Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda's own East African wildlife safari

Uganda is not just about gorillas and chimpanzees. You can also enjoy a traditional East African safari in one of the game parks dotted around the country. The Queen Elizabeth National Park (or QEII) is probably the best option since it contains a wide variety of wildlife and is easily accessible in the western corner of Uganda. As such it is near Kibale Forest, the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and thus it can be combined with gorilla and chimp tracking. 

The park is located at the base of the 'Mountains of the Moon' - the Rwenzori Range - and the views from some of the camps are simply spectacular. It can be reached in about 5 hours on a reasonably good road from Kampala and there is a dirt road running all the way to Bwindi. Many travellers choose to hop a charter flight to one of the lodges from Kampala.

Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts an array of wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant, antelope including the native Ugandan kob and the park is home to over 600 bird species - a quarter of Africa's total birdlife! It spans an area of about 2000 sq km with rolling hills and savannah plains, lush rainforest, crater lakes and the Kazinga Channel. This 32km long body of water runs between Lake Edward and Lake George and is filled to the brim with hippos and crocodiles. See these animals from a sundowner boat cruise down the channel.

The park is expansive and most tourists choose to stay in and around the village on the Mweya Peninsula. It is set on a splendid waterfront at the base of the Rwenzori mountains and offers great game viewing. For those wishing to get off the beaten track, the Ishasha Sector is remote, rough and ready with its tree-climbing lions. And you can head to the beautiful Lake Mburo National Park which is halfway between Queen Elizabeth and Kampala.

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