Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National park was first gazzetted in 1952 as the Kaziga National park later named Queen Elizabeth National park .The park covers1978square kilometers and it is located on the rift valley between the Lakes of George and Edward which habours supports of mammals, birds ..The eastern rift valley of the park was marked up by the green escarpment of the western Rift valley.The hills ,mountains and lakes are surrounded by the endless savanna.The park ‘s temperature rises from 18 -28 degreesCelsius . The park receives 1250mm of rain during the months March, May, September and November. It’s ahome for 9 threatened mammals
THE GEOGRAPHY OF QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
The western Rift Valley covers over 2500 square kilometers, encompassing Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura wildlife reserve and Kigezi wildlife reserve. This protected area runs from the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in the north to the Ishasha bordering in the south, and falls within 5 district of Kabarole, Kasese, Rubirizi, Rukungiri and Kanungu.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a protected area for a wide variety of habitats ranging from savanna and wetlands of the forest. For this case diverse of the ecosystem, water is the dominate landscape, with 250 kilometers of lakeshores. Lake Edward, the kazinga channel, Lake George, the Ishasha River and series of crater lakes provide a rich habitat for both mammals and birds, offering wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities for the visitors,.
MAMMALS AND BIRDS
Queen Elizabeth has more mammal species than any other park in Uganda, with 95 recorded species, including both savanna and forest species. There are elephant, buffalo, hippo, giant forest hog and warthog, 10 primate species including chimpanzee, black and white Columbus monkeys, baboons, red tailed and vervet monkey, 20 predators species including lions, leopard, spotted hyena and side striped jackal, and antelope species include the kob, bushbuck, water buck, topi, Many of the buffalo found in Queen Elizabeth National Park are reddish in colour, which is likely to be interbreed with the Congolese rainforest sub species,Queen Elizabeth National park is abundantly known for bird life. It has got 612 species of birds. Birds observation started in 1997 for the study of the migratory birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park along the Albertine rift valley.
Kazinga Channel is 40km long that connects Lake George to Edward Kaziga channel is situated in Queen Elizabeth National Park., where different animal species are found along the shore lines like hippo, buffalo, kob and Nile crocodile It also offers spectacular bird viewing opportunities.
The Kyambura area protects the south eastern backs of the kazinga channel which consists of four crater lakes, where many flamingoes gather not found anywhere in Uganda.
Kyambura gorge is habituated for the Chimpanzees where by the gorge is carved by the kyambura river which flows a cross rift valley towards the kazinga channel.Guided walks are also one of the activities take place through the gorge
The ishasha sector is 100km from south of Mweya.This sector habours a variety of wild life including the ishasha‘s tree climbing lions, and the shoebill stork.
Maramagambo forest stretches up to the eastern escarpment and provides cool respite from the equatorial sun and offers a different sort of wildlife, including wild chimpanzees, enormous pythons and colonies of cave-dwelling fruit bats. Several forest trails have been established for walking around Lake Nyamusingiri and wildlife sighting vary from day to day. .
WILDLIFE VIEWING DRIVES
There are a number of trials through designed for wildlife viewing.The tracks enables you find out different animals like elephant ,buffalo and others .These animals are advisable in the early morning and early evening while on the game drive for the best viewing opportunities. The animals are wild stay in your car and stay in trial.
Queens’s mile: links are the channel track to the main road, this track intersect the royal circuit and the link track. The route can yield elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog, bushbuck, and leopard Kasenyi track: is accessible by crossing the main Kampala -kasese road.
The route to the equator gate runs through the crater area provides views of the lovely lakes, grassland set deep into volcanic craters as well as towards Rwenzori. Ishasha, the southern circuit trial is where most of the large fig trees are found, providing the best opportunity for seeing loin. The Northern circuit is similar but longer, and provides beautiful scenery and wonderful bird watching.
THE PEOPLE- PARTNERS IN CONSERVATION
In 1979, Queen Elizabeth protected area was designated a biosphere reserve with the ultimate goal of integrating human activities and the conservation and protection of wildlife, wetland, and natural resources. There are a number of fishing village’s enclaves within the protected area.
Several ethnic groups that are closely related both linguistically and culturally inhabit this part of the country: the Banyankore, the Bakiga, and the Batoro
GETTING TO THE PARK.
The accessibility of the park is easy and these are the following
- The first route is the Fort portal road, which goes via mityana and mubende. It is also the same road to kibale, Rwenzori and Semliki.
• Secondly, via Masaka and mbarara. This is also the main route for Lake Mburo National park, bwindi and mgahinga. The park is also accessible from the south, coming through Ishasha from kabala or bwind, via kihihi..
Charter flights are arranged at Kasese, Mweya, and Ishasha air slips.
WHERE TO STAY
There are varieties of commodation which carters for all budgets. Up market, Moderate, and Luxury facilities in Queen Elizabeth National park
Camping is also possible
The Uganda wildlife authority has Hostel and student camp; there are also several campsites for independent campers in mweya sector.
• Lodges at Queen Elizabeth National Park are the following.
Nyamusingiri in maramagambo forest
Budget: Albertine Camp: Farmland Resort.
Moderate:Hippo Hill Camp:Simba Safari Lodge: Bufallo Safari Lodge: Bush Lodge
Up market: Mweya Lodge standard rooms: Katara Lodge
Luxury : Mweya Safari lodge: Jacana safari lodge: Wilderness Safari