Queen Elizabeth National Park Guide
The National Park of Queen Elizabeth is one of the most visited national parks in the world, the park is known for its wildlife as it is the home of over than 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most visited national park in Uganda and one of the most famous national parks around the world. The park is Uganda’s most well known savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife among all the parks in the country.
Interesting Facts about Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park was founded in 1952. It was renamed 2 years later as Queen Elizabeth national park to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth. The national park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers.
Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in England are cooperating in a project of cultural exchange and mutual support as the project includes its main emphasis on supporting conservation through working closely with each other and empowering local communities.
Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is known for its wildlife as it includes the African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee.
It is the home of over 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species. The area around Ishasha at the Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions which are unique from any other National Park.
The park is also famous for its volcanic features including deep craters and volcanic cones many with craters like the katwe craters which is salt extracted.
Things to Do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
1- Game Drives
The main activity to do in Queen Elizabeth Park is going on scenic game drives. This experience gives the opportunity to enjoy the fauna of the park. It is best done during the early mornings to enjoy close up viewing of the wildlife.
Game drives are a must-do activity to spot elephants while using their trucks to eat, lions preying on an antelope. You can also find groups of animals like Buffalo herds and Uganda kobs roam the park all day long. Warthogs, leopards, the giant forest hog can also be easily spotted.
2- Bird Watching
Being one of the top birding spots in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a haven for over 500 bird species. It is a delight for birdwatching enthusiasts.
Some birds such as Sedge warbles, Pink backed Pelican, Yellow throated Cuckoo, the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus canary, the martial eagle will be an eye pleasure for tourists. Flamingos can be spotted at Katwe and Bunyampaba salt lakes.
3- Boat Trips
Boat trips are another activity to enjoy at Queen Elizabeth National Park. It takes place on the Kazinga Channel where visitors will get the opportunity to explore various sights and sounds of the park.
Catch a sight at the large hippopotamuses taking their dips in the waters, besides the Nile crocodiles moving lazily on the channel banks to feel the warmth of the sun. The scene of the Pied Kingfishers cannot be missed.
4- Chimpanzee Trekking
The Valley of Apes or The Kyambura Gorge, in the northern part of the park, is home to chimpanzees. chimpanzees in the area are familiar with the existence of humans around which does not prevent them from continuing with their activities.
5- Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha
It is not a common scene to witness a lion climbing a tree everyday. The reason why lions choose to reside up the trees is not known. The Ishasha Sector is accessible to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest when one heads or returns from gorilla trekking.
Besides, the sector is also home to some other animals like elephants, herds of buffalos, warthogs and antelopes.
Location of Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western part of Uganda. It lies between Lake George and Lake Albert, including the Kazinga Channel that crosses through its 700 square miles area.
Where to Stay in Queen Elizabeth Park
The park offers a variety of accommodation options for everyone. It has a plenty of lodges, campsites, hotels and tented camps.
The most famous accommodation in the area is Ishasha Wilderness Camp. There are also other options from luxury, mid range to budget facilities.
The park experiences a dry season and a wet season. The dry season initiates from June to February. During these months, the animals are easier to be found, as they gather around the water sources.
June is the peak season when a remarkable number of tourists visit the park. However, there will be no crowd.
The Wet Season starts in October and finishes by May. During the rainy season, the scenery in the park becomes beautiful. It is when the vegetation is lush and green, capturing a true picture of the tropics.
The rainy season is the low season in the park. Some lodges might close during this time, especially between March and May.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the park is June to August January, February, August and September are good months to visit too. The dry season is the best time for a game drive, wildlife viewing, a guided walk, or chimpanzee tracking expedition. Note that warm clothes are needed during early mornings and late nights, as the weather tends to be cold.
The best time for birdwatching is during the rainy season. It is when migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa are found in the park. Note that warm clothes and rain gear are necessary during this time.