Exploring Queen Elizabeth National Park

November 20, 2020

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. Located in western Uganda, this is one of the most biodiverse savanna national parks where tourists enjoy unrivaled game viewing, boat cruises, and traditional safaris.

The renowned world biosphere reserve hosts a variety of flora and fauna that includes a rich checklist of 95 mammals and 612 bird species. The various species that thrive in this park have made it a unique safari destination most liked by tourists. The fauna survives in five levels of vegetation namely bush grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and swamps as well as forests.

Things to See in the Park

The savanna grasslands and shrubs of the park inhabit wild animals that include the strong Cape buffalo, beautiful Uganda kob, lions that are the kings of the jungle, leopards, the shy hyena, giant forest hogs as well as large elephants. Within the Ishasha Region, look out for the amazing tree-climbing lions that normally doze off in the branches of the fig tree. If you do love primates, don’t miss tracking the fast-moving chimpanzees in the Kyambura gorge. You should also not miss the bat colony in the  Maramagambo forest!

Would you like to see birds? Queen Elizabeth National Park has a remarkable bird checklist that exceeds its neighboring large national parks such as the Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest national park. Some celebrities of the park include the African skimmer, Shoebill stork, the large martial eagles, as well as the great flamingos that love the crater lakes.

On your exploration tour through the park, don’t miss the peninsula which is the heart of sightseeing activities. On a guided walk through the park, you will get to explore the hidden trails of the park as well as the distant parts of the peninsula. You can obtain more information about the park from the Mweya information center where almost all activities are booked.

Things to Do in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Queen Elizabeth National Park is a well-known safari destination frequented by visitors going on safaris in Uganda.

Birding

This charming destination is the number one destination for visitors that love bird watching. Whether you are an avid birder or a seasonal birder, this park will not bore you! Every new day, you will be waking up with lots of strength to traverse its vast vegetation in search of birds. The most common species to look out for are the aquatic birds like Plovers, Pelicans, the African jacana, Weavers, African skimmers, Martial Eagles, African spoonbills, shoebill stork, etc. Birding is always done either in the early morning or late evenings.

Game Viewing

Queen Elizabeth National Park hosts a variety of flora and fauna. The park has a huge concentration of mammals and reptiles that can be seen all year round. Animals can be best viewed either on game viewing sessions along trails led by a tour guide. The best times for game drive either the morning or the late afternoon hours. A game drive in the morning helps you to catch up with the early risers while the afternoon game drive will enable you to see the late grazers most especially the antelopes.

You can see lots of games from the comfort of your boat during a cruise along the Kazinga channel. This channel joins two lakes; Lake Edward and Lake George and it attracts a high concentration of animals including thousands of hippos, solitary buffaloes that lost battles and chased off from the community, elephants that come for a drink at the shores, etc. Birds that can be seen during the boat cruise include seagulls, cormorants, and other water birds.

During your safari, you should not miss doing a game drive in the Ishasha Sector, a region covering huge shrubs, savanna grasslands, thickets, and swamps. This distant region in the southern sector of the park offers the experience of the true African wilderness. Though the region is famed for the tree-climbing lions, it hosts a diversity of wildlife that includes different species of antelopes such as Topi and Kobs, elephants, warthogs, baboons, buffaloes, leopards, etc.

Seeing the lions that hang in the trees on hot afternoons to protect themselves from biting tsetse flies is the highlight of most safaris through the Queen Elizabeth National Park. In most cases, lions are seen lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees as they spare the energy to hunt down the numerous kobs that roam the open Ishasha plains.

Guided Nature Walks

You should not miss taking a guided nature walk through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Since this is a game park, feel free to go with a guide holding a gun- normally an AK47 from Russia! The gun is used to scare away animals that you can come across during your walk.

The guided nature walks are conducted by well-trained guides and they will share with you first-hand information about the park, the flora and fauna, and other things that you may come across.

If you love community tours, don’t miss taking a walk to the Katwe Salt Works where you will experience the African technologies used to obtain salt from the lake.

Accommodation

When you plan to have an African safari, one of the essential things to put in your mind is the place where you will have to stay, have meals, and relax after a long day. There are several lodges where you can stay during your safari holiday. Whether you are a luxury safari seeker or budget traveler, there are great options for you. Some of the popular luxury lodges include the Mweya safari lodge and Jacana lodge, Katara – a small boutique lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp – a true luxury in the Ishasha known for its lavishness accommodation, and more.

Budget safari lodges include the Ishasha Bandas, Simba Safari Camp, Bush Lodge, and others that offer standard accommodation that will make your stay memorable.

For deluxe lodges, the park has Park View Inn Lodge, Elephant Plains, Buffalo Lodge, and other lodges that offer a better option than the budget.

For more information to help you plan your safari check out https://www.queenelizabethgamepark.com a guide with all the information to help you plan your next trip.

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