Queen Elizabeth National Park
Placed on the western arm of the Rift Valley is Queen Elizabeth National park. This park occupies an area of about 1978 square kilometers between lake Edward and Lake George. About 95 mammals and approximately 612 bird species find the park a super habitat to live in. Douglas Willocks described the diverse features that led to its creation in 1952
‘The Rwenzori ranges create a spectacular sixty miles long and forty miles wide back drop for this park to the north. Across Lake Edward to the west, the Mitumbe hills Stood sentinel on the Congo, blue too in the long sight but in the closer green, wooden, precipitous, unfriendly and epitomizing darkest Africa. The eastern boundary of this possible park is marked by calm green escarpment of the western Rift valley, hills, mountains and has endless savannah, its constantly repeated motif the branched cactus arms of the candelabra euphorbia tree.’
Queen Elizabeth National park is part of an extensive system of
contiguous protected areas like about 265 square Kilo meters of Kigezi, 154 square kilometers of Kyambura Wildlife reserve, Kalinzu Forest reserve, about 766 square kilometers of Kibale forest, D.R. Congo approximately 200square Kilometers of Virunga National Park and Rwenzori National Park.
Rolling mountains form a dramatic appearance even beyond the park boundaries. From the Kazinga channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park rises from 480 meters from 910 meters to 1390 meters in explosive crater field.
Temperature of Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park is also crossed by the equator which is responsible for the rise in temperatures from about 18 degrees centigrade to a mean maximum of about 28 degrees centigrade.
Queen Elizabeth National park receives about 1250 mm of rain especially during March to May and September to November.
What you May Expect in
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Fauna And Flora Of Queen Elizabeth National Park
The diversity of Queen Elizabeth National Park makes it very attractive to visit. About 95 species of mammals are residents here and over 612 bird species. This big number is supported by the diversity of habitats that make it favorable for animals to survive. About fifty seven vegetation types have been identified but can be summarized into forest grassland, bush grassland, acacia woodland and lake shore or swamp vegetation.
The occupants of the grassland include waterbucks, bush bucks, herds of elephants, herds of buffaloes, topis, leopards, lions, forest hogs, hyenas to mention but afew.
The bird list for this pack changes from time to time as new flocks of birds especially foreign birds fly to Queen Elizabeth National park yearly during the winter period. Some of the birds in Queen Elizabeth National park include African skimmer, chapin’s flycatcher, martial eagle, white-winged warbler, greater and lesser flamingos, papyrus gonolek, shoebill stork, pink-backed pelicans to mention but a few.
What Activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National park
Game drives are the most common activities in Queen Elizabeth National park. The Northern crater area is endowed with numerous game that you can enjoy on an early morning game drive. The north of Kazinga channel is primary a game viewing area where you may have the chance of seeing lions, elephant, leopards, cape buffaloes the list is endless. This is the commonest hangout for lions as they await the animals that move to quench there thirst on Kazinga channel and huge numbers of Uganda Kobs form a meal for the lions.
Ishasha sector is rich with world life but a game drive in this area may give you an opportunity to se the tree climbing lions in the fig trees. Lions are not common climbers but in Ishasha, the lions are quite different.
The Kazinga channel is not only a drinking point for the animals but also a breeding spot for birds. A launch cruise on Kazinga Channel provides you the best opportunity to see most of these animals and huge variety of birds. The 40 km long channel connects Lake George to Lake Edward but its banks are flooded with unique birds like African skimmers, papyrus gonolek, greater and lesser flamingos, papyrus canary the list is endless. Herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, lions, water bucks, warthogs usually find there way to the banks of this channel.
Chimpanzees are residents of the Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The gorge was curved by Kyambura River that flows across the rift valley. A guided walk to look for the chimpanzees starts from the Kyambura fig tree Camp at 0800hrs and 1400hrs each day.
Nature walks in Maramagambo Forest give you the chance to see numerous birds, crater lakes like the blue lake rich with copper, the bat cave. This forest contrasts starkly with the sunny plains around Kazinga channel. Several primates and huge bird populations comfortably stay in it.
Visit Katwe Explosion Crater Salt Lake
This lake is the oldest salt lake in Uganda that has been mined since time immemorial. Taking a tour here gives you the opportunity of seeing the local way of mining salt, enjoy a feel of the large pans of salt and listen to the stories from the local miners.
Tour the Equator and Queen’s Pavilion
The Equator crosses Queen Elizabeth National Park from Kasese road.
This point is marked by two symbols of large circles where you have an opportunity of taking photographs while standing on both sides of the earth. The Queen’s Pavilion is a temporary shelter set up in memory of the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Duke of Edinburg in 1954 by a permanent structure was built in 1959 to commemorate the Queen’s visit. When the Duke of Edinburg returned to this park in 2007, the center was refurbished.
How To get to Queen Elizabeth National park
By road, a drive from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National park may last 6 hours to 7 hours. Drive from Kampala through Mbarara, Kasese and Fort Portal. From the south Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed through Mbarara which is about 420 sq km, from the North the park can be accessed through Fort Portal about 410 sq km.
A combination of all these routes gives you an opportunity to make a super circuit that takes you to Lake Mburo National Park, Semuliki National park and Kibale National park the biggest home of Chimpanzees
Scheduled daily flights can be arranged for anyone interested in visiting Queen Elizabeth National park. Also chartered flights can be arranged.
Which Accommodation To book In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a variety of accommodations to choose from however these are graded into High-end, Mid-range and Budget accommodations. The choice and comfort depends on your budget.
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