Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda. The 1,978 km² protected area is rich in biodiversity and home for over 95 species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda. The park also boasts a prolific number of bird species, 612 in total. Queen Elizabeth lies on the floor of Africa's Western Rift Valley and stretches from the base of the towering Rwenzori Mountains in the north, to the Ishasha River in the south and is bordered on the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Virunga Mountains. The proximity of Queen Elizabeth NP to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and to Kibale National Park makes it an ideal stopover in between trekking Uganda's primates. Queen Elizabeth National Park is also a convenient weekend away spot from Kampala. Queen Elizabeth NP is truly unrivaled and has so much to offer its visitors.
Game Drives through Queen Elizabeth National Park
By and large the most popular activity for people visiting Queen Elizabeth NP is game viewing. There is a network of roads around the Mweya peninsula as well as across the highway in Kasenyi. Queen Elizabeth NP supports over 95 different species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda. The most common mammals that you can expect to see on your safari are Waterbuck, Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Hippopotamus, Elephant and Warthog. The most sought after species are generally a little more difficult to find, however lion and leopard are seen regularly. Experience Queen Elizabeth NP in our Land Rover safari vehicle. We offer ½ day trips, full day trips and sundowner trips.
Boat Trip on the Kazinga Channel
The Kazinga Channel is a wide, slow flowing 32 kilometre long body of water that connects Lake George to Lake Edward and is home to one of the largest hippo populations on the planet supporting over 5000 hippos. The three hour guided boat trip is a great opportunity to get close to Nile crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, elephants as well as many different species of birds.
Explosion Crater Drive
A scenic 27 kilometre route that winds through the craters between the Main Gate and the Queen's Pavilion at the Crater Gate. Although the area is not teeming with game, it makes up for it with its scenery. It's a good place to take your time, stop and enjoy the breathtaking views and it's not uncommon to see elephants inside the craters. Although the entire drive is stunning, there are a few highlights. The massive Kyemengo Crater, at Baboon Cliffs is by far the largest crater and standing atop the rim is slightly dizzying. It really is difficult to gauge how far above the crater floor you are, it's an amazing sight to behold. Kitagata is a smaller crater with a dark inky blue lake. On a sunny day, you can see the reflection of the sky in the lake. The Crater Drive is one of the gems of Queen Elizabeth NP.
Many people visit Queen Elizabeth NP specifically for the birds. Not a lot of places can boast a species list this long. At over 600 species, it is the largest of any protected area in East Africa. Enthusiastic birders come from all over the world for their chance to see the elusive Shoebill that lives in many wetlands across the country as well as the prolific variety of water birds along the Kazinga Channel.
Lion Tracking with Uganda Carnivore Program
The Uganda Carnivore Program (UCP) is heavily involved in the conservation of carnivores primarily around Queen Elizabeth National Park. Working in conjunction with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, their research consists of monitoring carnivore ecology and health and tracking their movements near "conflict zones" where there is the potential to for the carnivores to come into contact with people and livestock. The best way to learn more about the work of UCP is to participate in the lion tracking experience. An early morning spent with the UCP will get you up close to lions while learning about their conservation work that is ongoing.
Visit the Equator Line
Uganda is one of only 13 countries in the world that the equator passes through. The equator line is marked with large concrete circles on either side of the road and is a perfect photo opportunity.
Located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth NP, Ishasha is especially picturesque and is the only place in Queen Elizabeth NP to see Topi. The most famous residents of Ishasha are the tree climbing lions which can be found lazily draped in the limbs of the fig trees.
Chimpanzee trekking can be done in two locations near Queen Elizabeth NP, in the Kyambura Gorge or the Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98 percent of our genetic makeup. Guided treks take you through the forest looking for signs of chimpanzee activity and once they have been successfully tracked, you can experience them in their natural habitat which can be on the ground or in the trees.
Forest walks in Kalinzu Forest Reserve
Kalinzu forest is well known for its 414 different tree and shrub species. The forest is home to chimpanzees, olive baboon, black and white Colobus and red-tailed, blue and L'Hoest monkey, as well as the rare pygmy antelope, 379 species of birds, 262 butterfly species and 97 moth species. Forest walks and chimpanzee trekking are the activities available at Kalinzu.
Nature walks in Maramagambo Forest
Maramagambo forest has several trails that wind through the shady canopy of trees. Home to numerous species of primates, including Chimpanzees, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, L'Hoest's Monkeys, Baboons, Red Tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, as well as the Vervet Monkeys. The forest also supports a variety of bird life and a few uncommon species of birds like the Rwenzori Turaco, the White Naped Pigeons plus the Forest Flycatchers. The most popular destination in the forest are the bat caves. From a viewing platform, watch the thousands of bats that live there as well as the pythons that feed on them.
Rwenzori National Park
The nearby Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage that comprises the main part of the Rwenzori mountain chain which includes Africa's third highest mountain peak Mount Margherita 5,109 m. The scenery in the mountains is spectacular and includes many waterfalls, lakes, glaciers and beautiful views. A range of walks and hikes ranging from one day to seven days is available. Spend a day exploring the foothills of the mountains or for the experienced climbers, the summit of Margherita peak is a popular choice.