8 need to know facts about Queen Elizabeth park for a memorable Safari
Sitting on 197800 acers of land, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s second biggest national park after Murchison Falls Park . In this article I am going to provide you the 8 facts you need to know about Queen Elizabeth National park.
The park was gazetted in 1952 along with Murchison falls National Park, it is also described as “Uganda’s Great Rift Valley” by Andrew Roberts. This largely savanna national park is located in the south western part of Uganda and it’s ranked among world’s most bio-diversified parks housing incredible species of wildlife
Friendly Gorilla Safaris has taken the time to compile a list of facts about Elizabeth for traveler who have the need to know more about the Park and some of it’s history.
This famous national park located in western Uganda was initially called Kazinga national park , later, after the visit of the queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II to Uganda in 1952, the park was renamed its current name (queen Elizabeth national park), perhaps, it is the attribute to its current fame worldwide.
Form the terraces of Mweya safari loge cottages you can easily identify where the direction Kazinga channel; it flows west from Lake Georgeto Lake Edward; however it’s hard to know its direction because it’s so slow. Plus, the rift valley lakes have fascinating and largely endemic fish fauna such as the Bagrus, Docmac, Sarothenodon Nitocticous and Sarothenodon Leacosticous among the rest.
Another fact about Queen Elizabeth national park is a twin park to queen Elizabeth Country Park in England. These two protected areas are twinned in a cultural exchange project, natural support; the main concern for this amalgamation is to promote and support conservation through empowering and working closely together with the local communities; the ones that implement the conservation plan.
Queen is the national park with the
largest number of hippos
in East Africa; about 5000, 3000 elephants and 1000 buffaloes. Queen Elizabeth national park has quite a number of antelope types like the Duikers, Reed Buck, Topis and the Statunga antelopes. The Statunga antelope can be seen along Kazinga channel in the shrubs. Queen Elizabeth national park has the biggest number of Kobs in Uganda; Kasenyi plains are the breeding grounds for the Uganda Kob. Kazinga channel of Queen Elizabeth national park has the most wildlife; it is the main water source and attracts a lot of animals
10000 years ago, there were no crocodilesin the Kazinga channel. These enormous reptiles had to vacate Kazinga channel during the volcanic active period in the western rift valley that filled Lake Edward with the volcanic ash from the eruption which made the water toxic for life to exist, leading to the disappearing of the crocodiles from these water bodies. The crocodiles later came back to the later water body through River Mubuku, and they are currently an incredible attraction and also a natural way of keeping balance in the ecosystem of the area by snapping there fish lunch and other animals they prey on.
Queen Elizabeth national park is abundantly endowed with a lot of bird species some of which are internationally uncommon like the shoe bill stalk. Queen Elizabeth national park is ranked the, 3rdbest areas for birding in Africa and stands in the 6thposition of the world’s birding. The various birds in the national park are supported by the various ecological habitats that make a number of birds adapt to the environment in Queen Elizabeth national park. Plus, Queen Elizabeth national park is internationally recognized by the
international birding as an important birding area (IBA).
was Sir Henry Marton Stanley, he was an English explorer who visited Uganda in 1889, and by the time he came to Queen Elizabeth national park he did not find it as human settlement but just a vast vacant land. And probably he has a time to do a self-driven adventure through the plains of Queen Elizabeth national park.
However, the Basongola left Queen Elizabeth national park due to frequent cattle raiding by Buganda and Bunyoro Kingdom. The remaining Basongola where forced to resort to fishing from the lakes; lake Edward, lake gorge and Kaazinga channel, hence forming the queen Elizabeth national park fishing villages of Busonga, Kasenyi, Katunguru among others.
The area currently occupied by the Queen Elizabeth National Park was previously a grazing area for local Basongora pastoralists. When British explorers Stanley and Lugard toured the area towards the end of last century, both reported the area to have been largely depopulated as a result of cattle raiding (from the Bunyoro and Buganda kingdoms) and epidemics of rinderpest and smallpox.
The Basongora social economy could not recover from these events and with the exception of remnant villages around the two lakes, the area was almost completely depopulated. Those who did remain were forced to turn to fishing. These events allowed the game populations to increase and vegetation to change significantly, and played an important role in determining the creation of the national park by the Protectorate administration. In 1906, the area to the north of Lake George was declared a Game Reserve, in order to prevent what some administrators believed to be unregulated hunting by Africans and Europeans and growing pressure for development of cotton and wheat production.
By 1912, the whole of the Lake George and Ishasha areas (Lake George Game Reserve) were declared restricted areas, agricultural and fishing communities moved out to other non-affected areas and the area was largely abandoned. Further outbreaks of sleeping sickness continued up until the mid 1930s. The National Park Ordinance was passed on 31st March 1952 and Queen Elizabeth National Park then, Kazinga National Park was legally gazeted later that year, following intense lobbying by the Chief Game Warden of that time, Bruce Kinloch, and the Governor. As a result, the land area protected within the Lake George Game Reserve area was expanded considerably to include a large area to the east of Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel.