Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Size: 1,978sq km
- District: Bushenyi and Kasese
- Geographical location: Western Uganda between lakes Edward and George.
- Average Altitude: 1200 metres Above Sea Level
- Best safari time: All year around
- Game Viewing
- Launch Cruise
- Chimpanzee Trekking
- Forest Walks
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular game reserve for safaris and certainly among the most scenic. It stretches from the crater-dotted foothills of the Mountain Rwenzori ranges in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south, incorporating a wide variety of habitats that range from savannah and wetlands to gallery and lowland forests.
Its vegetation which varies from open savannah to rainforests, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, make it a little wonder that it is the highest biodiversity conservation game reserve in the world.
Queen Elizabeth National Park’ remarkable biodiversity is reflected in its health flora and fauna Checklists of over over 95 mammalian species, 612 bird species, Reptiles, name it.
The finest of all Launch Cruise along the Kazinga Channel is one memorable way to view the abundant game Uganda’s second largest National Park has for disposal. Queen Elizabeth National park’ big mammal Checklist ranks her among the best safari destination in Africa. Big herds of Elephant and Buffalo herds, profusions of hippos, Giant Forest Hogs, tree Climbing Lions, Uganda Kobs, Waterbucks, Leopards, Spotted Hyena sightings, Warthogs, Reptiles, Banded Mongooses are inevitable sightings on either a game drive or leisurely walk with in the Mweya Peninsular.
Chimpanzee tracking is done from the gorge found in the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in the eastern part of the park. At Kyambura, is your chance to meet face-to-face with man’s closest relatives the Chimpanzees, the Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Olive Baboons, and a few more more primates along with other forest dwelling creatures.
Queen Elizabeth National Park’s bird Checklist of up to 612 bird spescies is the highest of any important Bird Areas in Uganda. In the crater lakes region, spectacular flocks of flamingos gather, creating the image of a moving pink carpet. Among the many species in the park, include; the Malachite, Grey-headed and Pied Kingfishers, White-winged Tern, Swamp Fly-catcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Collard Pratincole, African Jacana, Pin-tailed Whydah, Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, the lovely Black-headed Gonolek, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squacco Heron, African Skimmer, African Fish Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, White-tailed Lark, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Mourning Dove, African Open-billed Stork, Black-rumped Buttonquail, and many more.
Guided forest walks which are done from Maramagambo Forest, a tropical forest covered with relatively low trees and gentle slopes, are an avoidable experience for an avid nature walker. The important features worthy to see from this forest include the Blue Lake, the Hunters Cave, the Bat Cave where thousands of Egyptian Fruit Bats stay, and different tree species which include medicinal species.
Queen Elizabeth National park is 7 – 8 hours from Kampala via Mbarara or Kasese/Fort Portal, and can be reached on a dirt road from Bwindi. For travelers interested in traveling to the park by air, a private charter flight from Entebbe international airport to Kasese airstrip can also be arranged for you.