Queen Elizabeth National Park | Private Safaris East Africa

Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometres (764 sq mi). The park extends from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south-west and includes the Kazinga Channel connecting the two lakes.

The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

QENP is known for its wildlife, including Cape buffaloes, hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, Uganda lions, and chimpanzees. It is home to 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes.  Poachers killed six elephants in the park in 2015, triggering both anger and frustration within the Ugandan conservation community.

The park is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes, such as the Katwe craters, from which salt is extracted.

Services in the park include a telecenter run by Conservation Through Public Health and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, neighboring the Queen’s Pavilion, park lodges, game and scenic drives, and boat launches.

Twinning

QENP and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park in England are twinned in a project of “cultural exchange, mutual support and has its main emphasis on supporting Conservation through working closely with and empowering local communities”

Game viewing

Famed for its wildlife, the park is home to more than 90 species of mammals which include Cape buffaloes, hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, Uganda lions, and chimpanzees. The park is also a bird’s paradise with over 500 species of birds. While hyenas can occasionally be spotted, giraffes and zebras are absent. There are many interesting antelope species such as Uganda kob, topi and bushbuck. Troops of chimpanzees habituated for tracking can also be observed in the park. Nine more primate species can be found, including the black-and-white colobus monkey.

Boat Rides – Kazinga Channel

If getting up close and personal with wildlife is anything to go by, Kazinga channel is the place to be. The 40km-long channel connects Lake George to Lake Edward providing the park with a prime wildlife spectacle. Its shoreline attracts large numbers of birds, mammals and reptiles all year round. While on the trip expect to be thrilled by yawning hippos and closer views of beautiful water birds along the shores. Truly, is the most exciting and memorable experience offered by this park.

Tree Climbing Lions – Ishasha

Measuring 100 km and to the of the park, Ishasha’s  diverse habitat comprises of Ishasha river flats, savanna woodlands and Lake Edward Flats which support a variety of wildlife including the famous tree climbing lions and some rare shoebill stork.  The hippo pools in the Ishasha’s river and Congo escarpment provide such a magnificent scenery.

Katwe Explosions Crater

The huge round basins scattered across the equator are evidence of the Albertine Rift’s bubbling volcanic activity in medieval times. A past which was not that long ago and occurred around the times in which the Egyptian pyramids were built. A 27km drive between Kabatoro gate and Queen’s Pavilion takes in views of the humongous craters, circular lakes, the vast Rift Valley escarpment and the Kazinga channel, Lake George and Lake Edward – all with a view of the Rwenzori Mountains (‘Mountains of the Moon’).

Maramagambo Forest

It’s one of the largest forests in Uganda. It is a medium altitude moist, semi-deciduous forest. Characteristics of such a pristine forest are increasingly becoming rare in Africa.  The forest has very spectacular lakes and craters. It is the only place in the park where one could find blue Lakes. Other features of attraction in the forest include; primates e.g. L’hoest’s monkeys, Chimpanzees, bush baby, baboons, blue-balled monkeys (vervet monkeys), red-tailed monkeys, etc.