Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s oldest parks, it was gazetted along with Murchison Falls National Park in 1952. This park is a destination for a lot of people around the world and i give 3 reasons as to why you should make this park your number 1 destination.
Initially the park was known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ and later in 1954 it was renamed to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
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 visited 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 park lies on the floor of Africa’s Western Rift Valley, which runs from northern Uganda to Malawi.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is basically known for the its tree climbing lions. Besides the lions, the Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes and the Leopards are also found there. These four make up the big four animals in the animal kingdom.
Other animals in the park include warthog, giant forest hog, topi, bushbuck, civet, hyena, aardvark, Uganda kob, bushbabies, chimpanzee, baboon, Columbus monkeys, hippo to mention.
The park is also classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birdlife International with over 300+ species of birds including fish eagle, bee eater, 11 kingfishers, shoebill stork, falcons, eagles, vultures, flamingos and glorious butterflies are everywhere.
Andrew Cohen wrote about this park and here are his words; “the grandest view I have ever seen, looking north from Ankole escarpment, with lakes Edward and George and the Kazinga Channel in the foreground and the whole snowcapped range of the Rwenzori as a backdrop.”
Cursing the Kazinga Channel
This is one of the popular activities in the park
The channel is 40km-long and connects Lake George to Lake Edward and its shoreline attracts large numbers of birds, mammals and reptiles all year-round.
Habituated Chimpanzees live in the 100-meter-deep gorge carved by the Kyambura River that flows across the rift valley floor towards the Kazinga Channel.
These are usually done very early in the morning and late in the evening hours. Over 200km of well-maintained tracks give visitor access to the park’s game and slower you drive the more you will see.
Some tracks pass through large mating grounds of great herds of Uganda Kob. There are basically three game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park including:
Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to over 300 plus bird species. You can encounter them by using experienced guide and they know the most interesting bird spots.
One of Uganda’s largest tracts of tropical forest, Maramagambo is notable for its primate and bird populations.
Trails explore the forest around Lake Nyamusingire. Wildlife sightings vary from day to day, but guaranteed events include the Bat Cave with a resident bat-hungry Python, and the copper-rich Blue Lake.
The dry months are the best time to go wild life viewing and chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The dry season runs from January to February and June to July.
March to May and August to December make the wet season. Though not recommended to tour Queen Elizabeth National Park the wet season, bird watching is more fun in this season.
The dry season:
January to February and June to July are the drier months of the year. During this time the animals are much easier to see because they are drawn to the water sources.
It is peak season, especially in June so there is quite a number of tourists in the park.
This is the best time to go on game drives and view wildlife, take guided walks and go on chimpanzee tracking expeditions. You will need warm clothes for the early morning game drives and the nights because it tends to get really cold.
The wet season
March to May and August to December make the rainy or the wet season. During this season the scenery in and around the park is extremely beautiful.
The vegetation is green and lush and captures the true picture of the tropics. There are migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa in the park during this season which makes it the best to go bird watching.
In this season wearing warm clothes and rain gear is recommended.
The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is between January to February and June to July. This is the time you can best enjoy your queen Elizabeth National Park Safari
However, the wet season is also very good for birding. But you should carry a clothes that make you worm and a pair of boots to get you through the muddy area.
I believe this article has been of great help to you and we would like to see you in Uganda on a Queen Elizabeth National Park Safari. Get in touch with Friendly Gorillas Safaris to book yourself a tour to the park or click here to inquire.
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