The diverse Queen Elizabeth National Park
Unlike Kruger or the Serengeti, Queen Elizabeth National Park is hardly heard of. But not only does its wildlife rival that of any other African national park, its volcanic backdrops put safaris here into a whole other league. It does not only have four of the Big Five strolling across its bright green savannah, but it also has crater lakes, flocks of flamingos, and a chimp-inhabited underground forest.
Queen Elizabeth is a must do for your visit in Uganda and makes a great addition to any Gorilla Tracking Safari, either in Uganda or Rwanda.
The parc offers a huge variety of activities, including game drives, boat cruises and hikes.
Facts about the park
- It’s the second largest and most biodiverse park in Uganda.
- Obviously, it was named after Queen Elizabeth (II) – when she visited in 1954
- It is divided into two regions – north and south
- The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the dry months of June to September and January to February, when wildlife spotting is easiest. November to April is the best time to see migratory birds, although these are some of the wettest months, and the rains can mean that some roads become impassable
- There are many different landscapes in the park: wetlands, swamps, crater lakes, tropical forests, open savannah and woodland
- The huge array of landscapes supports a diverse range of wildlife. Four of the Big Five can be found here but that’s not it – nearly 100 mammal species and more than 600 species of birds live in the park.
Our favorite things to do
Ishasha Sector – this is where you will see the famous tree climbing lions. The Ishasha Sector is in the southern part. Lions are only found climbing trees in two places in Africa, so it’s a rare and remarkable sight to see them lying in the branches of giant fig and acacia trees.
Kazinga Channel – A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel should be included in every Uganda itinerary. The Kazinga Channel connects the lakes George and Edward and the cruise gives you the perfect opportunity to get closer to all the animals relaxing in and near the water. You will probably see plenty of elephants taking a bath or coming for a drink. Spot crocodiles and hippos in the Channel and maybe even lions and leopards that are near it.
Kyambura Gorge & Maramagambo Forest - Kyambura is a submerged, underground rainforest surrounded by cascading cliffs and dry savannah - you won't find such a landscape anywhere else. The Kyambura Gorge within the reserve is reminiscent of a lost world, a place that is fascinating and mysterious. 100-metre towering cliffs surround dense jungle, swamps and lakes, making you feel as if you have stepped into a prehistoric time. The reserve is 156 square kilometres big, the gorge itself is only 11 km long. The Kyambura River, which flows through the reserve, is connected to the Kazinga Channel. This is the only place where you will find chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, you have a good chance of hearing and seeing our “cousins” as they have been habituated to human presence. Alternatively, or additionally, you can explore the Maramagambo Forest, and a python and bat cave located there. The forest is part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and one of the largest forests in East Africa. A visit to Maramagambo Forest is an excellent choice for those who want to visit a forest they don’t have to share with other visitors since it’s still a bit of a secret how amazing a stroll through this wonderland is. Maramagambo Forest is also home to Vervet, Colobus, L'Hoest monkeys, baboons, red-tailed monkeys and chimpanzees. The sheer density and variety of birds found here make Uganda one of the best bird watching destinations in the world. There are several caves in the forest that are home to millions of bats. From a viewing platform, visitors can watch them and with a bit of luck the ranger will point out African rock pythons who feed on the bats, too.
Balloon Safari – For those who want to see the park from above a balloon safari is the ultimate experience. Observe from high in the air as the African animal kingdom slowly awakes.
To get the best out of your safari, let us help you with organizing the perfect trip for you, including the best experiences in Queen Elizabeth!