Uganda’s most popular safari destination and certainly the most scenic.
The park covers an area of 1,978 square kilometres, and is famous for its primate species, its unusual tree-climbing lions, and the large concentration of hippos. Stretching from the cratered foothills of the Rwenzori ranges in the north, it extends along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south. It’s a home for lions, African buffalo, Ugandan kob, waterbuck, warthog, leopard, hyena, giant forest hogs and a remarkable bird list. A wide variety of animals!
Entering the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains are visible on the horizon and the equator in range: you start to feel truly in an African adventure. The Kazinga Channel connects Lake Edward with Lake George. A boat ride gives an almost 100% guarantee of seeing crocodiles, hippos and elephants. Here, a huge variety of bird species is on display. For example, a sea eagle with its white head poses quietly as if he knows that you want to take a picture; flashes of turquoise, orange and bright blue are kingfishers flitting through the reeds and branches, and almost impossible to photograph. Delightful contrasts!
The many crater lakes are also an attraction. Paths and winding roads, negotiable only by a 4×4 powered car, confirm that you have left civilization behind.
The park receives heavy rains of up to about 1,250 mm/year, usually during the very rainy months of March-May and September-November.
Tree-climbing lions in Ishasha
The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park lies in the southern part. It’s the home of the famous tree-climbing lions. While lion cubs around the world frequently climb trees for fun, adults rarely do. In Ishasha it is thought that they sit in the branches to get away from the tsetse flies and to enjoy a cool breeze.
But Ishasha offers more than arboreal felines. Buffalos and Ugandan kobs can be seen while driving over the plains and even elephants are frequently seen in the area.