Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the western part of Uganda spanning across districts i.e Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi and Rukungiri covering an area of 1,978 square kilometres (764 sq mi). The Park requires you to travel by road about 400 kilometres (250 mi) by road South West from Kampala and Rubirizi. The Park comprises of the Maramagambo Forest bordering the Kigezi Game Reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve, Kibale Forest National Park and Virunga National Park expanding Nort East to Lake Edward South West with the Kazinga Channel.
Wildlife in the Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park has various wildlife species i.e of the BIG Five of Africa i.e Buffalo, Elephant, Lions, Leopard, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, Nile crocodile and chimpanzee as well as 500 different bird species. The Park includes the Ishasha Sector that consists of the rare species of the Tree Climbing Lions as well as volcanic cones, deep craters, crater lakes like Lake Katwe where salt is extracted.
Activities to do in the Park
Game Drives are the most prominent safari activity carried out in the park and these involve transferring along the various tracks in the park watching wildlife wander around their natural vegetation habitat. the various tracks in the park watching wildlife wander around their natural vegetation habitat. You watch wildlife like the like buffalo, small antelope, warthog, elephant, baboons etc.
Queen Elizabeth National Park offers remarkable Launch Trips/ Boat Cruises to all along the Victoria Nile. These have two sessions i.e the Morning session (8:30 am) and the afternoon session from 2:30 pm. Along the cruise, you watch wildlife animals along the shores i.e elephants, buffalo, kobs etc as well as schools of hippos and crocodiles beneath the waters.
Bird watching is a very exceptional safari activity in the Park as the park inhabits various species of birds i.e 600 bird species Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pinkbacked Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit etc.
Chimpanzee Tracking is very exciting at Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Kyambura Gorge where you will learn more about the primates’ natural ecology and the difference of these than those found in any other place around Uganda. Watching these is 50/50 but travelers can glance at them in a distance due to the fact that they are habituated. The trekking process starts early in the morning at 8:00 am and 2:00 pm daily taking about 1-3 hours in the presence of these primates.
Cultural Encounters are very exceptional in Queen Elizabeth National Park and involve you transferring with a park ranger guide on a guided nature/ community walk to the Kikorongo Equator Performers where you will explore how they harvest salt in Lake katwe, make a local Banyaruguru hut and an agricultural village.
You can also transfer to visit the Leopard Village socio-economic development initiative that promotes cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism and is situated close to the Muhokya Village covering an area of 3 acres along the edge of the Northern Sector.
Visit the Kikorongo Women Community where you can involve in their cultural traditions as they perform to you through Music, Dance and Drama. There are craft shops that sell African hand craft materials which you can buy to take back home with you for memories.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Hiking and Nature walks are very ideal and exciting in Queen Elizabeth and these involve transferring around the numerous trails in the Park. The walks include that to the dappled Maramagambo forest, Mweya Peninsula which is very beautiful to view and the famous Ishasha River were you watch wildlife animals like and hippos, warthogs, bird species.
Caving in Queen Elizabeth National Park is done within two caves i.e Maramagambo Forest and the “Historic Cave” at Nyanz’ibiri community.
Take a guided nature walk to the “Bat Cave” in Maramangambo Forest where you will find a viewing room that allows to see the numerous resident bats and pythons an experience that cannot be explored in any other National park around Uganda.
You can also transfer to the “Historic Cave” at Nyanz’ibiri community which is prominently known for being the place where people used to offer sacrifices and cleansing Bad Omen as well as Idi Amin Dada’s hiding place.