Queen Elizabeth National Park- Tree Climbing Lions.
Regarded as the medley of wonders, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a park in Uganda stretching in the western region of the country. The park crosses through different districts – Kaseese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi and Rukungiri. Founded in 1952, Queen Elizabeth national park is approximately 400 kilometers south west of the capital of Uganda – Kampala. It covers an area of about 1,978 square kilometers and it adjoins different reserves including Kyambura Game reserve in the east which also adjoins Kigezi game reserve and Maramagambo forest.
Formerly known as Kazinga National park, Queen Elizabeth National park was established in 1952 and after 2 years, it was renamed to commemorate the visit of the Queen of England – Queen Elizabeth. The park also combines two water bodies – Lake Gorge and Lake Gorge by a channel which is known as Kazinga channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is well known for its variety of wildlife including the 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. The park is also famous for hosting the rare tree climbing lions in its Isasha sector in Rukungiri district.
How to access Queen Elizabeth National Park
Situated in the western direction of Uganda, the park is approximately 420 kilometers from the capital city – Kampala thus taking 6 hours of drive. While from Kampala, drive via Kampala – Kaseese via Fort Portal or Kampala – Kaseese via Mbarara route.
While using air transport, use flights from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip, Kaseese airstrip and Mweya airstrip.
Safari activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the few safari destinations in the world to see the tree climbing lions. The lions are hosted in the Isasha sector in the southern area of the park. Tracked with a guide of the game ranger, lions can be seen posing in the savannah grasslands and also hanging on the acacia and fig trees in the sector like the same case in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania .
Queen Elizabeth national park is a home to exclusive wild animals thus making it one of the best destinations for game viewing in the pearl of Africa. Game viewing is done during a game drive through the trails and trunks of the park. Also, view more other animals on the water sources of the park like Kazinga channel as they crowd there for drinking water. The activity is done in the morning, afternoon and evening times. With over 95 mammal species in the park, Queen Elizabeth national park is a home to the four of the five big African animals. Among the animals to be viewed in the park include lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, warthogs, Uganda kobs, zebras, antelopes, and others.
Queen Elizabeth National park is crowned as one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. With the biggest population of birds which is over 600, the park is truly a paradise to the birders. View the birds in the savannah grasslands, swamps, forests and lake shores of the park. Spot splendid birds like malachite, black-ramped buttonquail, African fish eagle, martial eagle, white winged warbler, African skimmer, shoebill, grey-headed kingfisher, flamingos, verreaux’s eagle owl, collard pranticles, swamp fly-catchers and many others.
Done in the forested Kyambura gorge, chimpanzee trekking is one of the main enticing activities that attract a thousand of people to Queen Elizabeth National park. The experience involves moving through the forests so as to look for the chimps from their habitats. When found, travelers are allowed to spend some time with them but by the guide from the ranger. Besides chimpanzees, Kyambura gorge hosts other primate species like baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and others. Also while in the forest, one can spot a various bird species including the African fish eagle, black bee-eater, martial eagle and others.
Stretch your muscles and make your body more health and fit by taking part in the safari guided nature walks. The walks involve moving through the trails of the park, forested areas, and short savannah grasslands. Explore the beautiful scenery of the park and spot different bird and animal species in the park especially along the shores of Kazinga channel.
This is one of the leisure experiences in Queen Elizabeth national park. The activity is done on a 32 kilometer channel that links Lake Edward to Lake George. The channel is a home to a variety of water animals including crocodiles, hippos and others. Also, Kazinga channel host a lot of birds including the malachite, black bee-eater, long-tailed cormorants, martial eagle, black-rumped and others. Boat cruises at the channel are offered in two sessions and every cruise takes 2 to 4 hours.
Accommodations in Queen Elizabeth National park
The park has got a wide range of accommodations for every type of a client. The lodges range from budget, mid-range and luxury rates. Among these accommodations include Kasenyi safari camp, Enganzi lodge, Park view lodge, Elephant plains lodge, Simba safari camp, Queen Elizabeth safari camp, Mweya safari lodge, Pumba safari cottages and others.