Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most prevalent game reserve for Uganda safaris and surely one that is most charming. The national park stretches from the crater-dotted slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains in the north, nests to the shores of Lake Edward to the distant River Ishasha in the south, integrating an extensive diversity of habitations that varies from savanna and wetlands to corridor and lowland forest. This incredible diversity is revealed in its bird list of about 550 species, the largest of any protected area in Africa. The national park is located in western Uganda covering areas in Bushenyi district,Rukungiri,Kamwenge and kasese district. It covers an area of about 376 kilometers (234miles).Kasese is found in the north eastern of the park, whereas Bushenyi is in the southeastern at the boarder of the park.
The national park was established around 1952 and named Kazinga national park. After the visit of the queen of England, it was renamed queen Elizabeth national park, and this was after two of its establishment. The park stretches from Lake George in the north east to Lake Edward in the south west and in between these two water bodies there is a channel called Kazinga channel that combines these two lakes. Queen Elizabeth National Park is recognized for its wide range of wildlife such as, hippopotamus, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, cape buffalo, lions, and chimpanzees. It holds a number of different species of mammals about 95 species and birds over 500 species. The region around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is well-known for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes. Queen Elizabeth national park is also well known for its surrounding volcanic landscapes among which consists of deep craters, volcanic cones and crater lakes, i.e. lake katwe where salt is mined.
Key attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park
The park has a diversity of Flora and Fauna and it’s recognized to be a home for over 95 mammal species with around 612 species of birds. The numerous species in this park, has made it an exclusive park most adored by tourists. The savannahs of the National park holds variety of wildlife such as, lion, leopard cape buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, hyena, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, and elephants.Topis can only be exposed in Ishasha sector, and forest primates are found in Kyambura gorge and in Maramagambo forest.
Mweya has got the beautiful and attractive peninsulas where one can clearly have a wide view of all the beautiful nature of the national park. Adventuring all the places within the park is one of the most interesting parts that will make your safari a rightful one. The information centre at Mweya is always there to organize for the most loving and joyful activity from where you will find your happiness. The more interesting part there is sightseeing the katwe bay of lake Edward, there is art and craft shops from where you can buy anything that will always remind you about the beautiful nature found in Queen Elizabeth.
Kazinga channel is about 40m long touching Lake Gorge to Lake Edward. It has the perfect view of the parks’ major wildlife speculations. The shores of the lake attract a great attention of mammals, birds as well as reptiles throught the year. The animals can be observed well by the Nile cruise or perhaps at the entrance of Lake Edward. The procedure of the cruise starts from 15.00 and 17.00; moreover trips run 11.00 and 13.00 depending on the request of the visitors.
Kazinga channel has parts such as the North Kazinga together with Kasenyi. Its accredited that the grasslands of channel is central points for game viewing. Game drives is the only way that will enable you view all the wildlife in its nature location such as buffalo, elephants and other animals that dwell in the grassland thickets of the Northern Kazinga near to Mweya. The most nearby spot for lions is in the eastern part of Kasenyi grasslands and the Kasese road where they prey on the big populations of Uganda Kobs.The rightful time for game drives is during morning and late evening hours. The work of the guide is to help you acquire sufficient information about the park and still get the best unforgettable experience in Africa.
Ishasha Tree Climbing Lions
Ishasha shelters an area of around 100km south off Mweya. The Park’s unfriendly southern section gives unaffected Africa wilderness experience. Among the residents in this home include grassland forest, Ishasha River together with Lake Edward that has a variety of wildlife such as climbing lions, rare shoebill stork and many others.
KEY ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
This is one of the best interesting wildlife activities that are carried out in the national park. It gives a great chance to the tourists to see a wide range of different animal species at close range. This involves driving through the park peninsulas where you will be able to spot a number of animals. The game tracks are well maintained therefore you will have safe drive of about 200kilometres throughout the national park. Morning hours and late even hours are the best time to enjoy game drive in the park, in the morning you will see animal s getting out of their homes to look for food, and some going to hunt and in the evening you will see them as they are relaxing or going back to the hideouts. During games drives, you can expect to see a number of animals such as elephants, leopards, lions, antelopes and so many others.
Launch cruises are normally done at Kazinga channel which unites two water bodies of Lake George and Lake Edward. The boat cruise normally lasts for 2-5 hours and sets off daily from 09.00am to around 2.00 pm local time. This gives you a chance to enjoy the fresh waters, get cool breathe, relax and chill on the boat as you watch out for a number of water animals and birds that keep within the channel and on the shores of the lake. There are qualified guides on the boat who will provide you with all the required information relating to your tour and also answer any questions regarding wildlife or anything else. You will expect to spot out animals such as hippos, crocodiles, a number of water birds, and other animals coming to swim or drink water such as zebra ,lions, elephants water bucks, bush bucks, topis, Ugandan kob, warthogs, reed-bucks, duikers, mongoose, spotted hyenas, antelopes and zebras plus more other animals.
A launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel is among the tourist attractions of Uganda safaris within Queen Elizabeth National Park. The cruise gives you a great chance to take pictures since the boat floats slowly just by the shores of the channel. The Kazinga Channel supports the biggest number of Hippos in the whole of Africa. Actually an adult male Hippopotamus weighs more compared to a fully loaded Land Cruiser. Expect to see a number of Crocodile about 8 000 years ago these crocodiles got away from the lake due to the volcanic eruption conversely, just in the latest years they came back from River Semuliki. Throughout the afternoon launch cruise, you are able to meet big herds of Elephants, Buffaloes, and a number of lone buffaloes within the water which mighty have been chased away from one of the masses, therefore looking for a recovered shield from different predators like lions by remaining in the water. A cruise on Kazinga Channel is one of the activities that shouldn’t be missed while on a safari within Queen Elizabeth Park or southwestern Uganda at large.
Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is among the most outstanding national parks in Uganda for remarkable Wildlife and Bird-life. It is also a flawless home to appreciate chimpanzee tracking/trekking which is carried out at Kyambura Gorge where you will find habituated Chimpanzees. The attractive setting within this gorge is very enormous and there are numerous other mammals and birds to be seen as you set off for the morning on your chimpanzee trekking trip.
Uganda is one of the countries well-known as birding destination in the entire of Africa. It has a variety of bird species a number of which are not hard marked in any other part of the African landmass. The greatest perfect time to see these birds is truly early in the daybreak as well as early-night in the evenings. Queen Elizabeth National park enhances an addition of 550 species of birds that have really made it a pleasant terminus for tourists that enjoy watching birds. There are numerous aquatic birds such as the spur-winged plovers white-faced whistling, , fish eagle, pink and white backed pelicans, long tailed cormorants, , squacco heron African jacana, yellow backed weavers, the knob-billed ducks open-billed stork, , pied kingfishers, wattled plovers, water-thick knee and the Black Crake
The other supplementary protruding species comprise of the long-tailed cormorants, black-ramped buttonquail, collard pranticles, grey-headed kingfisher,verreauv’s eagle-owl, malachite, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, rumped buttonquail African skimmer, white-winged warbler, shoebill, papyrus canary , Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, papyrus gonolek, White winged terns and the thin-tailed nightjars. These are usually also caught in the morning resounding in the tree branches
The park has got deluxe lodgings that will service all tourists. It also provides outfits for the budget explorer with best facilities, and luxurious housing. Budget lodging comprises of hotels with normal standards that will make your stay unforgettable. The National park also has got camping sites.