6 unmissable things to do in Queen Elizabeth national park Uganda

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most bio-diverse part and the most popular savannah park in Uganda, at a size of 1,978 square kilometers the park is also the second largest in the country.  Queen Elizabeth National Park is located at the base of Rwenzori Mountains, western Uganda approximately 400 kilometers from Uganda’s capital and largest city, Kampala  The park is a great Uganda wildlife destination attracting many visitors interested in wildlife, birds and the splendid scenery of the landscape. 
tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Here are the top six things/safari activities to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park while on a Uganda safari Visit the Explosion Craters  The Katwe – Kikorongo Explosion Crater (also known as Katwe craters) are one of the most striking features in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the volcanic craters are located in the north of the park and their existence is attributed to the famous Albertine Rift. Some of these craters are covered by vegetation and others are filled with water, exploring these craters is a mind-blowing experience filled with magnificent views of the craters.  Lake Katwe is one of the explosion craters in the region and famously known for salt mining which is done in a local way, there salt farms decorating the rim of the lake. While visiting the lake, you will learn about the history of the Katwe region and how to mine salt using local methods.  Game drive in the Kasenyi Plains  Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best savannah destinations in Uganda for game drives and the best spot to do the game drives is the Kasenyi Plains located in the northeast of the park, the Kasenyi plains are situated on the western shores of the adjacent stunning Lake George just near the area where the Kazinga Channel confluences with the lake.  The region is an open savannah and a home to various wildlife species with Uganda kobs being dominant, Kasenyi plains is the major breeding area for the Uganda Kobs. The presence of the Uganda Kobs attracts many predators including lions, leopards and Africa wild dogs which are frequently seen during the game drive.  Other animals to lookout for during game drive in Kasenyi plains include elephants, leopards, spotted hyenas, side-striped jackals, buffaloes, bushbucks, topis, Defassa waterbucks among others.  Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel  The Kazinga Channel is one of the most fascinating attractions in Queen Elizabeth National Park famed for hosting the largest population of hippos in East Africa, the channel is a wide, 32-kilometre-long natural channel connecting Lake George in the East to Lake Edward to the West.   A boat cruise on Kazinga Channel is a real wildlife adventure on which you will be able to see various wildlife species, the channel attracts many animals including elephants and buffaloes which come to the banks of the channel to drink water. Other animals you will spot during the boat cruise include large schools of hippos and Nile crocodiles in the waters of the channel. Kazinga Channel is also a great site for birding, swamps along the shores of the channel are home to a huge population of water birds which you will see during the boat cruise. Some of the birds to lookout for include malachite, black-ramped buttonquail, Collard Pranticles, papyrus canary, verreax’s eagle-owl, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, long-tailed cormorants, Martial Eagle, Black- rumped Buttonquail African Skimmer, White winged terns, White-winged Warbler, shoebill, African skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Grey-headed kingfisher, papyrus gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and the thin-tailed Nightjars among others.   Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge  Kyambura Gorge also known as The Valley of Apes is a fascinating site in Queen Elizabeth National Park situated in the far east, the gorge is a stunning underground forest of about 1 kilometer wide, 32 kilometers long and 100 meters deep.  Kyambura Gorge is home to some of the habituated chimpanzees and is ranked the best chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda where you can have an encounter with chimpanzees in their natural habitat.  Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge is a fascinating expedition offering visitors a chance to have a face-to-face encounter with the chimpanzees, the activity starts early in the morning. After briefing at the park’s headquarters, you will descend into the gorge and cross the river at various point over log bridges looking for the chimpanzees. On the scenic hike you will also see other creatures living in the gorge such as olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys, giant forest hogs, waterbucks and jackals.  When you locate the chimpanzee troop, you will watch the chimpanzees go on with their daily life in the forest and take many pictures and videos as you wish.  Kyambura Gorge is also a great birding habitat hosting about 350 bird species and some of the birds to lookout for while in the gorge include African Finfoot, blue headed bee-eater, Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, African skimmer, lesser and greater flamingoes, Chapin’s flycatcher and white-tailed lark among others.  Nature Walk in Maramagambo Forest  Maramagambo Forest is one of the popular sectors of Queen Elizabeth National Park and one of the largest forests in East Africa, the forest is a great spot in the park to do nature walks.  Nature walks in Maramagambo Forest lasts for two to six hours, the guided nature walks offer you a chance to explore the forest and spot a variety of forest creatures including primates such as olive baboons, bush babies, red-tailed and blue monkeys and many bird species such as African Finfoot, Black Cuckoo, Black Coucal, African Emerald Cuckoo, Yellow bill, Red – Chested Cuckoo, Papyrus canary, Little Grebe among others.  Maramagambo Forest is home tow nocturnal species that is bush babies and Potto monkeys living in the forest, these can be sighted during the guided night walk in the forest.  Look for tree climbing lions in Ishasha Sector  The Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is a famous sector of the park for being home to tree climbing lions and one of the few places in the world where tree climbing lions can be seen, the Ishasha Sector is a southern sector of the park and the best place to see lions.  These lions are said to climb trees as a way to escape biting insects and also find shelter from rain and the sun, that is why you will see them lounging on tree branches of fig, acacia and candelabra trees.  Ishasha Sector is a very remote region and from Mweya- park’s headquarters it is taking approximately 3 hours of drive.  Best Time to Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park  Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great wildlife destination all year round, however the best time for game viewing is during the dry season. The park experiences two dry seasons that is June to September and January to March, in the dry seasons it is easy to spot wildlife as the vegetation cover is thin and animals are seen congregating around the waterholes.   

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