Queen Elizabeth National Park

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  • QENP is one of Uganda’s oldest parks. It was formed officially, along with Murchison Falls National Park in 1952.
  • The park was initially known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
  • QENP hosts 619 bird species, the second highest of any park in Africa – the 6th highest of any parkworld-wide. This remarkable number is enabled by the park’s diverse habitats.
  • Crocodiles have only recently been seen in the Kazinga Channel. They disappeared for 8,000 years after they were eliminated from Lake Edward by toxic ash from local volcanoes.
  • QENP contains 95 species of mammal – more than any other park in Uganda.
  • Hippos are efficient lawn mowers. They prefer to graze short grass, each animal eating about 40kg each night
  • QENP lies on the floor of Africa’s Western Rift Valley, which runs from northern Uganda to Malawi.
  • From the lodge terrace, it’s almost impossible to tell which way the Kazinga Channel is flowing. It actually flows west (to your right) from Lake George to Lake Edward. But since the change is water level along the 36km Channel is just 40cm it moves extremely slowly.
  • The first European visitor to Mweya was Henry Morton Stanley in 1889.

Queen Elizabeth Uganda, Getting There and Access

Located in western Uganda, shared by districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Bushenyi, Queen Elizabeth park is 1978km2 in size. The park lies 5-6 hours from
Kampala on a surfaced road via Mbarara, and can be reached on a dirt road

from Bwindi.
It includes parts of Lakes Edward and George which are linked by Kazinga channeland other attractions. Accessing the park from Kampala is either on tarmac through Mbarara (420 kames) or Fort Portal via Kasese (410kms). The park is 5-6 hours from Kampala on surface road via Mbarara. This Uganda safari park can also be reached via Ishasha sector, which is south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Tree Climbing Lions Ishasha Uganda

Do Lions Climb Trees ? It is somewhat uncommon for lions to actually climb trees. There are no more than 2 populations in whole world of such lions that do actually climb trees as one of their day after day behavior. One of these populations is found within the Ishasha sector which is found in the south part of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park within Uganda.   The other population is found in Lake Manyara National Park in the Southern part of Tanzania. a 3 day safari in Uganda can enable

It is supposed that this type of lions climb trees as a way of protecting themselves against the numerous biting tsetse flies on the ground level, whereas other people claim the they actually climb into the branches to escape from the heat on the ground and enjoy the cool breeze; nonetheless the reason why they climb up into the tree branches remains unknown.

Visitors on Uganda safaris generally end up visiting the Ishasha region primarily to see the population of the resident  Tree Climbing Lions although they are also rewrded with views of other wildlife species.

The Ishasha Sector is actually today very famously because of its mystifying population of the tree-climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction and as well one of the major highlights for which most guests visit this park. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous  Uganda Kobs that are graze in the open Ishasha plains –  and these are actually the main prey to these lions.

In case you ever find yourself being chased by a lion, choosing to climb up into the trees as a way to escape from it will actually not help much especially within Queen Elizabeth National Park since these Lions have the ability to climb up into the trees. Actually they are commonly seen sleeping on branches in the afternoon as they digest their food after lunch.

Getting there

Those having private vehicles as well as equipment will certainly enjoy the seclusion of Ishasha the home of the tree climbing lions. Chances are that you will be just by yourself leaving alone the park’s staff. The route from Katunguru may be unreliable. However the direct road to the border post of the Ishasha is normally full of mud through the rain season. It is better described as a seasonal route and requires a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle. The road is repeatedly being maintained however it takes just some little rain to actually destroy its surface such that a truck getting stuck delay your tracks or even necessitate a detour via Kihihi, Isaka and Rukingiri. This actually is a more dependable route. If coming from Mweya you are recommended to request for a radio message from the park’s office found in Mweya to the Ishasa Katookye gate asking for information if trucks are moving from the course of Katunguru. This will help you know if the road is accessible.

Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is among of the most remarkable national parks within Uganda for outstanding Wildlife as well as Bird-life, it also a perfect place to enjoy chimpanzee tracking / trekking done within the Kyambura Gorge where there are several habituated Chimpanzees.  The scenery within this gorge is very spectacular and there are several other mammals plus birds to be seen as you start out in the morning on your chimpanzee trekking voyage.

This Chimpanzee Tracking activity within the Kyambura Gorge that gorges for just a small cost can be included to any other Uganda Safari activity within Queen Elizabeth and offers you a holistic adventure of this splendid national park.

Behavior of Chimpanzees

Chimps normally stay in groups known as troops, of about 30 – 80 individuals. The large groups consist of smaller, very supple groups of fewer members, possibly all females, or all males or at times mixed.

The Chimps from time to time chew leaves to until they are absorbent and these they use as a sponge, by dipping them into water and then suck-out the moisture. In addition, the chimps use twigs or at times grass stems as tools, by poking these into termite holes or ant nests on which the insects cling and the gorillas eat; these are a delicacy to the chimps. They can cram nuts between roots of trees and then break open the shells using a stone.

Actually Chimps are arboreal as well as terrestrial, and spend most of their hours of daylight on the ground. The chimps are quadrupedal, so they walk fast on all their four limbs with their fingers half-flexed so as to support the great weight of the fore-quarters on their knuckles. They from time to time walk erect but only for very short distances.

Chimps are swift climbers and set up their nests high in trees and in there they rest during midday and later sleep in at night- fall. They build new nests in just minutes through simply bending branches, interweaving them to create a platform as well as lining the ends with twigs.

There isn’t a particular breeding season for chimps and the females give birth every four – five years.

The Diet of Chimps

Chimpanzees are diurnal (however frequently active on well moonlit nights) and start their activities at sunrise. On climbing down from their night-nests they excitedly feed on various fruits (which are their main diet), and leaves, seeds, buds, flowers as well as blossoms, although they have been spotted to killing smaller monkeys. After some time, their feeding turns out to be choosier, them picking out just the ripest fruits. They typically pick fruit using their hands, although they eat at berries plus seeds directly using their lips off the stems. Their diet comprises of close to 80 diverse plant foods. These Chimps supplement their feed with meats, like young antelopes or even goats. However their most common victims, are other primate species like young baboons, blue monkeys as well as colobus monkeys.

Chimps use some tools like sticks for gathering termites, rocks for crashing open nuts in addition to many other items.  The use branches as well as huge sticks as clubs and these they throw at their enemies such as leopards.

Game drives

This activity involves the visitors to drive through the park while viewing animals. The Park has several spots of well maintained game viewing tracks.
This park has got over 200 kms of well maintained game tracks .The best time for game drives is in the morning hours where there are high chances of seeing elephants, buffaloes, lion and a variety of antelopes and other wildlife you can see safari in Uganda.

Launch cruise on the Kazinga channel:

The boat cruise on the Kazinga channel usually lasts for 2 hours and it gives visitors the opportunity to see a variety of yawning hippos in water, water birds, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, the Uganda-kobs, topis, water bucks, bush bucks, reed bucks, duiker, mongoose, swamp antelopes, spotted hyena, warthog, forest hog and in difficult routes in the south.

Bird watching

Uganda is among the most well-known birding destination in the whole of Africa. It has a diversity of bird species a number of which are not easily spotted in any other part of the African continent. There are several birding destinations within the country and these have made Uganda certainly one of the finest birding paradises. There are more than 1010 bird species all of which you certainly enjoy on a Uganda safari. The various National parks within Uganda are actually the biggest habitat for most of the bird species in the country. As you take time to marvel at the spectacular birds, you will certainly come across a diversity of additional wildlife that will turn your bird watching safari into a very memorable encounter. The most ideal time to spot these birds is actually early in the morning as well as late in the evenings.

Queen Elizabeth National park boosts in an excess of 550 species of birds that have actually made it a charming destination for guests that love watching birds. The park is situated in Rukungiri district in southwestern Uganda covering a total land area of 1 978 sq km. It sits at an altitude of 900 meters on the adjacent Lake Edward up to 1 845 meters at the peak of the western Rift Valley’s – eastern Escarpment. It has a home of average altitude – moist semi-deciduous forest, rivine bush-land, moist thicket and riparian forest. Among the bird habitats offered within this national park are Open woodlands, rivers, open grassland, lakes seasonal as well as permanent swamps.

There are several aquatic birds such as the White-faced Whistling, Spur-winged Plovers, Squacco Heron, Fish Eagle, Pink and white backed Pelicans, Long tailed Cormorants, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, the Black Crake and the Knob-billed Ducks along the impressive Kazinga Channel in the park.

Additional prominent species include the malachite, black-ramped buttonquail, Collard Pranticles, papyrus canary, verreauv’s eagle-owl, black bee-eater, squacco heron, African fish eagle, swamp fly-catcher, long-tailed cormorants, Martial Eagle, Black- rumped Buttonquail African Skimmer, White winged terns, White-winged Warbler, shoebill, African skimmer, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Grey-headed kingfisher, papyrus gonolek, Papyrus Canary, and the thin-tailed Nightjars; these are normally also heard in the morning echoing in the tree branches

Taking a hike down into the verdant gorge will unveil to you a diversity of the forest species among which are the Grey Wood pecker, black & African Emerals Cuckoos, Hairy breasted Barbet, speckled Tinker bird, the purple-headed starling  as well as the Green Hylia even though these are also commonly seen within the Maramagambo forest. The good-looking white -spotted fluff tail is plentiful within thickets by the river side. Listen in damp grassland close to the verdant gorge, for the far stretching, metallic twink echo of Broad-tailed Warbler.

Best time for bird watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The finest timing to enjoy bird watching safaris within Queen Elizabeth is from December up to February. It is recommended to take a two- days or a three – days bird watching safari and on such you can be able to spot as many as more than half of the 550 species recorded within this park.