ABOUT QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is located in the Western Region of Uganda. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park by combining the Lake George and Lake Edward Game Reserves. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. The park is approximately 400 kilometers by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. QENP occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers. The park has the widest variety of wildlife than any Ugandan park. QENP, together with the adjacent Virunga National Park is a ‘lion conservation unit’. The area is also considered a potential lion stronghold in Central Africa. Queen Elizabeth national park is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as the Katwe craters, from which locals extract salt.
CLIMATE IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Queen Elizabeth National Park is near to the equator which ensures uniformly warm temperatures throughout the year. The area experiences heavy rains in the months of March to May and August to December. The Dry season runs from January to February and from June to September.
WILDLIFE AND BIRDS OF QENP
Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, makes it the ideal habitat for classic big game, primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. Lions are common on the grassy Kasenyi Plains but is more famous for its tree-climbing antics in the Ishasha sector. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant live in the savannah areas of the park and an amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips happen. Bird species such as; flapet lark, palm but culture, croaking cisticola, sitting cisticola, ripeols griffon vulture and grey backed fiscal also inhabit the park.
ATTRACTIONS IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Key attractions in queen Elizabeth national park include the following;
- Wildlife – Queen Elizabeth national park is a place where you can go to quench your thirst of game
viewing. The park is naturally gifted with 95 mammal species, over 600 bird species.
- Equator – The Equator crosses Queen Elizabeth national park at zero coordinates; the land mark
for this major latitude is demarcated with a circular sculpture. At the equator, many visitors
stop by and take photos.
- Katwe Salt Works – The lake lies in the small run-down town of Katwe on the outskirts of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Kasese district and covers an area of approximately eight square miles. Its shores have small ponds or pans of water from which locals extract salt from the bottom in a process known as salt panning.
- Kyambura escarpment – Kyambura Gorge is an 11 Km gorge extending from the Kazinga channel to Kyambura on the north-eastern part of Queen Elizabeth National park. It also constitutes the Kyambura Game Reserve which forms part of the Queen Elizabeth Protected Area (QEPA). The Gorge is famous for its high concentration of primate life with the main activity taking place being Chimpanzee tracking , bird watching and nature walks.
- Crater Lakes – The park is famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes, such as the Katwe craters. The park has about 10 crater lakes.
- History and Culture – Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dances, music and more.
- Lion tracking – Tourists who visit QENP for lion Tracking indeed get a chance to get an up-close session with the lions and get to study their behavior.
- Game Viewing – During the game viewing activity, one gets a chance to view various animals found in this park. They include giraffes, leopards, elephants, hippos, flamingoes, pelicans and many others including reptiles.
- Chimpanzee tracking – During chimpanzee tracking, you will go with a guide within the verdant forests of the park and you will get a chance to spend an hour on an up-close encounter with the chimps.
- Bird Watching – With a bird list of over 600 bird species, it’s no doubt that this is one of the best bird watching paradises in Africa. Uganda has over 1,000 bird species and more than a half reside here.
- Boat Cruising – The 2 hour ride on the Kazinga Channel gives you a chance to explore the oasis of wildlife among which are large schools of hippos, elephants, buffaloes, birds, crocodiles and so much more.
- Cultural experience – Visit the locals traditionally harvest salt from Lake Katwe. Also visit traditional homesteads and enjoy energetic musical and dance performances by the Kikorongo Equator Performers mines.
- Balloon Safaris – This unique African balloon safari adventure begins very early in the morning and will give you an aerial view of the park as you admire its unique terrain and thousands of animals and flora below.
The park offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from Luxury to midrange and budget. You can book the accommodation facility that suits your budget. Some of the lodges offered when you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park include: Kasenyi Safari Camp. Ishasha Wilderness Camp. Park View Lodge. Elephant Hub Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Safari Camp, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Lake Chibwera Camp, Kyambura Tented Camp and White house hotel.