Elizabeth National Park
Elizabeth is the most popular of Uganda’s National
parks. The park stretches from foothills of the Rwenzori mountains
in the north, shores of lake Lake Edward to Ishasha River in the
The park is an important bird area(IBA), a biosphere(UNESCO
1979) and a RAMSAR site.
best time to visit is December-February
lies 5-6 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara, and
can be reached on a dirt road from Bwindi.
Queen Elizabeth is located to the Southwestern portion of
Uganda, in the districts of Rukungiri, Bushenyi and Kasese.
The altitude Range from 900 metres (Shores of Lake
Edward) to 1845 metres (top of Western Rift Valley escarpments.
The Park was gazetted in 1952 and occupies an area
of 1978 km sq. The
habitats include, moist semi-deciduous forest, moist thicket,
riparian and riverine forests, bush savannah and open woodland, open
grassland, swamps and lakes.
Physical Features /Attractions in Queen Elizabeth Park
10 crater lakes
Lake George to the East
Lake Edward to the West
Kazinga Channel connecting
Lakes George and Edward.
Birdlife:- 610 species
of birds have been recorded in Queen Elizabeth.
Among the species to be found are mourning doves, Fly
Catchers, Wablers, Pin tailed Whydahs, Eagles (Matial,
Verreaux) Storks (Open-billed, Shoe-bill, Gonoreks (Papyrus and
black headed), Pelilcans (Great White and Pink-backed) etc. Flocks
of flamingoes are resident in the crater lakes.
Mammals: Queen Elizabeth has over 100 species of mammals
include, warthogs, buffalo, rare aquatic sitatunga antelope,
giant forest hog, Uganda kob, topi, waterbuck,
elephant and leopard. Queen Elizabeth boasts of 10 species of
primates which the chimpanzees, the black and white colobus
monkeys, blue, red tailed, vervet and L'Hoest's monkeys and olive
channel has hippos and crocodiles.
Other Attractions in Queen Elizabeth include:-
In summary the following activities can be undertaken in Queen
Elizabeth National Park
tracking & hiking safaris
Within the park, one can track Chimpanzees at
two places. The Maramagabo Forest to the south or Kyambura
Kyambura Gorge/ Kyambura Gorge Game Reserve/Chambura Gorge.
Kyambura Gorge lies to the North East of Queen Elizabeth. It
is 16 Km long and 100 metres deep. The Kyambura Gorge is as a
result of deep erosion by the Kyambura River and consists of
an island of riparian forest in the open savannah. Kyambura
Gorge habours the only family of
habituated chimpanzees in Africa. Chimpanzee tracking safaris
depart from Fig Tree Camp each morning at 08:00 Hrs and in the
afternoon at 13:00 Hrs. Only eight permits are available per
session. Thus its important to make prior booking.
Besides Chimpanzees, other animals found in Kyambura (Chambura)
Gorge include Red tailed, Vervet, Black and White colobus monkeys,
olive baboons and giant forest hog.
of the Kazinga Channel is the
Maramagambo Forest, home to large numbers of chimpanzees,
plus a number of other primate species, including the Lhost monkeys, bush baby,
baboons, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys.
is the largest forest in Uganda with blue lakes and craters.
The Kazinga Channel is a 32 km and connects lake Edward and lake
rides or launch trips is a 2-5 hours tour on the Kazinga channel
Queen Elizabeth Park Gates
Remember the rule is that you should enter the park through official
gates. The gates in Queen Elizabeth include; Kabatoro and
Katunguru and Ishasha.
Lodges/ Accommodation/Campsites and Camping the Park
There are a variety of accommodation
facilities in Queen Elizabeth varying from the luxury eco-lodges to
Mweya Safari Lodge (1954) - 5 star lodge with swimming facilitie.
The lodge is located on a peninsular on lake Edward. All rooms
have balconies overlooking the lake or the Kazinga Channel.
The rooms have DSTV and Satellite TV.
Jacana Safari Lodge -
built over the banks of a crater lake.
Hippo Hill Camp:-The lodge is located at Katwe outside the park
overlooking Lake Munyenyange.
Equator Lodge: - Located at Equator outside the park overlooking
Lakes George and Kikorongo.
The Institute of Ecology - basic hostel style accommodation.
Camping /Campsites in Queen
Elizabeth:– There are several campsites in Queen Elizabeth
National Park. Camping and campsites are available at Mweya, Maramagambo Forest and Ishasha
sector of the park. Come with your own camping gear. Budget
campsites include:- Channel campsite1, Channel campsite 2, Mweya
Campsite, Kookaburra Campsite.