About Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park was gazetted in 1952 as Kazinga National Park by the British colonial government. But before its gazettion, it used to exist as Lake Edward and Lake George game reserves since 1920s. The park was later renamed Queen Elizabeth in commemoration of the visiting British Monarch in 1954 and Amin later attempted to name Rwenzori National Park but his efforts did not last. The park lies in the shadows of Rwenzori Mountains along the flats of the western arm of the East African rift valley.
Queen Elizabeth National Park covers a surface landscape of 1,978km2 and is apparently the most visited park in Uganda and listed as a world biosphere reserve. Queen Elizabeth National Park has got great biodiversity concentration including 95 mammal species which is the highest of all Uganda safari parks. Ten (10) species of primates exist in the park including; common chimpanzees, black and white colobus, Lhoest’s monkey and olive baboon. 20 species of predators exist in Queen Elizabeth National Park including side stripped jackal, lion, spotted hyena and leopard.
Over 600 species of birds thrive in Queen Elizabeth National Park which makes number one in Uganda in terms of bird count, the second in Africa and the sixth in the whole world. Alongside the 54 raptors, the bird checklist of Queen Elizabeth National Park features almost all water bird species resident in Uganda, a variety of woodland and forest birds with these largely confined to Maramagambo forest.
Queen Elizabeth the most popular Uganda safari park is bounded to the west by the Ishasha River and Lake Edward along the Congolese boarder, to the north by Kasese and the Ruwenzori foothills, to the east by Lake George, the Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest Reserve and to the south by Kigezi wildlife Reserve.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is primarily associated with open savannah, studded in some areas with sense cover of acacia and euphorbia trees but it also embraces the large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo forest in the south east, the forested Kyambura gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve. A minimum of ten (10) crater lakes lie with in the park including the highly accessible Katwe cluster in the north of the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is amalgamation of a range of wonders including the 45km Kazinga Channel which connects lakes Edward and George, the deep gorge of Kyambura which has got lush tropical forest below sea level supporting populations of chimpanzees, the mature tropical rain forest of Maramagambo, the tree climbing lions that dwell in the savanna landscapes of Ishasha, salty lake like Katwe among others.
Politically, the Queen Elizabeth National Park lies in the districts of Kasese, Bushenyi, Kamwengye and Rukungiri. It is about 417km about 7 hours’ drive from Kampala, the Uganda’s capital.