Overview – Queen Elizabeth NP
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 and regularly seen. Rhino are absent.
Pros and 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
- A main road bisects the park and people live along the boundaries
- The Mweya peninsula area can get busy in high season
Leopard sightings are common, and the Isasha sector is famous for its tree-climbing lion. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the savannah areas of the park. An amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips are conducted. Chimps can be tracked, and several antelope and other primate species are present. Giraffe and zebra are absent.
The park is set against a backdrop of the Ruwenzori 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
Although constant drizzle often characterizes the days of the Wet seasons (March to May and August to December), this is 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.
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Tim is a travel writer who has covered 10 African countries for Lonely Planet's Africa, East Africa and West Africa guidebooks.
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...
Latest User Review
Saw my first leopard in the wild and tree climbing lions - that says it all. There were plenty of big five animals and the safari was fantastic.