Expert Reviews – Queen Elizabeth NP

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Oasis of biodiversity
Overall rating
5/5

I can’t think of any other African park that packs quite so much biodiversity into a relatively small area, an impression backed up by an astonishing checklist of 610 bird species – reputedly the most of any African park, despite QENP being only one-tenth the size of the likes of Kruger or Serengeti. The Mweya Peninsula, site of the most established of several dozen lodges set in and around the park, is the base for boat trips along the lovely Kazinga Channel, which swarms with hippos and elephants, and – weather permitting – offers distinct views of the snow-capped Ruwenzori Peaks. Game drives on the Channel Drive north of Mweya can be a bit hit-and-miss, but I've often seen elephants, lions and leopards in this area as well as families of the localised giant forest hog (one of the few sites anywhere in Africa where this massive swine is regularly seen in daylight hours). Far more reliable for game drivers, only an hour from Mweya, is the Kasenyi Plains, which host large numbers of lion, buffalo and Uganda kob. Other highlights? There’s the scenic Maramagambo Forest, set in a field of beautiful crater lakes, and home to many forest birds, as well as Kyambura Gorge, with its chimpanzees. But my favourite part of the park is the Ishasha sector, a remote wilderness area where I’ve encountered tree-climbing lions – up to 12 in one tree - on about 80% of visits.

Greatest collection of mammal species in Uganda
Overall rating
5/5

The best way to get an early feel for Queen Elizabeth National Park is to join the two-hour boat cruise up the Kazinga Channel, which runs between Lake George and Lake Edward. Birdlife is fantastic but the whole journey, especially if you go at sunset, is filled with sightings of watering elephants, buffalo, hippos, crocs and various antelope. Queen Elizabeth is about 2000sq km and some of the outlying country (at greatest distance from the lakes) is extremely wild and barely travelled. It can take some serious 4x4 driving to get to some parts of the park but is worth the mission if you have the opportunity to explore these areas. A definite highlight of the area is a walking safari in Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge where you can see several primate species – with undoubtedly the most spectacular being chimpanzees.

Average Expert Rating

  • 4.1/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

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