Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems, which in turn benefits the surrounding communities.
Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is truly a Medley of Wonders!
Game driving is an activity that entails one to transfer from one place to another within the park by driving around spotting various animals in their habitats. Within the park, there are a variety of appropriate preserved areas that are very perfect for providing excellent views while on a game drive. This activity starts in the morning where one will have the opportunity to view wildlife species like elephants drinking water. While on game drive, you will spot a variety of wildlife animals like buffalos, zebras, lions, elephants, kobs, mongoose, antelopes, warthogs, hyenas, topis, water birds etc. These will be feeding and enjoying their habitats very peacefully and calmly and won’t do you any harm unless you approach them.
Chimpanzee tracking at Queen Elizabeth National Park takes place at Kyambura gorge where many chimpanzees are habituated for tracking. The environment around the gorge inhabits different mammals and birds which make the whole activity an exceptional one for there is plenty to encounter. Chimpanzees are generally spending most of their time along the ground during the day with four limbs that enable them move very fast with their hands half tilted to support their heavy weight in moving from one destination to another. They are fast climbers with their nests built high up among the trees where they rest around mid day and sleep at dusk. These nests are built by bending branches and interweaving them with ease for making appropriate habitats.
They stay in groups of 30 to 80 members and these are called troops with bigger groups including small cluster groups of less members for example females, males or both. They feed on leaves through chewing until they are permeable for them to dip them in water and suck out the wetness. They also use twigs and grass tools to dig holes/ant nests which inhabit insects that are eaten by the chimps along with nuts that they pick between roots of trees and snails from shells which they break using stones. The female Chimpanzees can produce an average of 4-5 years.
Close by the park, you will find the Igongo Cultural Center which acts as a excellent spot/resting point for the visitors travelling from the park back to Kampala. While here, you will be welcomed by hospitable skilled personnel who will ensure you get the best services. You will be served delicious meals at lunch while relaxing in an exquisite environment with a simple restaurant that will provide you with delicious meals including international and local dishes like matooke served with ghee, local drink made from sorghum and millet etc. These are obtained and cultivated from local gardens so as to provide visitors with fresh food from the garden. You will also get to involve yourself into the cultures and traditional customs of the people from the west and southern parts of Uganda. Additionally, drinks are also available like beers, fresh juices, sodas, bottled water etc to help visitors refreshen.
Want to explore and find out the mysteries of nature while in Uganda, engage on a bird watching safari to spot the various species of birds Uganda is gifted with and we promise you won’t regret the experience. Birding at Queen Elizabeth National Park is an exceptional experience nobody should miss out while at the park. The park consists of more than 550 species and these live within the thick montane rain forests in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is located in the south western part of Uganda occupying an area of 1978 sq kms at an altitude of 900 meters with habitats to the birds which include rivers, open grasslands, woodlands, Lakes, seasonal and permanent swamps. The best time to visit Queen for birding is from December-February.
The bird species in the park includes are aquatic birds like the White-faced Whistling, Spur-winged Plovers, Squacco Heron, Fish Eagle, Pink,white backed Pelicans, Long tailed Cormorants, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, the Black Crake and the Knob-billed Ducks beside the tremendous Kazinga Channel. There are also species like the malachite, black-ramped buttonquail, Collard Pranticles, papyrus canary, verreauv’s eagle-owl, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, long-tailed cormorants, Martial Eagle, Black- rumped Buttonquail African Skimmer, White winged terns, White-winged Warbler, shoebill, African skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Grey-headed kingfisher, papyrus gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and the thin-tailed Nightjars which usually echo and sing with in the tree branches in the morning.
When one involves themselves on hiking down to the verdant gorge, they will encounter other forest bird species like the Grey Wood pecker, black & African Emerals Cuckoos, Hairy breasted Barbet, speckled Tinker bird, the purple-headed starling and the Green Hylia despite the fact that these are usually spotted within Maramagambo forest. Within the thickets too along the river, you will spot the good-looking white -spotted fluff tail.
Launch trips in Queen Elizabeth National Park are carried out along Kazinga Channel an elongated channel that connects Lake Edward to Lake George. A boat usually leaves at 9:00am or 2:00pm on a daily basis and the whole activity of cruising takes 2-5 hrs to discover the mysteries of nature since you will be spotting the vibrant fresh waters, birds and wildlife animals along the shores of Kazinga channel.
The cruise floats gradually from the shores into the waters and provides extraordinary opportunities that will enable you to spot a variety of different species of wildlife like Hippos which are great for photography. You will be guided by skilled people who will provide you with important information concerning the safari tour as well as the answers to various questions. These will provide you with information about other wildlife species you wouldn’t have noticed/seen while cruising. While on the afternoon cruise you will view large herds of Elephants, antelopes, buffalos within the waters which makes them secure from lions.