Queen Elizabeth National Park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga national park and was renamed two years later after Queen Elizabeth 11’s visit. The park covers an area of 1978sqkms and spans the equator line and monuments on either side mark the exact spot where the latitude crosses. The park is located in the western region of Uganda spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukirizi and Rukungiri. It’s approximately 420 km (7hrs &25mins) by the road, south west of Kampala and in the town of kasese is just outside the Northeastern edge of the park.
Queen Elizabeth National park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. It covers over 95 mammals and 600 bird species. The park’s magnificent visit include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into the green hills, panoramic views of Kazinga channel with its bank harboring hippos, buffaloes, elephants and endless Ishasha plains whose fog tress hide the lions and unsuspecting Uganda kobs.
Queen Elizabeth national park has outstanding activities that one can’t do without and these include:
The fascinating game drives. For a classic safari experience, the tracks through kasenyi , kazinga plains and the ishasha sector offers guaranteed buffaloes,antelopes,elephants and warthogs along with baboons. This activity is mostly done in the early mornings or dusk for a successful track down of the pride lions or even the odd leopards.
Chimpanzee tracking is another unforgettable experience carried out in Kyambura gorge. This activity is mainly done by discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment; it teaches the tourists about the ecosystem of kyambura gorge’s atmospheric underground rainforests for example the bird behavior and identification, vegetation type, the chimp and monkey ecology.
Launch trip is done on the Kazinga channel on the boat cruise that justifies the hundreds of enormous hippos and buffaloes plus the elephants lingering on the shoreline. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more.
The other activities are birding with over 600 bird species to see, Bat cave where tourists are able to view the resident bats and pythons and the nature walks or hiking which is mainly done in the shady Maramagambo forest, Mweya peninsula with scenic views and Ishasha River where you may spot a variety of forest and savannah species.
Best Season: The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National park is June to August though January, February and September are good months to visit too. The peak seasons are June and July.
The main accommodation centers in Queen Elizabeth national park are Mweya safari lodge and Ishasha wilderness camp for luxury stay, bush lodge and samba safari camp for midrange stay as well as hotel Margarita for a budget.
There are other accommodation facilities located far from the main activity centers i.e. Ihamba Lodge, Jacana safari lodge, Tembo safari lodge, Engiri game lodge,Virina garden hotel, kyambura game lodge, village eco-lodge and white house hotel .