Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park About Queen Elizabeth NP – Location – Getting There – Attractions & Activities – Accommodation

Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is described as “Uganda’s Great Rift Valley” by Andrew Roberts, is the second largest and it is almost 1,978 sq. km. This largely savanna national park is located in the south western part of Uganda and it’s ranked among world’s most bio-diversified parks housing incredible species of wildlife. It is bordered in the West by Lake Edward and in the North by the Rwenzori Mountains, and is divided in two sectors, the North and South. This fertile equatorial area has a very nice scenery comprised of Tropical Rain Forests and two lakes connected by a channel over looked by a high peninsula. The beauty is simply staggering with sprawling cacti, savannah, forests, rivers and lakes.


The Queen Elizabeth National Park is a world bio-sphere reserve (UNESCO, 1979), includes a RAMSAR wetland site and is a classified Important Bird Area (IBA) by Bird life International. The park has over 568 of Uganda’s 1017 species of birds (over a quarter of Africa’s bird species), more than any other park in Africa.

In the Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), you may see Crater Lakes filled with huge flocks of Flamingos. You will spot Eagles soaring and Vultures perching.

The park is known for its Fauna, although many animals were filled in the Uganda-Tanzanian war. Many species have recovered, including hippopotamuses, elephants, leopards, chimps and lions. It is now home to 95 species of mammals.

Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park

Getting There

The town of Kasese lies on the Northwestern edge of the park. The park is verily one of the very few remaining pristine wildlife Sanctuaries in the world.

Things to See

The park is rich in wild game including the big five mammals except the rhinos which are only hosted in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary along the way to Murchison Falls National Park. Other interesting game in the park include various species of antelopes, warthogs, hyena among many others. Reaching the park, it’s just a drive of about 5-6 from Kampala to the park.

Things to Do

Many safari activities are arranged at the park including wildlife viewing and primate watching, the park is a home to over 6 species of primates the most common is the chimpanzee the closest relative to human. Queen Elizabeth National Park also houses the rare tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park. However, taking a visit to the Kazinga channel is ranked among the must do activities while at the park.

The National Park includes the Maramagambo Forest and boarders the Kigezi and Kyambura Game Reserves. The parks nearby neighbors include Kibale National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tourist Activities in Queen Elizabeth Park

Maramagambo Forest walks
There are three guided walks. The trail is a round the Forested shore of Lake Kyasanduka, then the second trail leads to a huge bat cave and python and the third one is around the back of Lake Nyamusingiri, which will give you an opportunity to se snowy-headed robin-chat, Scaly-breasted illadopsis and Chestnut wattle-eye. You will have an opportunity to see monkeys like red-tailed and vervet, black and white Colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, leopard if lucky, Forest birds and the amazing chimps.

Launch Cruise on Kazinga Channel
In Queen Elizabeth, the launch trip takes place on the Kazinga Channel. The boat usually leaves daily at 09:00hr and 14:00 and takes 2-5 hours tour on the waters. While on the Launch Cruise, the professional guides will be able to give you useful information and answer your queries. With his help, you will have a great opportunity to view the wonderful scenery and variety of animals and birds. One should come with cameras and binoculars.

Game Driving
The game viewing circuit lies on the north side of the Kazinga Channel. With the help of the professional guide, you will have a wonderful opportunity to see Lions, Crocodiles, Hyena, Buffalos, Antelopes, Hippopotamuses, Leopard, Giant Forest hog, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Defassa, Waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Bushbuck and Topi – in their natural habitat.

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
With the help of the professional guide, you will be taken for Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura Gorge. The Gorge creates the boarder between the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park. This Gorge is where you can get a large community of chimps. They can be tracked within the confines of a forested river gorge carved into the surrounding flat savannah. The scientific name of the chimpanzee is
Pan troglodytes. The wild chimpanzee rarely lives past the age of 40, while those in captivity live up to the age of 60 years.

Bird watching
If you are a bird watcher, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most interesting destinations. You can see more than 610 bird species while on the Kazinga Channel Launch and on the Game drives. The park is teeming with a variety of birds like yellow-billed stork, plovers, pink-backed pelicans, white-bellied pelicans, white-bellied Cormorants, black-headed Gonolek Inter-alia.

Bwindi Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-one of the ancient forests is situated in the South-western part of Uganda, and covers an area of 331 square kilometers. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site was gazzeted in 1992 (the same year with Mgahinga National Park) and was inscribed to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994. This Site characterized by different altitudes that range from 1160 meters to 2706 meters above sea level and is a biod8iversityy hotspot that prides itself as a home to over 120 mammal species, more than 350 bird species, 27 species of reptiles, over 200 butterfly species, more than 200 tree species and over 104 species of ferns. The most paramount attraction within this Park is the critically endangered Mountain gorillas, several endemic species and numerous tree species, but it is one of the strictly protected Forests with limited access granted to the local community members living around the National Park. In order to make the local community members benefit from the Park without necessarily entering it for firewood, the 20% revenue sharing scheme was introduced to make them benefit from different community development projects.

Kidepo National Park

Size: 1,442km2

The park’s altitude ranges between 914m and 2,750m above sea level.

The park contains two rivers – Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife.

The local communities around the park include pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened.

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.