With all the attention focused on gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, it’s easy to forget that a Uganda safari can include classic savannah experiences too. Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s premier game viewing destination and one of the most biologically diverse parks in the world, not least thanks to its mind-boggling bird list of 610 species (more than the entire British Isles!).
Stretching from the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward, to the remote Ishasha River in the South, Queen Elizabeth National Park is arguably the most popular and certainly one of the most scenic national parks in Uganda.
While Uganda has numerous attractions worth seeing, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the country’s most visited destinations for a reason. Not only is it easily accessible, but it provides a medley of wonders! From its incredible biodiversity, to the myriad of different safari activities on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy there. Boasting one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any reserve in the world, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to almost a hundred animal species as well as more than 600 types of birds. The remote Ishasha sector, in the far south of the park, is famous for its tree-climbing lions; these females, who enjoy spending the long, hot afternoons snoozing photogenically in fig trees, are the most memorable sight in the entire park, but don’t miss the superb birdlife or the wonderful boat trip on the Kazinga Channel either.
Few reserves in the world can boast such a diverse ecosystem. With landscape including sprawling savannah, bushland, wetlands, sparkly lakes and lush forests, the park is also home to most of the big game found in the more famous East African parks, but without the crowds. The park also boasts 619 bird species, the second highest of any park in Africa, making it the perfect destination for wildlife and bird lovers alike.
Dubbed ‘The Lost Valley’ by BBC, Kyambura Gorge is home to a small, seasonal chimpanzee population. The gorge forms part of the Western Rift Valley and although chimp sightings can never be guaranteed, the scenic wonders of this rich tropical rainforest are worth the visit alone.
The Ishasha sector, in the far south of Queen Elizabeth National Park, is famous for its tree-climbing lions. While there are other areas in Africa with tree-climbing lion prides, the Ishasha plains, where the lions spend most of the day lazing in fig trees, is one of the best places to witness the spectacle.
The Kazinga Channel is a 40km long natural channel that connects Lake Edward in the west, to Lake George in east. A sunset cruise along the river is always a highly rewarding experience as it offers the opportunity to view hundreds of water birds, as well as large number of wild animals such as hippos, crocodiles, elephants.
Queen Elizabeth national Park is open to tourists throughout the year. Conditions are more difficult during the rainy season (March-May) but nothing a 4×4 can’t handle! The best time to see wildlife is during the dry season (June-August and December-February).
If you’d like help planning your trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park, then get in touch with us and we’ll create a tailored safari to suit your interests, budget and schedule.
Our Recommended Safaris
The park’s real reward lies in its ability to offer a diverse range of safari activities. A boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel is almost obligatory, given the rewarding game viewing and bird watching en route, while Kyambura Gorge offers a green sliver of forest to explore, home to chimpanzees and other primates. On-foot chimp tracking through the forest is available twice a day and makes a wonderful contrast with the savannah game viewing in the rest of the park.
Popular and accessible, Queen Elizabeth National Park is on many Uganda safari itineraries and combines easily with gorilla trekking in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park. There’s a wide variety of accommodation, from family-friendly lodges to secluded tented camps, and activities range from game drives and boat cruises to professionally guided nature walks, chimp treks and sensational bird watching.
Look through our Safari options on the right and choose what suites you or enquire with Wild Discoveries Safaris Team of Experts for more info and also helping you to plan a safari holiday to Queen Elizabeth national park.