This National park is Uganda’s most famous tourist destination and it has got diverse ecosystems including the shady, humid forests, savannah, the lakes and fertile wetlands that are habitants to the big game, primate species, and chimpanzees as well as over 600 bird species.
The park is also set against the back drop of the Rwenzori Mountains and its beautiful vists include the many craters carved into the rolling green hills, the panoramic views of the Kazinga channel with its banks that are lined with the hippos and the elephants, lions as well as the Ugandan kobs. It has also got very fascinating cultural history and there are many chances of the visitors to meet with the local people and enjoy some storytelling, dance, music and more.
This area was previously a grazing area for the Basongora pastoralists. When the area was visited by Stanley and Lugard , these reported the area to have lots of animals and so the British protectorate was forced to create this area into a national park. In 1906, the area to the north of Lake George was also declared a game reserve so as to protect what the administrators believed in. The National park ordinance was passed on the 31st March 1952 ans then Queen Elizabeth which was then Kazinga National park was gazetted later that year.
This National park is also located within the Albertine Rift valley in the western Uganda just near the Rwenzori Mountains. It also covers an area of 1,978 sqkm of the forests, hills, as well as swamps. It also forms one of the largest protected area systems in eastern Africa with the
greater Virunga land scape. This national park has also got 2 rainy seasons that’s from March to May and from September to November. It receives an amount of 1,250mm of rainfall per year mostly in Kazinga channel and the Maramagambo forest.
This area around Queen Elizabeth has also got two rainy seasons due to its location on the equator as well as the annual migration of the inter tropical convergence zone. The first rains are in February and the second in mid-August. However more rains occur during the second rains than in the first rains.
The park has been chosen a biosphere Reserve for the Humanity under UNESCO auspices. The National park also includes variety of ecosystems just from semi deciduous tropical forest to the green meadows, savannah as well as swamps. The park is also home to the famous tree climbing lions as well as the Uganda kobs, many other antelope species, baboons, buffalos, chimpanzees, baboons, and many bird species. These bird species also include the black bee eater, 11 species of king fisher, the shoebill stork and many falcon species, eagles as well as raptors. Within the crater lakes to the north, the flocks of flamingos can also be found and a boat cruise can be enjoy along the Kazinga channel.
The tourists can visit this park anytime throughout the year. Even though the conditions in the park are harder during the rainy season and it’s also advisable to use a 4×4 vehicle to access the Park. The available tourist accommodation facilities include; Kyambura game lodge, Engazi lodge, Mweya safari lodge, Katara lodge, Bush lodge, samba safari camp, Jacana safari lodge, Ihamba safari lodge, and Mweya hostel.
The main tourist activities carried out in the park include game viewing around the Kasenyi area and game drives in the Ishasha sector in search for the tree climbing lions, Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, a launch cruise along the Kazinga channel, forest walks in Maramagambo forest as well as community visits to the local people.