what you Supposed to know before visit queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda
The glance covers 1978km2 is the Uganda’s biggest old protected area .Originally gazetted as the Lake George and Lake Edward game reserves in 1925, it was up graded to create one of Uganda’s first national park in 1952.
Queen Elizabeth lies directly on the Equator. A pair of concrete hoops marks the spot where the 0° line crosses the Kasese road.
The park’s highest point, 1,350m above sea level, is found in the Katwe Explosion Craters while the lowest point is 910m on the shore of Lake Edward.
HOW TO ACCESS THE PARK,
Two routes from Kampala to Mweya, the primary tourism hub in
Queen Elizabeth National. can also be accessed through southern sector is directly on the main route to_ from Buhoma,
The main mountain Gorilla tracking trailhead in Bwindi impenetrable National park
Charted flights can be arranged to airstrips at Kasese, mweya and lshasha
Scenic and bio diverse, queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular protected area. Diverse ecosystems, including sprawling Savannah, shady forests, sparkling lakes and lush wetlands, provide ideal habitats for classic big game, forest primates, and birds
An abundance of magnificent vistas include the jagged backdrop of the Rwenzori mountain rolling hills pocked with extinct volcanic craters, open , rift valley grasslands at Kasenyi and lshasha, the hippo=lined kazinga Channel, and the Mitumba mountain in Congo rising above the distant, western shore of the Edward
Queen Elizabeth and its surrounding are also of cultural and historical interest. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more. The was initially named Kazinga National in 1952, but was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth
WHEN TO VISIT QUEEN ELIZABETH
queen Elizabeth various habitats support a wealth of wildlife with more mammal species (95) than any other Ugandan park and over 600 bird’s species- a phenomenal number for such a small area. Expects to see safari favourites such an elephants, buffaloes and hippos. The chance of finding lions on the plains of Kasenyi and lshasha are good, especially with ranger guide, while leopard sightings are frequent, though unpredictable around Mweya and the nearby channel Track
Classified as an important Birding Area by Birding international, QENP is a superbly varied destination for birdwatchers with species representing the park’s varied habitats. It’s location at the overlap of East African Savanah and Cong forest also mean that species from both biomes are present.
Bunyaruguru people live on the Kichwamba Escarpment to the southeast of QENP. The area to the north of the park is the home of Basongora pastoralists with Bakonze farmers cultivate the slopes of the Rwenzori Mts beyond
A range of accommodation in and around the park caters for up market, luxury mid-range, budget and self-catering visitors. At Mweya, UWA offers 4-5 bedroom bungalows equipped with cooking facilities and utensils and affordable one _ two bedroom cottages. Campsites are found at Mweya and lshasha.
Jacana safari lodge
An intimate mid budget lodge embedded in a rain forest at the edge of Ugandan’s largest Crater, Lake Nyamusingiri. It offers an exclusive eco-tourism experience
Ishasha Wilderness Camp
An ideal retreat for people who truly enjoy wilderness Offers superb quality accommodation and services in this remotest sector of queen Elizabeth National Park famous in its tree climbing lions
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS
Mweya peninsula and the Kazinga channel
QENP’s main tourism hub is found on Mweya Peninsula, 22km west of the Kasese Mbarara Road. Mweya, which occupies an elevated plateau overlooking the Kazinga channel and Edward, is the site of an upmarket lodge, budget UWA run accommodation a marine for launch trips on the channel, and a visitor information Centre. Activities are booked at the latter facility which also contains exhibits relating to the park and its rift valley setting
Launch trips on the Kazinga channel provide the most relaxing way to view game in Queen Elizabeth National park. The 2- hour return voyage between Mweya and the channel’s entrance in to Lake Edward Cruises beside banks lined with resident hippos, crocodiles and water birds and visiting elephant, buffalo and antelopes
Half an hour’s drive from Mweya, the open grasslands of Kasenyi provide the primary game viewing area in central QENP, thanks to the resident herbs of Uganda Kob and the lions that prey on them. Kasenyi’s experienced ranger guides can usually locate lions but predator sightings can be guaranteed by signing up for up a tour with the Mweya based Ugandan Predator project which monitors the movement of lions, leopards and hyenas fitted with radio collars
Conveniently located the road to Bwindi impenetrable national park, QENP’s southernmost sector offers a classic game viewing experience under vast rift valley skies. expect to see buffalos, hippos, elephants topis and more besides. The chance of sighting lions is particularly good in lshasha the local prides obligingly spend their days resting up in the branches of shady fig trees.
The forest_ filled Kyambura Gorge extends from the Kichwamba Escarpments to the Kazinga channel. Enjoy the giddy viewpoint on the edge of the 100m_deep chasm before descending in to the depths to track chimpanzees with guides
At the foot of the kichwamba Escarpment, the shady Maramagambo forest contrasts with the with the park’s open grassland. Guided walks afford sightings of primates and rare birds (including the forest flycatcher, white_ napped pigeon and the striking Rwenzori turaco and visit Lake Nyamusingire home to the African Fin foot, this is formed by three connected crater lakes), the copper rich Blue Lake and the Bat Cave with its resident bat gorged python
Birding activities overlap with the wildlife viewing locations described above. Highlights include easy sighting of resident and migratory water birds on the Kazinga Channel, spectacular seasonal congregations of flamingos on the Kyambura and Katwe soda lakes, careful searches for rare and restricted range forest species in Maramagambo Forest, and memorable shoebill sightings on the remote Lake Edward flats in lshasha.
VOLCANIC EXPLOSION CRATERS
Dozens of volcanic craters pock the north of Mweya to remind us of the Albertan rift’s violent tectonic history. The 27km crater drive between the Kabatoro the rims of extinct craters filled, variously, with lakes, forest and grassland
The queen’s pavilion, at the crater Gate on the eastern edge of the crater area, has been visited three times by British royalty. A small information center and coffee shop stands on the site. The equator markers straddling the adjacent Kasese highway provide a popular photo opportunity.
KATWE SALT LAKE
The people of Katwe town, 12km from Mweya, have been extracting salt from the saline Lake Katwe using evaporation pans since the 14th century local guides will escort visitors down in to the crater to see the process. The adjacent Lake Munyanyange is rich in water birds, including migrating lesser flamingo between August and November
KYAMBURA WILDLIFE RESERVE
This small reserve to the east of kyambura Gorge is dotted with crater lakes that are visited, seasonally, by greater and lesser flamingos.
ABOUT THE PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park spans the equator line; monuments on either side of the road marking the exact spot where it crosses latitude 00.
The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of England.
The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species.
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.
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 a 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.
Most of Queen Elizabeth comprises open grassland and Savannah which tends to be moist and woody in the west than the eastern part, Thorny Acacia dominates this Savannah habitat with the high concentration of candelabra shrub a cactus that grows along the kazinga channel and on the kasenyi plains.
Queen Elizabeth supports at least 95 species of mammals, it boasts of 20 carnivores like the Lion, Leopards, side stripped jackal and spotted hyena among others.
Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is truly a Medley of Wonders
Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth national park
There are five region in Queen Elizabeth national park and the best budget accommodation are based in the mweya peninsula, Ishasha sector, and kyambura game reserve
The mweya peninsula overlooking the kazinga channel is the most central location, while Kyambura and ishasha are more remote but the home more unusual wildlife.
Is the only place in queen Elizabeth National park where you can track chimpanzee and the ishasha sectors is one of the few places in Africa where you will find the famed tree climbing lion.
Where to camp in queen Elizabeth National park
1. Mweya campsite ground.
Found the in park at mweya peninsula where you spend a night what you to carry with sleeping tents, mattress, sleeping bag Gus cockier, camping Tembo and chairs
2. ENGIRI GAME AND CAMPSITE
3, SAFARI KASENYI COMP
4. DAVE AND CAVE CAMPSITE
5, Ishasha Ntungwe campsite
Budget accommodation and lodges
1, Tembo safari lodge
2. Queen Elisabeth safari lodge
2. Bush lodge camp