Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular destination located in the western part of the country and adjacent to the Rwenzori Mountains. After Murchison, this is the second biggest park national park in Uganda with plenty of wildlife and over 600 bird species. This park has so many attractions including the Mweya peninsula, kazinga channel, crater lakes, lake George and more.
Once in QENP, your wildlife safari gets better with early morning game drives to see some of the best wildlife attractions. Some of the wildlife in this park include Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes, Antelopes, Warthogs, Hippos and many others. The game tracks through Kasenyi, Ishasha and the north Kazinga plains will offer you with the best of these sightings but with an experienced guide you will successfully track down a pride of lions early morning.
The 40 Km Kazinga channel offers the best boat trips (Launch trips) and offers better opportunities to view some rare birds and wildlife. You will also get a chance to see crocodiles, dozens of hippos, buffaloes, and elephants along the banks. The boat trip takes about 2 – 3 hours and one of the best ways to relax your afternoon after that early morning adventure in the park. For most photographers, this is their best spot to see the rare bird species on this channel that connects lake George and lake Edward.
Over 600 bird species are found in this park and can be spotted while on the game drives, launch trips on the Kazinga channel, Kasenyi plains, Maramagambo forest, Ishasha sector and many other places. Queen Elizabeth national park is also known as an Important Birding Area with various water birds, woodland and forest dwellers, raptors and various migratory species. Some of the key bird species include; African Skimmer, Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Black Bee-eater, White-winged Warbler, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Bar-tailed Godwit, Pinkbacked Pelican, African Broadbill, etc.
There are over 72 huge round basins (craters) scattered around this park and nature treks are one of the best ways to explore these landscapes. You may get to see a variety of forest and savannah species, the rift valley escarpment and also the famous salt lake, Katwe where traditional salt mining has been practiced since the 16th century. The neighboring Lake Munyanyange is a bird sanctuary, famous for the migratory bird, the lesser flamingo. Other craters can be seen over a 27km drive through the park.
Did you know it’s possible to see the Chimpanzees in this Queen Elizabeth national park? The Kyambura Gorge is home to habituated chimps which can be tracked with UWA guides. Visitors can go through the thick forest to see the Primates and the entrance to this gorge is a pleasant spot for a picnic. The chimp tracking experience here teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rain-forest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology. Beneath this gorge, 100 meters below the kichwamba escarpment – the Kyambura river flows through and you will also find an amazing number of Hippos.