Top 5 things to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Top 5 things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park : Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest and one of the oldest protected areas located in western part of Uganda in four districts that is Kasese, Rubirizi, Kamwenge and Rukungiri. Queen Elizabeth national park is known for harboring abundant wildlife species including the big four of the five mammals which include lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, other animals like hippos, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, bushbucks, topi, hyenas, warthogs, primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons and variety of bird species such as grey headed kingfisher, slender tailed nightjar, swamp flycatcher among others.
Top 5 things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park
- Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park
Game drive is the major activity in Queen Elizabeth national park which is carried out in a 4WD pop up safari vehicle. Game drives in the park can either be done early in the morning, in the evening or at night to view nocturnal animals. During the game drives which are mainly done in Kasenyi plains you will follow different game tracks which will reward you with great views of the beautiful scenery, large herds of elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, warthogs, waterbucks, view predators like lions and leopards if you are lucky among others.
Night game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park is carried out in Mweya peninsular in safari vehicles with spotlight torches and accompanied by a ranger guide. During the night game drive you will have high chances of spotting nocturnal animals like leopards, lions, hyenas, genets, civet, bush babies, nightjar, porcupines, view hippos grazing among others.
- Boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park
Boat cruise is an exciting activity in Queen Elizabeth national park which is carried out on Kazinga channel a 40km long channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George. During the boat cruise which takes about 2 to 3 hours ride, you will be able to view large concentrations of hippos in water, Nile crocodiles basking along the banks, view other animals like buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, monitor lizards, view water animals like pink backed pelicans, saddle billed stork, black crake, open billed stork, long tailed cormorant, African shoebill, grey capped warbler, red capped lark, little bee-eater, pygmy kingfisher, swamp nightjar, African mourning dove among others. During the boat cruise you will also be able to see fishermen along the shores preparing their fishing nets for night fishing.
- Bird watching in Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park is a home of more than 600 bird species including forest birds, water birds and migratory birds which makes it the best birding destination in Uganda. There are different birding areas in Queen Elizabeth national park including savannah grasslands, wetlands, forests like Maramagambo, bushes and Kazinga channel. Bird watching can be done during the game drive, boat cruise on Kazinga channel and guided nature walk with a well trained bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as African jacana, malachite kingfisher, spoon billed stork, pied kingfisher, African fish eagle, pink backed pelican, pygmy kingfisher, red chested sunbird, grey headed kingfisher, Nubian woodpecker, Diederik cuckoo, Bateleurs, white tailed lark, martial eagle, African crake, Senegal plover, black crowned Tchagra, palm nut vulture, Ross’s turaco, helmeted guinea fowl, African green pigeon, African finfoot, African emerald cuckoo, black bishop among others.
- Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth national park
Chimpanzee trekking is Queen Elizabeth national park is done in Kyambura Gorge also known as the valley of apes in the north eastern part of the park. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge starts in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will start trekking with a park guide who is knowledgeable about the chimpanzees and conversant with chimpanzee trekking trails. During trekking you will be able to view other primate species such as red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, different bird species among others.
Once the chimpanzees are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to observe their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, grooming young ones, playing, resting, take photos and record the moments.
- Nature walks in Queen Elizabeth national park
Nature walk is an active and interesting activity in Queen Elizabeth national park where you will get out of the comfort of the safari vehicle and explore the park on foot with the company of a park guide and armed park ranger to protect you from any danger.
Guided nature walks in Queen Elizabeth national park are commonly done Maramagambo forest, Mweya peninsula, Ishasha area, Kyambura gorge among others. During the nature walk you will get up-close and personal with different wildlife species including elephants, Uganda kobs, warthogs, waterbucks, view some bird species, beautiful scenery, colorful butterflies, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze among others.
Best time to visit Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less or little rainfall in the park therefore access roads will be passable, nature walk and chimpanzee trekking trails will be passable and vegetation will be thin which makes wildlife viewing easy.
Queen Elizabeth national park can also be visited in the wet season during the months of March to May and November because that’s the best time for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species
How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Mbarara or Mubende-Fort Portal to the park headquarters which takes about 6 to 7 hours drive.
Queen Elizabeth national park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book charter or scheduled flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Mweya airstrip or Kasese airstrip.