Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savannah, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds.
Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
As well as its outstanding wildlife attractions, Queen Elizabeth National Park has a fascinating cultural history. There are many opportunities for visitors to meet the local communities and enjoy storytelling, dance, music and more.
The gazetting of the park has ensured the conservation of its ecosystems, which in turn benefits the surrounding communities.
The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. The Katwe explosion craters mark the park’s highest point at 1,350m above sea level, while the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.
With an astonishing 5000 hippos, 2500 elephants and over 10,000 buffalo thriving in its grasslands and shorelines, Queen guarantees sightings of some of Africa’s most iconic species. Hearing the elephants’ calls reverberate around Queen’s crater-filled valleys is a magical experience.
Other common herbivores include warthogs, waterbuck, Uganda kob and topi, as well as the sitatunga antelope.
Ten species of primates enjoy the park’s diverse habitats, the most popular of which is undoubtedly the chimpanzee. Vervet and black-and-white colobus monkeys are easily spotted in the trees, but the boldest of all are the baboons – be sure to keep car windows closed to avoid food thefts!
Birding in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an incredible treat as it contains a variety of habitats that range from savannah to wetlands to lowland forests.
This diversity is reflected in the list of over 600 bird species, the biggest of any protected area in East Africa. A majority of the birds found in this area are regarded as famous birds of East Africa and are a must see for birdwatchers in Africa!
Queen’s most elusive inhabitants are its felines: lion, leopard, civet, genal and serval cats.
Lions are found throughout the park, but the most renowned live in the southern sector of Ishasha, where they rest on the limbs of fig trees. Solitary leopards are nocturnal and fiendishly well camouflaged, making a glimpse all the more rewarding! The smaller cats are also predominantly nocturnal and best spotted on night game drives.