Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park; Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest and one of the most visited national parks located in western part of Uganda in Kasese, Rubirizi, Kamwenge and Rukungiri districts. This is a home of over 95 mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, lions, leopards, warthogs, bushbucks, bush pigs, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons and over 600 bird species. There are a number of interesting activities that you can engage in during your Uganda safari in Queen Elizabeth national park including,

Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park

Game drives

Game drive is one of the major activities where you will be able to explore the savannah plains in a comfortable 4 WD safari vehicle with an experienced driver guide. Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park can either be done very early in the morning when the animals are still active or in the afternoon when animals are returning back to their resting areas. During the game drive, you will follow different trails in Kasenyi plains, Mweya peninsula and Ishasha sector where you will be able to view a wide range of animals like buffaloes, elephants, tree climbing lions, Uganda kobs, leopards, hyenas, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs, topi, hippos among others.

Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
Game drives in Queen

Queen Elizabeth national park also offers night game drives where you will be able to explore the park at night with an experienced park ranger and spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals which become active at night. During the night game drive which is only done in Mweya peninsula, you will be able to see nocturnal animals like lions, leopards, serval cats, bush babies, banded mongoose, civet, genet, view hippos feeding, enjoy the beautiful stars among others.

Boat cruise

Boat cruise is an amazing activity in Queen Elizabeth national park which is done on Kazinga channel, a 40kilometre long channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Boat cruise on Kazinga channel is done in two sessions that is the morning session which starts at around 9:00am and the afternoon session which starts at around 2:00pm and each session takes about 2 to 3 hours. During the boat ride, you will be rewarded with great views of animals like elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs among others which come to drink water along the shores especially during the dry season, view large concentrations of hippos and Nile crocodiles in water, view water birds like cormorants, hornbills, bee-eaters, kingfishers among others. During the boat cruise on Kazinga channel, you will also be able to view fishermen along the water banks preparing their fishing gears for night fishing.

Bird watching

The park is a home of over 600 recorded bird species including migratory birds, water birds, savannah birds and endemic bird species which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth national park has several birding areas including Mweya peninsula, Ishasha sector and Kasenyi plains during the game drives, Kazinga channel during the boat cruise and Maramagambo forest during the nature walk. During bird watching, you will be accompanied by an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as African Finfoot, Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, African Emerald Cuckoo, Red Throated Wryneck, Black Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Helmeted Guinea Fowl, Martial Eagle, Hooded Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, Double Toothed Barbet, Ross’s Turaco, Palm-nut Vulture, African Green Pigeon, Bateleur, Stipped Kingfisher, Black-crowned Tchagra, Crowned Plover, Black-headed Gonolek, Ruppell’s Griffon, Rufous Napped Lark, Nubian Woodpecker, Squire-tailed Nightjar, Slender-billed Weaver, Pygmy Kingfisher, Swamp Nightjar, Little Bee-eater, Diederik Cuckoo, Blue-napped Mousebird, Pin Tailed Whydah among others.

Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
Black-headed Gonolek

Nature walks/ hiking

Nature walk is an interesting activity in Queen Elizabeth national park where you will get an opportunity to explore the national park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and an armed park ranger to protect you from dangerous animals. During the guided nature walk, you will follow different hiking trails in Kasenyi plains, along the Ishasha river, Maramagambo forest, Kyambura gorge, Mweya peninsula among others where you will get up-close and personal with different animals, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, view different bird species, colorful butterflies, listen to sweet sounds of bird species singing in trees, enjoy the cool breeze in a quiet environment among others.

Chimpanzee trekking

Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth national park is done in Kyambura gorge also known as the valley of apes and it involves visitors moving into the tropical rainfall in search of the habituated chimpanzees. Trekking of chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing, you will start trekking in the forest with an experienced park guide who is well conversant with different trails. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, plants among others and once the chimpanzees are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record videos to show people back home.

Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season, there is less or little rainfall in the national park therefore vegetation will be thin which helps you to have clear views of different wildlife species, animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water, access roads and hiking trails will be dry and passable.

Queen Elizabeth national park can also be visited in the wet season during the months of March to May and October to November because that’s the best time for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view colorful and migratory bird species.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara or Mubende, Fort Portal to the park headquarters which takes about 7 to 8 hours’ drive.

Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
Getting to Queen Elizabeth N.P

Queen Elizabeth national park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe international airport to Mweya or Kasese peninsula and then connect to the lodge of park headquarters by road.

Where to stay in Queen Elizabeth national park during the safari

Queen Elizabeth national park has a number of accommodation facilities where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and Luxury including Elephant plains lodge, Irungu forest safari lodge, Savannah resort hotel, Marafiki safari lodge, Ishasha jungle lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Kasenyi safari camp, Ishasha wilderness camp, Pumba safari cottages, Elephant hab lodge, Parkview safari lodge, Enganzi lodge, Simba safari camp, Queen Elizabeth bush lodge, Queen Elizabeth safari camp, Kyambura gorge lodge, Kyambura tented camp, Mweya hostels, Lake Chibwera camp, Katara lodge, Ishasha tented camp, King fisher lodge Kichwamba, Ishasha jungle lodge, Kitandara hippo hill lodge, Ihamba safari lodge, Ishasha Ntungwe river camp among others.

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