Queen Elizabeth National park

About Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular Savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats includes grassland Savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates.  Leopard sightings are common, and the Ishasha sector is famous for its tree-climbing lion. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the Savannah areas of the park. An amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips are conducted. Chimps can be tracked in the Nyambura godge, and several primate species are present. The park has luxury accommodation that will favour all visitors. It also caters for the budget travelers. Mweya safari lodge and Jacana lodge have excellent services and Ishasha wilderness camp with lavishness accommodation. Budget accommodation includes Mweya hotels and Ishasha bandas with average standards that will make your stay memorable.

When to Go

Queen Elizabeth National Park covers an area of 1978 sq. Km. and is located on the rift valley floor between two lakes George and Edward. It has a number of habitats that are home to about 95 species of mammals and 612 species of birds. This gives it a very diverse wildlife population. The scenery covers everything from lush vegetation, to lakes, to wildlife and rising mountains beyond the park boundary.

The vegetation can be summed up in 5 types; forest, bushy grassland, grassland, swamp vegetation/lakeshore and acacia woodland. It residents include; Uganda kobs, elephants, warthogs, leopards, hyenas, chimpanzees, the famous tree climbing lions and so much more. It is a place that renews your appreciation for nature.

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers good game viewing and wildlife adventures all year round. Some times of the year are better times to visit than others. The dry months are the best time to go wild life viewing and chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The dry season runs from June to September and there is a short break between the rains in January to February.

The wet season is between October to December and also March to May. Interestingly though, some of the wet months are the perfect time for bird watching in the park.

Summary:

The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is June to August.

January, February, August and September are good months to visit too.

Peak Season is June and July

The low season is March to May and October to December which is the wet season.

Best weather conditions: This would be the dry season of June to September.

Worst weather conditions: The wet season running from March to May.

The dry season:

June, July, August, September, January and February are the drier months of the year. During this time the animals are much easier to see because they are drawn to the water sources. It is peak season, especially in June so there will quite a number of tourists in the park, never an overwhelming crowd though.

This is the best time to go on game drives and view wildlife, take guided walks and go on chimpanzee tracking expeditions. You will need warm clothes for the early morning game drives and the nights because it tends to get really cold.

The wet season:

October, November, December, March, April and May are the wetter months of the year. During this season, the scenery in and around the park is extremely beautiful. The vegetation is green and lush and captures the true picture of the tropics. There are migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa in the park during this season which makes it the best to go bird watching.

However it is also the low season for the park, and some lodges might even be closed especially between March and May. Warm clothes and rain gear are a necessity during this time.

 

Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park

There are a number of activities that take place in Queen Elizabeth National park and they include;

  1. Nocturnal game drives/ Night game drives.
    There is a high chance of seeing predators such as lions, leopards, civet cats, genal cats and several cats after dinner in company of armed game rangers.
  2. Day game drives.{ both morning and evening game drives}
    During the 2 hour morning and evening game drives accompanied by the safari guide, there are chances of seeing elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, warthogs, and a variety of antelopes.
  3. Launch/ boat cruise on Kazinga channel.
    The boat cruise on the kazinga channel usually lasts 2 hours and gives visitors the opportunity to see a variety of yawning hippos in water, water birds, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, the Uganda kobs, topis, water bucks, bush bucks, reed bucks, duiker, mongoose, swamp antelopes, spotted hyena, warthog and forest hog.
  4. Chimpanzee tracking in kyambura Godge.
    Kyambura Godge is a home to a number of habituated chimpanzees, baboons and monkey.
  5. Mongoose tracking.
    One of the little known about activities in the park is the mongoose research tracking which takes place on the Mweya peninsula.  it is a 3 hour activity which can be done with a guide who accompanies you as you set off to the mongoose research  area . so that you  can observe the banded mongoose and learn about their way of life.
  6. Bird watching.
    The park has over 550 species of birds that have actually made it in a charming destination for guests that love watching birds. During a launch cruise along kazinga channel, one of the most exciting activities to see is the aquatic birds such as the white faced whistling, spur-winged  plovers, squacco heron, fish eagle, pink and white backed pelicans, african jacana, yellow backed weavers and so many others. While the prominent species include the malachite,  black- ramped button-quail, collard pranticles and so many others.
  7. Lion research tracking.
    Each morning or late afternoon you can take part in a lion tracking research experience in Queen Elizabeth park, these tracking times last between 1-3 hours and its done twice a day.  Therefore its only lions with radio-collars attached to them that are tracked. with the company of the researchers you will be able to learn the habits of the lions.
  8. Maramagambo forest.
    it has got a number of  activities  and its good for bird-watching with a bat cave trail that leads you to a bat cave viewing area which homes pythons. The blue lake is also scenic which attracts many tourists.
  9. Ishasha tree climbing lions.
    Game drives in Ishasha sector rewards a sight of Ishasha’s  most famous tree climbing lions along the path lounging in the branches while keeping a close eye on the herd of Uganda kobs. It is also a home to many buffaloes and elephants as well as the rare shoe bill stork.