Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most admired as well as easy to access savanna wildlife reserve which is wide spread through 1,978km’ s of vast area. Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) has Ishasha River and Lake Edward along the Congolese border at its west, Kasese and Rwenzori foothills to its north, Lake George, the Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu Forest Reserve to its North and the Kigezi Wildlife Authority over south. Africa’s most important wild life reserves Kyambura and Kigezi along with the Queen Elizabeth National Park bring out the most assorted Eco systems of the continent.
Here is where you can see the gorgeous melting glacier waters of the mighty Rwenzori Mountains that forms a huge wetland system involving the two major lakes George and Edward. These lakes are being channeled by the vast Kazinga Channel to the isolated Ishasha River to the south. The widespread habitats in the park range from the savanna and Wetlands to gallery and lowland forest that forms to be the domicile for immeasurable precious flora and fauna. With more than 550 species of Birds, this region is surely a birders’ Paradise which is the result of its remarkable diversity. The thriving lake shore line bring together blots of hippos, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Uganda Kob, herds of buffaloes and is the bed for trees like the Acacia, Euphorbia trees which endows a home for the animals. And of course, this is the largest of any protected reserves of Africa where you can visit and savor the soul of nature.
This Park covers approximately over 2056sq-km2 Kyambura wild life reserve comprising 154sq. km2 and Kigezi wild life reserve casing an area of 256sq. km2. The average temperature here ranges from 28deg Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius. Height is what this park is all about as it lies on an altitude of 910 m at Lake Edward to 1845 m above the sea level. The area covers the medium altitude moist semi-deciduous forest, riverside bush land, damp thicket, riparian jungle, open grassland, seasonal and permanent swamps, open wood land, lakes and rivers and a multitude of endangered species living in depending on them. This beautiful park has about 95 types of mammal species and 606 bird species with best time of the yeah to enjoy them to the fullest being December-February.
Activities To Enjoy In The Park
Kazinga Channel Launch Cruise
The incredible launch trip to the mouth of the Kazinga Channel at Mweya is one of the most popular activities one should enjoy during a visit here. The cruise leaves at 09.00, 11.00, 15.00 and 17.00 hours every day carrying tourist towards the paradise and entertains them for about 2 hours. The trip is a great entertainer with sights having Elephant, buffalo, waterbuck, Uganda Kob and large hippo pods, giant forest hog, leopard and also lions being found from time to time. You will love to observe the enormous water monitor lizards and the large crocodiles that swim along the riverine scrub. Water birds like water thick-knee, yellow-billed stork as well as a variety of plovers, white pinked pelicans, and white-bellied cormorants frequently gather on a sandbank at the mouth of the channel. If it turns to be a hot day, you can have a good sight of the huge African elephants playing in the water while quenching their thirst. The early morning sight of these animals is such a delight to your cameras and eyes with soft lighting and pleasing climate. The nocturnal creatures and a few predators come late to drink here more often.
This is one prospect a tourist should never miss as it gives a much closer vision at the animals. You get to drive through the park guided to view the animals in action, mostly during the mornings or late afternoons. You get to pass through the mating grounds of the great Uganda Kob as you can find well maintained tracks that lead you close to them all. Enjoy watching the figurative giant forest hog along the bushes, lions look for its prey, elephants making their way to the water during hot days and buffaloes wandering near the channel track and the adjacent bounds. Watch the grand Mt. Rwenzori, the volcanic craters at the foothills of misty mountains of the moon.
This 1Km long road that lies connecting the visitors centre and Jacana Lodge is a paradise that passes all the way through lush green forest- remember that you are all alone here and don’t have to be guided by anyone, this gives you some lonely time with your loved ones deep inside the forest. You may love to see the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed money and vervet, L’Hoest monkeys, Chimpanzees and more- all alone. If you are interested for a little longer walk, a 90minutes long walk will take you to a huge cave full of bats and a huge a rock python that is frequently observed by the tourists. If you are interested in bird watching ,a half a day walk through the longer loop around the back of Lake Nyamasingiri, which gets you the chance to enjoy rare birds like the scaly breasted illadopsis and chestnut wattle-eye.
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
This beautiful reserve is found in the eastern part of the confined forest with three saline crater lakes. The salt lakes are the main attraction of the flamingoes that are can’t be found elsewhere in Uganda. The thunderous turbulent waters of Kyambura River forms the sharp Kyambura gorge, gives a lush riverine forest that turned out to be the home to chimps, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons other than the beautiful and rare forest birds.
Visit the Traditional Salt
Are you ready to see the age old salt mine that is still in use from 14th century. People use traditional methods to extract salt from the mine which is later distributed to the locals in Uganda. You will get to listen to a lot of stories and cultural importance associated with the mine and the traditional salt, which is so exciting.
This is one of the most remote plains in the southwest of The Queen Elizabeth National Park, which attracts a lot of tourist for its specialty tree climbing lion’s populace. The existing lions population has 40 individuals split across three prides. This unusual behavior of the Lions in this area is associated with the climate and we find that the behavior is more frequently witnessed during the rainy seasons. The gaming area here is the most enthralling and entertaining.
Mweya Safari Lodge in Uganda with 49-rooms is the best for your vacation in the Bush. Main attractive locations here are Kazinga Channel with large herds of buffalo and Elephant. The lodge garden area is filled with affluent wildlife like warthogs, lizards and marsh flycatchers. The restaurant here provides you with an a’la carter menu of rich Indian and continental dishes.
Jacana Safari Lodge owned by Geo Lodges who also owns the Nile Safari Camp in Murchison Falls National Park and the new Mabira forest lodge is a nature’s special that you will love. This fabulous wood-and-thatch building stands just by the side of the forest-fringed Lake Nyamasingiri, which has 5 craters to northern end of Maramagambo forest. There are 8 luxurious, wooden, double set accommodation with personal veranda where you can sit and enjoy the scenic lake with piping-hot showers. Listen to the calling of faunal red-tailed, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkeys and chimpanzees across the lake from the lorge.
Ishasha Wilderness Camp is a special tented campsite at the un-spoilt isolated southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park famous. Here is where you can see the special tree climbing lions that can rarely be spotted on the large fig trees while they rest. Herds of wild buffalo, elephants, kob, topi and other species of antelope and more of wildness can be captured during the game drive. Here is where you will enjoy a midway break for two nights, amid your gorilla viewing trip in Bwindi and the game viewing in the Mweya area.
At present the camp takes care of catering for twelve guestsand also offers large twin bedded tent has each with its own private bathroom and dressing area with hot water “bush” shower facility and an eco friendly toilet as a measure to take you closer to nature.
Hippo Hill Camp-Katwe: Put up enormously on a hill overlooking the beautiful Kitako and Kabazimu Islands in Lake Edward is the camp. It is conveniently located between the buffer zone of the park and Katwe. Magnificently encircled by Lake Edward, Katwe salt lake and Munyanyange crater lakes, the camp turns out to be the paradise for wild lovers. The camp currently offers luxury tents with personal toilets and hot showers for your comfort. A large dining with raised bar that overlooks the Salt Lake is also available inside the camp.
The Institute of Ecology at Mweya has shared amenities with single and double rooms. bed lining is not offered here.
The cheapest choice is offered at The Student Hostel at Mweya for tourists who are not ready for camping. .
The exquisite Ishasha campsite is an isolated site that has 2 basic bandas and is located on a portion of flat ground quite far from the Ishasha River.
From Kampala either through Masaka and Mbarara or via Fort portal, the distance to the park is approximately 467 Kms. The Ishasha sector of the Park can also be reached from Kabala. There are three airfields that serve transportation to the park; at Kasese, Ishasha and Mweya Peninsula.
Distance(KM) from Mweya Lodge to;
Fort portal 129
Kabale (Via Katunguru ang Bugangari) 229
Ishasha (Via Katunguru) 124
Kabale (Via Katunguru and Kihihi) 216
Itineraries to Queen Elizabeth national park include;
- 3 Days Private safari Itinerary To Queen Elizabeth National Park
- 5 Days Uganda Wildife Safari
- 7 Days Private Safari Itinerary To Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth And Kibale National Park
- 5 Days Private Safari Itinerary To Bwindi And Queen Elizabeth National Park