Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s prime destination with wide variety of wildlife and game. Located in western Uganda, about 6-7 hours drive from Kampala the country’s capital city is the second largest park. Closest to it are, Kibale Forest National Park, Semliki and the Rwenzori mountains.
The park is located at the base of the ‘Mountains of the Moon the Rwenzori Range and the views from some of the camps are simply spectacular.
Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts an array of wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant, antelope including the native Ugandan Kob and the park is home to over 600 bird species – a quarter of Africa’s total birdlife! It spans an area of about 2000sq.km with rolling hills and savannah plains, lush rainforest, crater lakes and the Kazinga Channel. This 32km long body of water runs between Lake Edward and Lake George and is filled to the brim with hippos and crocodiles.
The park is expansive and most tourists choose to stay in and around the village on the Mweya Peninsula. It is set on a splendid waterfront at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains and offers great game viewing. For those wishing to get off the beaten track, the Ishasha Sector is remote, rough and ready with its tree-climbing lions. And you can head to the beautiful Lake Mburo National Park which is halfway between Queen Elizabeth and Kampala. Relax on a game drive, launch trip or nature walk to explore the park diversity.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The park is home to 95 mammal species while the bird list is 612 species long. This diversity is as a result of an impressive range of habitats. Fifty-seven vegetation types have been identified though these can be summarised as just five: forest; grassland; bushy grassland; Acacia woodland and lakeshore/ swamp vegetation. Residents of the park’s grasslands include elephant, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, giant forest hog, lion, leopard and hyena. Topi are found in Ishasha, while forest primates are found in Kyambura Gorge and Maramagambo Forest.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has an impressive bird list exceeded only by the neighbouring (and far larger) Virunga National Park. Key bird species include martial eagle, black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, Chapin’s flycatcher, pink-backed pelicans, white-winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, papyrus canary, corncrake, lesser and greater flamingo, and shoebill stork.