Game Drive & Bird Watching (Queen Elizabeth National Park)
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s oldest and most popular game parks for Uganda safaris. It is found in South Western Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Park is home to variety of wildlife and boasts a range of attractions and interesting activities that make it truly gifted by nature.
Kagera Safaris provides you with our suggested list of the top 5 things to do in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The major highlight of a visit to the park are the scenic game drives that give you a chance to view even the most elusive of the park’s fauna. The thrilling drives which are best done during the morning hours feature up close viewing of the wildlife which inhabits the park in the comfort of a vehicle. Your driver guide knows the different trucks in the park intimately and will take you in search of the different wildlife.
During the game drives, you could spot an elephant, the largest land mammal skillfully using its trunk to feed, a lion preying on an antelope or a hyena patiently waiting to devour the lion’s leftovers from a distance. Different groups of animals like Buffalo herds and Uganda kobs traverse the game park all day long. Warthogs, leopards, the giant forest hog are among the others you are very likely to meet on your game drive.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s top birding spots. A haven to over 600 bird species, the enthusiastic bird watcher is in for a major delight at the park.
Some of the birds likely to grace your photographic memories include the; Sedge warbles, Papyrus canary, the martial eagle, Pink backed Pelican, Yellow throated Cuckoo, and the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, all which inhabit the park’s expansive grasslands, forests and wetlands. Do not miss the flamingos found at the Katwe and Bunyampaba salt lakes.
BOAT TRIP/LAUNCH CRUISE
The boat trip/launch cruise which takes place on the Kazinga Channel, a long natural water channel linking Lake Edward to Lake George is an exhilarating event for the visitors at the park.
During the cruise, one gets to enjoy the various sights and sounds that the park’s rich aquatic life extravagantly offers. Besides the large hippopotamuses taking their dips in the waters, the fierce Nile crocodiles basking lazily on the channel banks for a feel of the warm sun are some of the lifetime experiences you will encounter on the cruise. Not to miss are the Pied Kingfishers attempting to grab a meal.
THE TREE CLIMBING LIONS OF ISHASHA
Not every day do you see a lion climbing a tree, in fact it was considered a safe bet to climb one if you ever found yourself being chased by one. Not while in Ishasha sector though, a region comprising a portion of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here, lions perched up on acacia and fig trees are an enchanting sight to behold.
Whether it is for a better view of their surroundings including potential prey like the Uganda Kob that grazes in the vicinities, seeking the cool breeze in the trees or escaping the notorious bites from the tsetse flies on the ground below, the reason for the lions choosing residence up the trees remains an intriguing mystery.
The Ishasha sector where these lions are found is accessible on the journey to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as one heads or returns from gorilla trekking in the forest. Besides the amazing tree climbing king of the jungle, the sector is also home to other animals such as herds of buffaloes, large numbers of elephants, warthogs and antelopes all which make for a memorable trip to the game park.
The Kyambura Gorge, also known as the Valley of Apes found in the Northern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to chimpanzees. The chimpanzees in Kyambura are habituated meaning they have been accustomed to human presence and this does not deter them from going on with their activities.
The underground rainforest in a gorge which makes for an excellent protection from the sunshine as one enjoys the immense beauty of nature hidden there in. You will experience lush savannah grasslands leading to the gorge, to the flowing rivers and creeks. Red tailed monkeys, baboons, butterflies and different bird species are among other inhabitants of this little paradise worth sighting besides Chimpanzees.
Besides the primates, the forest boasts great hiking trails upon which there is a lot to explore. While walking in the forest, look out for soldier ants as they have such a painful sting. Otherwise you are in for an exciting experience while trekking one of man’s closest primate relatives.