QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
QENP is in the second largest wild life conservation park in Uganda located in Western Region of the country, spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi, and Rukungiri. The park is approximately 400 kilometres (250 mi) by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city.
The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. You will find Queen Elizabeth National Park featured in Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, African Safari Geographic, CNN and other prominent magazine
The park is run by Conservation Through Public Health and majorly the Uganda Wildlife Authority that handles the general duties and services offered by the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its wildlife, including African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee. It is home to 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species.
Where to go and attractions
The Mweya Peninsula is located on the northern bank of the impressive Kazinga Channel at the convergence of the channel with Lake Edward. This area includes the Channel Track all the way down to Katunguru gate, then across to Kabatoro gate which has a chunky ground cover with dense vegetation dominated by Candelabra Thorn. The Mweya is among the finest places to spot a leopard, which normally live within the scrubby thickets. It is a focal point of the beautiful northern part of the park!
This park operates a twenty – seater motorized vessel which runs two rides a day one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
At the Boat Cruise you will be able to encounter spectacular views of Hippos, Elephants, Uganda Kobs, African Buffalo and sometimes Lions and Leopards as they come to the Kazinga channel to have a drink.
The cruise also offers a wonderful birding safari to tourists interested in viewing various spiecies of African birds.
2. Kazinga Channel
The shores of this channel draw a large number of wild animals, birds in addition to reptiles all through the year, with one of the largest population of hippos in the whole world as well as plentiful Nile crocodiles.
These animals can be seen well on a boat cruise down the course of the channel or most likely at the entrance of the spectacular Lake Edward. The Boat Cruise on the Kazinga Channel is extremely rewarding and among the finest and most liked launch – trips in the country
3. Kyambura Gorge
The stunning Kyambura Gorge also called the “Valley of Apes” is located in the far eastern corner of the well- known Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda. Approximately 1 km across – at its broadest point and about 100 meters deep, this gorge is actually drained by River Kayambura. The landscape is among the most impressive you will find in Uganda and it is swarmed a rich wildlife bio-diversity that comprises of primates, wild animals as well as birds.
Habituated Chimpanzees in addition to other species of primates such as the red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons as well as vervet monkeys are all resident in this area.
In addition, this green riverine forest also offers shelter to several forest birds species among which the Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Pink-backed Pelican, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Bee-eater are commonly seen.
A guided nature walk and chimpanzee tracking can be done on request by the park rangers
4. Kasenyi Plains
The Kasenyi plains are on the western shores of the adjacent stunning Lake George, just near to the area where the Kazinga Channel confluences with this lake.
The region around Kasenyi is an open savannah, and it is swarmed with various wild animals with the Uganda Kob being the dominant animals. This place is the major breeding area for the Uganda Kobs within this park and or that reason, Lions are commonly seen here during the various game drives as they are drawn by the large number of Kobs which is their main prey in this area. The area also offers absolute stunning game drives in the morning hours as the Lions hunt down the grazing Kobs for a Kquick breakfast.
Because of the overall nature of this area (with open savannahs surrounding it), it is very good for tourists interested in taking photographs. The Guided game drive will not be rushed so visitors will have the opportunity to capture all the wildlife drama on camera. If fortunate, you may actually get the chance to see one of the lions chasing after its prey or even making a kill.
Whereas lions once were uncommon and hard to pin down, a supposed total of at least 200 Lions and these are readily seen within the Kasenyi Plains. In addition, it supports a fascinating diversity of grassland birds, among which are the yellow-throated long crow, red-throat spurfowls as well as the grey-crown cranes.
5. Ishasha Sector
To us this is one of the most beautiful, authentic and magnificent land scape in Uganda.
It is located in the far most South Western part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park which is a 2hr game drive from the Mweya Sector North of the Park.
The Ishasha Sector within QENP is habitat to the internationally renowned tree-climbing lions which are actually unique to this very place. The males of these exceptional lions have black manes.
What draws these Lions into climb the Trees? People who know, assert it is good to always keep away from any Tse-Tse flies bites but for whatever reason it is, – The tree climbing lions within the Ishasha area are an uncommonness. Throughout the entire world there are only two places in which you can find populations of these tree-climbing lions, one being in Lake Manyara National Park found in Tanzania and the other being the Ishasha sector within Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is a really breathtaking sight to see the King of the animals perched up high on one of the branches of the huge fig trees in this area, lazily resting away as the day goes by. The Ishasha is certainly one of the very most memorable destinations within Africa.
The area is also rich in diverse wildlife including Herds of African Buffalo, Elephants, Baboons alongside the Ishasha River for provides a ready drink for the amazing wildlife in the area.