Overview – Queen Elizabeth NP

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats includes grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates. Four of the Big five are present (rhino are absent) and chimp tracking is available.

Best Time to Go January to February and June to July (Dry seasons)
High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size 1,978km² / 764mi²
Altitude 884-1,337m / 2,900-4,386ft

Pros & Cons

  • Top wildlife viewing
  • Boat trips on Kazinga channel available
  • Tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector
  • Chimp trekking available
  • Excellent birding with 600 species recorded
  • The Mweya peninsula area can get busy in high season
  • Main road bisects the park and people live along the boundaries

Queen Elizabeth NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

This is the most reliable park in Uganda for lion, which is particularly common on the grassy Kasenyi Plains but is more famous for its tree-climbing antics in the Ishasha sector. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the savannah areas of the park and an amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips are conducted.

Scenery

The park is set against a backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains. Additional scenic points are Kazinga Channel between Lake Edward and Lake George and at least 10 crater lakes. The most accessible part of the park is open savannah, but large forest areas are open to the public. These include the forested Kyambura Gorge and the extensive Maramagambo forest in the southeast.

Weather & Climate

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s nearness to the equator ensures uniformly warm temperatures throughout the year. Heavy rain that makes some roads impassable is a feature of the region’s two Wet seasons (March to May and August to December). Although there’s no official Dry season, the rainfall abates somewhat – though rarely entirely – from January to February and June to July.

Best Time to Visit

Brief but drenching rainstorms often characterizes the days of the Wet seasons (March to May and August to December), but this is also when the park’s environment is beautifully lush and you can greet migratory birds as they pass through. For chimpanzee trekking, though, visit when the park’s trails are more solid underfoot in the drier months.

Want to Visit Queen Elizabeth NP?

Queen Elizabeth NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Tim Bewer  –  
United States US

Tim is a travel writer who has covered 10 African countries for Lonely Planet's Africa, East Africa and West Africa guidebooks.

Uganda’s best
4/5

Uganda’s top safari park, Queen Elizabeth is the one must-visit on any Ugandan safari. It still can’t boast wildlife numbers like the best Kenyan and Tanzanian parks, but there are plenty of big animals here and it has one of the...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Barbara Osmundson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 13, 2019
5/5

Would recommend this park due to diversity of wildlife.

Full Review