Overview – Queen Elizabeth NP

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert and frequently visits Uganda. She and her husband are a travel photography/writing team with many Africa guidebooks under their belt, including the Bradt 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 and regularly seen. Rhino are absent.

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 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

Queen-Elizabeth-NP Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

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.

Scenery

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.

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
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...

Latest User Review
5/5

Only saw 1 lion lying down in the afternoon sun and no sight of the leopard.