Queen Elizabeth national park, was established in 1952 as Kazinga channel national park but was renamed later after the visit of Queen of Elizabeth of England.
Its one of the most number one visited national parks in Uganda. It’s situated in the south west of the country covering an area of 1678 kms and contains over 200 well maintained proper game viewing tracks, with it’s rich flora and fauna, it’s said to consist of over 6000 bird species some not found else where in Africa, the climbing tree lions that have only been recorded to be seen in Lake Manyara in Tanzania, over 90 mammals species and boasts with other Africa’s wildest cats and various types of animals with the highest bio diversity in the whole world ranging from Savannah grasslands, wetlands, rain forests and many more.
Queen Elizabeth national park extends from lake George in the north Eastern side and lake Edward on the south east linked by the mighty Kazinga channel, from the north the park stretches to the magnificent Rwenzori snow capped mountains also known as “mountains of the moon” river ishasha in the south ends the parks scenic views are so breath taking with a true experience of Africa untamed wilderness.
The park has got various varieties of animals for example water bucks, Ugandan Kob, tree climbing lions, elephants, warthogs, the Sitatunga antelopes in wetland areas, leopards, hyenas among others with the mighty Kazinga channel boasting with various hippos believed to be having the highest concentration of hippos in the whole world with the giant Nile crocodiles seen just two meters from the striking Kazinga channel boat cruise.
Great views of over 600 bird species the park is a birders paradise with birds such as; papyrus gonolek, African morning dove, African fish eagle, African jacana, shoebill stork, slender tailed night jars, Black bee eater, verreaux eagle owl, malachite and pied kingfisher, collard pranticles, swamp fly catcher, pink backed pelicans, red chested sunbird and sand Martin as the list is endless.
Apart from wildlife game viewing queen Elizabeth offers the impressive crater lakes for example lake Katwe where salt has been mines for over 509 years, lake bunyapaka, among others this lakes are believed to have been formed due very violent volcanic eruptions hence salty water and very steep they have streams flowing from Rwenzori ranges and no outlets they are also very hollow.
Queen Elizabeth national Park also rests on the western arm of the great East African rift valley with the Kichambwa escarpment.
The park also contains the chimpanzee trekking sections where you can find other primates such as the blue monkey, white and black Columbus monkeys, olive baboon, and many more this chimpanzees can be trekked at kyambura George an under ground forest found in the Kichambwa escarpment of the rift valley apart from the chimpanzee trekking the kyambura George has variety of birds, trees, waterfalls and striking views.
Queen Elizabeth also offers rain forests such as Maramagambo and Kalinzu forest Maramagambo consists of the bat caves famous for the African rock pythons living with bats with also one of the oldest trees aka cormorant tree believed to be over 509 years, this forests are a great ideal for guided nature walks at Queen Elizabeth national park.
Viewing all the above animals, birds the stunning views can be done at Queen Elizabeth by taking a game drive, boat cruise or nature walks game drives at Queen Elizabeth national park are done in the morning and afternoon hours with many satisfying gaming tracks in other cases of research studies game drives are done at night.
Apart from game viewing on land one can take a hot hair ballooning safari at the park which gives an advantage to view the entire area very well. The hot air ballooning safari, can be required at Mweya safari lodge for reservations.
The early morning game drive is preferable as you will have a chance of viewing the game park come to life watching the drama of lions catching their preys at the ishasha plains hippos going back to the water after morning grazing and village fishermen living for the water giving way to the hippos.
A launch boat ride which lasts for about two hours in the Kazinga channel would be superb as you meet the animals you saw on land quenching third thirsts, elephants playing on water, u come to closer contact with hippos and crocodiles just about two meters from the boat viewing of water birds like the greater and lesser flamingos.
Apart from all the game viewing tourists can supplement their stay at the park by visiting the local communities in the fishing villages which are very rich in unique cultures see cultural dances being performed and check on the gift shops and buy African crafts to take back home for unforgettable memories indeed.