Tourist Attractions and Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
There are many destinations in Uganda worth visiting including those with magnificent attractions and rich biodiversity to satisfy your travel need. Queen Elizabeth National Park-“A Medley of Wonders” which is Uganda’s second-largest, most diverse, and popular national park is undeniably one of the top destinations for wildlife viewing and has a whole lot of other tourist activities that are less offered at any other national park in the country. We look at the tourist activities at Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park covers a total land area of 1978 square kilometers, inhabiting over 95 mammal species ranging from African elephants to leopards, and over 600 species of birds all of which pride in varied ecosystems including savannah grasslands mixed with various kinds of trees, shrubs, including the Candelabra Euphorbia trees. Other varied ecosystems include leafy forests, lakes, and wetlands which attract the biggest variety of mammals in the country. What a rich natural endowment!
Not only can visitors to the park see the scenic wonders and wildlife but also have an opportunity to experience one of Uganda’s authentic and less explore cultures through interactive encounters with various local communities like the Kikorongo Women’s Group, Leopard village near the park, and many other tourist activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Much as the Albertine Rift is quite hot and dry, you will find lakes, rivers, and swamps in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Let’s explore some of the tourist activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Big Game in Abundance
Queen Elizabeth National Park is well endowed with numerous big game including bloats of hippos, herds of elephants, and cape buffaloes totaling over 10,000 in number. There are also warthogs, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Topis, and the rare semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s success story of wildlife is phenomenal as the wildlife numbers keep increasing steadily to best fit the tourists’ expectations when they visit the “Medley of Wonders”. Game drives are spiced when you visit the Ishasha sector of the park and track the tree-climbing lions and other members of the big cat family.
Though not as densely populated with Chimpanzees as the adjacent Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park harbors a number of chimpanzees and other individuals of the primate family; about ten (10) species live here and among them include vervet monkeys and the black and white colobus monkeys that are easily spotted on trees enjoying the park’s diverse habitats. Primate trekking is recommended here though the experience may not be as awesome as the one of Kibale National Park. Visiting Kyambura Gorge for chimpanzee tracking is one of the fascinating activities you can engage in while in Queen Elizabeth National Park where you will descent into the valley in search of these primates.
With over 600 bird species, Queen Elizabeth National Park was classified as an Important Birding Area (IBA) by Birding International and the greatest of all East African parks. The park’s location is the meeting point of savannah and forest, connecting to the vast forest of D.R. Congo means visitors have the opportunity to see both species of East and Central Africa. The swamps in the Ishasha sector are a good spot to look for the elusive shoe-bill stork. Notable bird species include Martial Eagle, Papyrus Gonolek, Palm-nut Vulture, Flappet Lark, and the Collared Pratincole, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink-backed Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Black Bee-eater, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Canary, Corn Crake, Lesser and Greater Flamingos and Bar-tailed godwit
Jewel Safaris Limited has the most knowledgeable and experienced bird watching safari guides who will help you explore and count a variety of bird species sighted in the park while giving you their unique traits. All you have to do is prepare your notebook, pen and fully charge your batteries so as not to miss out on any photographic moment during your safari.
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth Park are so rewarding with tracts through Kasenyi plains, the Ishasha sector, and the North Kazinga plains. These game drives start either very early in the morning or in the evening offering you a great chance to sight the big cats in action or resting after a heavy meal. The evening game drive may avail you of the nocturnal big cats including the African lions and leopards. Though lions may be seen throughout the park, the Ishasha sector is the best home in Africa to see the tree-climbing lions. Many of the smaller cats are mainly nocturnal and are best seen during the evening game drives.
The game drive alone may not give you an opportunity to discover all the wonders of Queen Elizabeth National Park. A boat cruise will allow you to see some of the spectacular wildlife species you could have missed during the game drive. Boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth National Park are undertaken on the Kazinga Channel; a 40km stretch of water situated on the Mweya Peninsula and connecting Lake Edward in the West and Lake Gorge in the East. The cruise on the channel presents opportunities for both bird and game viewing, known for hosting the highest concentration of hippos in the world (over 5,000 hippos). Other species seen on the banks during the cruise include buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, elephants, waterbucks, monitor lizards, different species of water birds among others.
One of the little-known yet fascinating activities that any traveler ought not to miss while on a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park is Mongoose Research Tracking on the Mweya Peninsula. It is a 3-hour activity in the company of a ranger and a knowledgeable Jewel Safaris Limited guide who will lead the way to the Mongoose Research Area where you will have an opportunity to spot Banded Mongoose and learn about their way of living and other traits. You will also be able to see other wildlife species and birds along the hike as you venture along Kazinga Channel on the Mweya Peninsula.
Lion tracking can be done at any time of your choice; either morning or late afternoon. Lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a three-hour activity of tracking or tracing lions that have radio collars attached to them for remote monitoring purposes and you will be able to explore and learn lion about the behavior, natural habitats, and feeding habits. This activity is led by an experienced and knowledgeable researcher from the Uganda Carnivore Program in the company of an armed ranger. However, this activity is for limited visitors only who must have done prior booking.
Nature Walk and Hiking
Much as Queen Elizabeth National Park is primarily covered by savannah grassland which favour game drives, there are some areas that are best explored on foot. Nature walks and hiking in Queen Elizabeth National Park present opportunities to unwrap the priceless natural gifts which can be accessed on foot. These areas include; Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge which is part of the Western Rift Valley, the Mweya Peninsula, and the hike along the Ishasha River in Ishasha.
Cultural encounter/ Village walks.
Cultural experiences can be best enjoyed while at the one Leopard Village which is community-run and intended to promote cultural and wildlife conservation through eco-tourism. While here, you will visit the replicas of the traditional huts of the Banyabindi, Bakonzo, and Basongora ethnic groups, watch and dance to their traditional songs and performances, buy handicrafts made by local communities.
For cultural lovers, this activity is a gem among the tourist activities at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kikorongo Women Community is another cultural stopover in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kikorongo literally translates to “too much sunshine” and offers one of the best cultural and traditional experiences while on a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will be taken through the untampered traditional life of Kikorongo people through dance, drama, music, and fire-making. While a local interpreter explains the significance of the performances, you can sit back and watch village life unfold right in front of you.
Kikorongo African Art Craft Workshop teaches visitors how to weave baskets and bowls using natural fibers though it´s not as easy as the teachers make it look! They also show you how to recycle magazines into colorful paper beads, which can be made into unique necklaces. The good thing about your visit here is that not only do you get some cultural interaction but also learn some new skills of weaving from these women. Kindly let us know if we can add this activity to your itinerary to have a cultural and traditional thrill of this community at the equator, unfolded unto you for the best memorable experiences that you will forever reminisce.
Hot air Balloon Safari
If you feel you didn’t get enough from the car game drive, the boat cruise and the hiking/nature walks while in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the hot air balloon safari will allow you to fly in the air and getting the best aerial views of the beautiful wildlife, landscapes and attractions. This safari starts as early as 05:00 hours and is one of the best ways to explore the park.
The best thing about Queen Elizabeth National Park is that you can visit it any time of the year. Kindly contact Jewel Safaris Limited through email@example.com and we shall help with the safari arrangements, reservations and offer you the best itinerary that will allow you to enjoy the best tourist activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park many other destinations during your visit to Uganda.
You can also spice up your Uganda safari experience by visiting and spending time with one of man’s closest relatives; the mountain gorillas, habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The encounter with these gentle giants is thrilling and it’s a memory that will stay with you for a lifetime. Any Ugandan safari conducted without gorilla tracking is considered incomplete so while in the Pearl of Africa for any safari, make your safari complete by visiting one of man’s closest relatives either in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Plan your safari today with Jewel Safaris; your trusted and reliable tour operator with the most knowledgeable and experienced staff who will perfectly plan your safari to cater to your needs. Make your inquiries and booking today to “The Medley of Wonders” blended up with gorilla trekking. Send us an email today to firstname.lastname@example.org