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QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Queen Elizabeth National Park

"A medly of wonders"

Gazetted as the Queen Elizabeth National Park after the Queen’s visit in 1954, it was previously comprised of isolated game reserves created around the two lakes - George and Edward. Using the 40-kilometre long natural Kazinga channel that connects both lakes, the area was made into a national park that consisted of the most diverse animal population within Uganda. The Queen Elizabeth National Park now houses over 90 species of mammals, the highest in Uganda. It also is home to 10 species of primates and over 600 species of birds. It also stands as the most diverse areas for bird watching in all of Uganda. It is home to some rare species of primates like the colobus monkey and the L'hoest's monkey. It is also one of the very few places in the world where you can find tree-climbing lions! You can also find Chimpanzees in the Kyambura Gorge, while the Equator also crosses through the national park. Not only this, there are land and water safaris to offer to tourists at the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Clearly, a visit to Queen Elizabeth national park is filled with myriad experiences and would equate to one of those unmatched moments in life.

Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.

As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems, which in turn benefits the surrounding communities.

Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is truly a Medley of Wonders!

ACTIVITIES AT QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Launch Trips in Queen Elizabeth

The Kazinga Channel is an oasis for many of the fascinating species that inhabit the park, and taking a boat tour along it gives visitors the chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of enormous hippos and buffalos while elephants linger on the shoreline.

Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth

For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard.

Chimp Tracking in Queen Elizabeth

The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment: it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology.

 Birding in Queen Elizabeth

Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.

Wildlife Research Tours in Queen Elizabeth

For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals that fill the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior.

Cultural Encounters in Queen Elizabeth

See the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers; workers harvesting salt on Katwe Salt Lake; a traditional Banyaraguru hut; or an agricultural village - all guided by those who know them best - local community members.

Caves in Queen Elizabeth

Tucked beneath the shady canopy of the Maramagambo Forest is the “Bat Cave”. The cave has a viewing room from which visitors can observe the resident bats and pythons. For a more cultural cave experience, how about a trip to the historic cave at Nyanz’ibiri community

Hiking/Nature Walks in Queen Elizabeth

Nature treks are one of the more active ways to explore the landscapes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth. Locations include the shady Maramagambo forest; Mweya Peninsula with its scenic views; and Ishasha River, where you may spot a variety of forest and savanna species as well as having a unique opportunity to get extremely close to hippos - on foot!

What to Bring

No specialist equipment is required for Queen. Though hot during the day, warmer layers are recommended for the cooler evenings as well as a light waterproof in case of rain. And don't forget your binoculars!

 

Suggested Itineraries

5 Night/6 Day Itinerary

DAY 1:

Arrive at one of the many lodges or campsites in or near Queen Elizabeth National Park in the afternoon, check in and relax before leaving for an evening game drive on the Kasenyi plains (1).

DAY 2:

Choose between chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge (2a), or a walk in Maramagambo Forest (2b), with birds, antelope and monkeys. In the afternoon visit the Kikorongo Cultural Center (3) to meet the women of the community and learn how to make traditional baskets and paper bead necklaces. Enjoy cultural dances and drama performed by the group. Take an evening game drive on the Kasenyi plains (1) before returning to your accommodation.

DAY 3:

See a different face of the park with a research team at Mweya (4). Venture off road to track lions or monitor mongoose behavior and contribute to valuable research project. After a leisurely lunch on the Mweya Peninsula (4), take a two hour boat ride along the Kazinga Channel (6). To top off a wildlife packed day, there is an optional sunset Crater Lake Drive (7) to the Baboon Cliffs (8) for an evening drink as the sun sets over the park’s rolling hills.

DAY 4:

Choose between a nature walk on the Mweya Peninsula (4) or a guided walk around Lake Kikorongo (9) to see the bird species that inhabit this lake and the surrounding forest. In the afternoon visit Katwe Salt Lake (10) to learn about traditional salt mining, followed by a short walk to Lake Munyanyange to spot lesser flamingos (August-November) and other bird life.
Be sure to stop at Katwe Tourism Information Center (KATIC) to pick up your guide. End the day with an evening game drive on the Channel track and looping trails (11).

DAY 5:

Take an Agro-Tour Walk (12) through community farmland to learn about farming methods, medicinal plants and bee keeping, then drive to the Ishasha Sector (13) for a picnic lunch on the plains. Explore the Edward Flats (14) and spot the region’s famous tree climbing lions. You can also take a nature walk with an UWA guide along the Ishasha River.

DAY 6:

Take a final game drive through the Ishasha plains before heading out of the park on your way home or to Bwindi for more adventures.
NOTE: All itineraries subject to change, depending on weather, availability and location of chosen lodging.

 

3 Night/4 Day Itinerary

DAY 1:

Arrive at one of the many lodges or camp sites in or near Queen Elizabeth National Park in the afternoon, check in and relax before leaving for a 2-3 hour evening game drive on the Kasenyi plains (1).

DAY 2:

Meet your guide in the morning for the Agro-Tour Walk (2). This tour takes you through community farmland where you will learn about farming, local medicinal plants and bee keeping - which provides them with honey while keeping the elephants away from their crops. 
After your agrarian experience drive the short distance to The Cave (3) for lunch. Try the famous mamba fish and check out the cave that holds cultural significance to the local community as well as the restaurant’s organic garden. 
After lunch, head to the Mweya Peninsula Visitor Information Center (4) to purchase tickets for the late afternoon Kazinga Channel boat ride (5), to see the wildlife lining the banks as dusk falls.

DAY 3:

Early morning game drive on the Kasenyi plains (1) followed by a visit to Katwe Salt Lake (6) to learn about traditional salt mining that has taken place here since the 16th Century. You can also take a short walk to the neighboring Lake Munyanyange where you might glimpse lesser flamingos (August-November) and other bird life. Be sure to stop at Katwe Tourism Information Center (KATIC) to pick up your guide.
Have a picnic lunch at the KATIC Banda or find food in Katwe (6), Mweya (4) or Kikorongo (8). After lunch, visit the Kikorongo Cultural Center (8) to meet the women of the community and learn how to weave traditional baskets and make recycled paper bead necklaces.
Return to your lodge or camp to relax - read a book, lounge by the pool or brush up your wildlife knowledge with the Snapshot Safari board game. Once you are rested, you can set off for an evening game drive.

DAY 4:

Enjoy a final game drive along the spectacular Crater Lake Drive (9) before heading home with your memories and pictures.
NOTE: All itineraries subject to change, depending on weather, availability and location of chosen lodging.

 

For more combined and tailor-made itineraries, kindly check our “SAFARIS” option or contact us.


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