Queen Elizabeth National Park
Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Big Game & Tranquil Lakes
Queen Elizabeth is the most popular and easily accessible game reserve in Uganda. As one of the outstanding treasures of Uganda, UNESCO have designated the park as a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity. From semi-deciduous tropical forest to rich open savannah, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding dark crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that QENP boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world.
Gazetted in 1952 and encompassing 1,978 sq. km, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 606 bird species making this superb safari territory. Accessible year round, elephant, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog and handsome Uganda kob are all regularly sighted around the main village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvellous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Since its inception, the protected area has grown. Set in the Western Rift Valley it now encompasses Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Kigezi Wildlife Reserve. Within QENP there are many attractions including the remote Ishasha Sector, the Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Crater Area. The park is rich in wildlife: Bird species recorded include the Shoebill stork, black bee-eater, eleven types of kingfishers and a variety of raptors, including several falcons and eagles. Mammals range from tree-climbing lions to monkeys and chimps.
Launch trips on the Kazinga Channel offer great game viewing, as do game drives around Mweya. Also available is chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge and guided walks and canoeing in and around the Maramagambo Forest. Ideally at least 3 days should be allowed to experience the range of activities this wonderful park offers.
There is no better place in QENP for relaxing with a cold sundowner in hand than at Mweya Safari Lodge. With breathtaking views of the Kazinga Channel, the grunting of nearby hippos and a backdrop of the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains, this is one of Uganda’s most special places.
QENP lies 6-7 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara (440 km). It can also be reached on a dirt road from Bwindi. Private transport is essential for maximum flexibility on game drives within the park.
- Take a motor launch safari on the Kazinga Channel and see an abundance of hippos, elephant and birds
- Experience the diversity of QENP on an early morning game drive – search for lions and discover volcanic craters
- Explore on foot and track chimps in the Kyambura Gorge or follow trails in Maramagambo Forest