The Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) is Uganda’s most-visited National Park. The national park is located in western Uganda, spanning the districts of Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri. Its location is approximately 376 kilometres (234 mi), by road, southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The town of Kasese lies just outside the northeastern edge of the park, while the town of Bushenyi, is situated just outside the park’s southeastern boundaries. The coordinates of the park are:00 12S, 30 00E (Latitude:-0.2000; Longitude:30.0000).
Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometres (764 sq mi), of which, about 17% lies in Kasese District, 50% in Bushenyi District and an estimated 33% lies in Rukungiri District. The area of the park extends from Lake George in the northeast to Lake Edward in the southwest, and includes the Kazinga Channel that connects the two lakes.
The park is named after Queen Elizabeth II and was established in 1954. The park was later renamed Ruwenzori before it returned to its royal name. QENP is known for its wildlife, although many animals were killed in the Uganda-Tanzania War. Many species have recovered, including hippopotami, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees; it is now home to 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds. The area around Ishasha in Rukungiri District is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to the lions in this area.
The park is also famous for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe, from which salt is extracted.
The national park includes the Maramagambo Forest and borders Kigezi Game Reserve, Kyambura Game Reserve and Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park and The Queen Elizabeth Country Park in England are twinned in a project of “cultural exchange, mutual support and has its main emphasis on supporting Conservation through working closely with and empowering local communities”.
Services in the park include a telecenter run by Conservation Through Public Health and the Uganda Wildlife Authority, neighboring The Queen’s Pavilion, park lodges, game drives and scenic drives, and boat launches.
Around the park
The peninsula is the heart of sightseeing activities with excellent accommodation in the park. The only way to enjoy your tour in this park is by touring with a ranger guide. This person helps you explore the park as well as the distant parts of the peninsula.Mweya information center organizes all the activities that tourists may want to get involved in. The most exciting aspect about this peninsular is the fact that its overlooks Katwe bay of Lake Edward.Morestill, it has a souvenir shop full of African safari items that will always remind you of park
The Kazinga channel is about 40m long adjoining Lake Gorge to Lake Edward. It has the perfect view of the parks’ major wildlife ventures. The shores of the lake attracts a large concentration of mammals, birds as well as reptiles all year around. The animals can be viewed well by the Nile cruise or probably at the entrance of Lake Edward. The operation of the cruise run from 15.00 and 17.00, furthermore voyages run 11.00 and 13.00 depending on the demand of the tourists.
Kazinga channel has parts for instance North Kazinga as well as Kasenyi.Its acknowledged that the plains of channel are focal points for game viewing. Tracking is the only way that will enable you see all the wildlife in its nature setting for example buffalo, elephants and other animals that dwell in the grassland thickets of the Northern Kazinga close to Mweya.The most accessible spot for lions is in the eastern part of Kasenyi plains and the Kasese road where they quarry on the big inhabitants of Uganda Kobs.The most favorable time for game drives is during morning and late afternoon hours. The work of the range guide is to help you get enough information about the park and still get the most memorable experience in Africa.
The Equator and the Queen’s Pavilion
The Uganda’s Equator provides a beautiful place for photo shooting along with craft shops that can make you buy a souvenir .The Queen’s Pavilion is easily spotted by the northern entrance to the Crater Drive. In 1954 Queen Elizabeth gave a provision shelter for this site until in 1959 when a permanent pavilion was constructed for the visit of Queen Elizabeth. Renovations were made by second visit of Duke of Edinburgh in 2007 with better facilities such as coffee shop and internet facilities.
Ishasha Tree Climbing Lions
Ishasha covers an area of about 100km south of Mweya.The Park’s distant southern segment gives a genuine Africa wilderness experience. Among the inhabitants in this place include savannah woodland, Ishasha River along with Lake Edward that has a diversity of wildlife such as climbing lions, rare shoebill stork and many others.