Protected as a wildlife reserve in 1920s, Queen Elizabeth National Park was gazetted under the name Kazinga National Park in 1952 but renamed two years later to commemorate the first visit to Uganda by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s second largest and most popular safari destination set on the floor of the rift valley where it crosses the imaginary Equator line south of Mount Rwenzori and north of the Kigezi Highlands. With a coverage of 1980 square kilometres of open grassland and savannah, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 95 mammal species and 612+ bird species. On the checklist, carnivores are led by Lion, Leopard and Hyena. Ten among the listed mammals are primates led by chimpanzees, L’Hoest monkey, vervet, blue, red tailed, colobus Monkey and olive baboon.
The park protects diverse landscape of tropical habitats: tropical rain forests, wetland, open water, lakes Edward and George that are interconnected by the Kazinga channel. It is also on record that the Kazinga channel contains the highest concentration of hippos in Africa and one of the very few non-forested areas in Africa where the giant forest hog is regularly seen. Other common animals include elephant, buffalo, sitatunga antelope, topi, waterbuck and most common being the Uganda Kob.
Access to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air from any safari circuit in Uganda. From Entebbe, the drive is approximately 6 hours and 1hour scenic flight taking a scenic route of rural Uganda.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Kasenyi plains lie in the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and most of the game drives is done offer the best chances to spot elephant, buffalo, tree climbing lions, leopard and Uganda kob.
Nature walks around Mweya peninsula
Although plenty of wildlife seen on or from Mweya Peninsula is by taking a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel there are no restrictions on walking around the developed area between Mweya Safari Lodge, the airstrip and the lower campsite. The peninsula offers good spots to watch the sunset behind the DR Congo Mountains while enjoying a cup of coffee or cold beverage of your choice.
Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel
Taking a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel is the highlight of your trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the boat, you will have a chance to cruise just meters from hundreds of animals lingering on the shoreline. You will also spot crocodiles that had disappeared for 8,000 years have been eliminated from Lake Edward by toxic ash from local volcanoes.
Lion & Leopard Tracking
The Carnivore program project overseen by Dr Ludwig Siefert is a community-run socio-economic development initiative which supports cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism.
The banded Mongoose of Mweya number around 400 individuals split between a dozen groups are possibly the most habituated group anywhere in the world. Tracking these intelligent, social and playful small carnivores with a knowledge guide and field assistant from the mongoose project is a thoroughly delightful and engaging experience. The excursion takes 3hrs and leaves at 0700am
Birds dominate the landscape in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is host to over 612+ bird species, ranked the 6th highest of any park worldwide and second in Africa.
Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee tracking
Located in the eastern region of the park, the gorge has a beautiful platform of viewing the rush savannah grassland and primates including chimps in the tree tops below. You can also go for chimpanzee tracking with walks taking two to four hours and includes one of watching chimpanzees.
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