QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park takes its name from Queen Elizabeth II of England and it is remarkably one of the best Uganda safari destinations. This park is set in Western Uganda, about 5-6 hours’ drive away from Kampala and forms part of the vast Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area which also covers Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, Kigezi Wildlife Reserve. It was founded as a national park in 1952 as Kazinga Channel National Park and later, its name changed to Queen Elizabeth National Park in 1954. This protected area is bordered by western districts of Rukungiri, Rubirizi, Kamwenge, and Kasese. It extends to cover about 1978 which makes it Uganda’s second-largest park just after Murchison Falls National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is credited for its eco-diversity ranging from forest dwellers, savanna, crater lakes, woodland, acacia, flora and avifaunal species. This makes it an exceptional Uganda safari destination to explore by visitors who would like to uncover the hidden treasures in Uganda’s magical wilderness areas.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of its biodiversity which includes a huge profusion of wildlife including among others buffaloes, elephants, lions plus the tree-climbing lions, hippos, Nile crocodiles, warthogs, leopards, antelopes such as waterbucks, bushbucks; banded mongoose, bush pigs, and many others. There are also several primate species including olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.
An estimate of about 620 bird species are distributed in different habitats in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The birds to expect to identify on Uganda safari in this park include pin tailed whydah, slender tailed nightjar, African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, collared pratincole, grey-headed kingfishers, flamingoes, black rumped button quail, white-tailed lark, Chaplin’s flycatchers, Verreaux’s eagle, bar-tailed godwit, African skimmer, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill, African finfoot, black bee-eaters, Caspian plovers, great blue turacos, grey winged robin chat, palm nut vultures, papyrus gonoleks, Pel’s fishing owl, common sand martin, Heuglin’s Gull, red chested sunbird, rufous bellied heron, white-winged tern, yellow-bellied wattled eye, yellow-throated cuckoo, spotted redshank and many others. The best birding sites in Queen Elizabeth National Park include Maramagambo Forest, Kazinga Channel, Kyambura Gorge, Katunguru bridge and many others.
Other attractions to explore in Queen Elizabeth National Park include Lake George-Ramsar wetland site in the park, explosion craters, Katwe Salt Lake, Mweya peninsula, Kazinga channel, Kyambura Gorge and many more
Tourist activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
What distinguishes Queen Elizabeth Park from other safari parks in Uganda is its exceptional game viewing experiences. Game drives in this park are best conducted via the Kasenyi sector and the Ishasha area. On a game drive, expect to sight wildlife species such as buffaloes, elephants, lions plus the tree-climbing lions, hippos, Nile crocodiles, warthogs, leopards, antelopes such as waterbucks, bushbucks; banded mongoose, bush pigs.
On bird watching tour, the birds to expect to identify in Queen Elizabeth Park include pin tailed whydah, slender tailed nightjar, Chaplin’s flycatchers, Verreaux’s eagle, bar-tailed godwit, African skimmer, pink backed pelicans, African broadbill, African finfoot, black bee-eaters, Caspian plovers, great blue turacos, African mourning dove, swamp flycatcher, collared pratincole, grey-headed kingfishers, flamingoes, black rumped button quail, white-tailed lark, grey winged robin chat, palm nut vultures, papyrus gonoleks, Pel’s fishing owl, common sand martin, Heuglin’s Gull, red chested sunbird, rufous bellied heron, white-winged tern, yellow-bellied wattled eye, yellow-throated cuckoo, spotted redshank.
- Launch cruise
Launch cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park is best done along Kazinga Channel which links between Lake George and Lake Edward. This watersport lets you sight crocodiles, hippos, birds and other wildlife species including elephants, waterbucks and many more.
- Chimpanzee tracking
In Queen Elizabeth Park, chimpanzee tracking is conducted in Kyambura Gorge where you will explore more about chimpanzees, take pictures while they are in their natural habitat. Chimpanzees share about 98.7 percent of their DNA with humans making them our closest relatives in the wild. You can arrange your chimpanzee trekking safari with Mega Wild Safaris and you will be rewarded with lots of lasting memories.
- Guided nature walks
Guided nature walks allow you to get close to nature, explore the varied wildlife species that Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of. Nature lovers can take on different trails and among other places to explore on guided nature walk include Mweya peninsular, Ishasha River, Maramagambo Forest, and many others. You stand a chance to sight a variety of bird species, primates, and other wildlife species.
- Cultural experience
Besides game viewing, visitors on Uganda safari can also engage in cultural tours that reward travel endeavors with authentic African cultural experiences. The communities to visit on cultural tours include Kikorongo Women’s Community, Nyanzi’Ibiri cave community.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is strategically located astride equator thus experiencing favorable weather and climatic conditions which make it an all-year-round destination. However, the ideal time to visit this park is usually around the dry months of the year which started in June, July, August, September and December, January, February. This is ideal for visitors on Uganda safari and they plan to visit the park for game viewing. Bird watching is ideal starting in March, April, May, and October, November.
Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth Park
There are various accommodation alternatives to choose on Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth Park for a night stay. They include Mweya Safari Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Kasenyi Safari Camp, Katara Lodge, Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Ishasha Jungle Lodge and many others.
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