Why is Queen Elizabeth National Park the most popular in Uganda? Some think it’s the dazzling variety of landforms you will discover – grassland savannah, acacia woodland, wetlands, and lakes.
Others come to enjoy its dramatic volcanic structure – with volcanic cones and dozens of plunging craters cut into the deep green rolling hills, some forming crater lakes.
But all can agree that this rich variety of scenery is the perfect habitat for a variety of safari animals unequaled in Uganda. In Queen Elizabeth park you can spot 4 of Africa’s famous “Big Five”. The reserve boasts 96 types of mammals including great numbers of elephants, lions, leopards, plus hippos, chimps, hyenas, and the Ugandan kob. To the south of the park, in the Ishasha sector, prepared to be amazed at the sight of the famous tree-climbing lions – known to spend lazy afternoons lounging in the boughs of fig trees.
The park’s birdlife is a colorful living palette, bursting with over 600 species, including the African skinner, pink-back pelicans, shoebill stork, martial eagle, Papyrus canary, and flamingos.
Situated near Virunga National Park, the two reserves are a Lion Conservation Unit – an area considered to be a lion stronghold in this part of Central Africa.
The scenic displays of the park compete with its busy diversity of wildlife. Set off from the background of the rugged Rwenzori Mountains, the reserve offers dramatic views including vistas of the Kazinga Channel, a long, natural stretch of water that attracts legions of animals and birds, including perhaps the world’s largest gathering of hippos and Nile crocodiles.
Adding to the diversity of this special park, one can visit the local communities of the area. Here visitors can learn and experience cultural events such as storytelling, dance, music, and insights into the lifestyle
Location: This is a good-sized park at 1,978 sq. km (764 sq. mi) located in the southwest of Uganda. The park spans the equator – look for monuments indicating exactly where it crosses the 00° latitude.
Climate: The park’s proximity to the equator means its climate is consistently warm throughout the year. Temperatures range from 28°C (82°F) going down to 15°C (59°F) at night. The two wet seasons (March to May and August to December) can make the roads difficult to navigate.
When to go: The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day.
Best time to visit: If you don’t mind the rain, the wet season is also the prettiest, with lush foliage and the company of migratory birds. But if chimpanzee trekking is on your agenda, go in the drier months when the trails are more solid.
Getting there: By road – take a Natural World Kenya Safaris tour from Kampala – a trip of 6 – 8 hours.
Game Viewing – The Kasenyi Plains promises excellent game viewing. A large savannah, it offers visitors the promise of lions, elephants, leopards, hyenas, warthogs, buffalo, Ugandan kobs, and rich birdlife.
Tree Climbing Lions – To the south of the park, in the Ishasha section look for, and up at, the famous tree-climbing lions. This is only one of a few spots in Africa where you can spot them. Escaping from the heat of the day, you’ll see them above, resting in the limbs of the large fig trees.
Chimpanzee Trekking – The stunning sunken forests of the Kyambura Gorge are home to chimpanzees as well as monkeys, baboons, flamingoes, and other colorful birds, which complement this most unusual site.
Launch Cruise on the Kazinga Channel – Take a lazy cruise along this river as you drift by the shore, spotting the largest number of hippos in Africa. You’ll also find plenty of crocodiles, and may spot large herds of elephants, buffalos, antelope, and birds.
Maramagambo Forest Walk – Enjoy this sprawling green carpet of forest known for its bat caves. It also hosts chimpanzees, red tail monkeys, and pygmy antelopes.
The wildlife here is only overshadowed by the scenery. Though some might feel the reverse to be true. Whatever your attraction, Queen Elizabeth Park will amaze with its vast biodiversity of natural life. There is so much to absorb in this historic park – it is sure to be the highlight of your African safari.
Join us on safari to one of Uganda’s premier parks for an exciting excursion. Make your visit here the start of your safari journey throughout Uganda. We have safaris departing Kigali, Rwanda, and Entebbe.
Natural World Kenya safaris is Member No.FA/440 - Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) bonding scheme. The scheme is insured to guarantee your holiday safari in the unlikely event that a bonded KATO member ceases operating.