Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most popular game parks in Uganda and in east Africa. It is located in the western part of Uganda about 376km from Kampala. Queen Elizabeth national park is known for its variety of wildlife, most of which was killed in the Uganda-Tanzania war. The park is a true nature hub with a number of natural attractions making it a suitable option for Uganda safaris. It has volcanic features which include volcanic cones, and deep craters, it also includes the Maramagambo Forest, not to mention the various species of wildlife that reside within its borders.
Queen Elizabeth national park is home to a number of mammals and birds. It is documented to have about 95 animal species and 612 bird species. The variety is well worth a visit to the park. Animal residents of the park include; the Uganda kob, warthog, elephant, waterbuck, giant forest hog, leopards, lions and hyenas. There are topi found in Ishasha, and primate in maramagambo forest and Kyambura Gorge. The park is famous for its tree climbing lions.
The National Park’s 612 bird species include; the martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, Chapin’s flycatcher, pink backed pelicans, white-winged warbler, papyrus canary, papyrus gonolek and so many more. The park is every birdwatchers dream.
The park is good for game viewing all year round. The dry seasons June-September and January to February is the best time to visit because the animals are near the water sources and much easier to see. The vegetation is also not as thick as it would be in the wet season. For those interested in tracking chimpanzees, this is the best time to visit. You can also go wildlife viewing in the park during the rainy seasons of October to December and March to May. Although the tracks are slippery and quite difficult to navigate. And wildlife viewing might be interrupted by the rains.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Accessing Queen Elizabeth park from Kampala is either on tarmac through Mbarara (420 kames) or Fort Portal via Kasese (410kms). The park is 5-6 hours from Kampala on surface road via Mbarara. This park can also be reached via Ishasha sector, which is south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. 7 days safari.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
During the game drives, you could spot an elephant, the largest land mammal skillfully using its trunk to feed, a lion preying on an antelope or a hyena patiently waiting to devour the lion’s leftovers from a distance. Different groups of animals like Buffalo herds and Uganda kobs traverse the game park all day long. Warthogs, leopards, the giant forest hog are among the others you are very likely to meet on your game drive.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Bird watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park” heading_tag=”h2″]Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s top birding spots. A haven to over 600 bird species, the enthusiastic bird watcher is in for a major delight at the park.
Some of the birds likely to grace your photographic memories include the; Sedge warbles, Papyrus canary, the martial eagle, Pink backed Pelican, Yellow throated Cuckoo, and the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, all which inhabit the park’s expansive grasslands, forests and wetlands. Do not miss the flamingos found at the Katwe and Bunyampaba salt lakes.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Boat Cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park” heading_tag=”h2″]The boat trip/launch cruise which takes place on the Kazinga Channel, a long natural water channel linking Lake Edward to Lake George is an exhilarating event for the visitors at the park.
During the cruise, one gets to enjoy the various sights and sounds that the park’s rich aquatic life extravagantly offers. Besides the large hippopotamuses taking their dips in the waters, the fierce Nile crocodiles basking lazily on the channel banks for a feel of the warm sun are some of the lifetime experiences you will encounter on the cruise. Not to miss are the Pied Kingfishers attempting to grab a meal.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth park” heading_tag=”h2″]The Kyambura Gorge, also known as the Valley of Apes found in the Northern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to chimpanzees. The chimpanzees in Kyambura are habituated meaning they have been accustomed to human presence and this does not deter them from going on with their activities.
The underground rain forest in a gorge which makes for an excellent protection from the sunshine as one enjoys the immense beauty of nature hidden there in. You will experience lush Savannah grasslands leading to the gorge, to the flowing rivers and creeks. Red tailed monkeys, baboons, butterflies and different bird species are among other inhabitants of this little paradise worth sighting besides Chimpanzees.
Besides the primates, the forest boasts great hiking trails upon which there is a lot to explore. While walking in the forest, look out for soldier ants as they have such a painful sting. Otherwise you are in for an exciting experience while trekking one of man’s closest primate relatives.[/icon_timeline_item][icon_timeline_item time_title=”Tree Climbing lions of Ishasha” heading_tag=”h2″]Not every day do you see a lion climbing a tree, in fact it was considered a safe bet to climb one if you ever found yourself being chased by one. Not while in Ishasha sector though, a region comprising a portion of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here, lions perched up on acacia and fig trees are an enchanting sight to behold.
Whether it is for a better view of their surroundings including potential prey like the Uganda Kob that grazes in the vicinities, seeking the cool breeze in the trees or escaping the notorious bites from the tsetse flies on the ground below, the reason for the lions choosing residence up the trees remains an intriguing mystery.
The Ishasha sector where these lions are found is accessible on the journey to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as one heads or returns from gorilla trekking in the forest. Besides the amazing tree climbing king of the jungle, the sector is also home to other animals such as herds of buffaloes, large numbers of elephants, warthogs and antelopes all which make for a memorable trip to the game park.[/icon_timeline_item][/icon_timeline]