Queen Elizabeth National Park is found in the western part of Uganda, traversing the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi, and Rukungiri. The park is roughly 376 kilometers southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and biggest city. The town of Kasese is located just outside the northeastern edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the town of Bushenyi is in the southeastern edge of the park.
The national park incorporates the Maramagambo Forest and borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve and Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Park possesses an expected 1,978 square kilometers, of which, about 17% lies in Kasese District, 50% in Bushenyi District and 33% in Rukungiri District. Queen Elizabeth National Park extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest and incorporates the Kazinga Channel that unites the two lakes.
The park is named after Queen Elizabeth II and was gazetted in 1954. The Park was later renamed Ruwenzori before it was named Queen Elizabeth. The park is known for its wildlife, despite the fact that numerous creatures were killed in the Uganda – Tanzania War. Many species have recuperated, incorporating hippopotamuses, elephants, leopards, lions, and chimpanzees; it is currently home to 95 species of mammals and over 500 species of fowls. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is well known for its tree-climbing lions, whose male sport black manes, a characteristic unique to the lions around there.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most prominent tourist destination. The park’s different ecosystems, which incorporate sprawling savanna, shady, humid forest, s sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the perfect environment for the classic big game, ten primate species like chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. The park is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Birding in the Park
Queen Elizabeth is classified as an Important Birding Area by Birding International. The place protects over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African National Park and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species.
Tucked underneath the shady canopy of the Maramagambo Forest is the “Bat Cave”. The cave has a watching room from which tourists can watch the occupant bats and pythons.
The Kyambura Gorge in the park is well known for its residents- chimps. Not only chimps but visitor also gets to know about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior and monkey ecology.
Cultural Encounters in the Park
Enjoy the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers; workers harvesting salt on Katwe Salt Lake; a traditional Banyaraguru hut; or an agricultural village – all the encounters are guided by the experienced local guides.
For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. Move with an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard.
Hiking or Nature Walks
Nature treks are one of the more animated ways to explore the scenes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Areas incorporate the shady Maramagambo Forest; Mweya Peninsula with its picturesque perspectives; and Ishasha River, where you might spot a variety of forest and savanna species and in addition have a special chance to get amazingly near hippos – by walking!
Launch Trips / Boat cruise
The Launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel provides opportunities to view a variety of water-loving animals like hippos and buffalos while elephants linger on the shoreline. Also, enjoy the view of different bird species.
Wildlife Research Tours in the park
For tourists who yearn to get up near wild African fauna, a research trip is a remunerating adventure. This new and novel experience allows tourists to actively take part in monitoring some of the birds and mammals that fill the park, utilizing locator units and learn habituation calls, and additionally monitoring weather, surroundings, and behavior.