALONG ISHASHA SECTOR
During the game drive, one gets to enjoy the various sights and sounds of birds, trees and animal sounds
Not while in Ishasha sector through, a region comprising portion of the park here lions perched up on acacia trees and fig trees which makes it memorable on your safari
This habit of tree climbing lions is not common across making it prime destination for more tourist
ACCOMODATION IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
The park being famous for its rich diversity, a lot of accommodation, lodges and hotels has been established close and within the park. The hotels offer first class services and great hospitality leading it the best place to visit while on your safari in Uganda, these comes as mid-range accommodation, budget accommodation and luxury accommodation. Among top accommodation one would stay on your safari in queen Elizabeth national park is Baboon Safaris Resort kyambura with its stunning view face the park, baboon safaris got luxurious rooms with magical views of the kyambura Escapement, Serene environment, fresh tasty food and well-trained staff and many more hotels like Mazike Valley Lodge, Katara Lodge, Elephant hub lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Engazi game lodge. A variety of lodges exists in the park that caters for all
HOW TO REACH QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed by air from Entebbe International Airport, the country international airport and you’re most likely starting point and the Kajjansi Air Field near Kampala, closest airport to the park is Kajjansi, Mweya, and Ishasha.
The park can also be accessed by road transport through different routes , one can start journey from Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara high way to Queen Elizabeth tarmacked road about 400 kilometer’s that’s 6 -7 hours approximately and another alternative route is from Kampala via Mubende-Fort Portal high roughly 4hours drive to the park though most visitors travel with tour companies they booked with example one can book to travel with Beautiful safaris Uganda since is always recommendable to travel with