Top Things to Do and See in Uganda’s Queen of Parks – Queen Elizabeth Park
Visit Queen Elizabeth Park – Tips – Information and Advice for a tremendous Visit.
The list of Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth Park is endless. Queen Elizabeth Park is the Premier Wildlife Park in Southwestern Uganda.
You have a wide variety of activities that can be done and seen here. One can easily spend five days in the southern Ishasha and northern Mweya Regions of the Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park should be on the must-visit list of every visitor to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest since it is only a short drive from the northern Buhoma Area, and one can discover the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha, the chimpanzees of the Kyambura Gorge, the multitude of Birds, Hippos, wildlife along the incredible Kazinga Channel.
Hike through Maramagambo Forest. Birding trails abound here, all in the shadows of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon in the north and the Mitumbe Mountains of the Congo in the East.
Brief Background of Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park was established in 1952 when it was called Kazinga National Park when Queen Elizabeth ll came to visit in 1964. A Name Change soon followed to the present one.
Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth is one of Uganda’s most popular tourist destinations, and understandably so. Its 2000 square kilometers cover a lot of territories, teeming with African Wildlife. From elephants to leopards, there are 95 mammals, 619 species of birds, and reptiles, including crocodiles and Monitor Lizards.
Not only can visitors to the park see the scenic wonders and wildlife, but they meet and experience Ugandan culture through interactive meetings with various communities near the park.
Queen Elizabeth Park has a variety of habitats, such as Savannah Grassland mixed with various kinds of trees, and shrubs, including the candelabra Euphorbia trees. Though the Albertine Rift is quite hot and dry and yet in this environment, you will find lakes, rivers, and swamps; there are also forest lands, and the vast Maramagambo Forest covers over one-fifth of the park.
Why do Tourists and Visitors to Uganda choose to visit Queen Elizabeth Park?
What are the Star Attractions that draw Tourists to Queen Elizabeth Park?
There are many reasons why tourists and safari-goers choose to visit Queen Elizabeth Park. The main reason is its convenient location. It is near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Kibale Forest, both major tourist destinations. It is also near the Semiliki Valley and the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon. It is no wonder that Queen Elizabeth Park is one of the most popular and most visited national parks in Uganda.
- Location: Queen Elizabeth Park is on the famous Western Ugandan Tourist Trail.
- Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise: The famous Wildlife Boat Cruise is one of Queen Elizabeth Park’s star attractions.
- Tree-Climbing Lions: The tree-climbing lions of Ishasha are another Star Attraction to Queen Elizabeth Park.
Top Things to Do and See in Queen Elizabeth Park
Wildlife Game Drives:
Wildlife Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth proves to be a delight. There are 3,00 Elephants and over 10,000 buffaloes, and you can find elephants even in the crater Valleys along the explosion crater drive…
There are buffaloes and elephants, warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi Antelopes, and even the rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelopes with webbed toes.
Queen Elizabeth Park is also home to several feline cats that you can often spot on game drives, in some cases on Night Game Drives, such as vehicles, leopards, civet cats, genal, and serval cats.
Wildlife abounds in Queen Elizabeth Park; most visitors see some lions on their game drives in Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda.
The Vehicle is equipped with a pop-up roof – Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger accompanies you on Game Drives.
Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise:
Queen Elizabeth Park is home to 5000 hippos, one of the largest concentrations of hippos in Africa, and in Queen Elizabeth National Park, they are found along Kazinga Channel.
Kazinga Channel is a 2-hour-plus Boat Safari where you can see hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, elephant herds, buffaloes, antelopes, and many hundreds of different kinds of water birds.
This is one of the highlights of your time in Queen Elizabeth Park. We suggest you use the Mweya Safari Lodge Boat for your Kazinga Channel, and this is the only one we usually book for our Clients. Read more here,
Banded Mongoose Tracking Research:
One of the little-known activities in Queen Elizabeth Park is Mongoose Research Tracking on the Mweya Peninsula.
This is a 3-hour activity that can be done with a guide who accompanies you as you set off to the Mongoose Research Area, where you can observe the Banded Mongoose and learn about their habits and ways.
This is an engaging activity, and you will see other wildlife and birds along the hike as you venture along Kazinga Channel on the Mweya Peninsula.
We can include Mongoose Research Activity in your Queen Elizabeth Park Safari Itinerary.
This is foot guided hike along the Mweya Peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel. Read more here.
Lion Research Tracking:
Each morning or late afternoon, you can participate in a Lion Tracking Research Experience in Queen Elizabeth Park; these tracking times last between one to three hours and are done twice a day, and track lions with radio collars attached. You will be with researchers and learn the habits of the Lions in Queen Elizabeth Park.
This Lion Tracking Experience is limited to just a few visitors, and one must be booked ahead of time to participate in this unique lion tracking.
Let us know if you like to include this most unusual Lion Tracking Experience in Queen Elizabeth Park during your Safari. This is a different experience since you are going out with researchers, not just a standard game drive. There is limited space, and we must book it well in advance. Read more here.
Birding in Queen Elizabeth Park:
Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is one of the best parks for Birding in Uganda, if not in all of Africa, with 619 species found in this Birders Paradise.
In the park are many water birds, woodland and forest dwellers in the Maramagambo Forest, 54 raptors, and various migratory species. Key species include the Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pink-backed Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit.
Chimpanzee Tracking – Kyambura Gorge:
There are ten species of primates found in Queen Elizabeth Park – the most popular one is the Chimpanzee which is located in the gash in the Savannah – the Kyambura Gorge, which has been called “the lost valley” by BBC in a documentary and is commonly referred to “the Valley of the Apes.”
Kyambura Gorge on a Chimpanzee Trek is one of the fascinating areas in Queen Elizabeth Park to see; as you descend into the valley, you will be simply amazed.
Please Note: Chimpanzee Sightings are no longer the sure thing as in the past. Suppose your main focus is chimpanzee Trekking, and you are not going to Kibale Forest. In that case, we recommend Kalinzu Forest, which has become the second best place for Chimpanzee Trekking in Uganda.
In the Gorge, you cross Rivers, meander through the thick forest in search of chimpanzees, and spot other wildlife, primates, and birds as you do so. Read more here.
This Ironwood forest – plus fruit trees is a place buzzing with primates, including chimpanzees, baboons, and several monkey species; the forest is also alive with many birds, including the rare Forest Flycatcher White-naped Pigeon and the striking Rwenzori Turaco.
One can also visit the ‘cormorant house, a house tree that has been turned white by the birds that roost there at night.
Ishasha Tree-Climbing Lions:
A fantastic experience is to stay one or two nights at the Ishasha Wilderness Lodge in the south of Queen Elizabeth Park in the Ishasha Region. Read more here.
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve:
Katwe Explosion Craters Drive:
A Visit to the Ancient Lake Katwe Salt Works:
Cultural Encounters and Village Visits:
There are many opportunities for cultural encounters and village visits while you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park.
We can incorporate cultural visits into your Safari if you wish to do so. Some lodges, such as Kyambura Gorge Lodge, assist various women’s self-help groups, including a coffee co-op.
The Cycad Trail in the Mpanga River Gorge near Queen Elizabeth Park is nothing new, and they have been here for millions of years and date back before the “Age of Cycads and Dinosaurs. In the Mpanga River Gorge, locals have chopped them down to make room for animals’ farming and grazing. A few Tourists ventured to see the ancient Cycad Plants after reading about them in the “Uganda Bradt Guide-Book.”
Some Ugandan Ecologists began to Ring the Alarm that the endangered Cycads of the Mpagango were facing eradication by locals. Many responded, including the Toro Kingdom. Today, the tide has turned, with sense and sensibility having prevailed.
The Uganda Tourist Board’s Chief Executive Officer Lilly Ajarova, who reconnoitered the Mpanga River Gorge and Team Members and the local media, announced that plans were being made to make the area accessible for Tourists.
The often muddy and challenging Cycad Trail in the Mpanga River Gorge is not for the faint of heart and takes a moderate fitness level for those who wish to take it. Read more here.
Kalinzu Forest- one of Uganda’s Best Chimpanzee Tracking locations:
Kalinzu Forest can easily be tacked on to an itinerary that takes in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
This is one of the National Forests of Uganda and is not managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Here you can track Chimpanzees beginning at age 12 and not 15.
Japanese researchers have habituated the chimpanzees here for many years and are pretty easily found while out on a Chimpanzee Trek with guides.
You can take Nature Walks and Hikes to see various primates, birds, and other animals.
Kalinzu Forest is a 45-minute drive from most lodges in the Mweya Area of Queen Elizabeth Park.
In 2018 it became the 2nd Best Chimpanzee Tracking Location. Read more here.
The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest Reserve:
The Kasyoha – Kitomi Forest is near Queen Elizabeth Park, south of the Kazinga Channel and Lake George. A Forest is a place of discovery – primates, birds, hiking trails, crater lakes, all off the beaten tourist path, another one of those hidden gems found in the Pearl of Africa.
While visiting the forest, stay at Nyanzibiri Eco-Community Camp. The Camp is located on two crater lakes, has a museum, and you can see a nearby cave.
This is another hiking trail off the beaten path in Uganda, where waterfalls, crater lakes, primates and birds, and forest elephants may sometimes be seen.
The added plus is that you are hiking without the crowds. Read more here.
Hitting the Trails in Queen Elizabeth Park:
Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda is more than a place to take Game Drives; it means getting out of the Vehicle and hitting the Trails in the park.
Hiking is often seen as a backpacker’s activity. We take it a step further and specialize in incorporating hikes into midrange and luxury Safaris.
Queen Elizabeth has many opportunities in and near the park. We add more as we discover them or even create new ones.
Let us know that you want to hit the Trails on your Safari in Queen Elizabeth Park, and we will do our best to incorporate them into your safari itinerary with us.
Nature Walks and Hiking opportunities -You are not stuck in a vehicle at Queen Elizabeth Parke. Still, you can explore areas such as Maramagambo Forest, Kyambura Gorge, part of the Western Rift Valley, the Mweya Peninsula, and hike along the Ishasha River in Ishasha. If you are an avid hiker and love nature walks, you will find Queen Elizabeth Park in just the right place.
. Queen Elizabeth Park does not mean being stuck in a vehicle but the freedom to explore and discover out of the VVehicleon foot along Ishasha River, in Maramagambo Forest, exploring the Kyambura Gorge with the River of the Blind, and along the Mweya Peninsula that overlooks the Kazinga Tracking.
Best Safaris in Queen Elizabeth Park:
Here are our 3 to 7-day Queen Elizabeth Park Safaris. Safaris will allow you to explore this vast park in Southwestern Uganda.
As a stand-alone safari park, Queen Elizabeth Park does very well with the variety of things you can see and do here.
Getting to Queen Elizabeth Park:
Flying to Queen Elizabeth National Park:
Fly with A from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi, where our driver-guide will meet you and take you to the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth Park.
You can also fly with AeroLink to Kasese, where our Driver-Guide will meet you and take you to the Mweya region of Queen Elizabeth Park.
Drive to Queen Elizabeth Park:
It is best to include a safari that includes visits to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Kibale Forest.
Driving to the park’s northern portion takes six hours from Entebbe, and going to the southern area will take eight hours.
Contact us if you want to include Queen Elizabeth Park in your Safari.