Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second largest in Uganda after Murchison Falls National Park. It is located in the south western part of Uganda. It covers an area of 1,978 sq km. The park is situated in western Uganda, lies on the floor of Africa’s western Rift Valley, which runs from northern Uganda to Malawi. Nearby attractions include “Mountains of the moon” Mt. Rwenzori. Queen Elizabeth is dominated by savannah grassland and woodland so, game drive is inevitable while in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
It is the most popular national park in Uganda with abundant game which attracts thousands of tourists interested in viewing big game. Its vegetation which varies from open savannah to rainforest, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, make it a little wonder that it is the highest biodiversity conservation game reserve in the world.
This Park derives its name from Queen Elizabeth II; the park is situated south west covering the whole of the Kazinga channel that connects Lakes Edward and George. Set majestically in the shadow of the Rwenzori, flanking Lakes Edward and george, the lush savannah of Queen Elizabeth National park offers prime grazing to buffalo, elephant and various antelope. The park is well-known for harboring a large number of species ranging from predators, herbivores, antelopes, birds and other small organisms.
QENP is one of Uganda’s oldest parks but it was officially formed along with Murchison Falls National Park in 1952. It was initially known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
QENP contains 95 species of mammal – more than any other park in Uganda. Hippos are efficient lawn mowers. They prefer to graze short grass, each animal eating about 40kg each night.
From the lodge terrace, it’s almost impossible to tell which way the Kazinga Channel is flowing. It actually flows west (to your right) from Lake George to Lake Edward. But since the change is water level along the 36km Channel is just 40cm it moves extremely slowly.
Queen Elizabeth national park is truly amazing and spectacular! It’s a popular tourist attraction located in the western region of Uganda. Being designated as a National park, allows the local official to control the area and set the rules. You can expect to see a large variety of native wildlife species including birds, reptiles and mammals. At Queens Elizabeth national park, provisions have been made for camp sites and lodging accommodations for visitors.
During a safari around Uganda, always be sure of only glorious scenery and escapades. Hop into the safari van and spend hours keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. It’s all out there; you just have to pay attention. These animals are made to blend in with their surroundings and if you blink, you may miss an amazing opportunity.
This national park is endowed with every kind of wildlife you can think of especially wild game like four of the big five (lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards) hippos, buffaloes, warthogs, bush pigs, a variety of antelopes etc . The park has over 606 different bird species as well as plants that are rare. A game drive in the park usually boosts sights of animals like the Lions, Leopard, buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, bush bucks; side stripped jackals, and hyenas. A checklist of over 606 bird species testifies the extra ordinary ecological diversity of this park. The Primates here include Chimps, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Blue, Black Faced Red Colobus, and Red Tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons. The park is also gifted with reptiles including; the African Rock Python, Spitting Cobra, Gabon Ripper, Puff adder, Green Mamba, turtles and crocodiles, which are frequently sighted on the Mweya Peninsula.
The park can be visited by tourists during the weekends and most trips to the park start from 3 Days! Many tourists combine Queen Elizabeth National Park with the neighboring national parks such as Kibale Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Semuliki National Park and the Rwenzori Mountains.
Queen Elizabeth national park has strict rules not to go off the path, so vehicles can’t get too close to the animals. With your Nikon DX Lens 18 -300 mm, be prepared to capture some pretty amazing shots of those awesome animals.
Just like any other national park, while visiting Queen Elizabeth national park, there are some things that you should remember and put into consideration for a successful travel expedition;
- Do not leave footprints. In other words leave this national park in its natural condition. You should not try to take any of the plants or animals that you see during your visit.
- Keep very still and quiet as you tour the reserve.
- Enjoy the natural sounds of the park and the animals that live there.
- Never try to interact with the animals. It’s dangerous.
- Feeding of animals is forbidden.
- If you have chosen to drive instead of hiring a guide you must follow all of the rules. This means that you should never try to get too close to the animals for any reason.
- The speed limit ranges from 30-50 km/h on all of the trails.
- Do not leave the designated trails in search of some new adventure. You could frighten or harm the animals and you will destroy native vegetation.
- There is no traveling on the national park from sunset to sunrise.
- You should always remember that you are an invited guest to this area and you should respect the rules as well as the rights of the wildlife that lives there.