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Queen Elizabeth National Park: 7 Good Reasons to Visit Uganda


Summary: UNESCO has designated Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Uganda's national parks, as a World Heritage Site. Lake Munyanyange Caves Lodge presents seven compelling reasons for visiting Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park in this blog post.






Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most popular national park in Uganda, is commonly coupled with gorilla and/or chimpanzee trekking in Bwindi and/or Kibale Forest.

Big cats in the park, like the lions and leopards that can scale trees, are well-known. Big wildlife in the park includes warthogs, antelopes, elephants, and buffalos, which are all visible on game drives.


Boat safaris are used to cross the Kazinga Channel, which links Lakes Edward and George. There are plenty of hippos, as well as pelicans rafting together in the sun and buffalo and elephants making their way to the shore.


In QENP, about 600 bird species have been identified, and you may go on a game drive or boat safari while also going on a monkey hike through the enigmatic woodlands of Kyambura Gorge. When you reserve a room at Lake Munyanyange, our team of professionals will ensure that you have the best possible time in Uganda's most popular park.



Why should one visit Queen Elizabeth National Park?





Queen Elizabeth National Park has earned a reputation as one of Africa's top parks throughout the years. It is a well-known tourist destination in Uganda and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


In this post, we, as stakeholders explain why this park is worthwhile to visit despite its popularity.

The park was established in 1952 as Kazinga National Park by combining the Lake George and Lake Edward Game Reserves.

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The Songora herders' last community grazing rights were taken away two years later, leading thousands more to relocate across the border with their herds into the Virunga National Park. The majority of them would not return until after 1964 as a result of the conflict brought on by the Mulele uprising.

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QENP is thought to cover 1,978 square kilometers (764 sq mi). The park is home to a wide variety of creatures, including African elephants, African buffalo, Ugandan Kob, hippopotamuses, topis, waterbucks, warthogs, gigantic forest hogs, Nile crocodiles, leopards, spotted hyenas, and lions.

95 different animal species live in the park, which is home to 600 different bird species.


The Ishasha region of the Rukungiri District is widely renowned for its tree-climbing lions, which have black manes on the males. The executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Samuel John Mwandha, stated in 2020 that more animals have been added to the park over the previous five years.



Our top 7 reasons for visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park



Lake Munyanyange





A hidden jewel in Uganda, Lake Munyanyange is home to the lesser flamingos, water lilies, and cool shades of green. Due to the salty waters and safety from predatory animals like lions, hyenas, and leopards, it offers the biggest population or species of birds in the world a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. These birds go fishing along the Kazinga channel as a resting haven at night.


It's a safe haven for antelopes seeking refuge from predators in the park, as seen from your balcony on any of the lake munyanyange caves lodge cottages, or during the camp fire unforgettable moments with the sound or lovely voices of the birds in the background, what a moment to enjoy with the sunset on the beautiful scenery of lake munyanyange, the only birds lake in a country gifted by nature.


Lake Munyanyange is a small, shallow, seasonal crater lake located in Katwe Kababatooro Town Council, in Kasese District, Uganda. It is a hidden gem with a large flamingo population.

The tranquil and expansive lake is a popular spot for watching sunsets, identifying animals and birds, and escaping the busyness of city life.


The calm waters and abundance of flamingos and other types of birds make it a popular spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers, who often enjoy bicycling, nature walks, and drives along or around the lake to get up close and personal with the wildlife.



The Kazinga Channel





The Kazinga Canal, a 32-kilometer-long freshwater artery, connects Lake Edward and its smaller neighbor, Lake George. The lakes bear the names of King Edward VII, the son of Queen Victoria, and King George V, who succeeded him.


The channel is a well-known spot for wildlife tourism and a key element of Queen Elizabeth National Park.


The waterway is home to a wide variety of animals and birds, including some Nile crocodiles and one of the highest concentrations of hippos (approximately 2,000).


Also visible are elephants, buffaloes, and more than 100 different species of water birds, including the African Skimmer.



Kazinga Channel boat cruise





The Kazinga Channel, which is home to a wide variety of animals and birds, can be explored via boat cruises.


There are different businesses that provide boat rides, including; the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Mweya Safari Lodge. Each cruise lasts for about two hours.


Mweya Safari Lodge offers two boats: the Sunbird, a cozy ten-seater, and the Kingfisher, a stylish twelve-seater.


Although both boats have knowledgeable captains and crews, you may ride in style on the Kingfisher thanks to its refreshments and shade canopies to keep you cool.



Kyambura Gorge




The "Valley of the Apes" - Kyambura Gorge, is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park's Far East.

Since the Kyambura River has been eroding the dense forest that covers the gorge's sides for ages, it serves as a good habitat for chimpanzees.

The towering 100 meter high granite walls surround the dense rainforest, muddy swamps, and immense crater lakes, creating the sense that you are entering another dimension.



Chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura Gorge


Chimpanzee trekking is a popular Ugandan wildlife expedition that allows you to interact with chimps.


The three-hour hikes include up to an hour spent with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. You need to be able to see them at a safe distance of eight to ten meters.


There is a 60% chance of seeing one of the 17 chimpanzees living in the gorge. Sightings are far more thrilling and suspenseful when accompanied by the sights and sounds of the forest.


You can obtain tracking permissions from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (if you book with us all of this is taken care of for you).



Mweya Peninsula


The Mweya Peninsula, which is situated in the Kasese District's Rwenzururu sub region, is the most popular destination in Queen Elizabeth National Park.


Access to the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward is provided via the Mweya Peninsula, which is situated on the channel's northern bank.


The Mweya Peninsula is appealing for a variety of reasons, including as its proximity to Mweya Airport, the availability of top-notch hotels, and its varied ecosystem.



Game drives at the Mweya Peninsula




The classic Savannah safari experience is a game drive, and the Mweya Peninsula offers a number of wildlife routes.


The early morning or late afternoon, when the animals are most active, you and our guide will patrol the grasslands for around three hours in our four-wheel drive vehicles with hatch roofs and sliding windows for the best viewing.


Game drives may be challenging due to the dense forest that covers the Mweya Peninsula, but by booking with us, you can be sure that you will have a knowledgeable guide who knows the best routes.


The Mweya Peninsula is home to a variety of animals, including elephants, buffalo, and warthogs. On midnight game drives, there is a chance to see nocturnal creatures like leopards and hyenas.



Ishasha sector


Lions that can climb trees can be seen in the Ishasha sector, which is part of Queen Elizabeth National Park's southern region.


There are only two places in Africa where tree-climbing lions can be spotted, and the Ishasha region is one of them, along with Southern Tanzania.


Scientists believe that the lions may have developed this unusual behavior to protect themselves from tsetse insects and the heat of the lower terrain.


Being positioned on a tree branch offers a useful vantage point when the lions are hunting.



Game drives in the Ishasha sector


Ishasha is also home to majestic elephants, zebras, buffaloes, and Ugandan kobs.


The Ishasha region of the park is perfect for game drives because it is a less frequented area. You may take in the sights and sounds of the area without the distant drone of other safari engines.

The ant-crawl of cars won't interfere with your expansive view of the plains.


It is possible to spend more time with the lions because there is no traffic.

(If you book with us, we will arrange this for you.)



Equator at Queen Elizabeth National Park


One of Queen Elizabeth National Park's features is the equator monument at Kikorongoro. At this area, you can capture a variety of pictures that will serve as a permanent memory of Africa's gem after you get back home.


The equator is marked with a circular monument on either side of the road in the northern section of the park, close to Kasenyi, which is frequently visited by tourists posing for pictures.



Crater Lakes Drives





The park's 72 craters, which range in size, are all evidence of the region's violent volcanic history.

This makes for an intriguing half-day trip where the scenery and geologic history, rather than the wildlife, are the main attractions.


Many of these are concentrated in the park's northern reaches.

It is humbling to think about how these craters formed—thousands of imprints on the Earth's crust that over millions of years were absorbed by flora and other life.


The craters' gruesome and fiery past stands in stark contrast to the lush, forested sanctuary of life that now calls it home.



When to go?


Uganda doesn't really have a "great time to visit," per se. Due to its equatorial location, the nation experiences rain for the majority of the year.


Furthermore, it appears that weather patterns are shifting, making rigid seasonality unnecessary. So pack a waterproof jacket and always be ready.


But from June to early October and again from December to early March, the weather is frequently dryer. Between March and the end of May, as well as in October and November, there is frequently more rainfall.


The wettest month is April, and May is often wet as well, however recent years have seen an exceptionally dry May.



Getting There


The park is well located and can be visited independently or as a component of a broader itinerary.


The park is a popular destination for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking because of its close vicinity to Bwindi and Kibale.


If you are traveling for a while, Queens is almost certainly where you'll stop because it offers the best opportunities to see lions in Uganda.


Kibale Forest to the Fort Portal region is a 3-hour journey. Driving time from the Mweya Peninsula to Buhoma in northern Bwindi is about 4 hours.


Entebbe and other Ugandan cities are connected to Queens via routine flights by light aircraft.

The flight takes between 60 and 120 minutes depending on the routing used.



To wrap things up


Conclusion: There are many reasons to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The scenery is beautiful, the wildlife is diverse, and the people are friendly. There are also many activities to enjoy, such as hiking, bird watching, and canoeing. If you are planning a trip to QENP, be sure to stay at Lake Munyanynage Caves Lodge for the best experience.








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