GUIDE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most popular parks in Uganda. It was named to commemorate Queen Elizabeth after her visit to this park. Previously, it was known as Kazinga national park that saw its opening in 1952.
The park is one of the many locations in Uganda that are crossed by the equator. Visiting the park, offers a unique opportunity of spotting some of these locations where the Equator crosses through Uganda.
At a glance; the park has 600 bird species, 10 primates including chimpanzees and several monkey species, other mammals that can be spotted in the park include; Elephants, lions, Buffaloes, leopards and several indigenous antelope species.
The park can be divided into nine sections mainly defined by the major highlights in those locations. These include the following;
Mweya peninsula is the focal point of Queen Elizabeth National park; thinking of honeymoons, and luxurious holidays and a trip to Queen Elizabeth National; Mweya peninsula would be your final destination. Though it is commonly known for luxurious accommodation; it is also a good destination for budget restaurant, hostels, campsites, and budget lodges.
In case you are considering a boat trip on Kazinga channel; Mweya peninsula will be the launching point for your trip. The elevation of the peninsula offers marvelous sights of savanna grasslands around the peninsula along with aerial views of Kazinga channel. Mweya peninsula is also a good start point for game drives in the north Kazinga planes and Kasenyi
The boat trip to Kazinga channel is often compared to a boat trip at Murchison falls; you often have to choose between the two boat trips. Kazinga channel offers gorgeous views of hippos, buffaloes, monitor lizards, marabou stocks, weaver birds, fish eagles, elephants and several other wildlife species that find refreshment at the banks of Kazinga channel.
We recommend a pair of binoculars and at least a 700mm camera to catch spectacular views of the wildlife at the Kazinga channel banks.
Kyambura wildlife Reserve
The highlights of Kyambura wildlife reserve are he chimpanzees, crater lakes and lesser flamingoes that are very common during the month of August to November.
Kyambura wildlife reserve also host Kyambura gorge one of the most spectacular destinations of Queen Elizabeth national park. It is gifted with Kyambura Gorge River garnishing the views of the Kichwamba escarpment with a thick forest cover
Kyambura Gorge is one of the few places in Uganda where chimpanzees can be spotted in the wild. Unlike Kibale forest national park; the chances of spotting chimpanzees are relatively lower but also the price for tracking chimpanzees in this location is less than half of what is charged in Kibale forest national park.
Worth noting; chimpanzees are not the only residents of Kambura Gorge, it is for this reason that we recommend a pair of binoculars for bird watching and spotting several other primates that are resident in this location.
There are over 70 crater basins in Queen Elizabeth national park. When you visit the crater basins, you get the opportunity to get elevated views of Kazinga channel.
Among the craters in Queen Elizabeth national park includes the popular lake Katwe whose main economic activity over the years has been salt mining. This activity dates back as far as the 16th century.
Among these basins, we also find Lake Munyanyange commonly known for the flamingos that usually migrate to Uganda between the months of August and November every year.
Kasenyi plains are one of the best places in Queen Elizabeth national park to see large herds of warthogs, Uganda Kobs and prides of lions. Due to the abundance of antelopes in this location, it is quite easier to spot lions in Kasenyi plains. Elephants are also abundant in this location.
Lake George Papyrus Swamps
Lake George papyrus swamps are often recommend for birding; shoebills, crested cranes, pelicans are some of the common residents of Lake George papyrus swamps. Along with the birding option, the rare sitatungas can also be spotted these papyrus swamps.
In most cases, when we speak of forests in national parks, our attention shifts to the kind of wildlife you are likely to find in these forests. Maramagambo forest is not an exception; baboons, chimpanzees, white-naped pigeon aware some of the permanent residents in this forest.
Besides the wildlife, you can get a botanist to take you through the different types of trees in this forest, how they contribute to the ecosystem of the forest and what are some of the plants you can carry back home for medical purposes.
When Queen Elizabeth national park is mentioned, there are two places that stand out; Mweya peninsula for the classy accommodation and Ishasha sector for the tree climbing lions.
Its location in the southern sector of the park makes it unpopular but the gem of tree climbing lions makes it un-avoidable. Shoebills, Elephants and buffaloes are some of the most popular residents of the sector.
Ishasha sector is one of the most recommended locations in Queen Elizabeth national park because of its proximity to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. In any case, if you have gorilla trekking on your itinerary, Ishasha sector should never miss out on your itinerary.