Visitors will find it hard to believe that Queen Elizabeth National Park was ravaged by a war some decades ago. Uganda’s best-loved park has bounced back from its turbulent history and is now the country’s most visited park. The park is home to tree-climbing lions, 600 species of bird, and a magnificent landscape of acacia woodland, savannah, and swamps dotted by crater lakes, cones, and other volcanic features.

Under 400km from Uganda’s capital and largest city, Kampala, Queen Elizabeth National Park’s boundaries protect a plethora of wildlife sure to make every safari-goer’s dreams come true. The lakeshore is dotted with pink-backed pelicans and wallowing hippos, while elephants and leopards wander along the forest grassland. The park’s Ishasha plains see unaware Ugandan kob grazing near fig trees in which tree-climbing lions wait ready to pounce.

Game drives and scenic nature walks are the order of the day, while boat cruises along Lake Edward will bring eager visitors even closer to the park’s thirsty and water-dwelling inhabitants. Queen Elizabeth’s volcanic terrain is a photographer’s delight, while birders won’t know where to look. Visitors can reach the park by road from Kampala or by flying to Kasese Airport or the park’s airstrip.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights

  • Lauded as Uganda’s most popular park 
  • Home to tree-climbing lions, over 600 different bird species, hippos, elephants, leopards, and more  
  • Varied landscape comprising of woodland, savannah, and swamps 
  • Volcanic remnants dotted across the park from crater lakes to cones 
  • Game drives, nature walks, and boat cruises are just a number of the activities offered in the park 
  • Can be reached by road from Kampala and Kasese Airport, or travellers can fly straight to the park’s airstrip 

Best time to go
Queen Elizabeth National Park

  • Jan
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  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
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  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Frequently Asked Questions

We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park

  • Although it's a year-round destination, the best time to visit Uganda is generally considered to be between June to September and December to March. 

    This is mainly because Uganda has two distinct seasons, namely the dry and rainy seasons. The long dry season is best for gorilla trekking because the terrain is easier to hike on. At the same time, conditions for Big 5 safaris are also ideal during these months because the bush is dry and there are fewer water sources, which makes it easier to spot wildlife.

    During the shorter rainy season from October to December, Uganda is lush and migrant birds make their debut. March to May is the country's long rainy season, meaning fewer crowds, so you might snag some great deals. Furthermore, this time of year is actually great for chimpanzee trekking because these primates move lower down the slopes looking for more warmth and fruit, so it's a shorter walk to find them.

  • A gorilla safari in Uganda is one of those bucket-list experiences that many people only dream about. It's highly exclusive, and you need to obtain a licence to be allowed gorilla trekking. Of course, this is all to protect these endangered primates for future generations. 

    Everything is done to ensure the gorillas are not disturbed, limiting the number of people and time spent with the gorilla families at a time. Therefore, to ensure booking your gorilla safari is a seamless experience, it's always best to book with experienced travel experts. And as the World's Leading Safari Company, we can confidently say that's us! 

  • Uganda is a thriving destination with diverse offerings for the more adventurous traveller. Here is our list of the best things to do in Uganda:

    Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a national park home to almost one-half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population. This makes it perfect for your safari because gorilla trekking is one of the best things to do in Uganda. As a result, it's an extremely valuable conservation site and one of the top places to visit. Bwindi is situated southwest on the edge of the Great Rift Valley and is considered the most diverse forest in the country.

    Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale National Park: Kibale is one of the top destinations in the world to go chimpanzee trekking. About 500 of these primates call this area home, and the chimpanzee trekking tours leave twice a day with an expert guide who will lead you through the verdant rainforest to meet them. The Kibale forest is rich in wildlife, making it perfect for your Uganda safari, but it's best known for its primate population. Besides chimpanzees, you can see red-tailed monkeys, diademed monkeys, olive baboons, and black and white colobus on your luxury safari in Uganda.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park: Uganda is not just about gorillas and chimpanzees. You can also enjoy a traditional East African safari in one of the national parks dotted around the country. The Queen Elizabeth National Park is located at the base of the Rwenzori Mountains, and the views from some of the camps are simply spectacular. It boasts an array of wildlife such as lions, leopards, elephants, and antelopes, including the native Ugandan kob. The national park is also home to over 600 bird species, making up a quarter of Africa's total birdlife!

    The Mountains of the Moon: In ancient times, it was reported that the much-debated source of the Nile was a group of massive mountains in East Africa. It was said that the Nile flowed from the mountains into a series of large lakes. The natives called this range the Mountains of the Moon because of their snow-capped whiteness. Today, you can admire these mountains from afar or, for the more adventurous, you can tackle them on challenging multi-day hikes. On the range's foothills lie the crater lakes, also called explosion craters, which are extinct volcanoes. These picturesque crater lakes (some over 400m deep) are ringed with improbably steep hills. It's a great spot to settle in for a few days to explore the footpaths or cycle the seldom-used roads.

    Murchison Falls: Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park and where its most significant drawcard, the famous Murchison Falls, is located. Here, hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck and buffalo gather on the river banks. Other wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeest, oribi, Uganda kob, chimpanzees, and many bird species.

  • Most airlines can be used to get to Entebbe, whether via Nairobi, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam or Doha. The East African Tourist Visa is a collaboration between Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya designed to make the region more attractive as a tourist destination by making travel easier through the purchase of a single visa. However, because visa requirements are constantly changing, our Travel Experts can provide you with the latest requirements to make your dream trip possible.

    For travelling within Uganda, it is recommended to use a reliable taxi service for transportation to and from the airport. 

  • Uganda has various cultural groups speaking over 30 different languages, with English and Swahili as the official languages. Ugandans can be classified into these broad language categories: Bantu, Nilotics, Madi-Okoru or the Sudanic speaking, and the Pygmoid (who live mainly isolated in the rainforests of western Uganda). One-third of the Ugandan population is comprised of Roman Catholic, one-third is Protestant, 16 percent is Muslim and 18 percent believe in local religions.

    In the countryside, a variety of festivals, ritual celebrations and familial gatherings demonstrate the culturally rich experience a traveller could enjoy.

    The largest and most noteworthy museum in the country is the Uganda Museum in Kampala. Others include those at Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks. Although Kampala's vibrant city is a traveller’s favourite, it is located outside of the city. However, it's Uganda’s national parks and reserves that lure most travellers.

  • It is recommended that you get vaccinated against the following before your trip: Diphtheria, Malaria (there is a considerable risk), Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, HIV in Africa, Meningitis and Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Typhoid and Rabies. You are advised to have your Yellow Fever vaccination card with you at all times, as well as all other vaccinations administered, when travelling between countries. It's best to seek advice from a specialist travel doctor when planning your East Africa trip.

  • Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional and modern cooking styles, practices, foods and dishes, with English, Arab, Asian and especially Indian influences. Most tribes have their own speciality dish or delicacy. Many dishes include vegetables and fruit, such as potatoes, yams, bananas and other tropical fruits. Chicken, fish, beef, goat and mutton are commonly eaten, although among the rural poor meats are consumed less than in other areas. Tea and coffee are popular beverages and important cash crops, served English-style or spiced. Coca-cola, Pepsi and Fanta, as well as traditional and Western beers are widely available. Fermented banana wine is popular, as is Waragi (distilled spirits).

  • The Equator runs through the country, although the average altitude of 1,000 meters provides some relief from the heat and humidity. The average temperature is 26°C, and the high summer is from December to February. The rains occur from April to May in the south and again from October to November, so we advise against travelling there during these months, as locomotion can be difficult. The north is humid from April to October, but it is largely off the tourist trail.