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Gorilla Trekking Uganda - the magic of Queen Elizabeth national park!


Gorilla Trekking Uganda – Queen Elizabeth national park. The best choice for a stopover?

Without a doubt Queen Elizabeth national park is the most popular stop on the gorilla trekking circuit in Uganda. Located almost exactly half way between Kampala/Entebbe and Bwindi impenetrable national park and home to some of the best wildlife lodges in Uganda, it is a very popular spot for clients on a wildlife holiday in Uganda. Add to that, stunning boat safaris on the beautiful Kazinga Channel, a chance to see leopard on the famous ‘Leopards Loop’ safari route and spectacular chimp trekking in the primeval Chambura Gorge and it really is a ‘must visit’ location on the Uganda wildlife circuit, where you can see a variety of Ugandan wildlife.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park?

From your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala the drive to Queen Elizabeth national park will take 6-7 hours, which means that an early start should enable you to take an after safari inside the park; although recent rains can make the transfer slower. Generally, Uganda has a mixture of sealed and unsealed roads so road journey times vary according to weather conditions; although recent investment from China has seem the road network generally improve. As you approach Queen Elizabeth, if the weather is clear, you can see the Rwenzori mountains in the background and the scenery generally is very scenic.

Best time of the year to visit Queen Elizabeth national park?

Because this sanctuary is known as a savannah park, the chances to see both lions and leopard can increase during the dry season (July to September and January to March), as the vegetation will be lower and predators can stay close to remaining water sources where herds of antelope will congregate. However, it is possible to visit Queen Elizabeth national park at any time of the year and for sure the mountain views will be more spectacular just after the rains have finished, as the skies will be far less hazy.

Activities in Queen Elizabeth national park?

Like Murchison Falls national park, Queen Elizabeth is known for its variety of wildlife activities and a 2 to 3 night stay here should allow you to enjoy them all. The main activity is game drives inside the park and this can also affect your choice of which wildlife lodge to stay in at Queen Elizabeth. An old favourite is Mweya Lodge, because you are already inside the national park when you roll out of your bed into your vehicle and wildlife is seen almost immediately. It is also the closest to the launch of the boat safari up the Kazinga Channel – this is the second most popular wildlife activity at Queen Elizabeth and if great for birds, wild elephants, hippos and occasional sightings of antelope.

For travellers only staying one night at Queen Elizabeth and using it as a rest stop on their way to Bwindi impenetrable national park as part of their gorilla trekking holiday in Uganda; they will not have time to enjoy two more very interesting wildlife activities in Queen Elizabeth national park. The first is chimp trekking in Chambura Gorge. Although the number of chimps in Chambura is far less than in Kibale and the encounters with them are less likely to produce good photographic opportunities. We can say from personal experience that the approach to this spectacular gorge is worth the detour itself and then when you walk down into the thick forest, you feel like you are in another world. We did see chimps on our walk, but only a quick glimpse and there were river crossings on logs and plenty of trip hazards – so this is one for the adventurous traveller.

Finally, if you drive around 2 hours south from the main section of Queen Elizabeth national park to a zone called Ishasha, you will arrive at a drier and more stark landscape. However, this area is famous for tree climbing lions and an overnight stay here and multiple game drives gives you a reasonable chance to see them. In addition, it breaks the long car journey between Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi impenetrable forest, into two manageable sections.

Do you want to visit Queen Elizabeth national park when gorilla trekking in Uganda?

Because it is approximately half way between Kampala/Entebbe and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, it really is the ideal choice for one of your main stopovers. In addition, some of the best wildlife lodges in Uganda are located here, to suit a range of budgets; so, we would suggest a minimum of 2 nights here before moving onto your gorilla trekking at Bwindi. You might also want to consider adding in a 1 night stay in Ishasha for the tree climbing lions. Take a look at this gorilla trekking holiday in Uganda and see if appeals. Or you can contact us at [email protected] and we will design a custom Uganda wildlife tour just for you.

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