Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda is one of the most famous Uganda wildlife safari parks in East Africa. It is also one of the 4 Uganda’s Savannah parks. Other savannah parks in Uganda include; Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park & lastly Kidepo valley national park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is an exceptional savanna park, and unlike most East African parks, this is one of the best spots to encounter the tree-climbing lions. The tree-climbing lions also live in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania.
Location of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in Western Uganda, and it is surrounded by districts of Rukungiri, Kasese and Kamwenge districts. Other adjacent protected areas to Queen Elizabeth National Park include Kibale National Park, Semuliki, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and Kalinzu Forest Reserve.
Within the park, there is Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Kazinga Channel which connects Lake Edward and Lake George.
Established in 1952, Queen Elizabeth National Park is named after the late Queen Elizabeth the second. The park was originally named Kazinga National Park, and it was renamed in honor of the Queen’s visit to the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s 2nd biggest park, and it covers a vast land area of 1978sq.km. Its landscape is characterized by extensive savanna plains, natural tropical forests, Crater Lakes, Lakes, Rivers and many others.
3 Exclusive Uganda Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park
At Queen Elizabeth has a national park alone, there are more than 95 mammal species to be spotted. Among these include;
- spotted hyenas
- serval cats
- Uganda kobs
- forest pigs
primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, and more.
The park also supports a huge profusion of crocodiles in its numerous waterbodies.
Birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A check list of over 600 bird species calls Queen Elizabeth Park a home, and they include resident and migratory avifaunal species. The bird check list of the park includes; ringed plovers, white-winged warblers, yellow-backed weaver birds, yellow-throated cuckoos, wood sandpipers, pin-tailed whydah, Carruther’s cisticolas, saddle-billed storks, water wattled plovers, white-winged terns, lesser and greater flamingos, black-rumped buttonquail, grey-headed kingfishers, spotted-redshank, papyrus gonoleks, grey kestrel, corncrake, black-headed gonoleks, African mourning dove, white-faced whistling, sedge warbles, squacco herons, bright colored saddle-billed stork,
Long-tailed cormorants, open-billed stork, martial eagle, pink-backed pelicans, common teal, jack snipe, black-tailed Godwit, black-headed gonoleks, greenshanks, African skimmers, white-tailed lark, little stint, brimstone canary, and others.
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Game drives are a must-do in the park if you are an enthusiastic nature lover. These offer a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the big game, especially large herds of buffaloes, elephants, lion, leopards, and also a diversity of other animal species including Uganda kobs, spotted hyenas, warthogs, and more. Game drives are conducted in the two sectors- Kasenyi and Ishasha sector. The Kasenyi is the most explored for big game viewing and Ishasha is the only part of the park where you can find the tree-climbing lions.
Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bird-watching tours in the park get enthusiastic birders exposed to diversity of bird species. The list of birds to keep an eye is long, but the common ones include Verreaux’s eagles, grey-headed white and pink-backed pelicans, curlew sandpipers, common tea, white-faced whistling, white-winged warblers, yellow wagtails, yellow backed weavers, pied & malachite kingfishers, grey kestrel, little stint, shoebill stork, swamp fly-catchers, Knob-billed ducks, grey capped warblers, lesser masked weavers, Northern pochard, mourning doves, spotted redshanks;
Eurasian wigeon, bar-tailed Godwit, brimstone canary, African white-tailed lark, African fish eagle, African skimmers, black-headed gonoleks, black crake, brown snake eagle, African harrier hawk, saddle-billed stork, etc.
Launch/boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A boat cruise is one of the memorable recreational experience visitors can enjoy while on a Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This is done on the Kazinga channel, an extensive natural channel that links two waterbodies -Lake George and Edward. Along the Kazinga channel, guests can enjoy views of hippos, crocodiles and aquatic bird species.
Hot air balloon tours in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls national Park are two parks where hot air balloon tours are carried out in Uganda. Hot air balloon safaris offer remarkable aerial views of the park’s animals. This is an exceptional experience, absolutely distinct from the normal game drives in a 4×4 drive vehicle.
Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A Uganda safaris here offers you more than big game tours. Primate lovers on Uganda safaris also have opportunity to engage in a guided chimpanzee tracking experience in Kyambura Gorge. At Kyambura Gorge, expect to come across more than chimpanzees because, there are also lots of other primates such as olive baboons, blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, etc.
Forest walks in Queen Elizabeth National Park
For nature lovers, the Park offers the best of walking tours. Visit Maramagambo Forest, home to bats, a diversity of primates and forest to enjoy an amazing guided forest walk and you won’t return the same way you went. This natural tropical forest shelters a variety of primates such as chimpanzees, olive baboons, l’hoest monkeys, bush babies, red-tailed monkeys, and others. These plus numerous birds will be spotted during a guided forest walk on one of the forest walking trails.
Other tourist activities or experiences to participate in while at Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Lake Katwe salt mines tour
- Cultural safaris/experiences
- Lion trekking experience
- Mongoose tracking
- Hippo census
Safari Lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Frequent Asked Questions on Queen Elizabeth National Park
Visiting the Park for birding or big game safaris is possible at any time of the year. However, the best time to enjoy the most of the park’s wildlife viewing experience is during the dry season. The dry season occurs from June, July, August, September- for long dry months, and short dry season/months begin from December, January to February.
- Ishasha Wilderness Camp
- Kyambura Lodge
- Katara Lodge
- Mweya Safari Lodge
- Buffalo Safari Lodge
- Elephant Plains
- Bush Lodge
- Jacana Safari Lodge
- Hippo Hill Camp
- Drive from Kampala via Mubende-Fort Portal route, and this will take you about 7 hours. Or connect along the Kampala-Mbarara-Bushenyi route, 7-8 hours’ drive in a 4×4 tourist vehicle
- You can also reach out to your tour operator, and arrange a fly in tour from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield up to Mweya airstrip or Kasese airstrip.