Queen Elizabeth Game Park
Queen Elizabeth Game Park – Uganda, game drives, boat cruise, chimp tracking and so much more
Queen Elizabeth Game park is the second largest national park in Uganda, second to Murchison falls national park. Queen Elizabeth game park is located in south western part of Uganda in Kasese District, and it’s endowed with very many animal and bird species, like the Big four game; Lions, Elephants, Leopards, and Buffalos. Other creatures found include; Chimpanzees, Uganda Kobs and Birds.
Lake Edward has supported the existence of wild wildlife in the park. It’s believed that the park habits over 95 mammal species because of the nature of the park
Queen Elizabeth game park has many tourist activities to be done, to mention but few game drives, boat cruises, chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest and Kyambura Gorge forest, Salt mining at Lake Katwe, Community walks and best of all, tree lion climbing experience in Ishasha sector.
The park is surrounded by community homesteads, and this makes its animals vulnerable to be killed by human beings. Wildlife conservation authorities were created to educate people on how they should live and benefit from the animals in the park, some of these practices include; carrying out seminars and community sensitizations on benefits of co-existing with wildlife. And also the community is given a certain percentage of the money collected from the tourists, never the less poaching practices are still carried out by the community.
Queen Elizabeth game park is well known of its excellent lodging, ranging from Luxury, Midrange and Budget facilities. Some of the best lodges; Mweya Safari lodge, Parkview Safari lodge, Bush lodge, Engazi lodge to mention but a few. Mweya Safari lodge being the best luxury lodge with good ambience of nature and good for honeymoon, and the rest full in the mid-range and budget category.
Chimpanzee trekking is also one of the activities that no tourist ought to miss while in the park. Kalinzu forest is one of the easiest places to see the chimpanzees in a shortest period. Chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest are interesting creatures in that they act like humans; the adults taking care of the young ones, eat and play together. This activity can be combined with other activities to be done like game drives and boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth game Park.
Kyambura Gorge forest in Queen Elizabeth game park is another forest with in the park also well known for Chimpanzee tracking. However tracking chimpanzees in the this forest is a bit tough and chances of seeing chimpanzees is limited and requires a lot of time as you will be tracking through steep and thick forest. Both tracking chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest and Kyambura have the same proceed where you report, register and pay for your permit at the park offices and later be given ranger guides to take you through the experience. Finding the creatures is usually breath taking and fascinating however you are only allowed to spend an hour with them.
Hiking mount Rwenzori is an activity embraced by visitors to Queen Elizabeth given the fact that Rwenzori national park is close to Queen Elizabeth game park. Hence some tourists desire to combine the two parks’ activities in one trip. For example after hiking mount Rwenzori national park for about 5-10 days given your travel period, you will then continue to Queen Elizabeth national park for a game drive and boat cruise at Kazinga Channel as the best way of relaxing and chilling after hiking the highest mountain in Uganda and second highest in East African after Kilimanjaro mountain located in Tanzania.
The other reason as to why Queen Elizabeth game Park has been the most preferred park in Uganda is because of its proximity to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Most tourists prefer combining a wildlife experience with a gorilla experience. So they trek the endangered mountain gorillas then after precede to Queen Elizabeth National Park for game drives and boat cruises. Hence most visited national park in Uganda.
Uganda safaris are unique from the rest of other African safaris because of Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, chimpanzee trekking and Tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National park.
Queen Elizabeth game park has also attracted tourists from Rwanda and Congo for the same reason of being unique in its activities including; Chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest and Kyambura forest, Tree lion climbing in Ishasha, Boat cruise at Kazinga channel, Game drive in the park and definitely community walks of Bakonjo tribe.
In addition to attracting Rwanda tourists, Queen Elizabeth game Park is close Rwanda boarder so this alone attracts Tour companies based in Rwanda to bring their clients to the park because of its multiple activities. For example Tourists start their tours from Volcano national park in Rwanda for Golden monkey trekking then proceed to Uganda and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for gorilla trekking experience and finish the tour in Queen Elizabeth National park. Such a tour requires about 5 or more days.
Queen Elizabeth game park has a many of activities however prices vary according to the activity someone wants to do. Below are some of the prices;
- Entrance fees for non-residents are USD40 per person to be able to access the national park.
- Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge forest and Kalinzu forest is USD50 per person
- Launch cruise/ Canoe/ motor boats at Kazinga Channel are USD35 per person.
- Night Game drive for non-residents with UWA vehicle is USD 40 per person and it’s a must to have UWA ranger guide along.
- The entrance fees lasts for only 24 hours, and if your time exceeds, you will be charged for another day in the park. For Foreign residents, a valid identity and passport is needed to validate residence status.
To be able to exhaust Uganda tourist attractions especially visiting the national parks, you need a minimum of 10 Days. This will enable you cover about 4-5 national park out of the 10 existing national park. For example you can start the tour with Murchison falls national park, Kibale forest national, Queen Elizabeth National park, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga Gorilla national park and finally Lake Mburo national park. To cover all those Uganda national parks, you would have completed 80% of Uganda’s main tourist attractions.
Other Uganda national parks you can choose from include; Kidepo valley national, Semiliki national park, Mount Rwenzori national park and then Mount Elgon national park.
How to go to Queen Elizabeth National Park
The park can be accessed both by road and by air. By road; on arrival at Entebbe, you drive through Masaka – Mbarara road and finally connect to Kasese. It’s basically a 6-7 hours drive with stopovers for refreshments. By air; Aerolink Uganda limited is an airline that operates in Uganda national park and they have daily flights from Entebbe airport and landing either Kasese airfield or Mweya airfield. They have both direct and connecting flight to national parks and these flights are scheduled twice a day, the 7am and 12pm. So you book the flights according to your schedule.