Designated as a Biosphere in 1979, Queen Elizabeth National Park (2,056 sq km) is part of the diverse ecosystem in Africa which includes also the Kyambura and Kigezi Wildlife Reserve. The two main lakes, Edward and George, are a result of the melting glaciers of the Rwenzori Mountains. The open savannah vegetation decorated by Euphoria and Acacia trees create a natural habitat for lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, warthogs among others. The park accommodates 10 primate species including chimps. Other animals present in the park include hyenas, crocodiles, topis, and giant forest hog among others. The park is ranked highest in bird species in the whole of Africa.
606 bird species have been listed in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park offers you an opportunity to spot Uganda’s most sought-after pre-historic looking bird, the Shoebill. Other important bird species include papyrus Gonolek, African Skimmer, Martial Eagle and African Fish Eagle.
To access more wildlife, a visitor can undertake a boat cruise along the hippo-crowded banks of Kazinga Channel. Both migrant and resident birds can be seen along the Channel.
A nature walk to Maramagambo Forest in QENP will lead you to the picturesque blue lake, the Hunters’ Cave and the Python-filled Bat Cave. A deeper entry into the forest will lead you to see several crater lakes. Several primates including the wild chimpanzees and many forest birds make the forest an interesting tourist attraction.
In the eastern part of the park is the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve – a home to habituated chimpanzees and other primates plus flamingoes only found here in Uganda. The Kyambura River is responsible for creating the magnificent steep Kyambura Gorge with lush riverine vegetation where the chimps find a safe haven. Other primates in this gorge include black and white Colobus and red-tailed monkeys and baboons. A plethora of forest birds is also present in Kyambura Gorge.
The southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known as Ishasha is a true pearl. The famous tree-climbing lions rest in fig trees as they watch over visitors. Other savannah animals are seen all over the area in the open grassland.
One aspect one can not afford to miss in QENP is the traditional Salt works at the enclave of Katwe town. Salt production reaches its peak during the dry season