Queen Elizabeth National Park
It was in 1979; Queen Elizabeth National Park was designated as a biosphere reserve and is now regarded as Uganda’s most popular game reserve for Uganda Safaris with numerous wild life, wetlands and natural resources. Queen Elizabeth stretches from the crater-dotted foothills of the Rwenzori range in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south, holding a wide variety of habitats that range from savanna to rainforest, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that Queen Elizabeth boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world.
Queen Elizabeth covers approximately 1978 km 2 with stretch of Kyambura wild life reserve covering about 154km2 and Kigezi wild life reserve covering an area of 256sq. km2. It receives an average maximum temperature of 28 0CC and 18 0 CC. The park lies on an altitude range of 910 m at Lake Edward to 1845 m above sea level that is at the top of the escarpment of the western rift Valley
With almost100 mammal species and a remarkable diversity is reflected in over 600 bird species makes this superb safari territory, with elephant, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog and handsome Uganda kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Elsewhere, the remote Ishasha Sector is mostly famed for its tree-climbing lions, the Kyambura Gorge harbors habituated chimps, the Maramagambo Forest is home to forest monkeys and birds, and flocks of flamingo are resident on the crater lakes and the famous bat caves that acts as a home for over a million of bats.
Noted birds Species
Black-rumped Buttonquail, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans, White-winged Terns. Common Squaco Heron, Shoebill Stork, African Open-billed Stork, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, African Skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Black Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Swamp Fly-catcher, Grey-capped Warbler, The beautiful Black-headed Gonolek, Collard Pranticles, Pin-tailed Whyda Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants,
Key activities and attractions
Very interesting and memorable, it is best done very early in the morning and late afternoon hours with well-maintained tracks, which give visitors access to the park’s game. The tracks pass through the mating grounds of the great Uganda Kob. The allegorical giant forest hog is seen moving around the bush as you watch the big five including the lions looking for prey. In hot days, Elephants make their way down to the water while bush backs and buffaloes can be found on the channel track. The outstanding panorama along the crater track brings you to volcanic craters at the foothills of the misty mountains of the moon, (Mt. Rwenzori).
Very inspiring to take a game drive in Queen Elizabeth as you get to view all the wildlife at a close proximity and remarkable.
Game drive Ishasha
Queen Elizabeth has unbelievable attractions and Ishasha never fails to come up with more surprises. The true of southern pearl of the park! See the famous Ishasha tree climbing lions are extremely special, very healthy and numerous. One of the prides you likely to see is the Kyemale pride on the large fig tree. See the Topi, Uganda Kob and Buffaloes graze in the acacia studded savannah among other wildlife together with very unique countless birds.
In Maramagambo Forest , a diversity of long to short guided forest nature walks are arranged at the mighty park.. Observing the pythons in the ostracism of the bat caves floor and their prey the bats. Other trails lead you to the hear t of the surrounding craters and habitats to some primates like the Chimp and many forest birds.
The Kyambura Chimp Walk
This normally takes place in the Kyambura game reserve found in the eastern part of the protected area and supports similar mammals to the rest of the park. With three saline crater lakes, that attracts a large n umber of flamingoes. The steep Kyambura gorge, formed by the turbulent waters of the roaring Kyambura River, provides a luxuriant riverine forest, home to chimpanzees, olive baboons Black and white Colobus monkeys, plus other primates as well as plenty of forest bird species. Visit the gorge with a great opportunity to see chimps in their natural Ex-situ habitat.
The Kazinga Launch Cruise
A 2-3 hours boat cruise along the aquatic animals crowded at banks of Kazinga channel gives visitors a unique uNational Parkaralleled wild life experience. The alligators have become a common sight. Many buffaloes and Hippos rest in the water while the big herds of elephants enjoy drinking and playing along the channel banks. See the Hippos and surrounded by a vast numbers of migrants and resident birds
The Queen’s Pavilion
Visit a temporary shelter at this site hosted H.M Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954; a permanent pavilion built in 1959 and was restored for a second visit in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth
Katwe Explosion Crater
A wide extinct volcanoes north of Mweya Safari Lodge can be explored by the winding 27km crater drive between the main and Equator Gates. This Provides superb views into numerous craters.
A Visit to the Salt Lake
See the way the salt ore looks like being mined by traditional method s and it is still in use today. Observe and learn how the salt mine have been sub divided and distributed to various tribes in Uganda. The guide will explain to you the cultural strings attached to the salt mines, so interesting and educative.
Accessing Queen Elizabeth
The park lies 5-6 hours from Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara-Kasese on a direct road, Via Fort portal the high way runs through the main tourism hub at Mweya. These routes combined make an attractive circuit with short detour to visit Lake Mburo, Semuliki and Kibale National parks. The park can also be accessed from the south from Rwanda/Bwindi Impenetrable national Park/
By Air: Daily scheduled flights operated by Aeolink Uganda to Kasese airstrip thus providing easy access to the park compared by road transfer that nearly takes you 6 hours
An up market Mweya Safari lodge, Katara Lodge are readily available, of recent Kyambura game lodge is in operational with very unique quality services to the visitors, Jacana Safari Lodge – luxury accommodation is an ideal place for relaxation and refreshment built over the banks of a crater lake. Ishasha Wilderness Camp also offer up market accommodation facility while Ihamba Lodge, Bufallo camp, Bush Lodge and Simba Safari camp are available for those who wish to spend less on accommodation
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