Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a top Uganda wildlife tour destination with the major drawcard being the tree climbing lions that can only be found in the Ishasha sector of the park within Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated in the western region of Uganda, spanning the districts of Kasese. Kamwenge, Rubirizi, and Rukungiri. The park is approximately 400 kilometers southwest of Uganda’s capital Kampala.
Covering nearly 2000 square kilometers this protected area was named to honor the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the early 1950s.
The park includes the Kyambura Gorge which is also referred to as the valley of apes as it hosts a few chimpanzees within the beautifully scenic valley. The park extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest including the Kazinga channel that connects the two lakes.
The park is formed by picturesque features that were left behind by volcanic action that occurred decades ago and now form the major scenery of the park. Some of these include Lake George to the northeast and Lake Edward to the southwest boundaries of the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is also dubbed the medley of wonders, the park has a variety of wildlife with vast savannah grasslands. To have a great wildlife viewing experience, tourists should always ensure to travel during the best time of the year for these experiences. The park is open all year round, however, the best time of the year to visit is from January to February, and June to August is the dry season.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Currently ranking second in the most popular visited parks of the country, there is a medley of attractions to see and activities to undertake within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its amazing wildlife and wilderness experiences within. The park hosts 4 of the big five cats with the utmost chances of seeing them, these ‘big four’ are Elephants, Lions, Leopards, and Buffaloes. Other animals in the park include the Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, giant forest hog, warthog, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, 95 mammal species, and many more.
To enjoy the beauty of wildlife in the park, take a wildlife safari game drive. The trails offer an opportunity to see an array of wildlife. The game drive lasts about 4 hours and can be undertaken in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
Tree climbing lions:
Tree climbing lions are very intriguing and amazing to watch, in Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park prides itself on being the only destination that hosts them. Tree climbing lions are found along with the Ishasha sector of the park where one can get a chance to see the rare tree-climbing lions. When you get a chance to see the tree-climbing lions, they are very captivating and gentle yet shrewd while hunting their prey. Don’t miss out on seeing these tree climbing lions during a game drive in the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
With the Kazinga channel as one of the features within the park, it offers a chance for a game drive safari and sighting of the aquatic wildlife within the park. Along the Kazinga channel, it’s hard to miss the giant hippos’ sun-bathing and crocodiles in the waters. The boat cruise offers a breathtaking experience with a riverbank full of birdlife and wildlife.
Aside from wildlife, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a true birders haven as the park has the highest birdlife of all the national parks in Uganda. The park is home to more than 660 bird species recorded just within the borders of the park. Many of the bird species here follow the migratory trend of breeding in Asia and Europe but wintering in Africa. Common birds in the park include the Egyptian Goose, Spur-winged plover, African Fish Eagle, Pied Kingfisher, Sacred Ibis, Malachite Kingfisher, Lesser flamingos, African skimmers, and many more.
The adjacent Kyambura gorge is home to chimpanzees within the valley of apes 100 meters below sea level which offers an opportunity for those visiting the park for wildlife tours to see man’s closest relatives. Kyambura gorge isn’t the top chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda, however, it offers one of the greatest experiences.
To get to Queen Elizabeth National Park, tourists can arrive there either by road or air. There are different good roads that lead to the park as well as a nearby aircraft to enable flight safaris.