The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most-visited National Park located in western Uganda, spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri. Its location is approximately 376 kilometres (234 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The town of Kasese lies just outside the northeastern edge of the park, while the town of Bushenyi, is situated just outside the park’s southeastern boundaries. The coordinates of the park are: 00 12S, 30 00E (Latitude:-0.2000; Longitude: 30.0000).
Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometres (764 sq mi), of which, about 17% lies in Kasese District, 50% in Bushenyi District and an estimated 33% lies in Rukungiri District. The area of the park extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest, and includes the Kazinga Channel that connects the two lakes.
The park is named after Queen Elizabeth II and was established in 1954 is known for its wildlife, although many animals were killed in the Uganda-Tanzania War. Many species have recovered, including hippopotamuses, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees; it is now home to 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to the lions in this area.
The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted. The national park includes the Maramagambo Forest and borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve and Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park and The Queen Elizabeth Country Park in England are twinned in a project of “cultural exchange, mutual support and has its main emphasis on supporting Conservation through working closely with and empowering local communities”.
Game Drives are also exceptional for all to experience as you transfer on the various tracks with in the park. The Kasenyi Sector is the most prominent track in the park where numerous wildlife animals can be spotted like buffalo, small antelope, warthog, elephant, baboons. The North Kazinga Plains also inhabit numerous wildlife animals and the Ishasha sector offers experiences with the beautiful tree climbing lions. Take on these with a skilled ranger guide who will take you along the tracks as well as inform you about the various wildlife animals, character and their choice of habitat.
Launch Trips in Queen Elizabeth National park are carried out along the Kazinga Channel which inhabits numerous wildlife species. There are two shifts i.e a boat that leaves in the morning at 8:30 am and one that leaves in the afternoon at 2:30 pm offering exceptional Adventure Experiences. These offer scenic views at the two lakes i.e Edward and George as well as the numerous schools of Hippos and Crocodiles lying beneath the water surface and other wildlife animals like elephants, buffalo, kobs etc. You will as well as spot different bird species interacting with their natural habitat.
Birding at Queen Elizabeth national park is also a very exciting safari Adventure to take on by all travelers around the world interested. There are about 600 bird species and these include; water birds, woodland, forest dwellers in the Maramagambo Forest, migratory species and 54 raptors. The bird species you will watch include; Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African Skimmer, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Pinkbacked Pelican, African Broadbill, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, White-tailed Lark, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Corncrake, Lesser and Greater Flamingo, Shoebill, Bar-tailed Godwit etc.
Chimpanzee Tracking at Queen Elizabeth National park is carried out at the prominent Kyambura Gorge where you will learn more about the primates’ natural ecology and the difference of these than those found in any other place around Uganda. Watching these is 50/50 but travelers can glance at them in a distance due to the fact that they are habituated. The trekking process starts early in the morning at 8:00 am and 2:00 pm daily taking about 1-3 hours in the presence of these primates.
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