Queen Elizabeth national park is found in western Uganda near a historical town called fort portal, extending to the districts of; Kamwenge, Rubirizi, Rukungiri and Kasese. The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park. It was renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers (764 sq mi). The park extends from Lake George in the north-east to Lake Edward in the south-west and includes the Kazinga Channel connecting the two lakes.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady humid forests, breath-taking lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for the big five, 95 mammal species, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.
Located below the Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include enormous craters carved into rolling green hills, view of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the vast Ishasha plains whose fig trees hide tree-climbing lions always targeting the Uganda kob.
With its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has an interesting cultural history. There are a lot of opportunities for tourists to meet the local communities and enjoy dance, music and more. The gazetting of the park has kept the ecosystems intact hence benefiting the surrounding communities.
These 2 hour drives in the game park offer an opportunity of seeing lions, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, leopards among other wild animals.
With over 600 species of birds, this park is the best place for bird watching. Cruising along the Kazinga channel gives you a perfect opportunity to see a variety of birds like spur-winged plovers, squacco heron, fish eagle, pink and white beaked pelicans among others.
Long tailed cormorants, African Jacana, open-billed stock, Water Thick knee, Pled kingfisher, Black crake and Knob-billed ducks are also some of the species to feed your eyes with.
Famous species to watch out for include the Machite, the Black-ramped Bottanquail, Papyrus canary and the Black bee-eater.
The Northern part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the chimpanzees also known as the Valley of apes or Kyambura Gorge. The chimps are used to seeing humans so no need to worry.
The gorge hosts an underground rainforest which protects you from direct sunshine during the tracking session. Inclusive are the savannah grasslands and the flowing rivers offering a fresh environment.
With the amazing landscape and wildlife in Queen Elizabeth one would not miss a chance to go for a nature walk or hiking just to explore them and to have a chance of getting close to hippos.