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Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park

Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park include primates, mammals, and birds which have found comfortable homes in the savannah type of vegetation

Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park

Wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park include primates, mammals, and birds. The national park which was gazetted in 1952 to protect different wildlife is home to over 95 mammals, 10 primate species, and 600 bird species. These have found comfortable homes in the savannah type of vegetation which is all over the area that covers 1978s.km.

Birds: Over 600 bird species have been recorded in different areas of Queen Elizabeth national park which makes it one of the best birding places in Uganda. The birds of Queen Elizabeth national park are seen during guided nature walks which happen in places such as Katwe, Katunguru bridge, Ishasha sector, Mweya sector, Maramagambo forest, Kazinga channel, and Kyambura gorge to mention but a few.

Birds of Queen Elizabeth national park include African fish eagle, yellow-billed stork, pied kingfisher, long-crested eagle, white-browed coucal, water thick-knee, red-necked francolin, water thick-knee, wattled lapwing, pinked-backed pelican, marabou stork, great cormorant, palm nut vulture, great cormorant, African jacana, yellow-throated longclaw, malachite kingfisher, black-headed gonolek, black-winged stilt, and black-headed weaver.

Grey-backed fiscal, slender-billed weaver, woodland kingfisher, swamp flycatcher, black crake, grey heron, pin-tailed whydah, crowned lapwing, white-backed vulture, saddle-billed stork, ruppell’s starling, speckled mousebird, goliath heron, black-headed heron, grey hooded gull, sooty cat, bateleur, black-bellied bustard, and lesser black-headed gull.

Cattle egret, grey kestrel, rufous-naped lark, northern grey-headed sparrow, helmeted guineafowl, laughing dove, brown snake eagle, Egyptian rousette, common greenshank, martial eagle, grey crowned crane, marsh sandpiper, kittlitz’s plover, three-banded plover, black-winged kite, and African harrier hawk among others.

Encounter Chimps on your safari to Queen Elizabeth park in Kyambura Gorge

Encounter Chimps on your safari to Queen Elizabeth park in Kyambura Gorge

Primates: There are 10 primates in Queen Elizabeth national park and these are seen mostly seen in the areas of Kyambura gorge and Maramagambo forest. The primates of Queen Elizabeth national park include red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, L’hoests monkeys, grey-checked mangabeys, olive baboons, and chimpanzees among others.

To see the primates of Queen Elizabeth national park you can be part of the nature walks to forested areas like Kyambura gorge and Maramagambo forest where these animals live on tree branches. The other activity is chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge because as you look for the chimpanzees, you will meet different primates. Tourists can still see some of the primates during a bit cruise on Kazinga channel because some primates love to stay in the riverine vegetation cover. During the game drives, you may not be able to see most of them but you can see some.

Mammals of Queen Elizabeth national park: Queen Elizabeth national park is home to 95 mammals that have been so far recorded in the different areas of the park. These mammals have been seen in Ishasha sector, Kasenyi plains, Mweya peninsula, Kyambura gorge, Maramagambo forest, and many other places. The mammals have found comfortable homes in these areas which are made up of savannah, woodland, and riverine vegetation, abundant food, water, and safety.

The mammals of Queen Elizabeth park include the big five which are lions, buffaloes, leopards, and elephants.  Other mammals include Sitatungas, topis, defassa waterbucks, bushbucks, spotted hyenas, aardvarks, Nile crocodiles, hippos, giant forest hogs, small spotted genet, serval cats, Uganda kobs, banded mongoose, side-stripped jackal, and many others. These mammals can be best seen during game drives, nature walks, and maybe boat cruises on Kazinga channel.

Best way to see wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park

Game drives: Taking part in the game drives activities while on a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park will help you to see a lot of wildlife, especially mammals. Game drives are conducted in the morning, evening, and night hours with the day game drives done for free and the night game drives done at a fee.

During the game drives tourists will be able to see different animals of the park carrying out their daily activities in the savannah vegetation and these include lions, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, banded mongoose, giant forest hogs, elephants, topis, sitatungas, elephants, leopards, deffasa waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, and side stripped jackals among others.

Bird watching: Birding watching activities are carried out in form of nature walks but they are organized specifically for people that want to see the birds of Queen Elizabeth national park. These bird watching activities are done in Ishasha, Mweya peninsular, Katunguru bridge, Katwe area, Kazinga channel, and Kasenyi plains among others.

Birds that are seen in Queen Elizabeth national park include Shoebill stork, Africa pygmy goose, Senegal coucal, striated heron, red-knobbed coot, slender-tailed nightjar, yellow bill, African palm swift, harlequin quill, duck, lesser flamingo, African olive pigeon, garganey, hottentot teal, yellow-billed duck, red-billed teal, intermediate egret, and red-necked spurfowl among others.

Enjoy the paramount boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park

Enjoy the paramount boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park

Boat cruise: The boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park is done in Kazinga channel which goes through the park linking lake George to lake Edward. The Kazinga channel boat cruise comes with opportunities of seeing aquatic animals, land animals, and bird species.

Tourists on a boat cruise on Kazinga channel will be able to see hippos, crocodiles, water birds such as shoebill, African fish eagle, lesser flamingo, pied kingfisher, park animals like the red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, buffaloes, elephants, and antelopes among others.

Nature walks: Nature walks in Queen Elizabeth national park are the best way to see the different wildlife of Queen Elizabeth national park. The wildlife is seen on foot in different areas of the ark where the armed ranger guides take you. Nature walks take about 2-3 hours and tourists are able to see different mammals, primates, and bird species.

Best time for wildlife viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited all throughout the year however there are periods that are said to be better than the rest. The dry season is the best time to have a great wildlife viewing experience and this happens from June to September and December to February. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the game trucks dry, vegetation is short with good views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.

Travelers can still visit Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing in the rainy season and this favors budget travelers because a lot of things including accommodation are on a discount. The rainy season which happens from March today and October to November is however characterized by too much rainfall which makes the game trucks muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall with unclear views of the wildlife, and roads leading to the park are impassable.

Accommodation on a game viewing safari in Queen Elizabeth national park.

Queen Elizabeth national park has a wide range of accommodation facilities grouped into budget, mid-range, and luxury options. Travelers to this park can’t fail to get where to stay during their safari and it’s advisable to book your lodge earlier in advance in order to get one of your choices.

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

Accessing Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing

Queen Elizabeth national park can be accessed for wildlife at any time of the year using road transport or air transport. By road transport, tourists can access the national park in 7-8 hours from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi to Kasese or Kampala via Mubende, Kyenjonjo, Fort Portal, and Kasese. From Bwindi it’s easier from Buhoma sector via Kihihi and then Kanungu to the park.

Tourists that want to access Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife viewing in the quickest way can fly to the park in 1 hour and 15 minutes. There are airline companies such as Bar Aviation Uganda and Aerolink Uganda that organize flying safaris to the park. The flights start from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip inside the park or Kasese airstrip outside the park.

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