April 2, 2023

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All You Need to Know About Queen Elizabeth National Park

Named after the Queen of England II, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most visited nature reserves in the Pearl of Africa. It is a rich savannah park endowed with a variety of wildlife including different vegetation types that range from wetlands, savannah plains, bushes and thickets to forests which harbor the highest diversity of animals and birds in Uganda. Covering an area of 1,978 sq.km, Queen Elizabeth national park is the second biggest national park after Murchison Falls National Park. It is located in the western part of Uganda close to other Uganda national parks such as Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwenzori National Park and Semuliki National Park.

Tellanza Tours & Travel organizes budget trips to Queen Elizabeth national park and we present to all the information you need to about one of Uganda’s most popular parks.

Attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park

  • Tree climbing lions
  • Other Wildlife
  • Craters
  • The equator
  • Kazinga channel

Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park

One of the reasons most travelers love to tour Queen Elizabeth national park is to see its various beautiful wildlife. The park is a natural habitat for 96 mammal species, 35 reptile species and 10 primate species. Common game here includes elephants, hippos, buffaloes, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs and waterbucks among others. The park boasts the incredible tree climbing lions found in the Ishasha sector and this is a major attraction which makes the destination special from other national parks in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth national park is a great bird watching destination with a checklist of 612 bird species. It has colorful forest birds, savannah birds and water birds. Notable birds of the park are the African fish eagle, hamerkop, white barked pelicans, pink barked pelicans, little egrets, great white egret, palm nut vulture, black headed gonolek and pin tailed whydah among others.   

Things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park

Boat cruise

A visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park without a boat trip at the Kazinga channel would be considered incomplete. The banks of the channel are filled with different bird species and many others at the bird sanctuaries. Meanwhile, immediately you start the cruise, you observe numerous hippos in the water and crocodiles on the shores. On hot days, other animals like elephants, hippos and waterbucks visit the channel to cool their bodies and drink. The Kazinga channel boat cruise is one of the most amazing trips for viewing wildlife and relaxation.

Game drive

Since this is a large savannah park with lots of animals, it is a great place for wildlife viewing. Game drives are done in the morning and evening in Kasenyi plains, northeast of the park. The activity is full of watching of early grazers like waterbucks, buffaloes and Uganda kobs among others. These attract predators including lions, leopards and hyenas which can be sighted around the plains.  

Bird watching

For birding enthusiasts, visiting Queen Elizabeth national park is a perfect take on. It has a number of special places for bird watching where most bird species are known to be found. For example, birds of prey are in Kasenyi, forest birds in Maramagambo and Kyambura forest and avian birds on the shores of the water bodies like Kazinga Channel. Queen Elizabeth national park has more than 600 bird species; the papyrus gonolek, rufous bellied heron, black-bee eater, African fish eagle, water thick knee, marabou storks, long tailed cormorants, pelicans, egrets and sparrows among others.  

Chimpanzee tracking

Although chimpanzees are few in the underground forest found in Kyambura gorge, trekking through the green tropical forest is adventurous. The ranger guide leads you down into the gorge to search for our close relatives- the chimps, whose grunts are often heard when moving around the forest. Alternatively, you can go track the chimps in Kalinzu forest in the neighborhood of Queen Elizabeth national park.

Lion tracking

Lions in Queen Elizabeth national park can be sighted during game drives but lion tracking increases one’s chances of seeing these cats. The activity was introduced in the park for both conservation and tourism purposes. A researcher guides you to look out for a pride of lions with the help of a radiation tracker which locates the collars in one or two of the members of the pride. Observe the rules and regulations from the researcher as you get closer to the lions since you are allowed to go off the tracks and get a clearer view of the lions plus learn about their behaviors.

Nature walks

Mweya peninsula is one of the best places for nature walks in Queen Elizabeth NP. It offers the most beautiful views of the landscape showing waterbodies; Kazinga channel and Lake Edward, then Katwe village at a distance plus the Rwenzori ranges. It is a good way to explore the destination and its wildlife by moving around with an armed ranger guide. There is normally a possibility to come across animals such as elephants, buffaloes or waterbucks and watch hippos in Kazinga channel. Lots of birds are seen too.

Visit the bat cave

Travel to the south of the park and explore its unique attractions- the bat cave. It is a home to lots of bats which also attract pythons that come to hunt them for food. The cave is watched from a designated location for safety of visitors.  

Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park

Although Queen Elizabeth national park is regarded as a year-round destination, the best time to visit it is during the dry season. This season (December-February and June -August) is characterized with little or no rain and therefore all activities of the park can be carried out. From March-May and September-November, the area experiences its wet season whereby tracks can become slippery on rainy days.  

Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth national park

There are a number of credible safari lodges in areas around Queen Elizabeth national park such as Kikorongo, Kyambura, Mweya, Katwe, Katunguru and Ishasha among others. The lodges include;

  • Mweya safari lodge
  • Elephant plains lodge
  • Enganzi lodge
  • Kikorongo safari lodge
  • Marafiki safari lodge
  • Kyambura Gorge lodge
  • Simba safari lodge
  • Park View lodge
  • Engiri lodge
  • Ishasha wilderness lodge
  • Katara lodge

How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park can be accessed via two routes; Kampala- Masaka-Mbarara- Kasese route and Kampala- Mubende-Fort Portal-Kasese route. Both routes take about 7 hours to reach the park. By air, you can fly to Kasese airfield and connect to the park by road, a drive that takes about one hour. Alternatively, you can fly direct to Mweya airstrip.

To book a Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth national park – simply fill in this contact form or  send us an email to rent@tellanzacarrentaluganda.com or call us now on +256-708234114 / +256-702838696 / +256-772424754