From open savannah to verdant rain forest, and from dense papyrus swamps and crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity rates of any game park in Africa.
Ishasha, the remote southern section of the park, is famous for its tree climbing lions. There is a lot to do in this park as below;
- Game Drives – Game viewing
Like other Savannah parks, game viewing is the specialty of Queen Elizabeth national park. It is home to big game in big numbers; the park has about 3000 Elephants, 5000 hippos, and there are over 10,000 of Cape Buffaloes, but there are also other small game including Warthogs, Water buck, Uganda Kob, Topi and even the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope.
To get the best out of your game drive and experience a classic African safari, the tracks through Kasenyi sector, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons.
Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard. A night game drive is also possible for nocturnal species.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
This unique experience is a recent addition on the list of activities in Queen Elizabeth national park. The adventure begins early in the morning when you leave your camp or lodge to get to the meeting point at the Kasenyi gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park for 5:30am.
This early drive in the dark is a chance to see nocturnal animals that live in and around the park and also gives you an aerial view of all the parks inhabitants.
There are many other adventures in Queen Elizabeth National Park and we will look at them in detail later including but not limited to the following;
- Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura & Kalinzu Forest
Chimpanzees are seen in the lost valley of Kyambura gorge whose beauty provides travelers with a great feeling of being in a new world of mystery and scenic wonders. A gorge is a home to chimpanzees, which have been habituated for trekking.
A simple briefing is a first do and all travelers are required to have them up to date trekking permits. Dressing right in long pants, sleeved shirts, hand gloves, hut and rain gears are very helpful.
To ensure safety of both travelers and endangered chimpanzees, a seven-meter distance is required. The gorge is 16 kilometres long and is one of the natural wonders in Uganda in the western rift valley.
- Local community visit including coffee tour
- Hiking and guided nature walks
- Bird watching
Lake Munyanyange is a home to thousands of migratory flamingos and other bird species just a few kilometers from Lake Katwe in katwe Kabatoro town council.
Lake Munyanyange is a seasonal lake, which attracts a large concentration of bird species from all parts of the world in the wet season.
The most seen birds here are the lesser and greater flamingos along with other birds such as white browed robbin chats, long tailed sterling’s, black-headed gonloks, desert cisticolas and African hoopoes among others.
- Boat cruise
This is 40 kilometers long and 8 meters deep-water channel that connect Lake Edward in the west and Lake George East of Queen Elizabeth national park.
A boat cruise provides travelers with spectacular views of the entire national park, wildlife and neighbouring fishing villages.
Interestingly, the shores of Kazinga channel attract high concentration of wild animals such as large herds of elephants, hippos, crocodiles and a variety of bird species all seen along the channel. The boat cruise lasts for two hours but the experience is surely unforgettable.
- Lion tracking / Research
A look at tree climbing lions comes along with driving to Ishasha sector southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lions here are seen hanging in euphoria tree branches chilling or even enjoying their prey.
Tree climbing lions are among the rare animal in Africa, which make a look at them surely amazing. These lions spend most of their time in the tree branches and only move down as they go for hunting.
- Katwe salt works
While in Queen Elizabeth national park, you should not miss visiting crater lakes. These lakes include Lake Katwe known for salt mining situated north of Mweya peninsula.
On reaching the lake, you will meet salt miners who own independent mining areas. Both men and women take part in mining.
Lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’.
To the east, lie the guardians of the birthplace of mankind, the Great Rift Valley hills, separated from the Mountains of the Moon by the meandering Kazinga Channel. Here the water flows endlessly into two giant lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward.
Jacana safari lodge queen Elizabeth national park is an awesome beautiful and luxurious lodge situated in the out skirts of Queen Elizabeth national park in between the beautiful rolling hills and a peaceful crate lake.
Jacana lodge is stocked with several facilities and services. The services include swimming pool, sauna, well stocked bar and restaurant, Floating pontoon enabling visitors to have relaxed meals in middle of the Crater Lake.
Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an extravagance/upmarket convenience course of action situated in Ishasha division in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park broadly known for its tree climbing lions.
Situated along the Ntungwe River, the Ishasha Wilderness Camp shows a perfect withdraw to the Uganda safari travelers who wish to investigate the genuine/true wild.
Settlement at Ishasha Wilderness Camp is introduced in; Ten (10) open canvas rooms disregarding the stream with; huge mosquito got beds, Private en suite lavatory, dressing region.
Kyambura Game Lodge is situated on the eastern expansion of Queen Elizabeth National Park ignoring the savannah extends of Queen Elizabeth and a profound valley with the perspectives of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Kyambura Game Lodge is an extravagance/upmarket hotel that is made utilizing eco – accommodating materials settled by the neighborhood specialists.
Settlement at Kyambura Game Lodge is exhibited in 7 Luxury bungalows that are; Grass covered, Open, Independent, contain baths and showers disregarding the recreation center, Hot and chilly running water
Katara Lodge, just outside Queen Elizabeth National Park, provides a serene and exclusive luxury option overlooking the park’s vast landscape.
Each of lodge’s large and spacious cottages has the option of a “sky bed” which can be wheeled to the cottage’s outside platform for a night under the stars. Katara’s restaurant and bar offer spectacular views.
Simba Safari Lodge
This mid-range lodge is located on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It commands a spectacular view of Lake Edward and Kikorongo.
There are various accommodation types ranging from the en suite guest rooms to dormitories and camping facilities. Services are completed with dinning and bar facilities available on site.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge
Situated on the edge of the Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, has far reaching views over the Gorge and the lush savannah of the park, with the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains in the distance.
The main lodge building was originally a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations. The original structure has been sensitively restored to create a stunning living space, balancing the history of the building with the location and creating a series of distinct luxurious contemporary spaces for guests.
Eight beautiful, spacious cottages have been carefully nestled into the hillside, each with their own luxury bathroom. Each room has a different aspect of the panoramic views across the gorge, savannah and mythical Rwenzori. Each room is uniquely appointed, adopting a different colour theme.
Savannah Resort Hotel
This hotel is located in Kanungu district, not far from the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and may be a stopover when traveling to or from Bwindi National Park.
Although not on the national power grid, regular power is provided, utilizing solar energy which is abundantly available in this area.
It has a range of room types within the large grounds and a main building with a lounge with DSTV facility, conference hall, well stocked bar and restaurant where various local and international dishes are offered.