Queen Elizabeth National Park

Few reserves in the world have such high biodiversity, landscapes, savannah plains, bushland, wetlands, and lush forests like this park. Covering 1978 sq km, scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular of all Uganda destinations with animals and tourists.

Uganda’s most famous safari destinations protect the highest number of animals. Some of the best to see on safari include hippos cooling off their massive bodies in the Kazinga channel, elephant parades, lion prides, leopards, hyenas, Uganda kobs, and the chimpanzee troop in the Kyambura Gorge forest.

The park is easy to reach and enjoys a stunning location on the rift valley floor between Lakes Edward and George. Varied habitats epitomize the rift valley vegetative mosaic that tempted our hominid ancestors to migrate from forest to grasslands and are home to 95 mammal and 612 bird species.

The Kazinga Channel

The Kazinga Channel shores provide year-round water for large numbers of birds, reptiles, and mammals. A boat safari (or launch trip) to view this wildlife spectacle is Queen Elizabeth National Park’s most famous and enduring activity. Boat safaris make a 2-hour round trip between the Mweya jetty and Lake Edward, providing marvelous opportunities to view up-close crocodiles, elephants, hippo, buffalo, and a wide variety of water birds.

A network of safari game tracks allows game drives to explore the plains north of the Kazinga Channel. Large numbers of animals live here but a patchwork of grassland and scrubby thickets can make game viewing challenging especially after the long rains; you will need more time on your safari drive to carefully spot them.

Kyambura Gorge

At the foot of the rift’s Kichwamba escarpment, the Kyambura River flows through the deep, cliff-lined Kyambura Gorge towards the Kazinga Channel. The Fig Tree Camp at the gorge’s edge provides a giddy view down into the 100m-deep gorge.

The canyon contains a beautiful riverine forest in which travelers can track one habituated chimpanzee troop with gorge’s forest. Chimpanzee trekking excursions head out twice daily at 8:00 am and at 14:00.

Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the gorge offers a remarkable nature hike that’s a great compliment to savannah game drives on the plains above.

Ishasha Sector

Ishasha sector’s most famous residents, the Tree-climbing Lions, lounge in fig-tree after meals.

The magnificent and remote Ishasha sector lies in the extreme south of Queen Elizabeth NP adjoining the Virunga National Park, which lies on the opposite side of the Ishasha River in the D.R. Congo. Few tourists make the long drive from the famous Mweya sector in the north.

Ishasha is home to a superb variety of animals. Hippos are common in the Ishasha River that forms the border between DRC and Uganda. Buffalo, Topi, and Kob roam the Ishasha plains, some of which become prey for Leopard and the sector’s most famous residents, the tree-climbing lions.

These docile cats can be easily spotted draped over the branches of large fig trees and acacia trees. Their motive for tree climbing remains unclear to researchers. Still, whether it is to enjoy the shade, watch for approaching meals, or avoid irritating bugs, Ishasha lions look incredibly comfortable on their high perches.

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