About Queen Elizabeth national park
About Queen Elizabeth national park: It is one of Uganda’s national parks found in western Uganda with various wildlife and other attractions. Queen Elizabeth national park was gazetted in 1952 by the government of Uganda making it one of the oldest national parks in the country. The park covers a total area of 1978sq.km dominated by savannah vegetation. The national park is the largest protected area in Uganda after Murchison falls national park.
Queen Elizabeth national park was formerly known as Kazinga national park but this name was changed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth 11 of Great Britain. This large protected area is home to the highest number of mammal species which are 95, over 600 bird species have been recorded here and about 9 primates.
The national park is home to the highest number of crocodiles in the world and these are seen in Kazinga channel which goes through the national park. The park is famous because it hosts tree climbing lions which are seen nowhere in the world may be a few in Lake Manyara national park Tanzania.
Accessing Queen Elizabeth national park
Travelers can access Queen Elizabeth national park within a single day using road transport or air transport. The road distance from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth national park is 398km which is about 5-6 hours of driving. The first journey is from Kampala goes through Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kasese to Queen Elizabeth national park.
The second journey is from Kampala via Fort Portal, Mubende, and then connects to Kasese and finally to the park and it’s about 5-6 hours. Both routes come with different stopovers and great views of the surrounding on the way. The total time taken to get to the park depends on the number of stopovers as well as the nature of the roads.
This park is one of the places that can be accessed by air passport. Travelers can access the park by flying to Mweya airstrip which is located inside the national park. Flights are organized by Aerolink Uganda and Bar Aviation Uganda every day to enable travelers to access the park in the quickest way. Flights start from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to mweya airstrip.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park
Tree climbing lions: These are attractions on their own and they have brought in a lot of people to the park. The tree-climbing lions are very rare that in the whole they can be seen in this park and a few in Lake Manyara national park Tanzania. These tree-climbing lions are not like these normal lions because they spend most of their time on trees.
Animals: Queen Elizbeth national park is a habitat for a wide range of Wildlife that include animals living in different areas of the park which are dominated by savannah vegetation. The national park is home to 95 mammals, and 9 primates which can be seen during different park activities. The primates can be well seen if one takes a visit to the valley of apes Kyambura gorge.
Animals in the park include Uganda kobs, buffaloes, lions, duikers, giant forest hogs, topis, leopards, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, jacksons hartebeests, waterbucks, bushbucks, sitatungas, side-stripped jackal, vervet monkeys, l’hoest’s monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and chimpanzees among others.
They do climb big fig trees and rest most of the hours for different reasons. Some of the reasons include escaping heat from the ground and the other is looking for a perfect spot to catch their prey. In this park tourists are able to see them in the Ishasha sector which is found in the extreme south of the park.
Kazinga channel: Kazinga channel is the largest water channel in the world connecting two lakes. The Kazinga channel connects lake Edward and lake gorges which happen to be part of the this national park. Kazinga channel of Queen Elizabeth park is a habitat various wildlife species that is to say, it accommodates the highest number of crocodiles which can be seen when one takes a boat cruise or does a nature walk around the channel. The Kazinga channel is a source of water for different animals in the park and the vegetation around the channel is home to different bird species.
Birds: Queen Elizabeth national park is a habitat for over 600 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park. These bird species do live in different vegetation covers of the park where they find food and comfortable home. The highest number of bird species can be seen during nature walks although others can be seen during boat cruises and game drives.
Birds of Queen Elizabeth national park include African cuckoo, Senegal coucal, African rail, blue-headed coucal, African crake, white brown coucal, lesser moorhen, yellow bill, African black coucal, curlew greenshank, black crake, jacobin cuckoo, common waxbill, red-knobbed coot, great spotted cuckoo klaas’s cuckoo, African finfoot, and black-billed turaco.
Other birds of the park include the dusky long-tailed cuckoo, African jacana, red-chested fluff tail, red-chested cuckoo, black billed bustard, yellow throated cuckoo, white spotted fluff tail, black heron, hadada ibis, common ringed plover, crowned lapwing, grey crowned crane, water thick-knee, shikra, booted eagle, mountain buzzard, African pied hornbill, grey woodpecker, olive bee-eater, olive sunbird.
Equator : Equator is a lining that divides the world into two the northern and southern hemispheres. The equator happens to be passing in Queen Elizabeth national park and it’s one of the attractions. Tourists can always visit the equator in the Kasenyi area of the park for pictures and also getting to know more information about the line.
Crater lakes: Queen Elizabeth national park is dotted with so many crater lakes which are about 10 in number and accommodates a number of wildlife species such as migratory birds, mammals and much more. The major crater lakes which tourists can visit are three and these are Katwe crater lake, Bunyaruguru crater fields, and Ndali-Kasenda crater lake which is located near Kibale forest national park. Tourists can always visit any of these crate lakes while on nature walks activities to know different information about them for example how they were formed and also take pictures.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth park is one of the places you can visit at any time of the year to encounter it’s wildlife and other attractions however there are certain months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit this amazing park and these happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which keeps game tracks dry, vegetation is short and thin and the roads leading to the park are passable
Tourists can still visit the park in the rainy season of March to May and October to November and this period favors budget travelers because they do get discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season is however characterized by too much rainfall that makes game trucks muddy and passable the vegetation is tall and roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth national park
Just like any other national park, this national park has accommodation facilities where tourists can spend a night or more while on a safari in this park. These accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on the person’s budget.
Accommodations in the park include Elephant Hub Cottages, Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Hippos Safari Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Bush Lodge, Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Marafiki Safari Lodge, Enganzi Game Lodge, Mweya Hostel, Simba Safari Camp, and Kazinga Channel View Resort among others.