Queen Elizabeth National Park is quiet and serene wildlife estate that is as vast as 1,978km². Located at the heart of the western arm of the rift valley, at an altitude of 1,300m, it is a land of astonishing contrasts, boasting of a gorge with an underground forest, lush open savannah, sky hugging mountain ranges of Rwenzori and woodland. In between these expanses lie freshwater lakes that are interconnected by rivers (whose bunks bustle with countless birds and game).
Queen Elizabeth’s wildlife is not as copious as some of Tanzania’s or Kenya’s national parks. However, it features all the Big 5 apart from rhinos. The park stands out as being among the extremely few places in Africa where you can encounter tree climbing lions, most of which can be seen in its Southern side, known as Ishasha. Here, you can watch them resting on the boughs of fig trees as they stalk roaming prey. Although game drives in this sector are rewarding, most visitors prefer to concentrate in Kasenyi, the Northern sector considering it offers encounters with a bigger diversity. It is the preferred habitat for the parks 95 mammal species including elephant, Uganda kob, lions, bushbucks, toppi. In terms of birdlife, the park has over 600 species, the iconic shoebill, African hobby, Caspian plover, Heuglin’s gull, Palm-nut vulture, Papyrus Gonolek, African skimmer, White-winged tern, Ayres’s hawk eagle, Black-bee eater, Yellow-bellied wattle-eye, Black-rumped buttonquail, Western banded snake eagle, Broad-billed roller, Pink-backed pelican, Collared prtincole, yellow-throaded cuckoo, Common Sand martin, White-backed heron, Crab-plover, Great blue turaco, Red-chested sunbird sunbird, Great white pelican, Spotted redshank, Grey-winged robin-chat, Rufous-bellied heron and Pel’s fishing owl. A boat trip along the Kazinga Channel, a river stretching between Lakes Edward and George is a must for any bird lover. Within an hour, you are likely to see at least 40 different species.