Since the inception of this protected area, which is set in the western Rift Valley it covers just over 2500 sq KM, encompassing Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Wildlife reserve and Kigezi Wildlife Reserve. This protected area runs from the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in the north of the Ishasha border post on the south, and falls within 5 District Administrations: Kabarole, Kasese, Bushyenyi, Rukugiri and Kanungu.
The Queen Elizabeth protected area encompasses a wide variety of habitats ranging from savanna and wetlands to riverine and lowland forest. In this wonderfully diverse ecosystem, water is what seems to dominate the landscape, with 250km of lakeshore. Lake Edward, the Casing Channel, Lake George, the Shahs River and a series of crater lakes provide a rich habitat for both mammals & birds, offering wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities for the visitor, and spectacular scenery and landscapes.
Queen Elizabeth has more mammal species than any other park in Uganda, recorded are 95. There Elephant, buffalo, hippo, mongoose and warthog, 10 primate species including the chimpanzee, black & white colobus monkey, red tailed & vervet monkey, predators – the lion, leopard, spotted hyena and side striped jackal. The numerous antelope species include the kob, bushbuck, waterbuck, topi, and the shy elusive stitatunga and four species of duiker.
Birdlife is abundant in Queen Elizabeth, the 611 species so far recorded, it is said to be among the highest for any national park in the World!
The Kazinga Channel
This the main hub of the protected area. The launch for the cruise along the Kazinga channel is situated here, which is a wonderful way to see hippo, buffalo, kob and the Nile crocodile; this too offers spectacular bird viewing opportunities.
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
In the eastern reaches of the protected area, supports similar mammals to the rest of the park, but the saline carter lakes attract large numbers of flamingos not found anywhere else in Uganda.
Kyambura Gorge is the natural home of habituated chimpanzees and visitors can partake in the daily guided walks through the gorge.
Several crater lakes are found in Queen Elizabeth, these the salt crater lakes; Lake Katwe from which Uganda collect almost all the salt, large numbers of animals go down to lick the salty soils. Some of the crater lakes are extremely rich in minerals, which give the lakes strange color and smell!
Is also known as the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth, has been referred to as one of the most alluring game viewing are in East Africa. Famous for its tree-climbing lions, Ishasha is dominated by acacia woodland, and scrubland and features the meandering Ishasha River, banked by a riparian forest.
The Maramagambo Forest
This stretches up the eastern escarpment and provides cool respite from the equatorial sun and offers a different sort of wildlife including wild chimpanzees, enormous pythins and colonies of cave-dwelling fruit bats.
”Mysterious forests where the ground lies dark beneath the dense canopy of foliage. Its vastness is a revelation: that diminishes your stature. Takes away your pride and swallows you up” Hugh Cott 1959
Accommodation in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park
Mweya Safari Lodge
Is located on a peninsula within the heart of the spectacular Queen Elizabeth, a luxury resort aesthetically constructed with meticulous care.
The rooms are regal and the grandeur of the Royal Cottage, where the British Queen Mother lodged in 1954, is stunning.
Other luxurious amenities include swimming pool, Bar and restaurant with global cuisine & conference facilities.
Jacana Safari Lodge
Set on the edge of a crater lake, the lodge grows out of the forest often seeming unreal in it’s tree house like appearance, Sensitive use of rock, wood, rope and other natural materials combine to form what can only be described as ‘magic’
With 8 chalets, swimming pool & sauna, sun downer and dinner Pontoon and you can experience the crater/kayak exploration, nature trekking/mountain biking.
Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp
Luxurious tented camps situated in the southern section of Queen Elizabeth, along the Ntungwe River. 4 en-suite, twin tents, dinning area and a bar.
Uganda Wildlife Authority has Hostel and Student Camp. In addition, there several campsites for independent campers in the Mweya sector and down in Ishasha.