Queen Elizabeth National Park is the main safari hub of Uganda, and is definitely worth including in a Uganda itinerary that involves gorillas, chimpanzees and your classic safari experience. We have high hopes with this park and hope that in years to come it will mean Uganda can have a popular self-contained safari route, without visitors heading to The Serengeti for their safari after visiting Uganda's famed primate population.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over an area of almost 2,000 square kilometres in the western arm of the Great East Rift Valley. The park is split into a number of different sections which have to be accessed through a series of gates. The park is home to the eastern section of the Lake Edward and is connected to Lake George further north. The two lakes are connected by the Kazinga Channel, along which one can do an impressive boat safari where getting up close to pods of hippos, basking crocodiles and marvelling at members of the 'Big 5' along the banks can all be done in a couple of hours.
Queen Elizabeth spans the equator and was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II. The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species making is a wildlife enthusiasts paradise.
Of the numerous sectors within the park, the best game viewing is in Ishasha in the South of the park. The Ishasha sector is famous for its tree climbing lions than can be seen hanging off the branches of the areas enormous fig trees. A real highlight of this area is the chance of seeing the Ugandan kobs, an antelope closely related to Zambia’s pukus. The Katwe explosion craters mark the park's highest point at 1,350m above sea level, while the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward. Kyambura, to the North East, also offers good game viewing and the lodges which line the edge of the gorge offer stunning views across the park. Kyambura gorge itself is home to a number of habituated chimpanzee families, but they move a lot dependent on the time of year and seeing them is no guarantee.
Whilst you can stay in the Northern sectors of the park, it is the Southern sector that has the best lodges.Ishasha W ilderness Camp
is a beautiful tented lodge with views across the river that make it a perfect base for exploring the Kaiznga Channel and the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth. If a hands-on conservation approach appeals, thenheading up to Kasenyi where you can go out with a local guide and ranger and take part in a lion tracking exerice as they montior Africa's most famous carnivore.