User Reviews – Queen Elizabeth NP

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Overall rating

This was my first time in Uganda, and I arrived at Queen Elizabeth within days of entering the country. I felt like my brain stopped forming coherent thoughts except thinking "sensory overload" over and over. As my first ever safari experience, I found Queen Elizabeth expansive, especially from the view at Kingfisher Lodge where I stayed. My guide, Herbert, was booked through Moses Tours, and he was so hospitable about showing me all that we could see within a day (that's all the time I had). But, by the end of my one-day safari, I had over 2000 photos of all kinds of wildlife (incl. almost 70 bird species). The only times when I saw a lot of other tourists was when Herbert took me to view a young lion pride and when I boarded a ferry to tour the Kazinga Channel. I had a great time, and my boss told me that any future safaris are going disappoint me after this incredible first experience.

Overall rating

We enjoyed crossing the equator and look a cruise on the Kazinga channel. The accomadations at Mweya Safari lodge were great - amazing laundry service !!!! Outstanding staff!!! They have a beautiful pool for afternoon swimming and cocktails.

Overall rating

I would return to the southern Ishasha sector even though we didn't see any tree climbing lions as it felt like there was more wildlife in this area. The northern part was less spectacular with the exception of the volcanic lakes.

Queen Elizabeth national park is beautiful
Overall rating

My first time to visit in Uganda and i visited with my daughter to Queen Elizabeth park for 5 days. I visited the kyambura gorge to see the chimpanzee and also the walk in the gorge where we found many birds. This park has about 606 different bird species and very wild selection of animals. Visit it and enjoy everything

Elephants and hippos galore!
Overall rating

Recently we went to Queen Elizabeth (QE) for the second time in eight years. It's one of Uganda's classic parks and a staple of wildlife tourism. Although my experience of the park is highly suggestive, I can give a perspective. I've been to Murchison, Mburo, and Kidepo several times, and each park has its strengths and weaknesses.

We approached QE from the south where you get a breathtaking view of the park from atop the escarpment. From there on, though, the road deteriorates severely. The tarmac main road through the park toward Kasese is liked a bombed-out runway, really disappointing for Uganda in general. My thought was that those responsible should be ashamed at how they've let the place go downhill. Another example of that is the tourist center inside the park. It's old. It's outdated. It's kind of pitiful. It looks like the park authorities haven't invested a dime in the place since it was built decades ago. Meanwhile they have made millions of dollars off it. That doesn't bode well for the management of the park. This makes me really sad. President Museveni boasts about making Uganda the 'Switzerland of Africa' but his government can't manage to maintain one of its greatest natural resources.

We did one game drive, in the morning. When we got to the gate, there was no one there. I honked, yelled, and looked around to no avail. So we opened the gate ourselves and started our game drive (we later paid at the tourist center but could have easily done our drive and left without paying!). In terms of animals, we didn't see much variety: hippos, elephants, warthogs, and waterbuck. That was about it in the wooded area that we were in. But we did see some cool things like three hippos running across the road in broad daylight, and later a hippo soaking in a mudhole, also in broad daylight. Almost every loop we turned down, we came across elephants. It seemed like they were everywhere. This made me a little jittery as I've been charged a few too many times.

Mid-morning we went to Mweya peninsula where we paid our dues and took tea at Mweya Lodge, which by all appearances is a very lovely place (too bad we can't afford it!). Even as someone who just goes in and out of amateur birdmanship, I could tell that the place was teeming with bird diversity.

Our lodging was the The Bush Lodge, a very pleasant luxury tented camp on the south side of Kazinga Channel. We were pleased with almost every aspect of the place. Lots of birds around. We saw a giant forest hog among the tents on the first evening and heard hippos around the clock. The food and accommodations were very much worth what we paid. One downside was that the local town was just up the channel, and its sound carried down to the camp for much of the day and night. So our experience of hippos and hyenas was mixed with discos, Muslim calls-to-prayer, and the incessant noise of heavy trucks crossing the bridge.

Later in the day we took a boat ride from The Bush Lodge, using local boatsmen instead of the companies. I really like injecting money in their pockets instead of the wealthy tour companies. The flipside is that the boat itself was a bit of a clunker, emitting noxious fumes for two hours that gave me a terrific headache! But our guide was knowledgeable without being annoying, and even the driver was a pleasant chap who also knew his birds. We saw hippos and hippos and more hippos, around every bend in the river. We also saw buffalo, elephant, bushbuck, warthogs, and several dozens species of birds.

So all in all it was a mixed-bag type of safari. Some animals we saw lots of, others none. The park has no zebra or giraffe, which is kind of a bummer. Lions were around but we didn't see them, nor leopards (much to my chagrin as the leopard is my 'holy grail' of wildlife). It was disappointing to see how neglected the park seems to be, from the condition of the main road to that of the park facilities to the fact that no ranger could be found at a main gate. It's like they are taking the park and what is provides for granted. That cannot be sustainable. Still,it's a lovely place, and any time one gets the chance to see those great animals and the teeming birdlife in the wild, it's a privilege and one I'd never want to complain about (apart from minor human-related quibbles).

Rift valley, Lions, Plains, Lakes, good night sleep, Nile Special, Good Food.
Overall rating

Mission Safari

One week from UK into the sunshine.


David = 60 = Experienced
Chris = 30+ David Son = Second Safari to Uganda
Katie = First Trip to Africa = Safari
Moses = David’s regular guide & fixit +256774078821


Relax, not try to do too much, hobby is photos & generally seeing what comes.


Your guide is key, I have been with Moses many times, he is the fixer, arranger, driver, knows the people & hence can get the location from James the Ranger of where the cats are etc. Sit back.
Note that Uganda Tours are a bit like a spider web, everything comes to the centre ( Kampala )
Travel along the Radius, the spiral threads may be difficult
Lake Mburo & QE is good
Or ZIWA Rhino Reserve & Murchison Falls is good
Avoid Kampala traffic jams
Chris has been in both directions and chose the route.
Lake Mburo National Park has a family of Giraffe which is a big bonus, must make it the best park for location. We did hear a lion that is reputed to take up residence.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a wonderful reliable park, Uganda is looking after wildlife well, the Elephants are tusked and in peak condition and on my last two visits have seen Lions close up and Leopard.


None set – no time schedule – allow the good things to come


Insect Repellent 50% DEET Pump Spray
Fuji XS1 Camera ( tried & trusted )
Fuji X PRO 1 & XC 50 to 230mm lens ( First Safari )
Fuji XA1 & XF 28mm Lens for Landscapes


Mefloquine weekly tablets


Emrates Newcastle, Dubai, Entebbe
Uganda ground transport Toyota HiAce Manual 4 Wheel Drive
Fuel : Moses took 800,000 shillings


Met at Entebbe Airport by Moses & accompanied until back to EBB


50% Sent via Moses to various camps, car rental etc.
Rest cash on arrival & as spent.
Most fees are US dollars ( Hotel Nights / Uganda Wildlife Fees )
Uganda Shillings for Vehicle, Guide ( Daily Rate ) , Meals, Roadside Expenses, Beverages


Day 1 Newcastle Dubai
Day 2 Dubai Entebbe
Stay Entebbe Lakeside 2 Friends / Andrieta
Note $100 Visa on arrival may change to electronic internet fee
Day 3 Entebbe to Mabamba Wetlands 1 hour
Mabamba Wetlands Boat Trip 2½ hours
Guide Ismail = Despite the hard work of Ismail and the boat man poling the boat over beds infested by water lily roots we failed to see the elusive Shoebill Crane. Otherwise a good boating trip.
Mabamba Wetlands to Lake Mburo National Park via Equator 5½ hours
Lunch at Equator & Photos
Stay at Eagles Nest
Eagles Nest is tented accommodation at a hill top with a central restaurant serving good food & cold beverages.
Recently refurbished you get a good night sleep, it is now fitted with solar hot water and flushing toilets.
We had a dark night and stars, so dark, stars so bright, Venus almost cast a shadow before dawn.
Till you see a night like this you do not realise there is no space between the stars.
Note the track to the hill top requires a strong vehicle with 4 wheel as it is very steep, a well found two wheel may make it. Our Hiace would not entertain two wheel to get up.

Day 4 Lake Mburo Safari & Boat Ride
Bushback, Croc, Zebra, Hippo, Impala, Giraffe, Buffalo, Waterbuck
Stay at Eagles Nest
Day 5 Lake Mburo National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park 5 hours max
Katunguru Community Boat Ride along banks of Kazinga Channel
( note no park fee ) as the community is outside park $15/person 2 hours
Guide very good = boat old but presently sound
Hippo = Crocs, Elephant, Cape Buffalo – Kingfishers, Gulls, Cormorants, Herons, Eagles, etc.
Buy Park Tickets for Two Following Days at Queen Elizabeth Pavilion
Note – important to get this right, a card system operates – communication link with Kampala can be a problem & one does not want to waste Safari Time on paperwork – we had time for a coffee whilst this was completed.
Stay at Engiri Game Lodge – Lion Roars in the night
Taking my younger family members to QE Park to see the Lions I set my Guide Moses Wabwire
( +256774078821 ) to find a more pocket friendly stay than Kingfisher at the top of the escarpment. He came up with this wood & nails camp where the accommodation is in self contained cottages ( a cabin on stilts ). Each cottage has 2 twin beds ( 4 persons would be tight but ideal for a young family ) we were in two which was comfortable. Service was out of this world, greeted with hot tiles every time we appeared, the almost set menu very well cooked. Power was Solar/Generator - Running Water was not heated - hot water delivered to the cabin in plastic jerry cans if you needed it, Jan Temps we had no need. Cold beers, sodas etc. available. Bedding clean, towels, little imperial leather soaps, Sure you get the idea, note the property is bush and those travelling with children take care with the nails! not a biggie - but better have the warning. The rating considers the full board price paid. Location, short drive to national park gates but outside regulated area. Liked the sound of elephants trumpeting at night. Its a wildlife area and the security escort you to the room after dinner. I think the hippo cuts the lawn as I heard him chomping in the night
Day 6
Brilliant Morning
Hyena – before we entered the park
Lions – cubs, laid down posing for photos. Male nearby.
On way back for lunch we turned about – late lunch – mobile call received and we are off to see a female leopard – the while is snow white against the cactus tree.
Lunch – Rest
Afternoon Game Drive
Elephants – lots and lots of elephants – we watched for over an hour as they cavorted, fed, and crossed the track.
Stay at Engiri Game Lodge – Elephants Trumpet

Day 7
Queens Pavilion onto the Crater Trail for sight seeing.
Trail was rough – as we climbed through the bush land the vehicle was set upon by Tsetse Fly. We cannot outrun them, popup is brought down, no-where to turn around. Hammer Horror swotting the flies that made it inside. Constant guard for the rest of the circuit.
Unable to get out to take photos
Katie will shake off English Fly Attacks, The floor of the van was a tsetse graveyard. You know the hydraulic action machines at fairgrounds – now you can deem them tame. Life experience!
Proceed to Mweya Safari Lodge for cold coke, coffee & check email, internet connection.
Serious Advice

Do not follow Crater Trail until conditions have been assessed!
Evening game drive
Endless plains! Monitor Lizard – Leopard Cub
Stay at Engiri Game Lodge – A quiet night

Day 8
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Entebbe
All Day Drive
Evening – Relax – Drinks
2 Friends / Andrieta
Day 9 Morning
Noon to Airport for EBB DXB
Day 10

Overall rating

I visited Queen Elizabeth only briefly and likely didn't get the full experience. Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck seeing wildlife. We did, however have a nice camping and dining experience.

Africa's Postcard
Overall rating

If you want to see Lions, elephants, hippos, crocs against a beautiful african backdrop, this is your place. It isn't particularly easy to travel through independently (i.e. get there by bus etc), but certainly possible. Once there hiring a local guide is the best thing to do. We caught a taxi to Katunguru, then hired a guide called Mustafa (who is well known in the area, and is listed in the Bradt travel guide). He was fantastic, would very much recommend going with him.

The most visited National Park in Uganda, definitely deserves a visit
Overall rating

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most visited National Park in Uganda. Located on the Western Region, the Park occupies more then 1,900 square kilometers. I started early morning with a Game Drive in the plains. Beautiful scenery and I had the chance to see some lions and lots of monkeys. I strongly recommend a visit to Kawe village were Salt mining is done for centuries. The highlight of the day was the cruise where you can see all kinds of wildlife. Elephants, crocodiles, rhinos, the list goes on...If you visit the Western area of Uganda, don't miss this beautiful National Park.

Overall rating

Very nice park with a lot of real wildlife
You will see many animals and an incredible number of birds..

Average User Rating

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

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 42
  • 4 star 42
  • 3 star 10
  • 2 star 2
  • 1 star 2
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