From open savannah to rainforest, from dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that QENP boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Almost 100 mammal species and a remarkable 606 bird species makes this superb safari territory, with elephant, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog and handsome Uganda kob all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula – which also boasts a marvelous waterfront setting in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains.
The melting glacier waters of the mountains create a vast wetlands system comprising of two main lakes, George and Edward, as well as the connecting Kazinga channel. Thousands of hippos populate the lake shores. Open savannah dotted with acacia and Euphorbia trees provide habitant primates. The park boasts of more bird species than any other park in Africa.
The park has over 200kms of well-maintained tracks that give visitors access to the park’s game. The Kasenyi track passes thru the Uganda Kob’s mating grounds and large herds of kob can be seen. Hungry lions can also be seen searching for prey. The legendary giant forest hog is visible; roaming the bush. The outstanding scenery along the Crater track brings visitors to numerous volcanic craters at the foothills of the misty Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori Mountains)
A boat trip along the hippo crowded banks of Kazinga channel gives a unique unequalled wildlife experience. Eye to eye with yawning hippos surrounded by vast numbers of migrant and resident water birds, the boat puts one right in the heart of nature. Many buffaloes rest in the water while big heard of elephant enjoy themselves drinking and spraying jets of water to cool themselves along the channel banks. Crocodiles are a common sight and leopards can be seen.
Many surprises await visitors in the extensive Maramagambo Rainforest. Pythons are often observed in the crevices of the Bat’s Cave floor using bats as their main source of food. The cave is near the picturesque Blue Lake and the Hunters cave. Other trails lead into the heart of the forest surrounding tranquil crater lakes and home to wild chimps, other primates and many forest birds.
Ishasha is a true pearl in the southern part of the park. Idyllic campsites frequently visited by colobus and other nnmonkeys are situated along the winding Ishasha river. The famous tree climbing lions can be spotted on large fig trees in this part of the park. Topi, Kobs and buffaloes graze the acacia studded savannah.
The steep Kyambura Gorge, formed by the turbulent waters of the roaring Kyambura River, provides a lush riverine forest, home to chimpanzees that have been habituated to human presence. The area is also home to the black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons and other primates, as well as plenty of forest birds.
Things to Do
- Despite the fact that the park is surrounded by water bodies, boat cruise would help to cool off with the breeze at Kazinga channel a water getaway that connects Lake George and Lake Albert. During the boat cruise, travelers will be able to spot hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffaloes, birds like flamingos, magnetic fish eagle and so on.
- Hiking and nature walks in the Mweya Peninsular and Maramagambo Forest. It involves walking by foot enjoying the wild of the jungle as well as beautiful sceneries like sounds of birds.
- You can enjoy cultural encounters from the neighboring communities and tribes within the park. You will be able to see the energetic dances of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers, meet the agriculture villagers who have handmade crafts, have traditional huts, villagers carrying out salt mining and so on. This activity is mostly done by community guides who make the trip memorable.
- Birding is one of the amazing activities which mostly bird lovers take much interest in seeing birds. The park being the second largest park in Uganda, It has a diversity of bird species which are not easily spotted in any other part of the African continent. Some birds are unique that they can’t be seen in other countries and they are over 619.some are seen in forests of kyambura gorge and others on water bodies ,for example flamingos, Long tailed Cormorants, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, the Black Crake and the Knob-billed Ducks and so on.
- Chimpanzees tracking is carried out in the Kyambura Gorge and Kalinzu Forest. These creatures have been discovered that they share DNA with human beings. Here trackers get a chance of learning habituated chimpanzee behavior, monkey ecology and other beautiful Scenery are seen like Maramagambo Forest.