Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular safari destination and rightly so, for there are very few places on earth that can rival the scenery of this park, the only one in Uganda crossed by the equator. To its north and south, the Ruwenzori and Virunga mountain ranges form a stunning backdrop. In the centre of the park is the Kazinga Channel connecting two Great Lakes, Edward and George, and the northern section of the park is dotted with serene crater lakes and bubbling hot springs that are carved into rolling green hills.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has the highest number of both mammal species (96) and birds (619) of any Ugandan national park, is divided into 3 sectors: Mweya Peninsula the hub for tourist activity, Kyambura Gorge to the east of Mweya and Ishasha in the remote southwest. The park’s wide savannahs, wetlands and lush lowland forests are inhabited by a diverse spectrum of wildlife; in the Ishasha plains to the south-west, the famous tree-climbing lions are the star attraction and in the breathtaking Kyambura Gorge, habituated chimpanzees steal the show. The Mweya peninsula and the Kasenyi plains provide, visitors with the most chance of seeing game when they visit. Queen Elizabeth National Park has big game in abundance, with about 5000 hippos, 3000 elephants and over 10,000 Cape Buffaloes.
Named in honour of the coronation of the reigning Queen Elizabeth of England in 1964, the park was initially gazetted as a reserve called Kazinga National Park. It is also a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a conservation area that is considered typical of the balanced relationship between people and nature.