This scenic wilderness area is incredibly biodiverse, protecting a menagerie of habitats - swathes of grassland savannah, rolling foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, shores of Lake Edward, scatterings of volcanic cones and craters, lush lowland forests, marshy wetlands and the meandering Ishasha River.
It's easy to see why Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most popular game viewing destination.
The savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park support a rich variety of wild animals including four of the Big Five - buffaloes, elephants, leopards and lions. The lions are particularly well-known for their habit of climbing trees, unusual behaviour for these on-the-ground hunters.
The 10 primate species inhabiting the park are mostly found in the Kyambura Gorge and Maramagambo Forest and include chimpanzees, blue monkeys and olive baboons. The national park hosts various antelopes, including the endemic Ugandan Kob, featured with the crested crane on Uganda's coat of arms. Rare sitatunga, topi, kob, waterbuck, bushbuck and other antelopes are also found in the game park. Crocodiles have recently been spotted in the Kazinga Channel and other inhabitants include giant forest hog, warthogs and thousands of hippos.
Including the lions and leopards the park is home to around 20 kinds of predators, such as side-striped jackal, serval cat and spotted hyena.
The park is a bird watching haven, with Kazinga Channel attracting a rich array of birds and the Lake George area designated as a Ramsar Wetland Site. Birding International has named the park an Important Birding Area (IBA). Given the diverse habitats of Queen Elizabeth Park and it's location, an excellent variety of birds can be seen, both east and central African. The species list includes some rare and unusual birds sought-after by bird watching enthusiasts, such as the strange pouting shoebill (or whale-headed) stork.
The to-spot list includes African skimmer, black-rumped buttonquail, chapins and swamp flycatcher, pink-backed and great white pelican, papyrus canary and greater flamingo. Raptors such as African fish eagles, pin-tailed whydah martial eagles and great and long-tailed cormorants also grace the skies here.
Other birds include African jacanas, Verreaux’s eagle-owls, open-billed and rare shoebill storks, gabon and slender-tailed nightjars, herons, grey-capped and white-winged warblers and papyrus and beautiful black-headed gonoleks. African mourning doves, collard pranticles, kingfishers (grey-headed, malachite and pied), black bee-eaters, white-winged terns and white-tailed larks are also found in the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is split between the Kasese, Kamwenge, Bushenyi and Rukungiri districts in southwestern Uganda. The park falls within the Western Rift Valley of Africa, which runs north-to-south from Uganda through to neighbouring Malawi.
It lies about 376 km's (234 mi) drive, southwest of Kampala, Uganda's capital and largest city. To the north, the crater-studded slopes of the Rwenzori Mountain Range. In the south, the less-visited Ishasha River sector and further on the famous Bwindi National Park inhabited by mountain gorillas. In the west Lake George, flanked by Kibale National Park to the north. Including the eastern shores of Lake Edward with Mitumbe Hill (the 'Center of Darkness in Africa') lying beyond, as well as nearby Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Use the Google map to explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. Feel free to Print the Street Map when you're ready.