Queen Elizabeth National Park is probably the most popular park in Uganda. Established in 1952, it is one of Uganda's three oldest parks and covers an area of 1978 km². The park is situated astride the Equator in the Western Rift Valley (Albertine Rift) close to the Rwenzori Mountains and is contiguous with Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mark is bissected by the famous Kazinga channel into two sectors (the northern and the southern sector). Each sector has different ecosystems, each with its own distinctive attractions. The park is visited all year round.
Parks & places
Safaris featuring this park
The park is a world biosphere reserve for humanity (UNESCO, 1979) and the site is classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International. QENP has 568 of Uganda's 1017 species of birds (over a quarter of Africa's bird species), which is more than any other park in Africa!
Mweya is the Northern sector is the most popular part of Queen Elisabeth NP since you have the beautiful and renovated Mweya Safari Lodge. This lodge is situated on the peninsula, with an extraordinary view over the Kazinga channel. One of the highlights is the rewarding launch trip on the Kazinga channel. The birdlife is prolific, and there is much game, including elephants. There is also a scenic crater area, some of which contain salt lakes. They were formed by volcanic activity some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. On the eastern side of the Park toward Lake George lies an interesting game viewing area with the Uganda kob mating ground.
Ishasha is the southern part of the park, which lies in the spectacular highland of Kigezi. Ishasha is famous for its tree-climbing lions. The concentration of game, with large herds of Uganda kob, topi and buffalo, is found in the savannah highlands of Kigezi and at the Lake Edward flats. elephants are also found, though not in large numbers. Bird watchers will appreciate the rich birdlife is along the Ishasha River.
- Highlights: launch trip on Kazinga channel, rewarding bird watching, wildlife (Uganda kob mating ground), magnificent scenery with the crater lakes, especially in the rainy season - salt works at Katwe.
- Distance (travelling time): Min 7h00 from Kampala via Bushenyi - 3h30 from Ishasha.
- Weather conditions: you are a few kilometres from the equator, so it is warm and sunny. It can be very hot at certain hours of the day, but mild after sunset.
Ishasha is an off-the-beaten-path destination which most package tours cannot offer simply because there are no fixed accommodations. The place has one of the best camping sites of Uganda! We camp on edges of the Ishasha river in company of the hippos!
Further to the north, you'll find the immense Maramgambo Forest. This forest - one of the largest in Uganda - is highly regarded not only by birders but also by hikers, since there are a number of walking trails. Along these trails, you will get a good idea of the wildlife (primates, birds and butterflies) in the forest . (The bats cave (fruit bats) is an interesting walking destination.)
- Highlights: scenery, rewarding wildlife safaris, tree climbing lions. Forest walks (bat & hunter cave) & birding in Marambagambo.
- Distance (raveling time): Ishasha HQ: 3hours from Mweya - 2h30 from Bwindi Imp. NP - 6h30 from Kampala via Ishaka. Dirt road, a 4 x 4 is recommended especially in raining season.
- Weather conditions: you are a few kilometer from the equator, so it is warm and sunny. It can be very hot at certain hours of the day, but mild after sunset.