Attractions & Activities in Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda is one of the top visited parks in East Africa, providing outstanding wildlife safari experiences. This is Uganda’s 2nd biggest park, lying on the Western side of the country and its boundaries extend to cover the districts of Kasese, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, and Kamwenge.
Queen Elizabeth NP was gazetted in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and its name only changed in 1954 to the current name in remembrance of the late Queen Elizabeth II. The park lies at the border with Kibale National Park and comprises numerous game viewing locations including Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kasenyi sector, Mweya peninsula, and Kazinga Channel.
The main attractions in Queen Elizabeth N/Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a special destination with unique attractions. The park features abundant wildlife, birds, unique vegetation, and landscape. ‘
More than 95 mammal species are contained within the different habitats of Queen Elizabeth N/P. These share the same habitat with over 620 bird species, reptiles, and amphibian species. The common wildlife that thrives within this park includes serval cats, Uganda Kobs, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, forest pigs, topis, sitatungas, spotted hyenas, mongoose, jackals, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, tree climbing lions also reside in this park and other wildlife species.
Primates to see on the Queen Elizabeth NP safari include the red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and chimpanzees. These can be spotted on guided chimpanzee trekking or nature walks.

Queen Elizabeth N/Park has a record of 620 bird species and including woodland and aquatic species. The common birds to find on birding safari in this park include the black-bellied bustards, grey kestrels, hooded vultures, papyrus canary, scarlet-chested sunbird, blue-napped mousebirds, African wattled plovers, lesser and greater flamingos, slender tailed nightjars;
Verreaux’s eagle owl, yellow-throated cuckoos, yellow-wagtails, yellow-backed weavers, white-tailed lark, slender-billed storks, grey-headed kingfishers, knob-billed ducks, water thick-knee, spotted redshanks, swamp flycatchers, papyrus gonoleks, slender-billed storks, Eurasian wigeon, Chapin’s flycatchers, black bee-eaters, African harrier-hawks, African jacanas, African broadbill, African beautiful black-headed gonoleks, lesser and greater flamingos, open-billed stork, pin-tailed whydahs, brown snake eagles, bateleurs, African mourning doves, African fish eagles, and more.

The main attractions & activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one destination offering plenty of memorable safari activities or experiences. Some of the amazing activities to do include;
Game drives
Game drives offer over 95% chance for you to encounter Uganda’s most popular mammal species. The park is home to 95 mammal species and at the comfort of your 4×4 vehicle, you will be viewing wildlife species such as elephants, cape buffaloes, leopards, spotted hyenas, Uganda kobs, warthogs, and crossing to the Ishasha area- expect to see the tree climbing lions, topis, and others. The important game drive sessions to take part in Queen Elizabeth NP include the morning and afternoon.

Boat cruise
There is the morning and afternoon launch or boat cruise that you can participate in along the Kazinga channel. The extensive natural channel is known for its incredible views of aquatic life such as hippos, crocodiles, and birds. Kazinga channel connects Lake George and Lake Edward, and along its banks, many elephants and buffaloes can also be spotted.

Birding holiday in Queen Elizabeth NP exposes birds to a variety of birds that make it a preferred birding tour destination. They include migratory and resident birds including the shoebill storks, red-chested sunbirds, yellow wagtails, yellow-backed weavers, slender-billed storks, swamp flycatchers, saddle-billed storks, sedge warblers, gey kestrel, little stint, Knob-billed ducks, corncrakes, curlew sandpipers, African skimmers, bar-tailed Godwit, long-tailed cormorants, open billed storks, pink-backed pelicans, flamingos, water thick-knee, African jacanas, African harrier hawks, African broadbill, and more.

Chimpanzee tracking
Queen Elizabeth NP also provides the best chimpanzee trekking experiences. This primate adventure is enjoyable in Kyambura Gorge where habituated chimpanzee communities exist. This natural gorge is 100 meters deep and 500 meters wide, extending up to 16 km long. Besides chimpanzees, it holds other primates including the black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, colobus monkeys and plenty of reptiles.

Nature walks/forest walks
The best places to go nature walking/forest hiking in Queen Elizabeth NP include the Maramagambo Forest and the nearby Kalinzu Forest. The Maramagambo Forest contains a significant population of forest birds, primates- about 9 of them, and floral species. The primates of interest on Maramagambo Forest Reserve include bush babies, L’Hoest monkeys, chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, and more.

Wildlife research/conservation tours
If you are enthusiastic about wildlife conservation then embarking on lion tracking or mongoose tracking/hippo census should be a must-do on the Uganda tour in Queen Elizabeth NP. These are among the many experiential wildlife tours you should expect to enjoy while on a tour in this protected area.

Hot air balloon
Other than Masai Mara or Serengeti National Park, the other best place to enjoy a hot air balloon tour is Queen Elizabeth National Park or Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. This entirely provides clear aerial views of wildlife including leopards, lions, elephants, antelopes, buffaloes, birds, and the breathtaking landscape of this charming park. The morning session begins at Kasenyi with a briefing and you set off for your aerial wildlife viewing expedition.

Cultural experience
There are many communities located adjacent to the park that offer authentic cultural experiences. These include the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Group, Kasoga cultural experience, Nyanz’ibiri cave community, Katwe village walk, Leopard village, and others.
Best time to visit the park for a holiday
The best months of the year to visit Queen Elizabeth NP run from June to September or December to February. These months are excellent for game-viewing experiences as it is minimal or no rain recorded. The wet season often comes with remarkable birding opportunities, especially if you are interested in migratory bird species.
The park accommodation facilities

Budget safari lodges/hotels
➢ Topi Lodge
➢ Kazinga Channel View Resort
➢ Pumba Safari Cottages
➢ Simba Safari Camp
➢ Irungu Forest Safari Lodge & Campsite
➢ Tembo Safari Lodge
➢ Queen Elizabeth Safari Camp

Midrange lodges
➢ Enganzi Game Lodge
➢ Bush Lodge
➢ Ishasha Jungle Lodge
➢ Mbogo Lodge
➢ Enjojo Lodge
➢ Buffalo Safari Lodge

Luxury accommodation option
➢ Ishasha Wilderness Camp
➢ Mweya Safari Lodge
➢ Kyambura Game Lodge
➢ Kasenyi Safari Camp
➢ Katara Safari Lodge
➢ Jacana Safari Lodge
➢ Elephant Plains Lodge

How to get there
By road: Hire a car from a tour operator and you can go self-drive or have a driver who will take you to the park, starting your journey from Kampala via the Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi route or Kampala-Mubende-Fort Portal-Kasese route. By air: spend 1 hour on a charter or scheduled flight which sets off from Entebbe Airport to Mweya or Kasese airstrip.

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