What Activities To Do In Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda
Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s most scenic and diverse park nestled on the floors of the great Albertine Rift Valley. A wide range of wildlife habitats in the park carter for the wellbeing of an array of animals and birds. Some of the vegetation zones that make up the park include open savanna, closed forest, wetland and acacia woodland
More than 600 bird species spend there say in Queen Elizabeth National Park and approximately 95 mammal species all spend there life in the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park enjoys the backdrop of blue Rwenzori ranges that run for about sixty miles long and forty miles wide. The park is part of the contiguous protected area composed of Kalinzu forest reserve, Virunga National Park, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and so much more.
In terms of altitude the mix of mountainous topography and the floor of the Albertine rift valley contribute to the variation in altitude range. From the rift valley floor the park rises 480meters to 910 meters above sea level at Kazinga channel and 1390 meters above sea level in the Explosive Crater field.
Queen Elizabeth National park’s location on the Equator is responsible for its high temperatures that may rise from about 18 degrees to about 28 degrees centigrade.
The park receives about 1250 mm of rain per year especially in the months of March to May and November.
Highlight of Queen Elizabeth National Park Activities
Chimpanzee trekking In Kyambura Gorge
Boat Trip on Kazinga Channel
Visit the Equator and Queen’s Pavilion
What to do in Queen National Park Uganda
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the most rewarding with a variety of animals to see in there natural habitat. The Northern plains of Kazinga channel are the primary game viewing areas. During the early morning and late evening game drives you may get to see herds of elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, bush bucks, Uganda kobs and so many others.
An escorting game ranger takes you through the beauties of the park even pointing out the most recently discovered features as the park keeps evolving.
Driving through the crater lakes area, you enjoy a cluster of both wet and dry explosive craters but the most outstanding are Lake Nyamunuka with a putrid smell. This is also referred to as the animal hospital. Katwe salty lake has a historic background of salt mining that dates back to the barter trade days where salt was traditionally mined from it and exchanged for other goods by ancestors.
Game driving through Kasenyi grassland area provides chances of spotting lions in action as they camouflage to catch the Uganda Kobs that love to hangout here.
Going through the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park called Ishasha gives you chance to spot the famous tree climbing lions in the figs. Heading to the Edward flats of this area may also give you chance to watch wallowing buffaloes, topis and numerous birds that enjoy the marshy grounds.
Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Part of the forest wood land of the park provides home to the chimpanzees. The Kyambura gorge is curved 100 meters deep into the rift valley floor by Kyambura River before joining Kazinga channel.
Chimpanzees have about 98 % human DNA which makes them the closet humans cousins amongst animals. You need to buy a chimpanzee permit in order to be part of the trekkers for the day.
Since this is a gorge, expect to hike the sloppy ground to locate the chimpanzees especially during the rainy seasons when they feed from up high in the trees. Other primates are present in the gorge too like olive baboons, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys and so many others.
Boat trips on Kanzinga Channel Queen Elizabeth National Park
Relaxing and enjoying the beautiful rift valley and all it’s endowed with is best experienced during a boat trip from Mweya Peninsular along Kazinga channel to Lake Edward. This 40 km long channel is the link between Lake Edward and Lake George.
During the boat trip on Kazinga channel you enjoy lovely shoreline that is regularly graced by thousands of hippos, serried by huge Nile crocodiles, with lots of water birds including foreign migrants. Many wild animals are regular visitors of the banks and come down the rift valley to take a bath and quench thirst especially under the scotching sun. Some of the wild animals likely to visit include elephants, buffaloes, water bucks, Uganda Kobs, lions, bush bucks and others.
Bird Watching In Queen Elizabeth National Park
For great birding in Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the greatest destinations for birders. Its wide variety of habitats that range from Savannah, wetlands to gallery and lowland forest.
More than 605 bird species are residents of the park but majority enjoy spending part of there day on the marshy shores of Kazinga channel. The channel being a natural magnet for a wide range of birds even migrant birds moving along the Albertine rift find it comfortable to stop over.
Birding in the scenic crater area located on the North of Katwe road is wonderful point for spotting grassland species like Croaking Cisticola, Broad-tailed Warbler and Marsh Tchagra and others.
The papyrus swamps are homes for the famous shoe bill. They may be seen soaring overhead or feeding at the edge of the marsh in the early morning or late afternoon.
Some of the birds you may get to see in Queen Elizabeth National Park include: Grey-capped Wabler, Yellow-backed and lesser Masked Canary, Common Squacco Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, Croaking Cisticola, Water Thick-nee, Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Spur-winged and African Wattled Plovers to mention but a few.
Visit Equator and Queen’s Pavilion
Queen Elizabeth National Park is crossed by the equator and this is represented by two concrete circles where you can stand photo a photo shoot.
A temporary shelter was set up at the point where Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and fallen Duke of Edinburg were hosted within the park in 1954.
Later a permanent pavilion was constructed in 1959 for Queen Elizabeth’s second visit with the Queen mother.
When Uganda hosted CHOGM in 2007. The fallen Duke of Edinburg revisited the park and the pavilion was refurbished. This point has an information center where you can learn more about the park.
Nature walks In Queen Elizabeth National Park
A guided nature walk through forests like Maramagambo forest gives you chance to spot a number of primates like troupes of olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, blue monkey, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey and a plethora of birds.
You can walk through Maramagambo forest around Lake Nyamusingire, copper rich blue lake and so many other water bodies.
Watch out for the renowned bat cave where a huge python is believed to feast from the bats
A walk on Mweya peninsular in the company of a ranger guide gives you chance to understand the main tourism center of the park. Enjoy the view of Kazinga channel, Lake Edward, Katwe bay and so much more.
During Uganda safari with a guided nature walk to Kyambura Wildlife reserve on the south eastern banks of Kazinga channel brings into view the flamingo resting place. A number of craters in this area provide a comfortable home for flocks of greater and lesser flamingos
How To Get To Queen Elizabeth National Park
Two equidistant routes are available from Kampala the capital of Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The southern route goes through Kampala to Mbarara through Lake Mburo – Kasese then Queen Elizabeth National Park. This drive is about 420 km
Going through the northern route you go through Kampala to Mubende to Fort Portal and Kasese then into Queen Elizabeth National Park. This drive is about 410 km
From Bwindi Impenetrable National park the home of gorilla trekking, you go through the southern part of the park entering Ishasha sector. This is dependent on the condition of the Ishasha bridge. This drive is about 63 km from Buhoma area.
Daily domestic flights depart Kajjansi Air strip or Entebbe Airport to Kasese Air strip or Mweya. You need to book a seat in advance because they get sold out quickly especially during the peak seasons. At transfer vehicle to from the air strip to your lodge is necessary especially when you land in Kasese Air strip.
Charter flight arrangement for Fly-in Uganda safaris can be arranged upon request.
What Is The Cost Of Uganda safari To Queen Elizabeth National Park
The cost of a safari in Queen Elizabeth National park varies from the package you wish to take that is Luxury, Mid-range or Modest safari package. The number of people travelling with contributes a lot to the total cost of safari in this park, amount of activities to be part of while in queen Elizabeth National park.
Even additional activities outside Queen Elizabeth National park contribute to the total cost of a Uganda safari package.
At Arch Safaris and Tours, we tailor our packages according to our client’s needs. Customer satisfaction is key
Some Of The Uganda Safari Packages to Queen Elizabeth National park include
What To Pack For Uganda Safari In Queen Elizabeth National park
Wilderness Friendly shirt and shorts
The wild sometimes is dusty especially during the game drives and nature walks. You need to wear dirt friendly colors like Khaki.
Flip flops or canvas to wear during game drives because you don’t need to get out of the car. Even when you move outside, you do not have to meander in Queen Elizabeth National park for your safety.
Insect repellants because the park has stinging insects that may harm your skin
Sun screen to protect your skin from violent sun rays
A fleece or sweater during the severe rainy season especially March to May and November, the park gets cold. Even during early morning game drives, the park is so cold.
Camera to take photos for memories of your Uganda safari in queen Elizabeth National Park
A bag where you keep some of the gears for your safari like cameras, snacks, passport, phone and others
Energy snacks to munch on during the game drives or chimpanzee trekking
What Is the Best Time To Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
All year round Queen Elizabeth National park is open for tourist visit but the most dramatic are June to September when the grass lands are more open. There is also less rain falls received in the park so most animals move to the shores of Kazinga channel to quench thirst and cool of the day’s heat.
When you take a game drive during the shoulder seasons that is March to May and November, there is less vehicle congestion in the park and minimum noise to distract the animals. Chances of spotting new borns are high because there is more grass to feed them and hide from predators
Accommodation prices during the shoulder seasons are sometimes discounted which gives you chance to stay in luxury facilities too in case your budget is average.
What Accommodation To Book For A Uganda Safari In Queen Elizabeth National Park
A wide range of accommodations are located within and outside Queen Elizabeth national park. You can select your most favorable based on your travel plan. The facilities range from Luxury accommodations, to midrange accommodations to Budget accommodations.
Some of the accommodations to book for overnight in Queen Elizabeth National park include
Mweya safari Lodge, Katara Lodge, Bush Lodge, Jacana Lodge, Mweya hostels, Simba safari Lodge to mention but a few.
Is Queen Elizabeth National Park Safe
Queen Elizabeth National park is Safe for all your Uganda safari activities but for every activity, you need a guide for extra protection and information. The park is under the watch of tourism police that patrol it plus other security agencies.
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