Queen Elizabeth National Park
Safari suitability: 8/10Write a review
The park does contain four of the five (no rhino) and is exquisite in scenery and other wildlife sightings.
What YAS members think
- Queen Elizabeth National Park spans the equator
- The park is one of the most popular parks in the country due to its magnificent biodiversity
- The park is home to over 95 species of mammals and more than 600 bird species
- Ideal for bird watching, chimp tracking, hiking and Nile cruises
About Queen Elizabeth National Park
Named after Queen Elizabeth II and established in 1952, Queen Elizabeth National Park spans an estimated 1,987 km² (764 miles²). Located in western Uganda, the park covers the districts of Kases, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri, stretching from the crater foothills of the Rwenzori peaks in the North and along Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south. The park has the highest bio-diversity rating of any national park in the world, and it is arguably one of Uganda’s most picturesque and popular parks.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is an idyllic habitat location for various species of wildlife, offering diverse ecosystems, including savannah, humid forests and sparkling lakes. Similar to most areas in Uganda, wildlife in the park decreased significantly during the civil war. However, over the years, the numbers have been replenished and continue to rise. The park is currently home to over 95 species of mammal including buffalo, elephants, lions, leopards and ten primate species including the chimpanzee. And, for those who wish to see all their hippos in one, tidy place, the parks boasts one of the highest concentrations of hippos in the entire world! It is also worth visiting for the birding alone. With over 600 species of birds, the largest in any protected area in East Africa, it is sure to offer an unforgettable experience to bird watchers. Not only is Queen Elizabeth National Park known for sightings of some of Africa’s most iconic bird species and chimp tracking, it also provides scenery ideal for hiking and cruises along the Kazinga channel of the Nile, which flows from its headwaters in Lake Victoria and joins the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.
The easiest route to the park is from Kampala, through Mbarara, and is about a five to six hour drive. Charter flights can also be arranged to the surrounding areas of Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha.
Best times to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
Due to Uganda’s location along the equator, temperatures tend to fluctuate minimally. In general, daytime temperatures range from 18 C (64 F) to 28 C (82 F). It can get cooler at night, so it is recommended that travelers bring layers of clothing. The driest months tend to be January and February, but there is always a chance of rainfall.
This is the second largest national park in Uganda and covering an area of 197800 ha found in the Albertine rift valley. The area was affected by Rinderpest and smallpox in 1890s and then the arrival of tsetse flies at the beginning of 20 century. In 1910 the seriousness of nagana and human sleeping sickness led the officials to move the inhabitants to areas free of the tsetse flies leaving the area vacant. In 1925, the Lake George game reserve was established, followed in 1930 by the Lake Edward game reserve. These were later enlarged to include the crater areas and the area south of the Kazinga Channel. The Kibale forest corridor game reserve to the north of Lake George was also established to provide a corridor of Elephants to pass to and from Kibale forest. The park was renamed the Kazinga national park and was gazetted in 1952, and was renamed again after the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Queen Elizabeth national park in 1954. It harbors a number of animals like hippos, lions, elephants, topis, buffaloes, water bucks, warthogs,spotted hyenas, Uganda Kobs and leopards. It has also a great number of birds like the egrets, herons, weavers, sacred ibis, pelicans, cormorants, plovers and many others.
I have been experiencing Queen Elizabeth National Park for a number of times both guiding my clients or doing my tours, biding and other activities. I have found it very nice and rewarding with a number of wildlife, boat cruise, birds and many other things. All my tours to QENP have been so rewarding for the best knowledge I have about it, I recommend this touristic destination for the most stunning, rewarding, and amazing wildlife experience.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a treasure: Kyambura Gorge, which is home to chimpanzee and an oasis to most animals during the dry season. It's beautiful and green.
Every corner surprises you with its own attraction leaving your clients surprised about the beauty and the excitement this destination brings to their holiday stay. Queen Elizabeth doesn't disappoint your choice of making it your destination. Whatever you included in the itinerary, will be on plate on arrival.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is endowed with a diversity of fauna and flora. It is a hub for tourists looking for adventure in activities like bird watching, game drives, nature walk, boat cruise, community walks and chimp trekking in Maramagambo forests. The park has over 100 crater lakes. The lodges around the destination range from budget to luxury. Its good for honeymooners, families and group travelers.
ueen Elizabeth National Park is well known for having her fair share of the African Big 5 and great stories from the communities around. I had a 3 night stay at Parkview Safari Lodge with my lovely wife to celebrate our anniversary. We were blown away by the excellent service and quality ambience at the lodge. Its the place to go if one fancies time out of the daily routine and living literally at the National Park (with fair binoculars you could watch wildlife from your balcony :-)). We will definitely be going back to Parkview Safari Lodge in QENP - sooner than later!
Uganda is called the pearl of Africa and, in my opinion, QENP is Uganda's crown jewel. We were not in the park more than a few minutes when we saw a bird of prey feasting on a feathered kill. Moments later we spotted a tree-climbing lion. Aside from the Kazinga Channel, which is riddled with tourists and wasn't to my liking, the park feels relatively open and not too crowded. I enjoyed watching a lovely lioness for several hours one afternoon. Only one other vehicle joined us. The lodging options here are also very good. I recommend QENP.
The park is known to have the highest concentration wildlife in Uganda. Tree-climbing lions can be seen draped in trees in the Ishasha sector, and the variety of birds is spectacular! Over 612 bird species have been recorded in the area among which include the Lappet-faced Vultures, the rare shoe bill stork, pick-backed pelicans, black bee-eater, palm-nut and the African skimmer. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel connecting Lakes George and Edward is a very interesting and memorable activity, with cruising meters from hundreds of hippos and also good sightings of elephants, antelope, buffalo and warthogs that feed on and around the shoreline. The park is a home to a wide variety of primate species, the eastern section of the park the Kyambura Gorge is a good sight for primate watching. A nature walk in Maramagambo forest offers an opportunity to see different primate species like the black and white Colobus and other monkeys, bird species and flora and fauna that live in the forest. Beautiful scenery & phenomenal views. Truly a hidden gem!
If you camp, be sure you can get a fire lit. Backup matches, kerosene. Be sure. Because the fire really can help keep the predators away, and the lions are curious. On our third or fourth safari in Queen, we saw a pair of young males, manes just coming in, near the peninsula. That night, they found us. What's that? That's lions. Sniffing around the tent, licking their paws; hyenas in the distance; all the other wildlife is gone; for about five hours. But, usually, lions won't tear open a tent. The next morning, we headed South to Bwindi. QE's true beauty is her multitude of habitats: forested gorge, rivers, channels, salt and fresh lakes, euphorbia shrubland, crater fields and the corridor to her sister, Kibale, to the north.
If I have seen beauty, it was in Queen Elizabeth National park. The park has a variety of animals starting from the small ones like squirrels to the largest ones like the elephants. It has the fascinating tree climbing lions that we saw relaxing in trees and truly one would say they are the King of the jungle. The Kazinga channel it self is a gem where you see hippo and various animals on the water banks quenching their thirst. The pied kingfisher birds flying up and down on a hunting mission for fish. Queen Elizabeth is a place to be.
I now know why this park is so popular. Yes, it's more crowded than other parks in Uganda and Rwanda, but it's so scenic and has such a large number of animal life that it's ok. Loved the food here for some reason. Def try to do a boat tour, too.
Driving to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The easiest route to the park is from Kampala, through Mbarara, and is about a six to seven hour drive.
It's also possible to drive from Kigali, Rwanda, with the drive being slightly shorter than it is from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
Flying to Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are daily flights from Entebbe to Kasese, Uganda, which is located about an hour outside of the park. The flight is around two hours in duration.
The following airlines travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park
AeroLink Uganda Limited is a domestic airline offering both scheduled and charter flights into Uganda's national parks. From its base at Entebbe International Airport, AeroLink using its Cessna Grand Caravans, offers daily flights into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips), Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese and Mweya airstrips), Murchison Falls (Bugungu, Pakuba and Chobe airstrips), Semuliki National Park (Semliki airstrip) and Kidepo Valley National Park (Apoka airstrip). Effective 1st June 2019, in partnership with its sister company Airkenya Express Limited, Aerolink commenced scheduled flights from Entebbe International Airport to the famous Maasai Mara in Kenya via Kisumu International Airport for Immigration. AeroLink Uganda is affiliated to Airkenya Express in Kenya and Regional Air Services in Tanzania. Visit website
Also flies to:
Regional services within Kenya. At Airkenya safety and security are of paramount importance. As one of Africas leading aviation companies Airkenya aspires to reach new heights of service delivery. At Airkenya our diverse operations are looked into with eagle eyes. Our aircraft are thoroughly inspected by highly trained engineers to ensure our passengers enjoy consistently smooth safe flights. Our excellent maintenance facilities have been approved by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with international airworthiness safety standards. This together with our dedicated ground team has secured Airkenya an impressive track record for safety. Visit website
Also flies to:
Based in Kampala, operates scheduled and charter services across eastern and central Africa. Eagle Air is a Private Ltd Company specialising in the provision of Charter and Schedule Air services both within Uganda and around the East & Central Africa Region. Eagle Air was incorporated as an air operator in June 1994. Visit website
Also flies to: