Discovering The Wonders of Queen Elizabeth National Park

By Jenna Jolie

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's second-largest and most visited reserved area, located in four districts: Kasese, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, and Kamwenge. The park was founded in 1952, making it one of Uganda's oldest and most popular national parks. 

The Uganda national park, located in the Kasese District, offers a diverse environment made up of vast savannah, shady, rainy woods, lakes, and lush wetlands, making it an ideal place for a variety of mammals, monkeys, and birds. With its breathtaking landscapes and unique experiences, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nature, wildlife, and adventure.

If you intend to travel to Uganda to see interesting places, this article will guide you through the Elizabeth National Park attractions, activities, and safari information. 

Elizabeth National Park is the most visited attraction in Uganda

Elizabeth National Park is the most visited attraction in Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife And Ecosystems

This park contains a varied species of natural wonders, including the biggest number of bird species and a diverse representation of animal species, owing to the different habitats that include marshes, woodlands, Savannah, and lakes. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park's primary aquatic features are marshes and freshwater lakes that attract flamingos from Kenya during the season. The primary water bodies include the Ishasha River, lakes George and Edward connected by the Kazinga channel, Lake Katwe, and Kasenyi salt lakes, as well as many smaller craters and wetland habitats. 

The park's wildlife includes up to 600 bird species and 95 animal species. Throughout certain seasons of the year, birders will discover a diverse list of woodland and forest residents, over 50 raptors, water birds, and many migratory species. Because of the park's closeness to the Congo ecosystem, visitors can see East and Central African bird species. 

One of the unique features of the park is the tree-climbing lions that can be found in the Ishasha sector of the park. These lions are known for their ability to climb trees and are a significant attraction for tourists visiting the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers visitors numerous unique experiences. During the day, travelers can go on game drives or at night to observe the park's wildlife in their natural habitats. Night game drives provide a unique opportunity to see the park's nocturnal animals, such as hyenas, lions, and leopards.

Queen National Elizabeth Uganda offers a diversity of natural resources and animal species

Queen National Elizabeth Uganda offers a diversity of natural resources and animal species

This national park is also occupied by several communities, who are indigenous forest-dwelling people. The park management has worked to ensure that the communities benefit from the park through revenue sharing and community-based conservation programs.

Exciting Activities That You Should Try When Visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park

1. Boat Safari On Kazinga Channel

The Kazinga Channel Safari in Uganda is a thrilling experience. At Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Kazinga Channel connects Lake Edward and Lake George along a 32-kilometer stretch. The canal has become a major tourist destination and visitors like taking a boat excursion to properly appreciate this park's primary feature.

A typical two-hour boat tour down the Kazinga Channel begins at the landing spot below the famed Mweya Safari Lodge. Over 60 bird species may be spotted along the Kazinga Channel during the boat ride, including African skimmer, stork, black bee-eater, pink-backed pelicans, long-tailed cormorants, and kingfisher, among many more. As a result, the waterway is ideal for bird-watching tourists.

Kazinga Channel, Uganda

Kazinga Channel, Uganda

2. Chimpanzee Trekking In Kyambura Gorge

Kyambura Gorge Lodge - The Valley of Apes - is a natural forested gorge located on the northeastern side of the park. Chimpanzee trekking is a fantastic way to spend time with these endangered chimps that share almost 98.8% of human DNA, such as black-and-white colobus monkeys and baboons. 

Kyambura Gorge is rich in tropical rainforest and located near the equator, which runs through the park. Above the canyon, this place provides direct sunlight to the gorge's tree shadow, bringing life to the crops in the jungle. Visitors can go on a guided trek through the gorge to observe the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The trek might take from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the movements of the chimps in the jungle.

3. Camping In Ishasha Wilderness

The Ishasha Wilderness Camp is situated in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park, next to the Ntungwe River. It's a well-known habitat for tree-climbing Lions. The camp is perfectly positioned to facilitate gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth Forest, and Kibale Forest.

You should spend about 2 days camping in the forest to experience the wildlife and chill next to the river bank. The camp has been designed with luxurious tents that are totally self-contained. Each tent is decorated in an African manner. Meru tents are located across the river in a forested location and have superb amenities such as en suite bathrooms and Eco-friendly toilets.

A climbing tree lion is sleeping on a tree in the park

4. Experience The Beauty Of Nature

Marafiki Safari Lodge, located on the northern boundary of Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooks Lake George and provides individual luxury safari tents. Marafiki Safari Lodge has huge private bandhas with elevated hardwood flooring made of eucalyptus gum poles and canvas, allowing guests to roll up the walls and enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and the savannah plains.

Travelers staying at Marafiki camp may take a short drive to Kasenyi plains for fantastic Uganda safari wildlife watching. The park's most well-known safari routes in Kasenyi Plains provide superb wild animal watching, particularly at the Uganda Kob breeding grounds, which attract a large number of predators in the region.

Besides, travelers can experience nature in the Ihamba safari lodge. The architecture of Ihamba Safari Lodge emanates the exquisite project of a real African way of building, making it the perfect definition of a wilderness safari resort. The eating and lounge area is beautifully created with stones and thatched cottages to provide tourists with comfort as they enjoy their meals.

How To Visit The Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda

The majority of our Uganda vacations take an anticlockwise route, beginning and finishing in Kampala. You'll go west to track chimps in Kibale National Park, then south to search for gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Several longer routes also head north, passing through Murchison Falls National Park.

Travelers must plan your trip first before traveling to Uganda

Tourists traveling on foot through the park

The National Park is not a self-drive location; therefore, vacations here are either designed with your private driver or small group excursions with a driver guide who will transport you in a 4x4. These guides are useful on game drives because they can locate dozing lions that you might otherwise miss, and they can impart a wealth of information about the species you'll see here.

The safari trips in Queen Elizabeth National Park are very attractive, and there is a wide selection of options to suit all budgets. Lower-priced safari resorts offer thatched tents or cottages with en suite toilets and open-air eating areas with views of a crater lake or hippo-infested river. Higher-end lodges are extremely luxurious while still immersing you in the bush, with warthogs and baboons ambling over the lawns in front of your room and sunbirds flitting by the window.

Read more about the top 5 tourist attractions in Uganda for your 2023 trip!

So what are you waiting for? If you are excited to experience wildlife & activities, apply for an Uganda visa online today and secure your trip to Uganda. For more information about the Uganda e-visa, please visit Uganda Immigration Services. Before applying, please ensure that you have enough documents and conditions in advance to make your e-visa process go smoothly. Additionally, we highly recommend travelers purchase Travel Insurance in order to protect themselves and their family/friends while traveling.

Related Articles