Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second-largest and one of the oldest Uganda’s National Parks, officially formed along with Murchison falls. This park was founded in 1952 and named Kazinga National Park, however, two years later it was renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park in commemoration of the visit by Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth ll in 1954.
Location Proximity and access:
– Queen Elizabeth NP is approx. 7 hours from Kampala/Entebbe.
– Accessed by flight at Mweya Airstrip and Kasese Airstrip for the northern sectors (1hr 10min flight may vary due to routing) while Kihihi Airstrip for the southern Ishasha sector, 1hr 45min flight from Entebbe
– The north Mweya is approx. 95km 2 hours drive from the Southern Ishasha Sector.
– Approx, 125 km, 3 hours’ from Kibale forest.
Activities and Experiences around Queen Elizabeth:
– National Park Day & Night Game Drives, Queen Elizabeth National Park is an outstanding park in Uganda
for excellent game drive experiences due to its vast community of over 95 mammal species. Some of these include; Elephants, Hippopotamus, Cape Buffalos, Kobs, Topis, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Warthogs, and Giant forest hogs among many other herbivores. About 20 predator species can also be spotted including lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and side-striped jackal. The game drives are most common in Kasenyi, Mweya, and Ishasha sectors.
– Launch Cruise, the 2 hours’ cruise on the Kazinga channel provides a clear view of the park from the Mweya peninsular to lake Edward. Besides, the banks are lined with hippos, crocodiles, water birds, visiting elephants, buffalos, and antelopes. You also get a chance to view the
Katunguru fishing village. This cruise is best done in the afternoon when animals come to the channel for water, that is when best results are recorded.
– Lion Tracking experience, the carnivores project offers an opportunity to the park visitors to accompany the researchers on Lions. This experience gives you guaranteed chances of seeing the lions and leopards up-close together with researchers and park rangers.
– Chimpanzee tracking, trekking the forest in the Kyambura gorge tracing for chimps is an overwhelming experience you would not like to miss on your visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will be able to find the fascinating primates that swing around the forests, the activity starts at 8 am after briefing it lasts from 2- 4 hours. It involves nature walks up to Kyambura gorge and on the way you can view other mammals as well as the birds while trekking.
– Hiking, takes place in the Maramagambo forest and in the Kyambura gorge where you can’t miss out on the stunning butterfly species in the Kyambura gorge, scenic viewing, bats hanging and hiding in the caves in the Maramagambo forest.
– Community walks, with this activity you will be able to encounter local communities that surround the park. For example, the Basongora (pastoralists), the Bakonzo (cultivators), and other groups like the Kikongoro cultural dancers at the equator who are deep-rooted into the African culture they entertain the visitors at the equator. They also make a lot of African crafts which you can take home as souvenirs from Uganda. In addition, you also encounter the fishing communities like the Kasoga community where engage in canoeing and canoe racing on the waters of Lake George. An agro tour walk in the Katara village where you get a chance to try hand honey harvesting, the Katara women group also make a paper product out of elephant dung.
– Birding, this park is a must-visit park for the birders as it has recorded over 600 bird species both endemic and migratory birds. Some include; the Shoebill stork, Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Flamingos which are seasonal, African broadbill, martial eagle, the black bee-eaters, owl, the flycatchers, etc.
– Sundowner experiences, this is a picnic set up in the evening that gives you a chance to take drinks and bites as you watch the sun setting. It is always accompanied by an evening (pre) or Night (post) game drive to maximize your experience in the park.
– Explosion craters visit, drive in the park around the Katwe explosion craters with stunning views.
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