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This national park is famous for its large cats, such as lions and leopards, which are known to climb trees. PHOTO/UWA

There are many activities available to visitors of Queen Elizabeth National Park, including game drives, bird watching, and chimp tracking.

One of the country’s most famous tourist attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda, is home to 612 bird species.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is also home to 95 mammalian species, diverse flora and fauna, including hippos, tree-climbing lions, reedbucks, mongoose, elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, swamp antelope, zebras, Uganda-kobs, topis, waterbucks, bushbucks, and forest hog.

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, visitors can participate in activities such as game drives, bird watching, and chimp tracking.

If you’re considering visiting this stunning park, here are several reasons why you should.

Queen Elizabeth National Park, also termed as QENP, or Queens is the most visited national park in Uganda. Most visits to this sanctuary are usually coupled with gorilla and/or chimpanzee treks in Bwindi. 

The park is well-known for its large cats, which include lions and leopards that climb trees. Game drives around the park will reveal the park’s diverse population of large game, which includes elephants, buffalos, antelopes, and warthogs. 

Visitors to the Ishasha area have the opportunity to see and also observe the behaviour of the world-famous tree-climbing lions that roam this Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

The night game drive provides an unparalleled opportunity to observe nocturnal species that are more active at night than during the day.

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s elephants

In 2018, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) conducted a wildlife census which totalled the number of elephants to 3,953, unlike in 2015 when they were 2,913. 

Today, this population has increased to more than 4,000 elephants. 

Elephant herds roam the park, and you may be certain to spot them in large numbers on your game drive at Queen Elizabeth national park, both in Ishasha and on the Mweya Peninsula. 

Boat Safaris

Boat Safaris in uganda
A boat cruise offers tourists the opportunity to observe many types of flora and fauna. PHOTO/UWA

Boat safaris traverse the Kazinga Channel, which extends around 40 metres in length and connects the lakes, Edward and George. 

Here you’ll see cattle and elephants approaching the shore, pelicans rafting in the sunshine, and plenty of hippos. The boat journey is a popular activity that lasts two hours. 

Tourists are drawn to see the abundance of flora and fauna that can be observed while on a boat cruise. 

The channel’s borders attract a large number of wild creatures such as hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and antelopes, making it a spectacular location for visitors on a wildlife safari in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park

Bird viewing

With roughly 619 bird species, it is Africa’s second-highest park and the sixth highest in the world. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the premier bird-spotting region in the world, and a boat trip along the Kazinga channel reveals bird species such as Great-white and Pink-backed Pelicans. 

Kyambura George, Katwe soda lakes, Mweya peninsular, and Maramagambo woodland are just a few of the areas in Queen Elizabeth National Park that offer a unique birding experience.

Chimpanzee tracking 

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Chimpanzee trekking is a popular activity in the Park, attracting visitors from a variety of countries. PHOTO/UWA

The park is home to the Kyambura gorge, an ‘underground’ forest located 100 metres beneath the Kichwaba cliff which is notable for its primate population and is the park’s primary location for habituated chimps. 

Chimpanzee trekking has attracted a large number of visitors from a variety of countries, making it a popular activity in the Park.

Chimp tracking expeditions are conducted within the park’s green woodlands, and guests will have an hour-long experience with the man’s closest living relative. Chimpanzee tracking must be pre-booked with the park headquarters. 

While the odds of seeing chimps are slim, the experience of trekking through the jungle is incredible due to the abundance of gorgeous birds and other primates.

Hot air balloon safaris

A visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park provides an opportunity to experience hot air balloon safaris. This is the finest way to get a 360-degree aerial view of the Park. 

The hot air balloon safari begins early in the morning, allowing you to witness large herds of wildlife as well as the nocturnal species that inhabit the area. 

Forest and nature hikes

These are conducted with the assistance of a ranger guide for safety reasons. They are located on the Mweya peninsula, which offers excellent birding and views of the Kazinga channel and Lake Edward. 

In Ishasha, you can take a walk along the Ishasha River with your ranger guide and get up close to the Hippos. 

Maramagambo forest is another location that features a well-known bat cave and a variety of bird species.

Community and cultural experiences

Along with its incredible biodiversity, Queen Elizabeth has a rich cultural history, as evidenced by the presence of numerous fishing villages adjacent to the park. 

Visitors have the opportunity to interact with indigenous peoples and experience their stories, music, and dance. Or join in on some of the residents’ daily chores, such as picking and cooking a fast vegetable dinner or creating crafts.

Additionally, there are towns next to the park that you may visit to hear about their efforts and others where you can participate in community walks to learn more about their culture.

The Kikorongo Women’s Community Project performs traditional performances incorporating dance, theatre, music, basket weaving, and paper beads. 

You would need to make an appointment before visiting because the ladies do not work at the project regularly and many will be at their farms, where they spend the majority of their time.

There is plenty of time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is open all year. 

December, January, and February are the greatest months to conduct the aforesaid activities, while June to July during the dry season is the best time to watch wildlife. 

It’s simpler to spot wildlife because they congregate near water sources. 

March, April, May, October, and November: Few activities occur, and some lodges and camps in areas with heavy rains close; roads and forest trails may be in bad shape.

Affordable lodging

With a diverse choice of lodges, campsites, hotels, and tented camps, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers lodging to suit every budget, including the Ishasha Wilderness Camp Queen Elizabeth National Park

If you are looking for a complete Uganda travel experience, we also recommend checking out our guide to Lake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.