Queen Elizabeth National park
Queen Elizabeth National park is the second largest and most busy and highly preferred wildlife national park in Uganda. It was named after Queen Elizabeth of England who visited the park. The park was established in 1952 and it was named Kazinga National park deriving its name from the famous Kazinga Channel that is found in the middle of the park. The channel is the water body that connects Lake George with Lake Edward and its famous with its high concentration of hippos. In 1954 Queen Elizabeth National park was renamed to the current name after the visit of the Queen of England that is Queen Elizabeth11.
The park sits in a total land area of 1,978 square kilometers making it the second largest national park in Uganda only after Murchison falls national park. Queen Elizabeth National park is popular of the Kazinga Channel and the rare tree climbing lions that are only seen in Ishasha sector of the park in Uganda. It homes 4 members of the African big five animals only missing Rhinos (Lions, leopards, Bufaloes and Elephants) are all present.
Location of Queen Elizabeth park
The park is located in the Western part of Uganda sitting in the 4 districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukungiri and Rubirizi districts. Its found 400 kilometers away from Uganda capital city Kampala by road. There are two routes that can connect you to Queen Elizabeth National park one passing through Mbarara and the other passing through Fort portal. The nearest and the largest town bordering the park is Kasese town where some of the lodges are found. The park can be accessed by both road and air. By road it takes around 5 to 6 hours drive from Kampala or Entebbe to the park. You can access the park using public means with buses passing through the middle of the park from Kampala to Kasese. You can also use local tour operator who can organize for you all inclusive package for the best Queen Elizabeth National park safari.
By air there are daily chattered flights by aerolink from Kajansi or Entebbe international airport to Mweya, Ishasha or Kasese airfield.
Attractions of Queen Elizabeth National park
Queen Elizabeth National park is one of the premium parks in Uganda which is well-known for its large population of wildlife. The surrounding of the park by different national parks and protected areas has boosted the number of animals at the park. The park is gifted by nature with great number of attractions that attracts more tourists and makes the park one of the most visited park in Uganda. Below is the list of attractions found in Queen Elizabeth National park:
The Kazinga channel is one of the key attractions of Queen Elizabeth National park. The channel is water body that connects the two lake together those are Lake George and Lake Edward. The channel is where the boat cruise is done for both birding, game viewing and relaxing with the most exciting scenic views. The boat cruise at the lake take two hours taking you close to water birds at the banks of the channel, big game like hippos, elephants, buffaloes and others that come to cool themselves or quench their thirst. The water channel has the highest concentration of hippos in Africa with the largest schools of hippos. Its 32 kilometers wide channel that is gifted with aquatic wildlife.
Lake Katwe and the crater lakes
Lake Katwe and other crater lakes around Kasenyi sector were formed under the influence of volcanic activity that took place in the area. Lake Katwe is the largest lake in the area and its famous with the local salt mining that is practiced in the lake. Many guests wants to have a view and chat with the locals on how they do the slat mining process.
This is one of the small lakes that is found inside Queen Elizabeth National park. It covers 250 square kilometers. Its found on the Western part of the park along the Western great Rift valley area.
This is where the life of Queen Elizabeth National park lies with over 95 animal species found at the park. The healthy population of the wildlife at the park attracts more guests to do safaris from this park. It homes 4 members of the African big five only missing Rhinos, dozens of Antelope species, primates like Chimpanzees, monkeys and others. Other naimals found in the park are the rare tree climbing lions that are found in Ishasha, normal lions in Kasenyi, elephants, leopards, Hyenas, gazelles, kobs, buffaloes, hippos, topis, dikdik mention but a few. The animals in Queen Elizabeth National park are permanent residents making it possible for the game viewing to be done throughout the year.
The park is a home of over 600 bird species which are distributed across the park. The different vegetation of the park has created fertile grounds for the different bird habitats at the park which inhabit different species of birds. The park also receives some migratory birds from Africa and other parts of the world. There both water birds along Kazinga channel and lake George and the savannah grassland birds. Example of the available bird species include: White-taiked Lark, Eagle Owl, Pelican, African Skimmer, Papyrus Canary, Flamingos, white-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Shoebill and many more.