LOCATION OF THE PARK
Located in western Uganda, shared by districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Bushenyi, Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1978km2 in size. The park lies 5-6 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara and can be reached on a dirt road from Bwindi.
Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed most easily from Kampala. The tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara town and Bushenyi leads to the center of the park, passing just 22 km from Mweya Peninsula, the main tourism hub. Approaching the park from the south via Mbarara covers a distance of 420km while the north through Fort Portal covers a total of 410 km.
En-route to the park, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy short detours to Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori Mountains and Kibale National Park, renowned for its chimpanzee tracking. The park can also be accessed from the south from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
GETTING THERE BY AIR TRAVEL
Charter flights can be arranged to existing airstrips of Kasese, Mweya, and Ishasha.
Where to Stay on a Safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park
A. Mweya Safari Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge is suited on the neck of land within the mind of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is acknowledged to be one of Uganda’s best lodge with lavishness accommodation and excellent services. Its positioned in a way that gives a perfect view of the freshwaters of Lake Edward as well as the Kazinga channel from every corner of the lodge. The lodge is well known for its activities such as bird watching, Nile cruise along Kazinga channel, chimpanzee trekking and nature photography.
B. Ishasha Wilderness Camp: Ishasha wildness camp is located within the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park adjacent to Ntungwe River. It’s a famous habitat for the tree climbing Lions. Its the only lavishness camp in the Ishasha sector. The camp is well designed with luxury tents that are fully self-contained. Each tent has an African style.
C. Jacana Safari Lodge: Jacana safari lodge is a luxurious beautiful lodge located on the outskirts of the park between the rolling hills and a tranquil crater lake. This lodge has got a number of visitor facilities which include: a swimming pool, sauna, and public areas (including various decks, a well-stocked restaurant, and bar, a floating pontoon where visitors can have a meal in the middle of the Crater Lake.
D. Mazike Valley Lodge: Perched above the walls of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the opulent cottages at Mazike Valley Lodge offer breathtaking views of the park, the Maramagambo rainforest, and the Kazinga Channel. The Lodge Rooms are built with a wall at the back that leads to the bathroom and shower. The roofing is completed with traditional roofing materials like banana fibers to give it a local touch thereby offering one of the best Lodges in the Kyambura area, and indeed the whole of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
E. Other Safari Lodges and Campsites: Budget accommodation in Queen Elizabeth national park includes Mweya hotels and Ishasha bandas with average standards that will make your stay memorable. Alternatively, one may take on the Hippo Hill Camp adjacent to Katwe along with Kingfisher camp on a beautiful Kichwamba escarpment for camping trips.
Bird Watching in Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s top birding spots. A haven to over 600 bird species, the enthusiastic bird watcher is in for a major delight at the park. Some of the birds likely to grace your photographic memories include the; Sedge warbles, Papyrus Canary, the martial eagle, Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, and the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, all which inhabit the park’s expansive grasslands, forests, and wetlands. Do not miss the flamingos found at the Katwe and Bunyampaba salt lakes.
The finest timing to enjoy bird watching safaris within Queen Elizabeth is from December up to February. It is recommended to take a two- days or a three – days bird watching safari and on such you can be able to spot as many as more than half of the 550 species recorded within this park.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura
This Chimpanzee Trekking activity within the Kyambura Gorge that gorges for just a small cost can be included to any other Uganda Safari activity within Queen Elizabeth and offers you a holistic adventure of this splendid national park. The scenery within this gorge is very spectacular and there are several other mammals plus birds to be seen as you start out in the morning on your chimpanzee trekking voyage.
The underground rainforest in a gorge which makes for excellent protection from the sunshine as one enjoys the immense beauty of nature hidden therein. You will experience lush savannah grasslands leading to the gorge, to the flowing rivers and creeks. Red-tailed monkeys, baboons, butterflies, and different bird species are among other inhabitants of this little paradise worth sighting besides Chimpanzees.
Game Drive Safaris In Queen Elizabeth
Game drives at Queen Elizabeth national park are the most memorable ones as it involves a drive at the park in search for the several wildlife-game in the park. Game drives are usually done in the morning and in the evening. Thanks to our experienced driver guide who will intimately drive you around the park and will take you in search of the different wildlife evident in here.
During the game drives, you could spot an elephant, the largest land mammal skillfully using its trunk to feed, a lion preying on an antelope or a hyena patiently waiting to devour the lion’s leftovers from a distance. Different groups of animals like Buffalo herds and Uganda kobs traverse the game park all day long. Warthogs, leopards, the giant forest hog are among the others you are very likely to meet on your game drive.
Sights of Tree Climbing Lions in Ishasha
Not every day do you see a lion climbing a tree, in fact, it was considered a safe bet to climb one if you ever found yourself being chased by one. Not while in Ishasha sector though, a region comprising a portion of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here, lions perched up on acacia and fig trees are an enchanting sight to behold.
The Ishasha sector where these lions are found is accessible on the journey to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as one head or returns from gorilla trekking in the forest. Besides the amazing tree climbing king of the jungle, the sector is also home to other animals such as herds of buffaloes, large numbers of elephants, warthogs, and antelopes all which make for a memorable trip to the game park.
Kazinga Channel Boat Trips
Taking a boat trip along the kazinga channel which is preferably one of the most rejuvenating things one can do at long games drives in the park. At Kazinga channel you find several fascinating creatures to mention wildlife and birds, it’s more of an oasis that springs with life and extends it to its inhabitants. The Kazinga channel boat ride gives you an opportunity to view the numerous wildlife and bird species at Kazinga channel resting, cooling off and drinking water at the shoreline.
The most notable wildlife and bird species you will see include hippos, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and an average of 60 bird species. There are professional guides right on the boat who will give you all the necessary information pertaining to this safari or tour as well as answer any questions that may arise about the wildlife or anything else. In addition, the professional, as well as experienced guides, will point out any wildlife which you may have failed to notice.
About the Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes, and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for a classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda Kob.
As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems, which in turn benefits the surrounding communities. Access Queen Elizabeth national park from Entebbe international airport using scheduled/charter flights. Otherwise, you can drive from Kampala via Mbarara or Kampala via Fortportal to the park.