Queen Elizabeth en Ishasha

Uganda’s most popular and accessible savannah reserve is the 1978km2 Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is primarily associated with open savannah, studded in some areas with a dense cover of acacia and euphorbia trees, but it also embraces large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with the Kyambura Game Reserve. The Kyambura Gorge is a great place where a community of chimpanzees can be tracked within the confines of a forested river gorge carved into the surrounding flat savannah. A maximum of 8 permits (two groups of 4) is issued for each morning (08:00h) session and each afternoon (13:00h) session. The success rate currently stands around 85%, the highest in Uganda after Kibale Forest, and once the chimps have been located it is often possible to get within 5m of them! Africa Miracles will arrange the permit for you upon booking so you are guaranteed a place on the excursion.

Queen Elizabeth National park enjoys a mosaic of habitats supporting 95 mammal species and a remarkable 612 species of birds. Ten primate species are present, including chimpanzee, vervet, blue, red-tailed, and L’Hoest’s monkey, black-and-white colobus and olive baboon. Around 20 predators are found in the park, including side-striped jackal, spotted hyena, lion and leopard. The most common antelope species are Uganda kob, bushbuck, topi and Defassa waterbuck. The elephant population is today estimated at around 2,500, while lions once rare and elusive, are thought to number at least 200 and are readily observed in the Kasenyi Plains.

Recommended accommodations in Queen Elizabeth National Park:

Mweya Safari Lodge , Jacana Safari Lodge , Ishasha Wilderness Camp and Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Simba Lodge and Ihamba Safari Lodge.

The 40km-long Kazinga channel that connects Lake George to Lake Edward provides the park's prime wildlife spectacle. Its shoreline attracts large numbers of birds, mammals and reptiles year round. These can be seen from two covered launches, Topi and Simba, which cruise between Mweya Jetty and the channel's entrance into Lake Edward. The plain north of the Kazinga Channel is the primary game viewing area. A network of tracks enables you to find elephant, buffalo and other animals in the mosaic of grassland thickets that covers the North Kazinga area near Mweya. However lions are most reliably sighted on the open Kasenyi plain east of the Kasese road where they prey on a large population of Uganda kobo Game are most rewarding in early morning and late afternoon.

Ishasha lies 100km south of Mweya, the park's remote southern provides a true wilderness experience. Diverse landscapes including the Ishasha River, savanna woodland and the Lake Edward Flats support a variety of wildlife including the famous tree climbing lions, and the rare shoebill stork..

Distances and location: By road, the park headquarters is 64km from Kasese, which is 418 km from Kampala via Mbarara and Katunguru. The journey takes approximately 6-7 hours. Air charter services are possible to the landing strip near Mweya, Kasese or Ishasha. Ishasha is very close to Bwindi, approximately 2-3 hours on scenic roads.

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