Queen Elizabeth National Park, Wildlife Safaris in Uganda
Location of the park
The park is in the western region of Uganda, extending to the district of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi and Rukungiri. The park is 400 km by road south west of Kampala, which is Uganda’s capital and the largest city.
Kasese town is just outside the northern edge of the park, while the town of Rubirizi is outside the park’s south eastern boundaries.
The park includes the Maramagambo forest and borders the Kigezi Game Reserve, the Kyambura game reserve and the Kibale national park in Uganda and the Virunga National park in the DRC.
The park occupies 1978 square kilometers and extends from Lake George in the north east to Lake Edward in the south west and includes the Kazinga Channel connecting the two lakes.
This national park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth 11. The park is known for its wildlife including the African Buffalo, hippos, Ugandan Kob, Nile crocodiles, the African bush elephant, leopard, lion, and chimpanzees.
Its home to 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species. The place is around the Ishasha in Rukungiri District and is famous for its tree climbing lions, and the black manes.
this national p[ark is popular for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes like the Katwe craters from which salt is extracted.
The park has got some services including; a telecenter run by conservation through public Health and the Uganda Wildlife Authority just near the Queen’s Pavilion, park lodges , game and scenic drives and boat launches. the famous people who have ever visited the park include Queen Elizabeth in 1954 and Duke of Edinburgh in 2007.
Ecosystem in the park; this park has got variety of ecosystems, which include savannah plains, humid forests, the lakes as well as the fertile wetlands that make it ideal habitat for wildlife.
Kazinga Channel: there are two lakes in this park, Lake George and Lake Edward, which are connected by Kazinga channel. This channel is an attractive feature of Queen Elizabeth national park as the visitors view the largest concentration of hippos, elephants, buffalos, and many different species of water birds by the channel.
The visitors are also able to see Nile Monitor Lizard, River warthogs and many Nile crocodiles. Most animals come to the channel to look out for water and fresh grass.
Wildlife in the park; this park is home to the world’s largest concentration of hippos, lions, chimps, warthogs, buffalos, rare sitatunga antelopes, giant forest hog, Ugandan kobs, topis, waterbuck, elephants, leopards, mammals, 600 bird species and the famous tree climbing lions.
Lake Katwe: the park is famous for its volcanic features that comprise volcanic cones and the deep craters many with crater lakes like Lake Katwe, from where traditional salt mining has been practiced since the 16th century.
Mweya peninsula is situated on the northern bank of the great Kazinga channel at the junction of the channel with Lake Edward. This area of the Mweya peninsular includes the channel track all the way down to Katunguru gate, then across to Kabatoro gate which was a chunky ground cover with dense vegetation filled by candelabra Thorn.
This dense vegetation cover makes game viewing challenging in the area. There are many tracks for game drives which are followed and these are all well maintained. Following the sign posts might be challenging from time to time and chances are that at one point you may lose track of your way.
The major road within the park and the channel track are both obvious features to which the different tracks for game drives merge with at some point.
Mweya peninsula is situated on the northern bank of the great Kazinga channel at the junction of the channel with Lake Edward.
This area of the Mweya peninsular includes the channel track all the way down to Katunguru gate, then across to Kabatoro gate which was a chunky ground cover with dense vegetation filled by candelabra Thorn.
This dense vegetation cover makes game viewing challenging in the area. There are many tracks for game drives which are followed and these are all well maintained.
Following the sign posts might be challenging from time to time and chances are that at one point you may lose track of your way. The major road within the park and the channel track are both obvious features to which the different tracks for game drives merge with at some point.
The majority of the guests that visit the Mweya mainly do so simply to pleasure in the two hour launch cruise on the Kazinga channel at the Mweya peninsula enjoy splendid views over the water with sights that extend all through to the Rwenzori mountains.
The Mweya is among the finest places to spot a leopard, which live within the scrubby thickets. It’s a focal point of the beautiful northern part of the park. This Peninsula is the hub for tourism activity and accommodation in the central section of the park.
Bordering National parks and reserves; the national parkincludes the Maramagambo forest that borders Kigezi Game reserve, Kyambura game reserve and Kibale National park in Uganda, and the Virunga National park in the DRC.
The Twinning Arrangement
Both the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Queen Elizabeth Country Park in England are twinned in a project of cultural exchange, mutual support and has its main emphasis on supporting conservation through working closely with and local community empowering.
The Main Activities in the park.
The Maramagambo forest walk
Boat riding on Kazinga Channel
Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge
How to access the park
The park lays 5 to 6 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara, and can be reached on a dirt road. And from Bwindi, it includes parts of Lake Edward and George which are linked by Kazinga channel and other attractions.
Accessing the park from Kampala is either on tarmac through Mbarara or fort portal via Kasese. 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 forest.
The park can also be accessed through taking scheduled flights from Entebbe to Mweya or Kasese. These run on daily basis.