Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) located in the western rift valley of south western Uganda covering Kawenge and Kanugu districts at 1,978 sq km. The park is bounded to the west by the Ishasha River and Lake Edward along the Congolose Border, to the north by Kasese and the Rwenzori foot hills, to the east by Lake George , the Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu Forest Reserve and to the south by the Kigezi Wildlife Reserve. It is divided in 2 sections the northern park of the park known as Kasenyi Plains and the Southern Part known as Ishasha Sector a vast low-lying savanna plain lying south of the equator in the Albertine Rift Valley, known for its tree climbing lions consisting of around 40 individuals split across three prides. Queen Elizabeth National Park is operated and run by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
QENP Wildlife Safaris
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s most popular national parks combining beautiful scenery with some of the best wildlife viewing safaris in the country. There are over 100 mammal species including Lions, Elephants, Chimpanzees and an astounding 606 bird species in her diverse eco-systems from open savannah grasslands to rain forest. Look at the 3 days Queen Elizabeth National Park Safari for motivation to visit this savannah safari park or the 15 days Uganda savannah wildlife, Gorillas & Chimps if you want to have more of the savannah adventure around Uganda.
The Kazinga Channel, a natural canal that joins Lake Edward and Lake George is one of the parks domineering features and offers opportunity of close up wildlife safari encounters with hippo’s on the boat cruise while elephants and buffaloes as well as an array of other mammals visit the channel’s shoreline. The shores of the channel are also a birders paradise. The adjacent Kyambura Gorge, a habituated chimpanzees, man’s genetically closest wild animal relative and the Maramagambo forest with its diverse attractions like blue lake, hunters cave and bat cave and the crater lakes surrounding the park.
QENP Ishasha Sector Climbing Lions
The Ishasha sector is notably recognized for its resident Tree climbing lions that are an exceptional attraction and one among the highlights on all safaris taken within Queen Elizabeth National park. In the southern section of this park, the Lions are now and again spotted hanging on braches of huge fig trees whereas the Uganda Kob (which are the major food to these lions) graze in the plains of the Ishasha sector.
The Ishasha sector is located near the fur most south-western rim of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The landscape in this section of the magnificent park is considerably different from that found in other parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is a very breathtaking sight to see the King of the animals perched up high on one of the branches of the huge fig trees in this area, lazily resting away as the day goes by. The Ishasha is certainly one of the very memorable Africa Safari destination.
Area activities: Game viewing / Wildlife drives mainly in the north east of the park -Kasenyi. The tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer guaranteed sightings of buffaloes, antelopes and elephants, lions among others.
Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise– a 2 hour launch trip sessions run daily at 9am, 11am ,3pm, 5pm. An average of 60 bird species can be spotted during the trip.Look out for hundreds of enormous hippos and buffalos and elephants along the shoreline.
Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge- walks range from 2 to 4 hours with 2 sessions, Morning Session at 8am and Afternoon Session at 2pm from Fig Tree Camp.The chimp sightings are not guaranteed as they are about 24 primates habituated.
Birdwatching –Classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International, Queen’s great variety of habitats mean it is home to over 600 species. This is the greatest of any East African national park, and a phenomenal number for such a small area. The park’s confluence of savanna and forest, linking to the expansive forests of the DR Congo allow visitors to spot East as well as Central African species. Present in the park are numerous water birds, woodland and forest dwellers in the Maramagambo Forest, 54 raptors and various migratory species.
The birding hot spots in the park are Kazinga Channel, Kasenyi Area, Mweya Peninsula, Maramagambo Forest, Ishasha Sector, Lake Kikorongo, Katunguru Bridge area and Katwe Area.
Cultural interactions– Lake Katwe Sait Mine, Leopard Village and Kikorongo Women Community and Wildlife Research.
Wildlife Research Tour Projects– these include Lion Tracking, Mongoose Tracking , Hippo Census, and Bird specie counts. Get to participate in the monitoring of some of the bird species and mammals using locator devices and learn more about the habituation calls, behaviours of the animals.
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Best Time to Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
|Best time to go:||January to February and June to July (Dry seasons)|
|High Season:||June to September (This is premium gorilla tracking time in Uganda and more people visit Uganda)|
|Low Season:||April, May, October and November (There are less people in the park)|
|Best Weather:||June to July and January to February (Less rainfall)|
|Worst Weather:||April, May and September to November (High rainfall, some roads become impassable)|
Recommended Queen Elizabeth National Park Safaris
Other Top Experiences in Uganda
For a relatively small country, there’s a lot that’s big about the place. It’s home to the tallest mountain range in Africa (Rwenzori Mountains), the source that feeds the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake. And with half the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas residing here, as well as the Big Five to be ticked off, wildlife watching is huge.
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