Queen Elizabeth National Park

queen-Elizabeth-park-elephants-photo
Elephants during the afternoon game safari in Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second biggest park in Uganda encompassing 1,978sq kms and was gazetted in 1952. It is located in the western rift valley and together with Kyambura and Kigezi wildlife reserves, they make up the Queen Elizabeth Protected Area that covers 2500sq kms. The protected area runs from the foot hills of the Rwenzori in the north to the Ishasha border post in the south.

The Queen Elizabeth Protected Area covers a wide variety of habitats ranging from savanna and wetlands to riverine and lowland forest. In this wonderfully diverse Eco system, water is what seems to dominate the landscape, with 250kms of lake shore.

Lake Edward and the Kazinga channel (this is the main hub of the protected area) , Lake George, the Ishasha river and a series of crater lakes provide a rich habitat for both mammals and birds, offering wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities for the visitors and spectacular scenery and landscapes.

“The grandest view I have ever seen, looking north from the Ankole escarpment with lakes Edward and George and the Kazinga Channel in the forest ground and the whole snow-capped range of the Rwenzori as a backdrop”. Sir Andrew Cohen 1959.t

Queen Elizabeth has more mammal species than any other park in Uganda with 95 recorded species including both savanna and forest species. These are elephants, buffaloes  hippos, mongoose and warthogs, 10 primate species including chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, nearly 20 predator species including lion, leopard, spotted hyena and side striped jackal, and numerous antelope species including the kob, bushbuck, water bucks, topi, the shy and elusive semi-aquatic sitatunga and four species of duiker.

Birdlife is abundant in Queen Elizabeth park. It is said that the vast diversity (611-recorded species) at the last official count – is among the highest for any national park in the world. The park’s location straddles’ different eco-system common to both East and Central Africa and home to a myraid of species including the Albertine rift endemis and many migrants. The bird checklist includes; the African spoon bill, the African jacana, the Cray heron, Black-white winged terns, the Great white egret, Egyptian geese, the Hammer kob, the Spur wing plover among others.

Queen Elizabeth is also famed for the Ishasha sector and its tree-climbing lions, the Kyambura gorge and its habituated chimps, the Maramagambo forest, home to an alluring selection of forest monkeys and birds, and flocks of flamingos’ resident on the crater lakes.

  • Boat trip: this is a 2 hour gentle, informative and guided boat cruise done along the kazinga channel. Along the shore, you will see hippos, elephants, crocs, birds, buffalos, and much more. This is a fantastic boat trip for you.

 

  • Game Drives: this kind of activity is whereby visitors drive around the park while viewing wildlife. The best time to go on a game drive is early in the morning and early evening – sun set. Animals to see include elephants, antelopes, birds, buffalos, lions, hyenas and many more animals.

 

  • Birding: QENP is Uganda’s most visited park in Uganda and with over 600 recorded bird species. The park has a variety of habitats ranging from savanna and wetlands to riverine and lowland forest making it a hot spot for birding.

 

  • Hot Air balloon Trip: this takes approximately 1 hour over the plains of Queen Elizabeth Park viewing wildlife, crater lakes, lakes Edward and George from the Balloon. This comes with a bush breakfast.

 

  • Chimp trek: this is done in two shifts. The morning and the afternoon shifts at the Kyambura Gorge where the guided walk starts. Here you may see chimps and other types of monkeys, birds and some visiting mammals. Seeing the Gorge itself is very nice and the walk a great experience.

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