User Reviews – Queen Elizabeth NP

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Overall rating
4/5

also wonderful birding on an boat trip on the channel , great game run in Ishasha

My visit to QENP was brief but very enjoyable, fairly good game viewing in an exceptional setting.
Overall rating
4/5

My visit to the QENP began early, leaving Kasese early in the morning before crossing the equator on the way. We drove into the Park area along a tar road, turning off the For Portal-Katunguru road toward Katwe, passing the Nyamayuka crate lake. Further on, we turned off at the QENP entrance, where I paid US$30 to enter, comparable wth many other countries. Driving along the dirt road, we headed for Mweya Safari Lodge where we had arranged to meet with friends. Along the way we saw waterbuck, buffalo, elephant and warthog. The setting is beautiful, overlooking a lake and channel, where large herds of elephants and buffalo can be seen, along with various antelope. Lunch & drinks were very pleasant but pricey (not too surprising), although the staff were very good and friendly. We took a different route out, along Leopard Trail and Leopard Loop (only suitable for 4 wheel drive) before heading onto the tar road back to Kasese. We saw as much game from the main road (before the equator) as inside the park itself, includng herds crossing in places. Heading back to Kampala next day we drove along the tar road and up to a couple of viewing areas overlooking the QENP - stunning views, and baboons on the road. Next time I hope to spend more time at QENP, perhaps in a different part of the park.

Fantastic scenery and plenty of wildlife.
Overall rating
5/5

I have been to Q.E 15 times and just love this place. The views from the crater area is magnificent. A trip with the Jetty up Kazinga Channel is an absolutely must, the the bird life is second to none and watching the elephants coming for a swim at sunset is not bad either. I've all seen leopard there and of course plenty of hippos.
I've lived in Uganda 1998-2002 and have later been back to stay at Mweya lodge, witch I love!! The views are amazing and sitting by the flow over pool watching the the animals by the river with a sun downer after a day of safari....lost for words!
Anette from Denmark

Fantastic wildlife experience in an overly complicated park
Overall rating
4/5

Queen Elisabeth National Park is one of the most popular safari destinations in Uganda, but still you can go there and have the feeling you were one of the very few people around. The park offers many activities, from Jeep safaris to bird watching and chimp tracking. I started my day in QE with the latter, but days before actually getting there, I had to go through an overly complicated process of bureaucratic steps, arrangements and phone calls to make my reservations. It was almost as if they just made things as difficult as possible, so that you would just get so frustrated that you'd simply book an all inclusive arrangement at a tourism agency. Which, as a simple budget backpacker, I obviously didn't want.

This continued as I arrived at the chimp tracking site on a motor taxi. As it turned out, my reservation hadn't come through at all. Luckily I was able to take somebody else's place. Then there was the problem of my transport. I didn't have my own car, even though that's usually a requirement for the Chimp tracking safari, since the tour guide has to bring us to a yet to be defined location in the park (and of course the company doesn't have its own transportation). Unfortunately none of the at least six people I spoke to over the phone to try and make a reservation, had the courtesy of telling me this. Again luckily, I was able to drive along with another tourist who did have his own car.

The Chimp tracking safari itself turned out to be amazing. Our tour guide, Stephanie, lead us through a lush piece of rainforest in the beautiful Kyambura gorge, sharing all sorts of information with us about the things we stumbled upon. The site wasn't the ideal place in Uganda to do Chimp tracking (this is most likely Kibale Forest NP), and we were aware of the reasonable possibility of not finding any chimps at all. After a three hour walk uphill, downhill, through bushes and pools of mud in the middle of the jungle, our guide finally spotted several chimps in the distance. Before that, we had already seen a wide range of tropical birds, hippos, baboons, crocodiles, velvet monkeys and an elephant. Even without the chimps it would've been worth the $50. Our guide was an absolute genius and the scenery was beyond beautiful

Almost every other activity happens all the way on the other side of the park, which is about an hour and a half away by car from the chimp tracking site. In the meantime you drive through scenic pieces of savanna, where elephants play games with each other, gazelles graze freely and baboons block the road just to take the piss out of you. Passing the main gate, you arrive at the Mweya peninsula, where you can find a tourist information office, a gas station, a cute restaurant/bar and a wide range of hotels and hostels. I can't judge any of these accommodations as I haven't spent a night in any of them, but the general opinion seems to be that they are remarkably good and well priced for national park standards. The scenery around here is once again brilliant, as you're surrounded by beautiful nature on one side and the stunning lake Edward and the Kazinga channel on the other side.

At the end of the afternoon I went downhill to the shores of the channel, to do the Channel launch trip. This is being done in a standard type touring boat in groups of about 20 people. This was an absolutely amazing experience not many other moments during my time in Uganda can compete with. From the upper deck of the boat I was able to see loads of elephants, hippos, African buffalos, crocodiles, gazelles and monitor lizards on the shore of the channel, living in peace with each other and not caring the slightest bit about us tourists coming so close. Our tour guide was a slightly nervous, but funny man, who enthusiastically provided us with tons of information about literally everything that moved around us. Lastly, seeing the sun setting above the horizon over Lake Edward was a very nice bonus.

Going back wasn't as much a pain in the ass getting there, but only because the staff of the fancy Mweya Safari Lodge were so kind to help me getting a taxi and use their phone to call him, even though I wasn't even a guest of theirs. The taxi brought me to the village of Katunguru, near the main entrance next to the freeway, seperating one side of Queen Elisabeth from the other. From there I was able to take public transport back to civilization.

All in all, Queen Elisabeth National Park provides some of the best tourist attractions in the whole country, for better prices than your average safari in Kenya or Tanzania. It's a major hassle to get there, and dealing with all the complications and the bureaucracy isn't easy if you're on a tight budget, but there's no doubt it's very much worth it.

The Uganda's National Park: The Queen Elizabeth
Overall rating
4/5

It is going to be 4 years since we went to Uganda, July 2008, our second destination in Africa in the south hemisphere. Our first destination was Botswana the year before and it made our trip: Kalahari, Okawango (Moremi), Savuti, Chobe river, Victoria Falls, all a "must-see".
This time we were thinking about the high mountains of central Africa. First option was Kilimanjaro, but we couldn't; so we thought about the Mountains of the Moon. We tried to arrange a hiking up to those mountains but we didn't have enough days for it. Finally we chose Uganda because all its highlitghted places: Virunga NP, Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Victoria and Queen Elizabeth Park.
We went by our own with a driver and the Bradt guide under the arm. We entered the Q.E.N.P. by Ishasha where the climbing lions live, crossing tea plantations. Unfortunately, we weren't lucky and we couldn't enjoy the beauty of these feline although we saw a variety of animals: buffalos, impalas, monkeys, elephants, antelopes, and the screams of hippos in the river... When we arrived to the camp, we met a dutch guy who showed us the climbing lions on his videocamera. That's safari, luck.
We headed towards our cottage, typical round house with three beds with mosquito net and a oil lamp. The accomodation was fair for our budget and the toilettes I don't remember, but when you are in safari...
Next day we headed to Mweya, where the Q.E.N.P. headquarters are. The trip was a tough one due to the condition of the track. It rained and the dirt road was very muddy. Finally we arrived Mweya. We couldn´t afford the Mweya Safari Lodge, but it looked great. Actually we went there for a delicious dinner and for a whisky on the rocks, all of it for a very reasonable price. If I remember well, the whisky was 2 euros. We lodged at the Mweya Hostel which was simply ok, just for sleeping. That afternoon we took the boat that goes along the Kazinga channel, an extremely recommended activity. We watched lots of animals: hippos, buffalos, elephants, cocodriles, antelopes and, over all, birds, lot of them, it was a great spectacle. And the sunset over the Lake Edward, superb.
Next day, we took a loop around the Q.E.N.P. with no luck again, no felines sighted. We exited the park and we headed towards the close Kyambura Gorge where we enjoyed watching the chimpances jumping from tree to tree and the hippos bathing. And we left behind the Q.E.N.P. stopping at the equator line enjoying a fresh Nile Special.

Conclusion: we enjoyed being at Q.E.N.P. although we weren't lucky with felines. It is a very easy-to-handle park.
Here you can take a look of one of my videos there:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI_aDSUC6vk

Chimps, boating and the savannah all in one
Overall rating
5/5

I visited Uganda with Lake Kitandara Tours for just over two weeks. We had a private vehicle and our driver/guide, Matia, was fantastic!

We stayed at Hippo Hill Camp and Ishasha Wilderness Camp during our time in Queen Elizabeth NP. We also got chance to visit Mweya Safari Lodge and Katara Lodge. Personally I prefer the likes of Ishasha Wilderness Camp, for it's laid back bush camp atmosphere (with luxury little touches) but seeing other camps I understand Uganda offers a range to suit many safari goers from honeymooners to families.

Food was always good and plentiful, all western fare. Cheaper accommodations produced simpler food but still tasty.

The highlight of our time in Queen Elizabeth was seeing tree climbing lions in Ishasha (after a long time searching!); meeting chimpanzees in the Kyambura Gorge - and having a face off with one of the males!; listening to hippos around our tent as we slept and having an amazing birding experience on the Kazinga Channel.

Overall rating
3/5

A enourmas park, but less animals.

Overall rating
5/5

amazing encounter with elephants, lots of antilopes, giraffe, baboons, and a funy boat trip on the nile

Overall rating
4/5

safari as it is!

Overall rating
4/5

good for gaming

Average User Rating

  • 4.2/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 40
  • 4 star 41
  • 3 star 10
  • 2 star 2
  • 1 star 2
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