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There are two ways to access the Kazinga waterway: by road or by air. It is located in the northern area of Queen Elizabeth national park. PHOTO/TWITTER

Taking a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is one of the most rewarding experiences in the country.

The Kazinga channel is a 32-kilometre (20-mile) wide freshwater channel that connects Lake Edward with its smaller neighbour, Lake George. 

The lakes are named after Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII, and George V, his successor. The channel is a prominent feature of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a renowned wildlife tourism destination.

The channel is home to a diverse array of animals and birds, including one of the world’s greatest concentrations of hippos (about 2,000) and an unfathomable number of Nile crocodiles.

It‘s a common site for other animals too like buffaloes, elephants and over 100 species of water birds, including the African Skimmer. 

These animals are easily visible from a boat excursion down the channel or, more likely, at the entrance to the magnificent Lake Edward.

The water in Lake George comes flows from the Rwenzori Mountains and drains into Lake Edward via the Kazinga Channel. Lake George’s 250-square-kilometre surface area is over 10 times that of its larger neighbour, Lake Edward (2325-square-kilometre). 

The waterway itself is 8m deep.

Game viewing on the Kazinga channel

The Kazinga channel is divided into portions. One is the North Kazinga and the Kasenyi plains. It is widely noted that the plains of this channel provide spectacular views of wildlife. 

By going on a game tracking expedition, you will have a better chance of seeing the various wildlife that inhabits this area in its most pristine natural state. Mornings and late afternoons are the optimum times for game drives. The range guide is important in many ways. 

They provide you with adequate information about the wildlife in this park, assist you in identifying some of the Uganda wildlife safari attractions that you may have missed, and ensure that you have the most enjoyable and memorable experience possible on this safari.

Cruising by boat

The Boat Cruise on the Kazinga Channel is incredibly gratifying and is one of the country’s best and most popular adventures.

The boat voyage departs between 3 and 5 p.m. local time, while other expeditions depart at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time, depending on visitor desire (booking is done at Mweya safari lodge).

Climb aboard and enjoy a panoramic perspective of the Kazinga Channel’s attractions. Take in the sights of lively elephants and bathing buffaloes as a trained ranger leads you through Queen Elizabeth National Park’s flora and animals.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority and Mweya Safari Lodge are two independent boat tour businesses. Both cruises are approximately $30 per person and run for approximately two hours. 

Mweya Safari Lodge offers travellers a choice of two boats: the Sunbird, a comfortable ten-seater, and the Kingfisher, a beautiful twelve-seater. Both vessels have expert guides and staff, but the Kingfisher provides refreshments and canopies, allowing you to travel in luxury.

Along with fascinating creatures, you’ll get a view of one of the park’s eleven fishing communities.

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Mweya Safari Lodge offers travellers two boats to choose from: the Sunbird, which has ten seats, and the Kingfisher, which has twelve seats. FILE PHOTO

How to Get There

Kazinga waterway is located in the northern area of Queen Elizabeth national park and is accessible via road or air.

It takes around 7-8 hours to drive from Kampala city to Queen Elizabeth national park through Masaka-Mbarara, Fort Portal, and Kasese. 

And from Bwindi to Kazinga channel via the Kihihi-Buhoma sector to the Mweya peninsula, it takes around 3-4 hours by road transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle.

When travelling by air, an aircraft from Entebbe international airport’s Kajjansi airstrip will drop you in Kihihi. 

From there, it’s a 3-hour drive to the Kazinga channel via Ishasha sector and Mweya peninsula, where you’ll be dropped at a nearby safari lodge such as Mweya safari lodge, which is strategically located on the shores of the Kazinga channel.

Additionally, daily flights from Entebbe (EBB) to Kasese (KSE) take around 1 hour and 35 minutes. The final 40-mile part of the journey takes approximately an hour and a half from Kasese to Kazinga Falls.

Accommodation facilities

Safari Lodge Mweya

Mweya Safari Lodge, located on the Mweya Peninsula in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park, is the ideal location for your Kazinga Channel experiences. 

Before being turned into a major hotel, the lodge served as a government building. Mweya Safari Lodge offers a variety of accommodation options

The most affordable alternative is one of the 32 standard rooms, each of which features an en suite bathroom and private balcony. 12 premium rooms are available with the added benefit of air conditioning.

Kyambura Lodge

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A great alternative to lodging in Queen Elizabeth National Park is Kyambura Lodge. PHOTO/AndBeyond

Kyambura Lodge is one of the greatest housing alternatives in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is located adjacent to Kyambura Gorge in the park’s eastern sector. Apart from being an excellent starting point for boat cruises, guests can also participate in monkey trekking and game drives.

The building, which was formerly a coffee plantation shop, has been turned into the main lodge. The main lodge features a huge lounge, dining area, and bar with a mix of wooden and tiled floors, large windows, and hung artwork. 

The dining area’s food is of a good grade and is served by polite and attentive staff. Additionally, there is a swimming pool and a spa that opened in July 2019.

Around the main lodge are eight luxury bandas, four of which are extra-special deluxe bandas. The easygoing architecture of the structures, which are mostly constructed of wood, stone, and thatch, creates an atmosphere of peace.

Each room features a king-sized four-poster bed, a private veranda, an en-suite bathroom, and a seating area furnished with basic and unusual pieces of furniture. 

While the design is contemporary, it maintains the unmistakable flavour of a classic safari lodge. 

Additionally, each visitor can take advantage of personal butler service.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

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The canvas, wood, and thatch roofs of the Ishasha Wilderness Camp blend in with the trees around it. FILE PHOTO

The most preferred cheap accommodation is Ishasha Wilderness Camp. Ishasha Wilderness Camp provides an authentic tented camp experience while maintaining a high standard of comfort and design. 

The camp is located on the banks of the Ishasha River, directly over the border from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp, which overlooks the Ntungwe River, is constructed entirely of canvas, wood, and thatch roofs to blend in with the surrounding trees. 

The camp’s core section features a relaxing lounge, bar, eating area, expansive veranda, and even a quiet library for dedicated readers.

Each of the ten private canvas tents has been purposefully placed to take advantage of the spectacular surroundings. Each tent’s balcony provides a magnificent view of the neighbouring hippos and elephant populations. 

They are comfy and large, designed in the East African Meru style. Each tent features an en-suite bathroom with eco-friendly toilets and showers, as well as solar panels to power the tents. 

This ecologically friendly hotel is ideal for environmentally conscious travellers.

Last but not least, for an all-inclusive tour experience in Uganda, view our guide to Murchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.