Queen Elizabeth National Game Park

Queen Elizabeth National Game Park (A medley of wonders) is Uganda’s second largest national park, protecting about 95 mammal species and about 650 bird species have been recorded in the destination. This lush savannah park offers prime grazing to Water Buck, Bush Buck, Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs, Hippos, Giant Forest Hogs and Kobs (The national animal for Uganda) among others. besides the exciting wildlife, the park harbors close to 650 bird species, a thing that makes it rank among destinations with the highest concentration of bird life as compared to any other park in the World.

It is majestically set in the shadow of the Mountains of the moon, Rwenzori and lays along the western arm of the great African Rift Valley, franking lake Edward and George which are connected by Kazinga channel.

Queen Elizabeth is divided into two sectors by the three water bodies, Lake George, Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel. The northern sector where the Kasenyi plains are found and Ishasha sector in the south famous for its tree climbing Lions.

The present-day Queen Elizabeth national park was first protected in the 1920s as Lake George, Lake Edward and Kigezi game reserves. It was later gazetted as a national park and named Kazinga national park in 1952. But only two years later, the British monarch paid us a visit and the Queen happened to reach this park on her honeymoon. So, the name of the park was changed in her honour, Queen Elizabeth national park and since then up to date the of the park has never changed.

The original and local name of the park is Kazinga national park and it is shared by the districts of Kasese, Rubirizi and Kanungu Districts. It is known to be one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its diverse Eco-systems which include, sparkling savanna, lakes, wetlands, and shady, humid forests. The park also has magnificent enormous craters caved dramatically into rolling green hills, breath taking views of Kazinga Channel and the Ishasha plains whose fig trees give ample time to the tree climbing lions.


The climate is tropical with two rainfall peak seasons, from March to May and September to November, with total annual rainfall of up to 2390mm. Altitude is 910m at Lake Edward to 1,390m in the crater area. Temperatures also range between 18 C and 35 C. Queen Elizabeth is chilly in the morning, warm during day time and at night with average temperature. The coldest period in Queen Elizabeth is September to November, during the wet season. Queen Elizabeth can be visited throughout the year and its activities are done by tourists on any dates.

Attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park

The park has outstanding wildlife attractions like the big four commonly known as the elephant, lion, leopard and buffalos. Other wildlife animals include Topis, Uganda kob, water-buck, bush-buck, warthogs, hyena, jackals and the giant forest hogs among others. The park is also a haven for bird watchers since a variety of bird species have been spotted and recorded.

In the park is the Mweya peninsular which is a heart of sightseeing activities with excellent views of accommodation and the fact that it overlooks Katwe bay of lake Edward makes it an excellent tourist destination. It has a souvenir shop where visitors can buy items that remind them about the park.

Kazinga Channel

Kazinga channel is about 40m long joining Lake Gorge to Lake Edward. It has the perfect view of the parks’ major wildlife annals. The shores of the lake attract a large concentration of mammals, birds as well as reptiles all year around. The animals can be viewed well by the boat cruise. Kazinga channel has parts like the North Kazinga as well as Kasenyi.

It’s acknowledged that the plains of the channel are focal points for game viewing. Tracking is the only way that will enables visitors see all the wildlife in its nature setting for example buffalo, elephants and other animals that dwell in the grassland thickets of the Northern Kazinga close to Mweya. The most accessible spot for lions is in the eastern part of Kasenyi plains and the Kasese road where they hunt on the big inhabitants of Uganda Kobs. The most favourable time for game drives is during very early mornings and late afternoons.

Queen’s Pavilion and the Equator

The Uganda Equator also passes through Queen Elizabeth national game park which provides a beautiful place for photo shooting along with craft shops. The Queen’s Pavilion is easily spotted by the northern entrance to the Crater Drive. This particular spot offers a provisaional shelter to Queen Elizabeth on her first visit to Uganda and particulary to this park. Later in 1959 a permanent pavilion was constructed for the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007 with better facilities such as a coffee shop and internet facilities.

Ishasha sector

This sector is one of the most exciting parts of Queen Elizabeth national park. It is most popular for its tree climbing lions that have exceptional attraction. It is one of the most unique safari destinations within Queen Elizabeth National Park. It’s the most visited safari area with in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth national game park.

Unique about ishasha is that it’s member of the only two places where you can find populations of these tree-climbing lions, one being in Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania and the other is the Ishasha Sector within the Queen Elizabeth national park. Lions are spotted hanging on branches of huge fig trees in the Ishasha sector. It is a very breathtaking sight to see, the king of the animals perched up high on one of the branches of huge fig trees in the area, lazily resting as the day goes by. In addition to the fascinating population of lions within the Ishasha sector, there are also the huge buffalo herds, many elephants that have settled there and watch out for the huge number of hippos available in the Ishasha area.

Games drives

This is one of the most popular tourist activities in Queen Elizabeth national park. The park offers game drives through Kasenyi, the north Kazinga plains and the Ishasha sector. This drive gives chance to visitors to view different wildlife like the buffalo, antelope, elephants, warthogs and baboons.

Culture and community encounters.

Through taking nature walks in the park a visitor is able to see the energetic dances of the Kikorongo equator cultural performers, workers harvesting salt on katwe Salt Lake and a traditional Banyaraguru hut.

Chimpanzee tracking

Coming up close to the chimpanzees in their natural environment is a life time experience and its one of the most exciting activities in this park. Chimpazeee trekking is done from kyambura gorge amd more rescently from Kalinzu forest with is a few kilometers from park.

Boat Launch

Take a Boat cruise on the Kazinga either in the morning or in the afternoon and get sascinated by the park inhabitats that come down to the channel for drinking water.tourists take hours along the channel and be able to spot hundreds of hippos, Buffaloes, while Elephants linger on the shoreline and many species of water birds. Kazinga channel has the highest concentration of hippos in the whole World.


Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed from Kampala in 5-6 hours drive, by road you can have a stopover at the equator to know where sun sets from, tea plantations which makes Uganda a green Country. Alternatively, tourists can as well fly to the park for only one hour from Entebbe.

By road, Queen Elizabeth national park can be accessed easily from Entebbe or Kampala. A tarmac road from Kampala via Mbarara town and Bushenyi connects you to the centre and it takes between 5 to 6 hours from Kampala via Mbarara. Approaching the park from the south via Mbarara covers a distance of 420 kilometres while the north through fort portal covers a total of 410kilometre.The Park can also be accessed from the south from Bwindi impenetrable national park.

By air Queen Elizabeth canbe accessed by by taking a flight from either Entebbe international airport or from Kajjansi airstrip. Charter flights can be arranged to existing airstrips in Kasese, Mweya and Ishasha sector.


Queen Elizabeth has a wide variety of accommodations which caters everyone’s interest. Accommodation ranges from luxury, mid-range, and budget with excellent facilities. These include: Mweya safari lodge, Park View safari lodge, QENP Bush lodge, Kyambura Gorge lodge, Katara lodge Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Ishasha Jungle lodge and Kitandara hippo hill camp among others.

Queen Elizabeth National Park can be visited all year round more in the high season in months of January, March, August, September and December.