Queen Elizabeth National Park is found in the western district of Kasese, bordering districts like Rubirizi in the east, Rukungiri in the south and DR Congo in the west. Queen Elizabeth National Park covers an area of 1978sq.km and lies directly on the equator. Over the years it has earned the position of the most popular protected area in Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda's first national parks upgraded in 1952 from Lake George and Lake Edward game reserve which were gazetted in 1925. The park was initially named Kazinga National Park in 1952, but was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
This savanna grassland national park is 387km from Kampala capital city with additional 46km if you're coming from Entebbe international airport. Queen Elizabeth National Park is 120km from Mbarara city and 120.6km from Fort Portal city, both newly formed cities in western Uganda. And, charter flights can be arranged to airstrips at Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha, which saves a lot of time for visitors with a tight schedule. Dream Treks Africa helps you organize your journey from transport of any means to hotel bookings that fit within your budget. Save time, money and travel securely with Dream Treks Africa by contacting us.
Two concrete hoops, each on one side of the road with a white line crossing the road to join them together mark the spot where the 00 line of the Equator crosses the Kasese - Mbarara road from one end of the national park to the other and beyond.
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills,, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
Attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species, and this is such a phenomenal number for such a small area, making Queen Elizabeth National Park a haven of attractions.
1) The beautiful scenery of the Western Rift Valley.
This beautiful scenery is visible to both the human eye and camera. It can best be viewed from hills in Rukungiri district, Rubirizi district and the ranges of Mountain Rwenzori bordering the national park. You'll be able to see the beauty of nature covered with savanna grasslands and shrubs, crater lakes like Katwe and Nyamununka, fresh water lakes like Lake Edward, Lake George and the beautiful mountain Rwenzori ranges, all depending were you're viewing it from. Dream Treks Africa will help you secure accommodation in the most comfortable and accessible safaris around Queen Elizabeth national park to give you the best views of the natural savanna scenery with less movement effort. At these safaris you'll wake up to the beauty of nature and wind up your day with the best sunset. Contact Dream Treks Africa for the best travel and accommodation deals for both individuals and groups.
And, whether you're viewing the beauty of Queen Elizabeth National Park from it's highest point, which is 1,350m above sea level or from it's lowest point at 910m above sea level which is found along the shore of Lake Edward, Queen Elizabeth National Park still remains a Medley of Wonders inUganda.
2) The tree climbing lions
Queen Elizabeth National Park together with the adjacent Virunga National Park in DR Congo, are a lion conservation unit. If poaching is curved and the numbers of prey animals recover from a threatened population, this area is considered a lion stronghold in Central Africa.
For big cat lovers, the climax of a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park is tracking and watching tree climbing lions.
The chances of finding lions on the plains of Kasenyi and Ishasha are good, especially with a ranger guide, while leopard sightings are frequent, though unpredictable, around Mweya and the nearby Channel Track. Ever been on a tour were you got to see what you planned and set out to see and more? If yes, then you can get an even better experience with Dream Treks Africa. And, if no, then here is your opportunity to have the best days of your touring life with Dream Treks Africa.
3) The elephants
With over 3,018 elephants, according to the census in 2014. Queen Elizabeth National Park now has the largest population of these large land mammals in Uganda. With such a huge population of elephants, the number of elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park is larger than the total of three other national parks that follow it in numbers, that is, Murchison Falls National Park with 1330 individuals, Kidepo Valley National Park with 407 individuals and Kibale National Park with 487 individuals.
This high population of elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park gives visitors a sighting of a family of elephants at almost every visit at the National Park, at almost any time of the day. Dream Treks Africa will ensure that you get the best viewing experience of the families and individuals of the largest land mammals, the African elephants.
4) The primates; chimpazee, baboons and more.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, there are ten species of primates that enjoy the park's diverse habitats, the most popular of which is undoubtedly the chimpanzee, while the most bold one of all being the baboons. Baboons are known to be curious and good thieves, maybe grabbers, therefore keep your staff and food staff secure.
The Kyambura Gorge is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and is home to the only primates in the most popular National Park in Uganda. This area which is surrounded by savannah is well watered, and is a source of water for many animals. The Kyambura Gorge is well known for its high concentration of primate life. Organize your visit to Kyambura Gorge with Dream Treks Africa and you'll be able to view all these wonders of nature with pressure.
Kyambura is the only place in Queen Elizabeth National Park where habituated chimpazees are seen. About 19 chimpazees have so far been habituated to be close to humans.
Other primates in Kyambura include baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus and vervet monkeys. In all, there are ten species of primates that enjoy the park's diverse habitats.
In addition, Kyambura is also known for its variety of avian species including falcons, the blue-headed bee-eater, and the African finfoot.
5) The Uganda kobs
The Uganda kob resembles a bigger or heavier impala. "Its stocky build with strong legs and overdeveloped hindquarters make for a powerful bounding gallop but not for the fleetness and endurance of slimmer plains antelopes. Females are slender compared with males, which have thick necks and bulging muscles. At 94 kg (207 pounds), bucks weigh one-third more than females and stand 8 cm (3 inches) taller (90–100 cm [35–39 inches]). Armed with heavily ridged lyre-shaped horns 40–69 cm (16–27 inches) long, males stand out in a crowd of hornless females; they also have darker coats that enhance the white throat patch, underparts, eye rings, and insides of ears." Britanicca online encyclopedia.
Uganda kobs give one of the best sites to watch for visitors in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Dream Treks Africa will give you the best viewing experience of Uganda kobs. You'll easily see the beautiful Uganda kobs from the starting of the your park drive or drive through to the end. And, you'll actually see them along way as you come and go.
Uganda kobs in Queen Elizabeth National Park are numerous in number, and there population can't be tracked because they're eaten everyday by lions, hynas and leopards among offers.
During an aerial survey that was conducted in 2018, Uganda kobs in Queen Elizabeth National Park were estimated to be around or above 21,000 individuals.
There mortality rate is quite high because they're hunted and eaten by most all strong canivorous animals in the park from big cats to hynas. Without being hunted and killed, Uganda kobs can live up to 17years.
6) The cape buffalos a.k.a. African Buffalo
Buffalos are large animals and can weigh up to 1000kgs for males and a little less for females which might weigh between 500 - 1000kg. Buffalos live in herds and don't make much noise except when in pain of the jaws of lions, crocodiles or hynas as a distress call.
Lions loves to enjoy a large meal as a park, and buffalos with their slower running speed tend to be just the candidates. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a buffalo population of about or more than 17,000 animals scattered around the national park in herds.
When in Queen Elizabeth National Park, look under large trees and near water bodies and you might chance a herd of buffalos - their sight is easy to catch. Buffalos especially male ones will easily charge at you if they feel challenged or threatened, therefore keep distance as you enjoy their magnificent sight and presence. Dream Treks Africa will not only help you have the best experience buffalos, but also the safest viewing experience of these large quiet cow-like animals. It is estimated that buffalos kill up to 200 people every year, and you'd rather not be one in that statistic, and no one should be.
7) The multitude of birds
There are 600 bird species in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This multitude gives you the opportunity to sight a bird at almost every turn. The highest number of birds in Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area is found in the Kyambura Gorge, the Kichwamba Escarpment, the shady Maramagambo Forest contrasts and fewer species not numbers in the Queen Elizabeth National Park's open grasslands.
Walks in the company of guides can afford you sightings of rare birds which include the forest flycatcher, white-naped pigeon and the striking Rwenzori turaco.
A visit through Dream Treks Africa to Lake Nyamusingire, which is home to the African finfoot will give you a spectacular view. This lake is formed by three connected crater lakes.
The highlights of your visit will include easy sightings of resident and migratory waterbirds on the Kazinga Channel; spectacular seasonal congregations of flamingoes on the Kyambura and Katwe soda lakes. Careful searches for rare birds like the shoebill on the remote Lake Edward Flats in Ishasha make your visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park memorable experience.
8) The many water bodies.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is dotted with many water bodies, some seasonal and some not seasonal. Among others these water bodies include lakes like L. Edward, L. George, L. Katwe and L. Nyamununka. Through Dream Treks Africa you can visit any of these lakes and more in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and experience the site and boat cruises.
It's a major route to other tourist attractions. In the west of Queen Elizabeth National Park is Mountain Rwenzori National Park, which is popular because is the only snow mountain along the equator, and in the south is the popular Bwindi Impenetrable National Park known for it's high population of Mountain gorillas. Dream Treks Africa can help you organize not only visits to Queen Elizabeth National Park, but also visits to all adjacent tourist attractions that will Ugandan tour experience the best experience of your life.
10) The Hippos
The Hippos are one of the largest land mammals, and is the third in size after the elephant and rhinoceros. They're said to be mostly noctanal, that is, the feed at night and rest by day in the cool waters.
Hippos weigh up to 1,500kg for males and 1,300kg for females. However, these hippos can have exceptional weight of up to 4,500kgs. Hippopotamus can live for up to between 40-50years. Males are said to just keep on growing even past the age of 25years.
Their main menu includes grass and decomposing cacus. Just like most animals, alpha males among the hippos don't like other males, not even new born males so its said that mothers with males make great effort to hide them among the thick swampy lake shores were they make time to feed them time and again until they're mature and able to feed and defend for themselves.
Hippos are tough animals and are the only animals that can coexist with crocodiles in the same waters with minimal clashes. It is only fair to say that a human needs to give a hippo fair distance because they're not only moody and unpredictable, but also with one snap of its jaws, they might slash a human into two. With thrill and safety in one package, Dream Trek Africa will organise your pack visits to lake shores and swampy areas with the most interesting numbers of hippos.
11) Local residents
Queen Elizabeth National Park is surrounded by people of different races and tribes especially because of the business possibilities from which people can earn a living. From industries dealing in tea, coffee, cotton and mining among others, to food processing and fishing, these industries have made communities around Queen Elizabeth National Park heterogeneous in kind.
Majorly surrounding Queen Elizabeth National Park are the Bunyaruguru people live on the Kichwamba Escarpment to the southeast of Queen Elizabeth National Park and are mainly farmers of Bananas, which are locally matooke, coffee and tea. The area to the north of the park is the home of Basongora pastoralists and live in small scattered communities with their animals, while Bakonzo farmers cultivate the slopes of the Rwenzori mountain beyond. It's prudent to say that although Queen Elizabeth National Park is surrounded by people from different tribes, it is mainly located in the land of the Bakonzo, a very welcoming and hospitable group of people. For tourists who would like to interact with the local population and experience the culture of people living around Queen Elizabeth National Park, Dream Trek Africa is your answer with one click.
Additional Information sources:
1. Uganda Wild Life Authority website
4. Queen Elizabeth National Park Survey 2018 By Dr. Richard Henry Lamprey