Uganda’s Most Popular National Park
It is Uganda’s popular and accessible game reserve. Bounded on the west by the Zairean border, Queen Elizabeth National park runs from the base of Rwenzori mountains in the north down to the Ishasha border post on the Ishasha River in the south. The park protects the entire Ugandan shore of Lake Edward, the northern and western shores of Lake George, and an area of 1,978 Km2 between the two lakes, including Kazinga channel which connect them.
Over 558 species of birds
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a greater avian diversity than any other protected area in Africa with over 558 species of bird life. It ranks the sixth in bird diversity world-wide in the protected areas. Queen Elizabeth National Park is the only park in Uganda that has bird observatory facilities in Uganda. It is only in QENP that one can sight flocks of flamingoes in spectacular craters in Uganda.
Bird Watching Safaris
The Park is an important breeding ground for birds and a stop over for migratory birds. Birds seen include: shoebill stock, black bee eater, crested crane, African finfoot, saddle bill stock, peregrine falcon, martial eagle, rock falcon, hunters sun birds, pelicans, cormorants, etc. The diversity of birds in the park is due to the great diversity of habitats that occur.
The bulk of the park is covered in open savanna dotted with acacia and euphorbia trees. There are also large areas of swamp around lake Gorge. The extensive Maramagambo forest lies n the southeast of the park, and the forested Kyambura Gorge forms part of the eastern boundary, dividing the park from the chambura game Reserve. At least ten crater lakes lie within the reserve, the most easily visited cluster lying immediately north of the main road to Mweya lodge.
Queen Elizabeth national parks main tourist circuit lies north of the Kazinga channel and west of the Mbarara Kasese road, and it is focused around Mweya lodge on Mweya peninsula, which overlooks the point where the Kazinga channel exits Lake Edward. The less regularly visited Ishasha sector lies in the far south of the park, and it is based around the small Ishasha camp on the Zairean border.
Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise
Launch trips: The most popular activity out of Mweya kis the launch trip down the Kazinga channel. These leave from Mweya two times a day and the do last for 2 hours. While on the trip expect to be thrilled by yawning hippos and a closer view of water birds along the shores like black-headed gonolek, a member of th esrike family with a dazzling red chest- and look closely, at the localized papayrus gonolek, similar in appearance but with a yellow crown, has also been recorded in the park.
In the southern part of the park is the Ishasha Sector with substantial tree climbing lions found perched on savannah fig trees. The concentration of game in its savannah setting, Lake Edward and River Ishasha flats, Ishasha and riverine forest, Hippo Pool and Congo escarpment provides splendid scenery. Ishasha Sector is known for its expansive savannah landscape teeming with a variety of wildlife possibly due to its continuity cross border migration of wildlife. “Missing Ishasha is simply missing QENP”.
Crater Salt Lakes
There are many craters, some containing salt lakes, formed by volcanic activity some 8-10,000 years ago. Some of the craters are dry. These unique concentrations of unspoiled craters forms a unique scenic vantage point and are important as dry season watering points for animals. The crater area is such a captivating and breathtaking phenomenon. It is impossible to give a fair description of the crater area, there is nothing with which to compare. It is one of the wonders of Uganda/East Africa