Introduction The 1978km queen Elizabeth National Park a stunning location on the rift valley floor between lakes Edward and George where a mosaic of habitats supports 95 mammal species and a remarkable 612 species of birds. Forty years ago, Douglas hillocks described the diverse featured that led to its creation in 1952. there still exists no better introduction or a more enticing invitation to visit the park\ Scenically the area had everything. Thirty miles to the north, the blue Rwenzori exploded from the plain, a composite, jagged mass of mountains, sixty miles long and forty wide and looking in certain lights as if you could reach out and touch them.

Across Lake Edward to the west, the mitumba hills stood sentinel on the Congo, blue too in the long sight but in the closer green, wooded precipitous, unfriendly and epitomizing darkest Africa. the eastern boundary of this possible park was marked by the calm green escarpment of the western Rift Valley, and between all the hills, mountains and lakes.

endless savanna, its constantly repeated motif the branched cactus arms of the candelabra euphorbia tree. The park performs an extensive system of contiguous protected areas, namely the Kigezi (265km) and Kyambura (154km) wildlife reserved Kalinzu forest reserved, Kibale Virunga National Park. The Rwenzori mountains national park lies a few kilometers north. The dramatic scenery is largely due to mountains beyond the park boundary. The park itself lies on the valley floor where it rises 480m from 910m at the kazinga channel to 1390m in the explosion crater field. The low altitude and its location directly on the mean minimum of 18c to a mean maximum of 28c.the park receive up to 1250mm of rain, mostly during march May and September November. How to get there The park is easily accessible. The tarmac Mbarara-Kasese-fort portal high way runs through its center. Passing just 22km from the main tourism hub at Mweya.

From Kampala, the park can be approached from the south via Mbarara (420km) or the north passing through fort portal (410km) or be combined to create an attractive circuit with short detours to visit lake Mburo, semuliki and Kibale national parks.

The park can also be reached from the south of the Bwindi impenetrable national park. Accommodation A variety of accommodation caters for all budgets. mweya safari lodge, jacana safari lodge, and the Ishasha wilderness camp offer Kibale accommodation while the mweya hostel at mweya and Ishasha bands provide budget accommodation.

Camping is possible at mweye, maramagambo, and ishasha. convenient options just outside the park include hippo hill camp close to katwe and kingfisher camp on the lovely Kichwamba escarpment, a new lodge is under construction in the Kyambura wildlife reserve. Flora and fauna The park is home to 95 Mammals species while the bird list is 612 species long. this diversity is the result of an impressive range of habitats.

fifty-seven vegetation types have been identified through these can be summarized as just five: forest; grassland; bushy grassland; acacia woodland and lakeshore/swamp vegetation. Residents of the park’s grassland include elephant, cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, forest hog, lion, leopard, and hyena. topi are found in ishasha, while forest primates are found in kyambura gorge and maramagambo forest. In Africa protected areas, the park’s impressed by the bird list is exceeded only by the neighboring (and far larger) Virunga national park.

To name but a few key species: the martial eagle, Black-rumped buttonquail, African skimmer, Chapin's flycatcher, pink-backed pelicans, white-winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, papyrus canary, corncrake, Around the park Lesser and greater flamingo, and shoebill stork. Mweya peninsula The peninsula is the hub for tourism activity and accommodation in the central section of the park. a nature walk with arranged guide enables you to explore remote parts of the peninsula, this and other activities can be arranged from the mweya information .this facility overlooks the scenic katwe bay of the Edward and contains a souvenir shop and exhibits that describe the entrance of the channel into lake Edward. the launches run at 15:00 and 17:00.additional voyages run at 11:00 and 13:subjects to demand North kazinga and kasenyi The plain north of the Kazinga channels is the primary game viewing area. center network of track enables you to find elephants, buffalos and other animals in the mosaic of grassland thickets that covers the north Kazinga area near Mweya, .however, lions are most reliably sighted on the open kasenyi plain east of the Kasese road where they prey on a large population of Uganda drive are most rewarded in early morning and late afternoon. a range guide is recommended to help you make most of your experience.

The Katwe salt lake is home to Uganda’s oldest industry. salt has been extracted from the lake using evaporation beds and the process is continued today. Katwe explosion craters This cluster of extinct volcanoes north of mweya safari lodge can be explored by the wind 27 km crater dives between the main and equator gates. This provides superb views into numerous craters, some filled by lovely lakes, as well as well as towards the Rwenzori and across the rift valley floor The equator and the queen’s pavilion This spot where the equator crosses the Kasese road is marked by two concrete circles which provide a popular photoshop. the Queen's pavilion stands nearby at the northern entrance to the crater drive.a temporary shelter at this site hosted H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954; a permanent pavilion was built in 1959 for a visit by Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother.

This was restored for a second visit by the Duke of Edinburghj in 2007.a new information center on the site includes internet facilities and a coffee shop. Ishasha 100km south of mweya, the park’s remote southern sector provides a true wilderness experience. diverse habitats, including the ishasha river, savanna woodland, and marshy lake Edward fasts support a variety of wildlife including ishasha’s famous Queen lions and the rare shoebill stork. Kyambura wildlife reserve This area, which protects the south-eastern banks of the kazinga channel, contains four crater lakes, in which thousands of flamingos periodically congregate. Maramagambo forest

The dark depths of maragambo forest contrast starkly with the sunny plains around the kazinga channel. one of Uganda’s largest tracts of tropical forest, maragambo is notable for its primate and bird population. Trails explore the forest around lake nyamusigire. Wildlife sightings vary from day to day, but granted events include the bat cave (with a resident, bat-hungry python), and the copper-rich blue lake. Kyambura Gorge Habituated chimpanzees live in the 100m deep gorge carved by the kyambura river as it flows across the rift valley floor towards the kazinga’s fig tree camp at 08.00 and 14.00.0the 3km road to the gorge is clearly signposted from the main highway.