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Planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park

Planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park: Because of its attractions, the park ranks the most visited park in Uganda by tourists

Planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park

Planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park: This park is becoming the most visited protected area in the western part of Uganda due to it’s various attractions. This pulls a lot of tourists from different parts of the world. We all know that tourists travel from their home countries to have a great time of their life out there. Planning a safari is of great importance for one to reach well prepared and have a good time within the park.

Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest national park in the country covering an area of 1978sq.km. The national park has several attractions among which include 95 mammals, 10 primate species, 600 bird species and not forgetting the Kazinga channel.

Tourists that are planning to visit Queen Elizabeth national park need to look at this piece of work which will help them to have a very successful travel experience. A lot of things need to be looked at when one is planning to visit any national park and for today we are going to focus on Queen Elizabeth national park.

Planning a safari in Queen Elizbeth national park

Getting the right tour operator

Every traveler needs a tour operator when they are visiting a country have never been to. Tourists to Queen Elizabeth national park need a tour operator who will organize for them a successful safari during their visit to the park. Getting a good tour operator is not easy however travelers can always search on google and see who has good reviews and also licensed to carry out tourism activities.

A lot of tour operators are out there organizing safaris to any of the parks in the country including Queen Elizabeth national park but one has to be wise because they can scam their money. Best tour operators are licensed by Uganda Tourism Board and they have good reviews from trip advisor. A traveler can also get a good tour operator by asking friends who have traveled before.

The role of a tour operator is to tell you how much the safari will cost, book activities for you while in the park, book where you will sleep, and also transportation to the park. This, therefore, means that the right tour operator can give you a good travel experience while a bad tour operator can spoil the whole safari. Choosing a local tour operator is there’re important if you are intending to visit Queen Elizabeth national park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park boat cruises

Queen Elizabeth National Park boat cruises

Activities to do

Every traveler that is visiting a destination knows what he or she will be doing when they reach there. This also needs to apply to Queen Elizabeth national park. So many activities are done in this park and I don’t think a traveler can finish them all so what they have to do is look at the best they want to do during their stay in the park.

Activities done in Queen Elizabeth national park include game drives, hiking and nature walks, boat cruises, chimpanzee trekking, lion trekking, birding, community tours, sport fishing, and much more. As a traveler, you will look at the best activities you want to be part of and this will help on budgeting as well as proper planning.

The best time to visit

If you have decided to visit Queen Elizabeth national park for a safari, you need to search and know when to visit in order to get a great experience. Well, the park has two seasons which are the dry season and the wet season. Travelers can visit the park during any of the seasons but the experience can’t be the same. Most of the activities are enjoyed during the dry season and the other activities are enjoyed during the rainy season.

The dry season is when a lot of travelers visit the park and it’s because the park is receiving little or no rainfall.  The park has dry and easily passable game trucks which mean travelers would access any of the areas of the park without any difficulty, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the animals and then the roads connecting to the park are in perfect conditions meaning you will reach in time.

Travelers can still visit Queen Elizabeth national park in the rainy seasons because the park is open all throughout the year. This is a low season for the park because a few tourists especially the budget ones that love discounted things do turn up. This is because there is too much rainfall that makes the game trucks muddy and slippery, the vegetation is very tall with unclear views of animals and attractions and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.

The dry season is good for activities such as game drives, and nature walks and this is because the trails and game trucks are dry, Kazinga channel boat cruise because the water levels are very normal for a good boat cruise exercise. Bird watching is not bad during the dry season however it’s enjoyed in the rainy season especially from November to April when a lot of migratory birds are within the park.

What to pack

When planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park, predicting how the weather in this park will be during your safari is very difficult. Even during the dry season, travelers still receive some rainfall on certain days therefore it’s better to pack things that are packed at any time of the year. These include waterproof hiking shoes, cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, long cotton stocks, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, gardening gloves, a camera, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, sunscreen, a drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks among others.

Getting there

Tourists intending to visit Queen Elizabeth national park should know that the park is located in the western part of Uganda about 380km from the capital Kampala. The park can be accessed using road transport or air transport within a single day from Kampala/Entebbe. Whichever road transport type you will use depends on your interests as well as your travel budget.

By road transport, there are two journeys from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth national park and the most used one is from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi to Kasese. The second one is from Kampala via Mubende, Kyenjojo, Fort Portal to Kasese. All these routes take 7-8 hours which have stopovers and great views of the surrounding areas.

By air transport, tourists can fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Mweya airstrip inside the park or Kasese airstrip outside the park.  Airline companies such as Bar Aviation Uganda and Aerolink Uganda have daily flights to Queen Elizabeth national park which means you or your local tour operator need t book with them in order to fly to the park.

Stay at Kyambura Gorge Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Stay at Kyambura Gorge Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Where to stay

As you are planning a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park, put into consideration the type of accommodation you are going to use. Well for Queen Elizabeth national park a lot of accommodation facilities have been constructed in and outside the park so travelers are the ones to choose where to stay. These accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on the traveler’s budget.

With accommodation, travelers who want to sleep in good accommodation facilities need to book earlier in advance because the rooms sell out sometimes for example in the dry season when a lot of travelers are visiting the park. A tour operator can help you book accommodation if they are organizing the safari or you can do it your self if it’s you doing the safari.

Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth national park does include Mweya Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Kazinga Channel View Resort, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Elephant Hub Lodge, Kasenyi Safari Lodge, Elephant Plains Lodge, Enjojo Lodge, Enganzi Game Lodge, River Ishasha Safari Camp, Topi Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Katara Lodge, Marafiki Safari Lodge, Tembo Safari Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, and Bullbush River Camp among others.

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