Founded in 195 2 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to honor a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth covers 1978 square kilometers. Stretching from the crater-dotted foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the South, integrating a wide of variety of habitats that range from savanna and wetlands to balcony, humid forests, sparkling crater lakes make it the perfect home for big game including the infamous climbing lions, ten primate species, 72 craters, bird sanctuary at Katwe, underground forest,and over 600 species of birds, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular National Park and indeed one of its most scenic and amazingly Uganda’s most popular visitor destination.
Game Drives The Park provides Africa’s greatest safari experience. The park is a home to 2500 elephants and over 10,000 buffalos, hundreds of climbing lions, warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi, as well as the sitatunga antelope among others. Game drives through the Ishasha Sector, North Kazinga Plains and Kasenyi, practically offer certain sight of buffalo, antelope and elephant warthogs among other. Guided early morning and nightfall game drives offer big chance to see lions, and leopards. Game drives start at 6:30 in the morning and it’s advisable that game drives be booked the day before.
Chimp Tracking: Don’t miss on discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment at Kyambura Gorge experience as you discover the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s impressive “underground” rainforest. However seeing the chimps is not hundred percent guaranteed
Boat Drive: Watch different animal and bird species on Kazinga, cruise just meters from hundreds of giant hippos and buffalos while elephants linger the shoreline. Over 60 bird species can be spotted during the trip.
Experiential Tourism: Be part of this new and unique experience and actively participate in monitoring some of the exotic birds and mammals, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. Join the UWA research and monitoring as they collect the essential details that are added databases contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. Ongoing activities include, Hippo Census, Lion Tracking, Mongoose Tracking and Bird Counts. Bookings must be made in advance as number of participants on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors. Research lasts between 1-3 hours and usually takes place in the early morning or evening, and occasionally at night.
Bird watching: Queen Elizabeth National Park contains a variety of habitats that range from savanna to wetlands to lowland forests making it a birding destination with over 600 bird species, the largest of any protected area in East Africa. A majority of the birds found in this area are regarded as famous birds of East Africa and are a must see for birdwatchers in Africa!
Hiking and Nature Walks explore the landscapes and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Take a walk through Maramagambo forest and keep watch of different bird species, tree species, butterflies and primates like Chimpanzees. Walking around Mweya Peninsula offers you savanna and woodland with beautiful views and daring warthogs.
Community Tourism: Don’t miss on lively performances, Kikorongo Women Community with dance, drama, music and fire-making. While a local interpreter explains the significance of the performances. Learn how to weave baskets and bowls using natural fibers.
Visit Katwe Tourism Information and see how salt is harvested traditionally its milky water. Go by the nearby bird sanctuary lake, home to thousands of birds, including migratory birds like flamingoes that come between October and May.
Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed by two routes from Kampala to the center of the park at Mweya Peninsula. It can either be through the south (Kampala-Mbarara-Bushenyi-Kasese) which is 420km or north (Kampala-Fort Portal) which is 410 km.
There are also Charter flights that can be arranged to a choice of airstrips at Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha.
Best time to Visit
With 18-28°C average temperatures, the park can be visited anytime of the year. Those interested in experiential tourism, check with Uganda Wildlife Authority on the availability of activities.