I have contemplated a lot about writing this guide, here is why; while we were doing the game drive the lions decided to hide. Together with other #Koikoiug troopers we waited for some good time and believe me when I say we waited. We didn’t see any lion and yet I am supposed to tell you in the guide that there are lions in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Thing is, we went to the Jungle and none of us saw the king of the jungle! Ironic, right? Anyway, enough of the rambling! Let’s get started! Every year Queen National Park records the highest number of visitors compared to other national parks in Uganda.
Getting to Queen Elizabeth national park by road from Uganda’s capital, Kampala via the Fort portal Kasese route is approximately 398 Kilometers, a journey worth traveling if you keep your eyes open taking a look at the different landforms of the pearl of Africa. The Park is located in the western region of Uganda, and it spans through Kasese, Kamwenge, Rubirizi and Rukungiri district.
Introduction to the park:
The indigenous name for this park is Kazinga National Park, however, after the visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, the park was given another name, Queen Elizabeth national park to commemorate her visit to the park. The park is approximately 1,978 square kilometers. And it’s a home to 93 mammals and over 600 species of birds. The park has variety of habitats – grasslands, forests, wetlands and lakes.
What to see:
Despite the fact that Queen Elizabeth National Park has only four of the Big Five2, (Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and the Lion – The Rhinos are conserved in the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary in Nakasongola district.) the park still has a lot to offer that overwhelms and at every sight you feel an unexplainable and uncomprehend-able sensation all over you. Looking at Cape buffaloes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, elephants, antelopes, chimpanzees, leopards, warthogs, giraffes to mention but a few, the sight of each these tingles you.
The Kazinga channel is another stunning scenery that steals your heart at first sight and the Kasenyi Crater drenches the heart with emotions upon sight.
If you happen to use the Kasese – Kyambura route, make a stop at the equator in Kasese and have a feel of having one foot stepping into the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere.
Accommodation and camping points.
There are quite a number of hotels, camping areas and lodges to choose from. But before you hit the road, book and make reservations to avoid the inconveniences and surprises that come with last-minute booking and check in.
Waking up from a bed you don’t want to leave, to the view of the swimming pool, the savannah vegetation view from above, cold fresh air, orange, sunrise, breakfast in the company of friends, all these seem idealistic but these were moments we lived while at Parkview safari lodge. This lodge was home as it’s supposed to be and this lodge added a lot of color and profound memories to our #koikoiwest trip.
Other hotels you might consider are; Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Pumba Safari Cottages, Kyambura Game lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Engiri Game Lodge, the Elephant centre campsite, Kasenyi Safari camp.
Getting acquainted to region:
The people: In this region of Uganda mainly speak Rutooro and they have pet names. It would be awesome to learn the language.
Here are some phrases I managed to learn and I think they can helpful:
Ogambo otta? – How are you?
Ndi kuruungi – I am fine.
Empako yawe? – What is your pet name?
Oyine ebyo kulya? – Do you have something to eat?
Webare – Thank you.
The places: In Queen Elizabeth National park getting from one place of traction to another is quite distant, some the lodge to the game park, to Kazinga Channel, your car(s) need fuel that is designed for this kind of arrangement, so for example fuel save from Vivo energy AKA Shell. Trust me on this!
If you are the kind of person who needs to check on friends, family and business while on the trip, and you have an Airtel sim card, worry not, the Airtel network is 100% reliable be it on the road, in the forest or in the Rwenzori ranges.
- ug. #KoikoiUg is an incentive by Kafunda kreatives telling the Ugandan story, of people, places, culture, delicacy and innovations, you can join the movement. Click here for more koikoiug.com
- Big Five – Common term used to group wild animals that were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, irrespective of their size.