Queen Elizabeth National Park

African Safari Game Drives, Kazinga Channel Boat Safaris, Big Game Viewing

An African safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a holiday to one of the most Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), located in southwestern Uganda, occupies an area of 764 square miles (1,978 square km) in a region of rolling plains east of Lake Edward and foothills south of the Ruwenzori Mountains. Because of its location within the Western Rift Valley, its landscape is dotted with volcanic craters of the Pleistocene Epoch (Between 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago).

Established in 1952, Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the largest National Park in Uganda and adjoins the frontier of the DRC to the west. Its vegetation consists mostly of thickets of various types of small trees, including acacias and evergreens. There are also areas of rainforest and savanna grasslands. The park’s wildlife includes chimpanzees, leopards, lions, elephants, hippopotamuses, water buffaloes, and several types of antelopes, such as duiker, reedbuck, and topi. The park has an extremely rich avian fauna, prominent among which are many species of kingfishers.


QENP is probably the most reliable Uganda park for lion viewing, which is particularly common on the grassy Kasenyi Plains but is more famous for its tree-climbing antics in the Ishasha sector. Leopard sightings are not so common as a few years back. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the savannah areas of the park. An amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips are conducted. Chimps can be tracked, and several antelope and other primate species are present. Giraffe and zebra are absent.

Tree-climbing lions are a speciality of the Ishasha sector of the park, where they can often be found in huge fig trees. Giant forest hog is unusually easy to see in the park, both on drives and from a boat trip. Buffalo are particularly attractive as they are often reddish-brown due to interbreeding with forest buffalo from neighbouring Congo. Chimp trekking is available in the steamy, tropical forest of Kyambura Gorge.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The park is set against a backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains. Additional scenic points are Kazinga Channel between Lake Edward and Lake George and at least 10 crater lakes. The most accessible part of the park is open savannah, but large forest areas are open to the public. These include the forested Kyambura Gorge and the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast.

Best Time To Visit

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s nearness to the equator ensures uniformly warm temperatures throughout the year. Heavy rain that makes some roads impassable is a feature of the region’s two Wet seasons (March to May and August to December). Although there’s no official Dry season, the rainfall abates somewhat – though rarely entirely – from January to February and June to July.

Brief but drenching rainstorms often characterize the days of the Wet seasons (March to May and August to December), but this is also when the park’s environment is beautifully lush and you can greet migratory birds as they pass through. For chimpanzee trekking, though, visit when the park’s trails are more solid underfoot in the drier months.

Using the weather information above, be your own judge on when is the best time to visit this beautiful savanna piece of real estate.

Queen Highlights

  • QENP is one of Uganda’s oldest parks. It was formed officially, along with Murchison Falls National Park in 1952.
  • Initially known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
  • Best place to visit is the Kazinga Channel — a display of wildlife drama along the shores of the 32 km (20 mi) fresh water channel.
  • Hosts 619 bird species, the second highest of any park in Africa – the 6th highest of any parkworld-wide. This remarkable number is enabled by the park’s diverse habitats.
  • Crocodiles have only recently been seen in the Kazinga Channel. They disappeared for 8,000 years after they were eliminated from Lake Edward by toxic ash from local volcanoes.
  • Contains 95 species of mammal – more than any other park in Uganda.
  • Lies on the floor of Africa’s Western Rift Valley, which runs from northern Uganda to Malawi.
  • The first European visitor was Henry Morton Stanley in 1889.

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