A guide to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species with a size of about 1,978km squared.
The Katwe explosion craters mark the park’s highest point at 1,350m above sea level, while the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.
The park’s ecosystems include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it a good habitat.
With the view of the Rwenzori Mountains, the park has a couple of craters carved 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 kobs.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems, which in turn benefits the surrounding communities.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Kazinga Channel
This natural water channel connects Lakes Albert and Gorge and is home to a large number of hippos, Nile Crocodiles, elephants and hippos which can easily be seen on the Kazinga Boat Ride.
Tree climbing lions
With just two populations of these unique lions in the whole world, explore the southern Ishasha sector to track these lions commonly seen up in the fig and acacia trees.
These plains are popularly visited by tourists as they are home to a very large number of antelopes, the Uganda Kobs, lions and several large predators Kalinzu.
This is a stretch of land that protrudes into Lake Edwards is commonly visited during game drives as it offers perfect game views while exploring the various game tracks.
This offers chimpanzee tracking experiences and it is located on the southeastern corner of the park.
The Kyambura Gorge
This verdant forested 100 meter deep valley with peculiar is home to a large number of primates and popular for Chimpanzee tracking tours in Uganda.
Lake Katwe Salt Works
Within the alkaline Lake Katwe, salt mining works have been ongoing for several years since that is the main economic activity in the area. Consequently a large number of tourists visit here to learn and observe the traditional method of salt mining The Katwe Explosion.
These lakes found in the northern part are found on the highest elevation of the park. from here tourists enjoy sweeping views of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges, the western rift valley escarpments and lakes George and Edward.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park is located about 389 km from the capital Kampala and can be accessed wither by road on a 6hr 30min drive via Masaka Road or by a charter flight.
Where to stay
With a wide variety to lodges, campsites, hotels and tented camps, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers accommodation for everyone irrespective of your budget and these range from luxury, mid-range to budget facilities.
The Dry season that runs from January to February and from June to September is considered the best time to visit with the peak safari time in Uganda being from June to September, while Migratory species arrive in August to December, and March to May offering the best birding time
To best enjoy your Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you are highly advised to book your tour through a good tour operator.