Queen Elizabeth is the second oldest park in Uganda. Its size is 1978 square km, making it the second-largest in Uganda.
This park was established in the year 1952 as Kazinga National Park. This name lasted only two years, then it was renamed to its current name to commemorate the visit of the queen of England.
From the traditional tales, the land currently occupied by the park was a hunting ground for the local tribes. These tribes include the Batagwenda and Banyaruguru in the Bunyaruguru highlands and Bakonzo on the Rwenzori Mountains side.
At the creation of the park, this land was never settled due to the infestation of tsetse flies that were in the area. As a result, the people who used to live there had moved to other neighboring landscapes leaving the park to remain as an exclusive wildlife habitat. This land use has lasted until this current day. When it was turned into a National Park, hunting from here was reduced but the tribes kept hunting the stray animals that would go to the human residential areas since these areas were equally forested and sparsely settled.
In the year 1979 hunting wild animals by soldiers were permitted in Uganda National Parks during the rule of President Iddi Amin. This permission was also practiced in Queen Elizabeth, an act that accounts for a considerable loss of Uganda’s wild animals during that time.
However, due to the successive conservation strategies, the Uganda wildlife population has greatly recovered in recent decades, making the country one of the leading wildlife havens in east Africa. Specifically, this has qualified Queen Elizabeth to be the most preferred destination for wildlife activities in Uganda, that no one should miss.
Queen Elizabeth is dissected by a national public highway from Mbarara to Kasese/ fort portal. This road is tarmac and all-weather standard. The road makes a loop from Kampala and back to Kampala on both ends, making it easy to access Queen Elizabeth National Park by public transport. You can easily find buses from Kampala or Matau (shared taxis) in the neighboring towns passing through the park. No one will be allowed to enter beyond the gates on foot. This means if your lodge is inside the park, if you want to do a boat cruise at Mweya or any other activity, you will need to have private transport. If you visited by public transport, the cars can be easily hired from Katunguru, Kasese town, Kyambura, lake Katwe or at the Elephant home
Neighboring National Parks and how to get there after your stay in Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth is located in the center of natural wonders. Its neighborhood makes up other unique nature reserves and National Parks that can be reached in a few hours drive. as the west is entirely dominated by Rwenzori mountains, the East is covered by Kalinzu, Maramagambo, Kyambura and Kigezi wildlife reserves.
In the North, you find Kibale National Park, the home of chimps and other primates.
To the west, you find Rwenzori Mountains National Park forming the wonderful backdrop during the safari. Rwenzori is the scenic park for those who want to do all levels of adventurous mountain climbing.
South of Queen Elizabeth, you will find Bwindi forest almost touching ends. This is the home of the famous mountain gorillas.
From the immediate neighbor parks, you will find other parks such as Semuliki national park to the northwest, Murchison falls national park to the far north and Mugahinga gorilla national park to the far south.
It is possible to travel from Queen Elizabeth to any of these parks within one day. If you haven’t figured how to travel to/ from Queen or you need any other on-ground help, please feel free to contact us now. We will provide support from the smallest to the most complex holiday details, including travel, hotel reservation, and wildlife safaris or booking other destinations around Uganda.
Queen Elizabeth is home to over 95 mammals and more than 500 bird species and a variety of reptiles and small insects. The common animals you may see during your visit include;
Since this park is home to a large variety of bird species, every guest will not miss on birds during a game drive/ safari or the Kazinga channel boat cruise.