tree-climbing lions

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Established in 1952 as Kazinga national park, Queen Elizabeth national park was renamed two years later in commemoration of a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. It is one of Uganda’s main two big game parks as well as the most popular savannah park.

Queen Elizabeth national park is set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains and lies between Lake George and Lake Albert with Kazinga Channel crossing via its 700 square mile land in the south-western region of Uganda.

The park covers an area spanning 1978 square kilometers and is crossed by the equator as portrayed by the monuments on either sides of the road marking the exact spot where it crosses the latitude at 00 degrees.


Tree climbing lions.

Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha

The southern sector known as “Ishasha sector” is home to the unique tree climbing lions which form the total of the two populations in the world.

A game drive through the area introduces you to these lions chilling up in the fig and acacia trees. It is a remarkable experience you would not wish to miss in your life.

Chimpanzee trekking.

Chimpanzee Trekking Safaris in uganda

While in Queen Elizabeth national park, you can be part of the spectacular trekking of human like creatures – Chimpanzees.

The activity is done at the V-shaped cliff made up of open savannah and forest vegetation known as “Kyambura gorge” which is a home to a number of primate species in addition to 30 habituated chimpanzees. Chances of encountering other game such as lions, elephants and hippopotamuses are high in the area.

Kazinga channel.

Kazinga Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Kazinga channel is the nearest and easy to reach water body while at Queen Elizabeth national park. The channel is 32km long and connects Lake Edward to Lake George.

At Mweya peninsula (the northern shore), a swamp forms a lining and the swamp is under Ramser sites rights of conservation of wetlands in Africa. Old buffaloes find refuge at the channel in the event of being chased away from the herds. Other animals such as crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be sighted at the channel in addition to a wide range of bird species.

Overlooking villages in the neighborhood of the channel can be clearly seen during a spectacular boat cruise. Due to the number of activities that take place, Kazinga channel is considered the most popular tourism area in Uganda.

Boat cruise.

One can do boat trips along Kazinga channel, which is in itself an adventure worth one’s attention while on a visit to Queen Elizabeth national park. It offers great game-viewing opportunities where by you are able to spot hippopotamuses, buffaloes, elephants, water birds, to mention but a few.

Lake Katwe.

This salty Katwe explosion lakes are found on the highest elevation of Queen Elizabeth national park (1,350 meters above the sea level). Here you get a chance of reaching the source of salt and enjoy views of the magnificent Rwenzori mountains, Lake Edward, Lake George and the western rift valley at a distance. You will see ongoing salt mining activities at this lake.

Nature walks and birding.

Birding Tours

Almost half of Uganda’s bird population is found at Queen Elizabeth national park and is one of the best birding areas the world has ever had. Nature walks through the park will introduce you to several bird species ranging from water birds, woodland and forest birds and migratory species among which include but not limited to the following; pink-backed pelican, Chapin’s Flycatcher, white-winged warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, shoebill and African Broadbill.

Reliable bird-spotting sites at Queen Elizabeth national park include; Lake Katunguru Bridge, Ishasha sector, Maramagambo forest, Myeya Peninsula, Kazinga channel, Kazinga channel, Lake Kikorongo and Kasenyi area.

Where to stay while at Queen Elizabeth national park?

At Queen Elizabeth national park, you have multiple choices in regards to accommodation since lodges and hotels range from budget, luxury and mid-range. They include the following; Queen Elizabeth bush lodge, Marafiki safari lodge, Irungu forest safari lodge, Ihamba Lakeside safari lodge, Enganzi Game lodge, Park view safari lodge, Buffalo safari lodge, Kyambura Game lodge, The Baboon safari resort, Ishasha wilderness camp, Enjojo lodge, etc.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park

From Kampala city, Queen Elizabeth national park is about 389 kilometers using Masaka road which is the southern route whereas the northern route via Fort Portal – Kasese is about 410km.

You can as well opt for a chartered flight to Mweya or Kasese airstrip.

Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park.

The park is open all-year-round however; visiting it depends on the purpose of the visit, for instance the best time for birding is during the months of August to December and March to May. The most recommended time for animal lovers is the dry months of January to February and June to September.

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