Queen Elizabeth National Park
Catching the position of Uganda’s second largest National Park, after Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a place of outstanding beauty and extreme biodiversity. About 1,978 square Kilometres in area, it straddles the equator in South Uganda at the base of the rift Valley, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the West.
Containing a mixture of semi-deciduous tropical forest, volcanic craters, grassy plains and swamps, with breathtaking views of the Rwenzori Mountains, you find here a stunning variety of wildlife in one of the most scenic areas of Uganda.
- What’s in the name: the park is named after Queen Elizabeth II when she visited in 1954.
- Wildlife spotting opportunities: estimated to be home to nearly 100 species of mammals including chimpanzees.
- Did you know: there are five types of grassland within the park.
- Birdlife: over 600 species of bird can be found here.
What to Expect in Queen Elizabeth N.P
Stretching from the crater foothills of the Rwenzori mountains range, down to the remote Ishasha Sector in the south, wildlife changes as you travel. A birder’s paradise — there’re hundreds and hundreds (over 600) bird species, some rare, others endemic and many odd, including the pouting shoebill which stands at a huge 4ft tall.
In Kyambura Gorge you find, among the hanging vines and dense treetops, social chimpanzees and in Ishasha sector, the famous tree-climbing lions, sultry leopards and migratory elephants which cross over from the DRC.
Flamingos loiter round the crater lakes in the north, and you will find what is said to be the largest concentration of hippos lounging in the Kazinga channel. Other wildlife you may encounter includes warthog, giant forest hog, rare aquatic sitatunga and waterbuck.
Activities vary and include game drives and nature walks, as well as boat trips down the Kazinga Channel for a unique vantage point on the savannah wildlife. You can also embark on chimpanzee tracking, as well as cultural tours and birding trips.
Queen Elizabeth National Park offers a complete change from the heavily forested National Park of Bwindi where most people who head to Uganda will track the endangered mountain gorillas.
It makes a great addition to any gorilla tracking safari in eit
Although constant drizzle often characterizes the days of the Wet seasons (March to May and August to December), this is when the park’s environment is beautifully lush and you can greet migratory birds as they pass through. For chimpanzee trekking, though, visit when the park’s trails are more solid underfoot in the drier months.
Accommodation varies, with the option of camps or lodges, most of which have spectacular views and amazing access to wildlife. Mweya Safari Lodge offers the ability to have a relaxing swim whilst looking out over the plains, whereas Kyambura Gorge Lodge offers intimacy and luxury in the prime chimp tracking area.
- Jacana Safari Lodge
- Ishasha Wilderness Lodge
- Kataara Safari Lodge
- Kyabura Gorge
- Mweya Safari Lodge