National Parks

Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

Combine a gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda with a classic safari experience in the Queen Elizabeth National Park – one of the most vibrantly diverse wildlife reserves in all of Africa.

Ker & Downey® Africa > Destinations > Uganda > Parks > Queen Elizabeth National Park

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Everything you need to know about Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular reserve, boasting one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any national park in the world, and home to a diverse array of large mammals (including the famed tree-climbing lions), primates, and over 600 bird species – more than the entire British Isles. The park covers an area of over 700 square miles of grassy savannah, tropical forest, and lush watering pools along the Kazinga Channel.

Where is the park located?

North of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda, near the Rwenzori Mountain range. It is split into two parts – the northern and southern regions. The north has a wider range of lodges and accommodation options, while the south (including the Ishasha Sector which is famous for the park’s unique tree-climbing lions is more remote with less lodging options.

About the park

What type of wildlife will we see?

The Queen Elizabeth National Park encompasses a diverse array of landscapes including swamps, wetlands, tropical forests, lakes, open savanna and woodlands, supporting a huge variety of wildlife. The park hosts four of the Big Five, with increasing populations of lion, elephant and leopard, as well as great herds of buffalo, and is most famous for its unique tree-climbing lions (found in the Ishaba region of the park) and world’s largest concentration of hippos. 

There are also a number of primates including chimpanzees and the black and white colobus monkey that call the Queen Elizabeth National Park home, as well as jackal, hyena, and a wide range of antelope. 

With over 610 bird species, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is a very popular destination for birdwatching.

Top experiences to enjoy at Queen Elizabeth National Park

Game viewing is optimal at the Queen Elizabeth National Park and can be done by boat, open-air safari vehicle, or by foot. 

A walking safari through the Kyambura Gorge is a must, where you’ll hike through colorful fauna, catch sight of rare birds, and engage with playful primates. By 4×4 vehicle, you’ll cross paths with elephant, antelope, leopard, and large buffalo herds, as well as encounter napping lion prides in trees. Picturesque river safaris will take you to see one of the world’s highest concentrations of hippos as well as crocodiles and other large mammals on the shorelines.

When to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park

Because of its proximity to the Equator, Uganda is a great all-year-round destination. 

The best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the dry months when wildlife viewing is at its best, and chimpanzees are easier to track. These are June to August, and January and February. 

During the wet months – March to May, and September to December – the landscape is lush, beautiful and green and many migratory birds can be spotted during this time. The wet can make some roads inaccessible, however, and forest trails become slippery.

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