Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular and diverse national park, comprising savannah, forest, swampland and lakes. Stretching from the Rwenzori Mountains in the north to the Ishasha River in the south and taking in the shores of both Lake George and Lake Edward and the Kazinga Channel that links the two, the park offers excellent game viewing. There are 95 mammal and over 600 bird species recorded – the most of any park in Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is often considered Uganda’s premier safari destination, with a huge variety of game found here. The healthy kob population attracts a good number of predators including lion, leopard and jackal and there are a variety of primates including chimpanzee, blue and L’Hoest’s monkeys all resident in the park.
The park is incredibly beautiful thanks to the variety of habitats that it comprises. Whilst savanna dominates, a series of smaller crater lakes, the whole of the Ugandan side of Lake Edward as well as the south-western shore of Lake George lie within the park. The Kazinga Channel which links Lakes Edward and George offers fantastic birding, whilst the multitude of plains game enjoying the rich savanna attracts the big cats, with a lion population which is on the increase. The area around Ishasha in the far south of the park is one of the few places in Africa that is renowned for rare tree-climbing lions.
One of the most unique experiences on offer in Queen Elizabeth National Park is the chance to go out with the Uganda Carnivore Program and learn more about their important work monitoring the lion population in the park. Another great drawer of the area is Kyambura (pronounced Chambura) Gorge on the eastern boundary of the park, which is home to the only habituated population of chimpanzees. The narrow territory created by the gorge means that on the whole the chimpanzees are easy to locate, making for rewarding sightings.