Distance from Kampala: 440km. Estimated transit time: 6 hrs
As one of the outstanding treasures of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is designated a Biosphere Reserve for Humanity under UNESCO.
The wetlands of Northern Lake George are a designated Ramsar site - of international importance - and include a recognised Important Bird Area. Queen Elizabeth is arguably the most popular and easily accessible game reserve in Uganda. The park covers 1978 sq. km and includes a remarkable 57 varieties of eco-systems, from semi-deciduous tropical forest to green meadows, savannah and swamps.
95 mammal species have been recorded here, the highest for any Ugandan national park. It is the home of the famous tree-climbing lions, the Uganda Kob and other antelope species, as well as elephants, buffaloes, hippos, baboons and chimpanzees. The Rare Giant Forest hog is often seen here.
Over 660 bird species have been sighted in Queen Elizabeth making this park truly unique for it has one of the highest numbers in the world for such a relatively small reserve. The species include the Shoebill Stork, Black Bee-eater, 11 types of Kingfishers and a variety of raptors, including several falcons and eagles.
In the crater lakes, spectacular flocks of flamingoes gather, creating the image of a moving pink carpet. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel between Lakes George and Edward is a memorable way to view the abundant game in Queen Elizabeth and to see an astounding number of bird species - not to mention Hippo, Elephant and Crocodiles!
In the eastern section of the park is Kyambura Gorge where visitors can climb down the 100m-deep gorge through tropical forest and catch sight of a variety of primates, especially chimpanzees.
In the more isolated Ishasha sector, perhaps en route to Bwindi, visitors can move through the woodlands in search of tree-climbing lions perched on the boughs of ancient fig trees. To the southeast, travelers can explore newly opened trails in the Maramagambo forest.
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of local Ugandan culture, visits can be arranged to the local community. See traditional costumes and jewelry making. Locally produced craft items can be purchased from the park tourist office, at the various Lodges and along the road at various craft markets.
- Mweya Safari Lodge - up-market
- Jacana Safari Lodge - up-market
- Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp - mid to up-market
- Kingfisher Camp Kichwamba - up-market to mid-market
- Mweya Hostel - budget