Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
Top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park we look at those activities you can be part of during your safari. Queen Elizabeth national park happens to be the most visited national park in the western part of Uganda. The national park which covers a total area of 1978sq.km was gazetted in 1952 by the government of Uganda to protect different wildlife species.
Queen Elizabeth national park has a lot of attractions among which include 95 mammals, 600 bird species, 10 primates, Kazinga channel, carter lakes, lake Edward and lake George among others. The national park is open all throughout the year and tourists are able to be part of as many activities as they can.
Top activities in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Game drives: This is the top main activity done in Queen Elizabeth national park a home to over 95 mammals, 10 primate species, and 600 bird species. game drives take you to Kasenyi plains, Ishasha sector, and Mweya peninsular which are the main areas where game drives are conducted and tourists will be able to see as many wild animals as they can.
The game drives are carried out in the morning, evening, and night hours for those that love to see nocturnal animals. During the game drives tourists will be able to see park animals such as buffaloes, topis, lions, defassa waterbucks, hippos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, warthogs, Uganda kobs, elephants, side-stripped jackal, sitatungas, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and much more.
Birding: One of the best birding places in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth national park in the western part of the country. This is one safari activities Queen Elizabeth park and it has over 600 bird species seen in areas like Katwe, Maramagambo forest, Katunguru bridge, Lake Kikorongo, Kasenyi area, Ishasha sector, and Mweya peninsular among others.
Bird lovers on a birding exercise in Queen Elizabeth national park will see birds such as Shoebill stork, laughing dove, cassin’s hawk-eagle, lizard buzzard, vinaceous dove, grasshopper buzzard, mountain buzzard, African grey hornbill, spotted eagle, grey-checked hornbill, white-headed wood hoope, montagu’s harrier, verreaux’s eagle owl, rufous-breasted wryneck, buff-spotted woodpecker, piping hornbill, and African thrush.
Long-tailed hornbill, grey woodpecker, European beat eater, grey-throated barbet, familiar chat, olive bee-eater, yellow-fronted tinker bird, spot-flanked barbet, double-toothed barbet, yellow-billed barbet, southern carmine bee-eater, western black-headed oriole, black-throated watt led-eye, white shrike flycatcher, blackcap puff back, grey-green buck shrike, and
Northern fiscal. banded martin, white-tailed ant thrush, Angolan swallow, lesser striped swallow, olive sunbird, mosque swallow, purple banded sunbird, plain green bull, pin-tailed whydah, fawn breasted waxbill, magpie manikin, northern house martin, African black duck, fulvous whistling duck, rufous billed heron, yellow bill, red-knobbed coot, and red-necked francolin.
Chimpanzee trekking: One of the few areas to see chimpanzees in Uganda includes Queen Elizabeth national park. There are a few habituated chimpanzees within the park and these are seen in Kyambura gorge. Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity done here and only tourists that have trekking permits from Uganda Wildlife Authority are allowed to spend some quality time with them.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura is done in the morning and evening hours by only 8 trekkers. These are first briefed about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and then armed ranger guides lead them down the forest searching for where these apes could be. Trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them seeing them do daily activities, learning about their habits, and taking photos among others.
Nature walks: Nature walks are safari activities in tourists shouldn’t miss out on while on a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park. The nature walk is a guided activity where armed ranger guides take tourists to different regions of the park based on what they want to see. It’s an activity done on foot in areas like Ishasha, Mweya peninsula, Kasenyi plains, explosion craters, and Maramagambo forest among others.
During the nature walks, tourists are able to see different vegetation covers, crater lakes, reptiles, butterflies, amphibians, and primates such as blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys among others. During the nature walks, tourists are also able to see animals such as buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, topis, sitatungas, waterbucks, and much more.
Boat cruises: One of the top things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park is the boat cruise which is done on Kazinga channel. The Kazinga channel is the world’s largest water channel in Queen Elizabeth national park joining Lake Edward and Lake George. On a boat cruise, you will be able to see animals such as crocodiles and hippos in the waters, and birds such as African fish eagles, pied kingfisher, shoebill, and papyrus gonolek. Different park animals will be seen around the shores grazing or drinking water.
Community tours: Queen Elizabeth national park being gazetted was home to animals and people but they were evicted and they decided to settle around areas that are near the park. A visit to the park and you would love to see these communities you need to organize a cultural tour where you will visit different homesteads.
The community tour while in this park can lead you to any of the tribes where you will interact with the locals and get to know how they leave their day to life, you can be part of the home activities like cooking where you can taste the African food, listen to stories of long ago, taste local wines, donate to the needy, support small businesses and get entertained by traditional dancers among others.
Accessing Queen Elizabeth national park
Travelers can access Queen Elizabeth national park by air transport or road transport at any time of the year within a single day. By road transport, tourists can use the route from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kasese to the park or Kampala via Mubende, Kyenjonjo, Fort Portal, Kasese to the park.
By air transport, travelers must book their flights earlier in advance with Bar Aviation Uganda or Aerolink Uganda. These airline companies have flights to Queen Elizabeth national park which start from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip or Kasese airstrip in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited all throughout the year for a safari however there are periods that are better than the rest. The dry season from June to September and December to February is the best to visit the park because it has little or no rainfall which leaves the game tracks dry, vegetation is short with good views of the animals and other attractions, and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers especially budget travelers that love discounted things can visit Queen Elizabeth national park in the rainy season when the lodges are at a discount. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November and it has a lot of rainfall which might not give the best experience. The game tracks are muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.