Queen Elizabeth National park , which is situated in South-Eastern Uganda , was named after the queen of England. Queen Elizabeth national park is certainly Uganda’s most popular game reserve, and this is not only because it boasts of more bird species than any other park in Africa, but also because it has one of the most complete and complex ecosystems imaginable in terms of animals found there and their respective habitats. From the Katwe explosion craters to the Lakes George and Edward connected by the amazing Kazinga channel and on to the Maramagambo forest, Queen Elizabeth National park is truly a gem.
Queen Elizabeth National park also has one of the highest recorded numbers of mammal species in the national parks of Uganda. 95 species have been recorded so far and it is important to note that this list is made up of both savannah and forest species.
The main highlight at Queen Elizabeth national park is definitely the Kazinga channel launch trip which allows you to have as close an observation as possible of the thousands of Hippopotami and the occasional Crocodile that inhabit these shores. The boat trip also offers an excellent view of animals like herds of Elephants, Buffaloes, Waterbucks, Kob and the big cats as they come to quench their thirst on hot afternoons. Other animals that can be found in the Savannah plains that are dotted with Acacia and Euphorbia trees are common Warthogs, Egyptian and Banded Mangoose, spotted Hyena, Bushbucks among others.
The Forest and Ishasha area offer you a pleasant surprise in form of a number of primates like Chimps, black and white Colobus, red-tailed Monkeys, olive Baboons, vervet Monkeys and at some of the campsites in Ishasha, some of these primates will come and pay you visit!. The other animals found in this region include the Spectacular and elusive giant Hog, the unusual Topi and famous tree climbing Lions of Ishasha. Large numbers of Lions are common and these magnificent cats are can usually be seen lazing under trees, at the shores taking a drink of water or if you are lucky, hunting.
Their smaller cousins, the Leopards are by far more elusive as they are shy and reclusive animals and prefer lurking in trees as they wait for their next meal. The Hyenas have made it a habit to hang around mweya lodge at night especially on barbeque evenings as it makes a prime spot for them to scavenge undisturbed.
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts of a remarkably huge bird list and is said to have more bird species that any other park, game or wildlife reserve in the whole of Africa. The 606 recorded bird species that dwell in Queen Elizabeth National Park should delight any birder and they include the Shoebill, Martial Eagle, African Skimmer, black Bee-eater, Papyrus Canary, thousands of Flamingos, spotted Eagle-Owl, white-winged Warbler the list is endless and can be seen on the species page.
The National park is quite charming and leaves a very scenic and picturesque image imprinted in your memory and we are sure many people would not hesitate to visit it again. From the Katwe blast craters at the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori, through the Vast savannah plains and wide Maramagambo forests with its thick undergrowth, past the Lakes and numerous rivers and streams, this complex ecosystem truly is beautiful and such a sight to take in.
There are many routes to Queen Elizabeth National Park but the most direct road from Kampala is via Masaka and Mbarara towns to the Eastern gate of the park. A number of airfields in the park at Ishasha and mweya peninsula and nearby the town of kasese serve the national park and superb aerial view of the National park and its lakes can be achieved. But we will vouch for road use as it offers more in attractions along the road that may be missed if you use the air services. Plus ideally, most trips are planned in such a way that you visit most if not all of the national parks yet some don’t have air facilities.
The park offers several types of accommodation ranging from luxury lodges to the most basic campsites. The luxury accommodation on offer include Mweya safari lodge at mweya and jacana Lodge at the Maramagambo forests. The more pocket friendly form of accommodation are Bandas and cottages like the National park bandas at Ishasha, the Institute of ecology hostels at mweya and a number of campsites can be found at several locations in the park. For the communication conscious, the park is largely covered by Uganda ‘s three telecommunication companies, as is most of the country.