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The second-largest national park in Uganda is called Queen Elizabeth National Park; it was once known as Kazinga National Park. After Queen Elizabeth the Second visited, the park’s name was changed to honour the monarch. It is one of the oldest biodiverse ecoregions in the nation, conserving lovely grasslands, tropical rain forest, volcanic calderas, open waterways, marshy areas along the lakes of Edward and George, and acacia woodland along the Albertine rift valley. The Ishasha region of the 1,978 square kilometre national park is well-known for its tree-climbing lions. In addition to chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, wildlife drives in the Kasenyi Plains, birdwatching in the Maramagambo Forest, boat trips along the 40-kilometer Kazinga Channel between Lake George and Edward, and visiting the Katwe or Bunyaruguru crater lakes, it is listed among the busiest tourist sites in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

With its extensive savannah grasslands, thorny acacia trees, papyrus swamps, and tropical rain forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to about 95 animal species, which is the highest number of any other national park in Uganda. These animals include hippos, buffaloes, antelopes, elephants, spotted hyenas, side-striped jackals, and defassa waterbuck. Additionally, over 610 species of birds have been recorded there.

The national park is divided into sectors, including the Ishasha sector in the south, which is best known for its tree-climbing lions. It is a small, rich wildlife area that serves as a corridor connecting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Kibale Forest National Park. The sector is one of the few places in Africa where you can see tree-climbing lions, and you can frequently see them lounging in fig trees. While the Kyambura Gorge is present for chimpanzee trekking and the forest may be explored on guided forest nature walks in search of other primate species, the area between the Kazinga Channel and the Maramagambo Forest is contained to the south by the forest.

A hidden gem inside the national park, Kyambura Gorge is known as the “valley of apes” because of the diversity of animal species it is home to, including primates like chimpanzees. The best way to explore the gorge, which is on its own in the national park, is on foot. The Kyambura River drains the park, and the gorge it creates is the longest in East Africa and the only area to observe primates east of the park.

The Bunyarugru Craters are located south of Lake George and contain both saline and freshwater; the Katwe Crater Lake is north of the Mweya Peninsular, where ancient salt mining takes place; and the Queen Elizabeth National Park contains crater lakes along the crater trail in the western part of Uganda. Touring the area is a unique experience to see and learn more about what goes on there.

Links to Kazinga channels A boat cruise is the best way to explore Lake George and Edward, a dominant feature within the national park with the largest population of hippos in the world and the most precious views of wildlife along the banks of the channel. Commonly sighted animals include hippos, elephants, buffaloes, and waterbucks. Waterbirds like long-tailed cormorants, pink-backed pelicans, and yellow-billed stock, to name a few.

Maramagamb Forest is a great location for 1-2 hour guided nature walks. The forest is home to a variety of primates, including baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and vervet monkeys, as well as a staggering variety of forest birds and is well known for its bat caves.

The presence of Kobs attracts a large number of cats, leopards included, and the main reason why they have this extensive characteristic of climbing up trees is because of the hot grounds during the dry season. Tree climbing lions are a major highlight of Queen Elizabeth National Park, found in the southern Ishasha sector, where they are found lying the enormous fig trees. The Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in western Uganda and is easily accessible by car from Kampala, some 400 kilometres away. Charter flights are also organised to the small airfield on the Mweya peninsular or the nearest airport, Kasese. Foreign residents must pay a 45 USD park entrance charge.

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