Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth is the most popular of Ugandas' National parks. The
park stretches from foothills of the Rwenzori mountains in the
north, shores of lake Lake Edward to Ishasha River in the south.
The park is an important bird area(IBA), a biosphere(UNESCO 1979)
and a RAMSAR site.
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.
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.
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
Lake Edward to the
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.
Elizabeth has over 100 species of mammals recorded.
These 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 baboons.
The Kazinga channel has hippos and
Other Attractions in Queen Elizabeth include:-
Activities in Queen Elizabeth
In summary the following activities can be undertaken in Queen
Elizabeth National Park
Chimpanzees tracking & hiking safaris
Within the park, one can track Chimpanzees at two places. The
Maramagabo Forest to the south or Kyambura Gorge.
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.
South 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.
Maramagambo is the largest forest in Uganda with blue lakes and
The Kazinga Channel is a 32 km and connects lake Edward and lake
George. Boat rides or launch trips is a 2-5 hours tour on the
Kazinga channel waters.
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 basic campsites.
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.
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.