TRAVEL GUIDE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Travel guide to Queen Elizabeth National Park : Queen Elizabeth national park was gazette in 1952 first as Kazinga national park and later on became Queen Elizabeth national park after the second visit of Her Royal majesty the Queen of England when she visited the park. The park is under the management of the Uganda wildlife authority and it covers a land area of about 1,978 Square Kilometers in the western rift valley region.
Queen Elizabeth national park has several sectors including the Ishasha sector, Kazinga channel, Kyambura gorge, Mweya peninsula, Kasenyi plains to mention but a few.
This article brings about all the possible information you need to know while planning your Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth national park. First and foremost, Queen Elizabeth national park is situated in the western part of Uganda the pearl of Africa and is famously for the existence of the tree climbing lions as well as the Kazinga channel where a huge school pf hippos is found.
Other wildlife that thrill in Queen Elizabeth national park include Warthogs, Waterbucks, Elephants, Buffaloes, Crocodiles, Leopards, Lions, Hyenas and abundant of birdlife making it one of the unique destination to explore while on your Uganda safari. This makes Queen Elizabeth national park undoubtedly one of the most visited savanna park in Uganda.
As you cruise along the Kazinga channel on your boat cruise safari travelers are rewarded with stunning views of and encounters with the Hippos, Crocodiles and lots of mammals along the shores of the kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth national park is of no double an alluring savanna park with stunning landscape and beautiful sceneries without forgetting a good population of locals that thrill along the park together with wildlife.
Queen Elizabeth National Park Entrance Fees
To access any protected area in Uganda the pearl of Africa, there is a small amount charged per person per day as the park entrance fees by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Queen Elizabeth national park is not exemplary since it’s one of those protected national parks in the pearl. This collected fee is used to conserve the park and improve standards of living of the communities around the park.
Well, the park entrance fees is charged according to residence status and the age brackets. For Adults, Foreign Non Residents park $40, Foreign Residents pay $30 while Ugandans and all other East African Community member states par UGX. 20,000.
For children, foreign nonresidents pay a half of the adult’s fees which is $20, foreign residents pay $10 while Ugandan and East African community member states pay UgX.5000.
The Tertiary or University students pay UGX. 5000 only for East African Community members.
A group of Ugandan Pupils or students pay UGX 3,000 per person and finally the members of Uganda wildlife club pay UGX. 2,000 per member.
All the above mentioned park entrance fees are paid per person per day. For foreign nonresidents, they need to show their valid passports. For foreign residents, they need to show their valid work permit while for East Africa community member states have to show their valid Identification cards.
Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a home to over 95 mammals which include Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs, waterbucks, Hippos, Elands, Topis and many more seen grazing with in the savanna parts of Queen Elizabeth national park. the best way to watch plenty of animals in Queen Elizabeth national park is by taking up a game drive through the thrilling savanna vegetation where most animals are seen grazing. It’s also possible to view wildlife while on a boat cruise along the kazinga channel.
Apart from mammals, Queen Elizabeth national park as well harbors different species of primates including Chimpanzees which are trekked with in the Kyambura gorge. Other primates seen in Queen Elizabeth national park include Olive baboons, black and white Colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkey, Red Colobus monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey monkeys, Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkey, Vervet monkeys and many more since the park thrills with over 10 primate species.
Queen Elizabeth national park as well thrills with over 600 bird species making it one of the important birding area in Uganda. Several bird species are spotted within the forested area and around the savanna vegetation of the park. Some of the bird species spotted include Pelicans, Palm-nut vulture, Swamp flycatcher and many more.
What to do while on a Uganda safari to Queen Elizabeth national park
With the rich diversity of fauna and flora, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the best destination you need to explore while on your Uganda safari. Combining your safari in Queen with a trek to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi is such a memorable experience. Most of the safaris in Queen Elizabeth national park include Game drives in Kasenyi plains and boat cruise along the mighty Kazinga channel for those with limited travel time at least 3 days adventure.
For those with more days, Queen Elizabeth national park thrills with a whole lots of other tourist activities including Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge, A game drive in Ishasha sector to watch tree climbing lions lion tracking experiment, birding, a guided walk to visit the crater lakes, salt mines and many more.
Let’s talk in details about the things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park
Most of the game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park are conducted within Kasenyi plains which is the most stunning savanna part of the park where tourists get lost with the savanna vegetation while on a 4×4 safari vehicle with a pop up roof top for easy viewing of different wildlife as they graze and hunt with in the plains of Kasenyi. While on a game drive, keen your eyes wide open for an opportunity to spot the cats like Lions, Hyenas, and Leopards which are always on a hunt plus several grazing mammals. The park offers both day and night game drives.
There is yet another fascinating game drive within the Ishasha sector where there is a chance to encounter with the tree climbing lions in their natural habitats. These lions thrill in only 2 destinations including Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda and Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania.
Kazinga channel Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park
Taking on a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel is one of the most fascinating thing to do while in Queen Elizabeth national park. This channel connects 2 lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George. This is the best way to watch several aquatic wildlife including Hippos, Crocodiles and lots of water birds among others.
This activity is conducted twice a day including Morning boat cruise and the afternoon boat cruise though there are yet private boats that can operate at any given period of time. Whichever boat cruise once chooses, they all last for 2 hours sailing on top of the Kazinga channel.
Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth national park
There are two destinations in Queen Elizabeth national park where Chimpanzee trekking is conducted including Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest. These Chimpanzees have been habituated and used to human presence thus an encounter with them is such a thrilling experience. However, sometimes tourists miss spotting these primates but it’s always on a rare occasion.
Guided nature walks in Queen Elizabeth national park
There are lots of guided walks in Queen Elizabeth national park and these included a guide forest walk to Maramagambo forest with an opportunity to view the bat caves with an opportunity to encounter with several species of fauna and flora. There are other guided walks to the crater lakes, salt mines and many more.
When is the best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park?
Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited at any given period of time all year round since Uganda thrills with a tropical climatic conditions in that even during rainy months expect some sunshine. Therefore, you could plan your tour to Queen Elizabeth national park at any given period of time. However, most people always prefer to travel during dry season when the park’s vegetation cover is minimal for easy wildlife viewing and also the trails in the park are dry and easily passable there one should have a Travel guide to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Getting to Queen Elizabeth national park,
Getting to Queen Elizabeth national park is best achieved either by road or by air. The park can be accessed from different locations including Kampala/ Entebbe which is about 6-7 hours’ drive to get to the park headquarters in Mweya Peninsula. From other parks like Kibale forest national park, it takes about 2-3 hours’ drive as well as from Bwindi impenetrable national park which takes about 4-5 hours’ drive to Buhoma sector.
For those who wish to get to Queen Elizabeth National park by air can take a flight from Entebbe international airport / Kajansi airstrip direct to Mweya Airstrip and then connect on a road drive to respective lodges. This is the fastest way to get there.
Where to Stay in Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park thrills with different sectors with plenty of accommodation facilities catering for both budget, Midrange and luxury clients. Some of these lodges include Mweya safari lodge, Kyambura Gorge, Elephant Plains Lodge, Parkview safari lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Katara Lodge and many more.