All About Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the western region of Uganda in the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukungiri and Rubirizi. It stretches 400 kilometers (250 mi) by road. The size of the park is 1,978km per square.
It is one of Uganda’s oldest and most visited parks officially created in 1952 together with Murchison Falls National Park. It was first called Kazinga National Park and two years later renamed to commemorate the visit by Queen Elizabeth ll. It is home to 95 mammal species and at least 600 bird species.

This is where Maramagambo forest is found neighboring game reserves like Kigezi, Kyambura Game Reserves and the Kibale National Park in Uganda. From the Democratic Republic of Congo the Virunga National Park neighbors Queen Elizabeth as well. Below are the wildlife, activities and areas of interest in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris organizes guided and self drive sight seeing road trips to Queen Elizabeth park for all types of travelers including solo tourists,couples,families and small groups at affordable rates. Contact us now to book or inquire about trip rates. You can call us now on +256-758540071 or email to boooking@tristarafricaskimmersafaris.com and we shall reply as soon as possible.

Big Game
They include 5000 hippos, 2500 elephants and at least 10,000 buffalos grazing in the Queen Elizabeth National Park grasslands and lake shores promising a thrilling view of Africa’s most legendary species like African cape buffalos, the African elephants, the African lions, and the leopards. Other herbivores in existence are warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi, and sitatunga antelope.

Primates
The mainly include the chimpanzees, vervet and black- and -white colobus monkeys common on the branches of trees. This is due to the existence of the beautiful savanna grassland and the forests.
The baboons are present too and are very brave. Because of them, tourists are advised to keep car windows closed to avoid food theft.

Birds
This is where you find the famous birds of East Africa found in the savanna, wetlands and the lowland forests. It is very suitable for bird watching in Africa especially the kasenyi area with bird species like palm-nut vulture, hooded vulture, long-created eagle among others and the Mweya peninsula with bird species like raptors, African morning dove, little bee-eater, martins and swifts etc. Marabigambo forest also harbors yellobill, barbets, blue-throated roller, honey guide greenbul and black bishop etc. Other areas with many bird species are Katunguru bridge Area, lake Kikongoro, Ishaha sector and Katwe area.

Big Cats
They include the lions, leopards, civet, genal and serval cats. Lions are scattered all over the park and the most viewed are in the Southern sector of Ishasha. They often rest on the branches of fig trees. Solitary leopards move at night and are cruelly well camouflaged, providing a thrilling safari. The rest of the smaller cats move at night and can be seen on night game drives.

Activities at the park

Launch trips
During this launch trip, over 60 bird species can be spotted. The boat carries 40 passengers and all the seats give a perfect view. The well trained ranger guide always tells interesting and memorable stories about the nature during the trip. The trips take 2 hours and runs 3 or 4 times per day. All these takes place in Kazinga channel meters away from the many huge hippos and buffalos meanwhile elephants can be seen grazing along the shores.

Game Drives
Areas like Kasenyi, North Kazinga plains and Ishasha sector gives a physical encounter with buffalos, antelopes, elephants, warthogs and baboons. Taking a professionally trained guide early in the morning or at dusk gives a perfect chance to track down the lions, and even the complicated leopards. By 6:30am, the guides are always present for the early morning drives.

Chimp tracking
With a probability of seeing them being a half, the tourists will be lucky enough to listen to and view the protected chimpanzees from afar for about 1-3 hours starting from 8am to 2pm every day. All these happen in Kyambura Gorge where tourists learn about its ecosystem, vegetation kinds, birds identification and behavior, and chimp and monkey ecology.

Birding
Queen Elizabeth National park is home to 600 bird species because of its beautiful savanna and forests connecting to the large forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, giving tourists a chance to view the East and West African bird species. It is regarded as an important birding area by birding international. Birds present in the bank include martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, African broadbill, verreaux eagle owl, black bee-eater, papyrus canary, pinbacked pelican, papyrus gonolek, shoebill, corncrake, lesser and greater flamingo, and bar-tailed Gowit.For a memorable birding experience in the park, Kazinga channel, Kasenyi, Maramagambo forest, Ishasha sector, Katwe area, lake kikorongo and Katunguru areas are recommended. Bookings can be made at Katwe Tourism Information Centre.

Cultural Encounters
Equator cultural performers showcase energetic kikorongo dances, view traditional Banyaguru hut, people harvesting salt on Katwe salt lake and Agricultural village.
Be sure to be guided by a local area member with excellent knowledge about the place, culture and activities within the locality.

Wildlife Research Tours
The wild African sauna, local and exotic birds, and mammals occupying the park offer an educational trip which provides the tourists with wildlife knowledge, their surrounding and behaviors. Locator devices are used and results added to the database. The data gathered acts as information to general understanding of wildlife ecology and help in nature conservation. Mongoose tracking, lion tracking, hippo census and bird counts are the experiential activities available at the moment.

Fewer people are accepted in this trip to reduce the stress on animals and elevate the quality of visitors’ experience. Often, the trips start early morning or evening and once in a while at night. This experiential trips are 1-3 hours.

Caves
The historic cave at Nyanzibiri community swallowed under the dark canopy of the Maramagambo forest rewards you with a memorable voew of birds and pythons living together. You cannot believe these serpents live within their prey.  Be certain to be guided by a local guide who will give you detail history of how the cave was once used to offer sacrifices , cleansing misfortunes and a hideout for people during Idi Amin’s regime.
The forest is known as the ‘’Bat Cave’’ with a viewing room constructed with support from the centre for disease control.

Hiking/Nature walks
At Mweya peninsula, beautiful savannah and woodland with fearless warthogs exist. Along the Ishasha river, tourists can enjoy a simple walk at the extreme end of the park southwards. During this walk, several forest and savannah bird species, and mammal species can be viewed.
The walk gives a rare chance to draw nearer the hippos with a safety guarantee from the lifted banks above the river.
Mweya visitors’ centre provides you with a trained UWA guide after you have made bookings.

Areas of attraction

Lake George- The magnificent shoebill and other local birds can be spotted on the lake and semi-aquatic sitantunga antelope exist in the papyrus swamp of this Ramsar wetland.

Explosion craters– The 72 giant oval basins spread across the equator prove a point of the Albertine bubbling volcanic past that you don’t want to miss seeing especially those with passion for the region’s interesting geological history.

Katwe– It is celebrated for traditional salt mining on Katwe salt lake since 16th century in the Katwe-Kabatoro community.

Lake Munyanyange is a bird sanctuary and a place Lesser flamingos migrate to from August to November.

Kasenyi Plains- It is where you find the expansive savannah appropriate for a magical African safari experience, giant herds of Uganda kob which attracts the attention of the lions, warthogs on their knees while grazing, guinea fowls spread through the grassland and gigantic dark elephants walk across the game drive tracks giving a fantastic photo moment for tourists.

Mweya Peninsula
This is the center of QENP with the visitors’ centre, a luxury lodge and restaurant, hostel, campsite, budget food alternatives and a place where launch trips on Kazinga channel initiate.
It is highly populated by birds and animals and due to its higher position, it offers a beautiful view of the Kazinga channel and nearby savanna.And again it being next to Kasenyi and North Kazinga plains makes it a suitable departure area for wildlife-filled game drives at sunrise and sunset.

Kazinga Channel
Its banks are occupied by hippos, buffalos and birds together with caimans, monitor lizards, marabou stolk, weaver birds and beautiful pairs of fish eagles. Not forgetting the elephants grazing along the river banks.
You only require a camera or a binocular prepared for a fantastic viewing.

Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
This provides extra ordinary but charming chances to witness the several water birds without missing greater and lesser flamingoes and the great Egret at the crater lakes of this reserve.

Kyambura Gorge
It is celebrated for its resident chimpanzees, the Kyambura river flows via the thick ‘’underground forest’’ of 100 meters below Kichwamba escarpment. Other primates and birds can be spotted during a stroll with a trained UWA guide. The entry point is extremely perfect for a picnic.

Maramagambo Forest
Primates like chimpanzees, baboons and other monkey species live here.
You also stand a chance to visit ‘’cormant house’’, a giant tree turned white because the birds used to roost here at night. It also contains crater lakes and ‘’Bat Cave’’ with a special viewing room.

Ishasha Sector
It is occupied by tree-climbing lions to keep watch at herds of the Uganda kob. Many buffalos, elephants and shoebill are found here and it is comfortable area to pass through while travelling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is a remote area in the south with fewer guests compared to the north.

 

If you plan on visiting Queen Elizabeth national park this season, then the above information should give you an insight of what to expect when on tour- For more info or booking request,please send an email to booking@tristarafricaskimmersafaris.com or call us now on +256-758540071 to speak with the reservations team.