The overview of the 3days queen Elizabeth National park tour
This 3-day safari takes you to Uganda’s most visited National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is located in the country’s western region, roughly 370 kilometers from Kampala. It has a variety of ecosystems, including brilliant lakes, the kazinga channel, huge grasslands, humid woods, and lush marshes. During game drives around the park and a boat tour down the Kazinga channel, which bisects the park, you will be able to see a large number of antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and buffaloes, among others. Explore the Ishasha sector to see the rare tree-climbing lions.
The 3days Queen Elizabeth safari highlights
- Morning and afternoon game drives
- Boat cruise along Kazinga channel
- Spotting of rare tree-climbing lions
- Stopovers at the Uganda Equator crossing point and Igongo cultural center
- Scenic drives
Detailed day-to-day itinerary
Day 1: Transfer from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth national park
Wake up early to enjoy a morning breakfast from your hotel or residential location, after which you will be picked up by our guide who will explain to you about this safari, then take on the 6-hour drive to Queen Elizabeth via Masaka-Mbarara city route with photo stops at the Uganda Equator crossing and lunch at the Igongo Cultural Center. Then drive to the park through the stunning terrain of wide grasslands, Ankole long-horned cattle, tea plantations, the Rift Valley Escarpment, and diverse forests. Arrive at the park in the late afternoon, then have a wildlife drive to the lodge, spotting elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, antelopes, and birds along the way. Spend the night in the lodge after dinner.
Meal plan: All meals are included
Day 2: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise along Kazinga channel
After a hot cup of Ugandan tea, take a wildlife drive into the savannah plains of the spectacular Queen Elizabeth National Park’s Kasenyi region. Kasenyi is also one of the most beautiful regions of the park, especially before daybreak, when the first rays of sunlight fall over the savannah. An early game drive increases your chances of spotting nocturnal and predator animals before they retreat to their hideouts. It is feasible to see lions, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, elephants, Uganda Kob, warthogs, baboons, jackals, waterbucks, bushbucks, and grazing hippos. Return to your hotel for leisure and lunch after the game drive.
After lunch, take a 2- to 4-hour boat ride on the 32-kilometer-long Kazinga Strait, a natural strait that separates Lake Edward and George. Along the channel, you’ll see hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, and buffalos, all of which are common here. Elephants and antelopes frequently descend to the channel to cool off, drink, and consume the young grass. The Pied and Malachite Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Cormorants, Skimmers, Saddle-billed Stork, and Pelicans all visit the Channel. As you sail by tiny fishing communities enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful African day. Return to your lodge later in the evening for dinner, leisure, and overnight.
Meal plan: All meals are included
Day 3: Game drive via Ishasha sector and transfer back to Kampala
After breakfast, check out of your accommodation and go on a wildlife drive across Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern sector (ishasha region). Look out for the unusual tree-climbing lions, which spend long languid days dozing in the gorgeous fig trees and the Uganda knob, as they watch from the branches, graze the grasslands, enjoy wildlife viewing, keeping an eye out for buffalos, elephants, tope, and a great variety of birdlife. Then continue the trip back to Kampala, stopping for lunch and refreshments along the route. Arrive in Kampala late in the evening, where the driver will drop you off at your hotel or residential location, bringing this safari to a close.
Meal plan: All meals are included
The park which was named after Queen Elizabeth II of England after her visit in 1952, is one of the top Uganda safaris destinations. It is located in southwestern Uganda and lies astride the Equator with monuments on both sides of the road making latitude 00. It is in the Albertine region along with Kyambura and Kigezi wildlife reserves, which brings together the most diverse ecosystem in Africa. The rich bio-diversity of crater lakes, forest, savannah, woodland, and acacia and numerous animal, plant, and bird species lie on an area of 1978 km2. This is the most visited park in Uganda which may be because of its name but also is easily accessible for those traveling with public transport. It lies in the districts of Bushenyi, Kasese and Rukungiri. The park extends from Lake George in North East to Lake Edward in South West and includes the Kazinga channel which connects the two lakes.
The park can be accessed most easily from Kampala passing through Mityana, Mubende, Kyenjojo, Fort portal to kasese.Its location is approximately 376km by road Southwest of Kampala.
The second route is slightly longer via Masaka and Mbarara. This is also the main route to Lake Mburo national park and Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga National Park, and the Ugandan Equator.
The park is also accessible from Kabale or Bwindi via Kihihi
The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. These are the main attraction of the visitors to the park. It has four of the ‘Big Five’ namely Elephant, Leopard, Lion, and Buffalo. It is home to thousands of hippos that populate the water shores of Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George to Lake Edward – known to have the largest herd of hippos. The park is an open Savannah spread with acacia and euphorbia trees that provide a habitat for leopards, elephants, lions, Uganda kobs, Topi, hyenas, and big herds of buffaloes, large families of banded mongoose, warthogs, bushbucks and waterbucks.
Chimpanzees and other primates are found in the adjacent Kyambura gorge and ‘underground forest’. Look for the black-and-white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons etc.
Other animals found are elephant, buffalo, Uganda kob, a variety of antelope, baboons and chimpanzees and the famous tree-climbing lion. There are also over 500 different specifies of bird making it an exceptional destination for ornithologists.
Queen Elizabeth national park is a birdwatchers haven with over 600 bird species and is an important Birding Area (IBA) according to Birding International. It has the highest number of birds found in any protected area in East Africa.
The park has diverse habitats for birds from Savannah, multiple crater lakes, forests, and woodland. There are different sections where you go birding i.e. Kasenyi area, Mweya peninsula, Imaramagambo, and Kazinga channel. The bird species to look out for include, the African mourning dove, Swamp flycatcher, Grey-headed kingfisher, pin-tailed whydah, slender-tailed nightjar, and collared pratincole. Look out for the flamingos at the salt lakes of Katwe and Bunyampaka.
The Katwe explosion craters mark the park’s highest point at 1,350m above sea level, while the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.
Birders can spot some of the 500-plus species of birds including grey crowned crane, marshal eagle and flamingos.
In addition to the big game viewing, Queen Elizabeth national park includes Kyambura forest gorge home to chimpanzees. It makes fantastic opportunities for chimpanzee tracking and nature walks offer sightings of primates, birds and butterflies.
Queen Elizabeth is a park where wildlife co-exists peacefully with humans. The surrounding cattle herders as well as farmers live along the boundary with predators. There are excellent village walks. Visit Katwe salt mining lake and learn about the life and work of salt miners.
The park is also known for its volcanic features comprising volcanic cones and deep craters many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe from which salt is extracted.
The park includes the Maramagambo Forest and birders Kigezi game reserve, and Kyambura game reserve.
hen to Visit
Queen Elizabeth National Park is open all year long, however, the best wildlife viewing is from January to February and June to July (the Dry seasons). This scenic park is at its most beautiful in the Wet seasons from March to May and August to December when high concentrations of animals roam the whole area. A boat trip along the Kazinga channel between Lake George and Edward is a worthwhile method of game viewing.
Where to Stay
The best feature of Queen Elizabeth national park is the abundance of a wide range of accommodations, which make it a relatively affordable safari destination. The tree-climbing lions in Uganda can be viewed only in the Ishasha’s southern sector and this is one of the most amazing adventures in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Whilst each of these areas has a variety of different accommodation choices available, here at Brilliant we have selected the very best options to use in our tours to ensure visitors have a fantastic experience, time and time again.
The Escarpment to the northeast of the park provides panoramic views of the grassland across to Lake George and easy access to the Kasenyi Plains. It is home to Elephant Plains Lodge, one of the newest properties in the Park.
The Mweya Peninsula juts into the Kazinga Channel. The views from here are epic as the distant grasslands seem to merge into the lakes stretching beyond.
Mweya Safari Lodge occupies a prime position here. A large hotel, it is a heritage property that began life as a government property over 30 years ago.
A stay here is not as intimate as at other smaller properties, but you can’t beat the central location. Perfect for access to Kazinga Channel boat trips.
The Rift Valley Escarpment extends to the south-east of the park. There, on a ridge rising dramatically above the plains, 16km from the Katunguru Gate of the Park, you will find a number of other small lodges all situated to take advantage of the views and the wonderful sunsets. Katara Lodge is one of our favorites here. The ridge leads round to Kyambura Gorge, a natural rent in the otherwise flat plains, cut by water and thickly forested. The elegant Kyambura Gorge Lodge is the closest property to the Gorge and so is perfectly located to provide a luxurious base for chimp trekking, plus game drives and boat safaris in the heart of the Park
Finally, in the southwest of the Park, the Ishasha sector is the place for those who value the wilderness experience.
Although new lodges are being constructed, it is still the quietest area where the human footprint is slight. The established favorite here is Ishasha Wilderness Camp, a superbly comfortable, subtly developed camp on the banks of the Ishasha River, the natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other lodges are located in and outside the park. You can use Simba safari camp outside the park and for community activities, the elephant center is your gateway for booking accommodations around Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Please ask about the available community activities at the elephant center, or to book your packed lunch, accommodation, or game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park if you connect by public transport.