Queen Elizabeth National Park to See the Explosion Craters (1)
The Katwe Explosion Craters are a stunning sight located on the Mweya peninsula. PHOTO/Gorilla Safaris Uganda

In Queen Elizabeth National Park visitors can view the Katwe Explosion Craters, the Bunyaraguru Crater Field on the impressive Kichwamba escarpment, and the marvellous Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field near Kibale National Park.

Uganda’s western region is home to a number of ‘explosion craters,’ violently extinct volcanoes, such as the Katwe Explosion Craters in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

These craters are known as explosion craters because, in the past, their eruptions were extraordinarily powerful and instead of stacking debris around their vents like many other volcanoes, they discharged ash and rock across a vast area. 

Sulphurous odours can still be detected from some of the craters in the present day.

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, Katwe Explosion Craters can be found, as can Bunyaraguru Crater Field on the impressive Kichwamba escarpment and the lovely Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field near Kibale National Park

These are the three major concentrations. The Kyemengo Crater, the largest of the Katwe Explosion Craters, is the most enticing.

Craters created by explosions in the park’s western Ugandan region make for stunning scenery and excellent hiking opportunities.

Because of recent volcanic activity in Uganda, the crater lakes originated only 8 000 to 10 000 years ago even though they appear to be serene and lovely waters today. 

When these bursts, they wreaked havoc on an area larger than that covered by Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii at the time of their explosion. Lake Edward was poisoned by Uganda’s Explosion Craters.

The explosion craters continued to erupt with fire and brimstone as recently as 2000 BC. Explosion Craters, in contrast to volcanoes, do not build cones; instead, they spew ash and rock to great distances. 

Today, these craters are filled with water to create stunning lakes, some of which have a distinct sulphur odour due to the recent volcanic activity. 

Some of them include excellent bathing areas, nature walks where monkeys and resident birds can be seen frequently, as well as breathtaking views and exceptional vantage points.

While gazing at the beautiful crater lakes in Uganda, which are surrounded by meadows, lush forests, and farmland, you may not notice that these lakes were formed by huge explosions on the earth’s crust.

Queen Elizabeth Park is home to many Crater Lakes

Katwe Crater lakes

Katwe Explosion Craters (1)
From Kabatoro gate to the Queen’s Pavillion, Katwe’s Explosion Crater Drive takes approximately two hours and is referred to as the Explosion Crater drive.

On the northern side of the Mweya peninsula, the Katwe Explosion Craters are a beautiful sight to see. 

Katwe’s Explosion Crater drive, a 27-mile trip from Kabatoro gate to the Queen’s Pavillion, takes around two hours and is referred to as the Explosion Crater drive. Taking in the beauty of these craters is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Early in the day or late at night, when visibility is best and temps are most pleasant, is when you should take your drive. Lake Katwe, a prominent body of water near Lake Edward, is well-known for its salt mining history. 

Visitors to this lake can learn about the beginnings of salt mining in the area, from the construction of the salt pans to the actual entry into the water.

Additionally, during the dry season, visitors may see how salt is made from super-concentrated saline water at the lake’s historic salt factory and works. If you’ve ever worked in a place where sexual harassment is a problem, you’ll know that it’s not an easy job. 

Males and women put flour in their private parts to prevent poisonous water from getting into them, and men wear condoms to protect their penises in this scenario.

You’ll be able to see the craters, the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga channel that joins Lake George to Edward, the two lakes, and a variety of birds that live in the craters as you travel through the carters. 

You may also see elephants, buffaloes, and other large creatures in the vicinity.

A 4WD vehicle is required for this crater trip, as the road can be rugged, rock-strewn, and slippery when it rains. Driving around the Crater is fun when it’s dry outside. 

Mweya Safari lodge guests can access the salt crater lake immediately from their hotel, while those staying outside the park can access it via the Katwe-Kabatoro route.

Bunyampaka Salt Lake

Located in Queen Elizabeth’s north-eastern region, Bunyampaka Salt Lake attracts flamingos from nearby Lake Nakuru during their periodic migrations. 

After a game drive in Kasenyi, this crater is also a must-see.

Bunyaruguru craters

Bunyaruguru Crater Fields are located in the western part of Queen Elizabeth national park on the Kichwamba escarpment in the western rift valley near the park’s border. 

While some of these bodies of water have freshwater fish, some are saltwater. Some of these lakes can be seen on the Kasese-Mbarara highway on the way to or from the park, including Lake Nkugute, also known as Lake Rutoto, which is shaped like an African continent. 

Near the Rugazi post office are the twin lakes Nyungu and Rwizongo.

Ndali Kasenda Crater field

Ndali kasenda Crater field (1)
In Fort Portal, near Kibale Forest, is Ndali Kasenda Crater. PHOTO/Achieve Global Safaris

Ndali Kasenda Crater is located in Fort Portal near Kibale forest. Different from most crater lakes, these can be explored on foot. 

At the top, you can see the mountains of the moon, the Kibale rain forest and the Kichwamba escarpment of the western rift valley. 

There are other smaller crater lakes found in Fort Portal. These have lakes like Lake Kyaninga.

Nyamunuka Crater Lake

In the wet season, it’s usually full of water, while in the dry season, it’s dry. Because of its natural beauty, this area is a popular destination for tourists. 

The water in this crater contains Sulphur, which attracts animals because it aids in the removal of ticks and the healing of wounds sustained during fights or escapes from predators.

Conclusion

There are craters throughout Queen Elizabeth National Park, making it one of the world’s most picturesque spots for photography, especially with the Rwenzori Mountain ranges in the background.

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