Ishasha Sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Ishasha sector is located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park which is the second largest park in Uganda established in 1952 covering 1978km2 of land as Kazinga national park and later in 1954, the park was renamed to Queen Elizabeth National park after the royal visit of Queen of England queen Elizabeth 11 in Uganda thus visiting queen Elizabeth national park enables you to visit the queens pavilion alongside other attractions including over 95 mammals, 600 bird species and many other attractions worth a visit.
Ishasha sector is prestigiously known for harboring the tree-climbing lions. These tree-climbing lions differ from the usual lions that are always seen anywhere at any time. The tree climbing lions are very unique and are always seen sleeping in the tree branches especially during the afternoons when the ground is hot due to the scorching sun thus climbing in the tree to get some shade. These tree-climbing lions are the major reasons as to why several visitors flock ishasha sector to have a glimpse on these lazy lions as they lay in the tree branches overlooking other mammals as they graze on savanna grassland and running away from the insect bites especially tsetse flies which are common with in Queen Elizabeth national park.
An afternoon game drive in Ishasha sector is the best time for spotting plenty of these lions up in the tree and other mammals such as the elephants, plenty Uganda Kobs, Topis, waterbucks, warthogs, buffalos, topis, hippos and several other mammals similar to those seen in kasenyi plains during the morning game drive and afternoon game drive as they flock water bodies to quench the thirst and others cool their huge bodies such as Hippos and crocodiles.
Ishasha sector also harbors several bird species including the water birds, green pigeons, woodpeckers, white-headed barbet, Ross’s turaco, crested eagle, kingfishers and many more which are normally seen along the shores of Lake Edward, and others that attract the sight of the bird lovers.
How best can one access the Ishasha sector?
Well, since Ishasha sector is found in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park, it can easily be accessed either by flight from Entebbe international airport or by road from Kampala or from mweya peninsular inside Queen Elizabeth Park.
By Road: The distance from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth national park is roughly 460 km thus taking about 6-7 hours’ drive to get to the park headquarters in Mweya peninsula and then add more 2 hours’ drive from mweya peninsular to reach ishasha sector home of tree climbing lions. However, for visitors connecting from Bwindi impenetrable national park, it takes a 2-3 hours’ drive to reach the Ishasha sector in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park
By flight: Ishasha sector can also be accessed by visitors who use the flight means from Entebbe international airport which tales less than an hour to land in queen. This flight lands on mweya airstrip with in mweya peninsular which is in the northern part of the park and then visitors take a road drive for about 2 hours to reach the Ishasha sector.
Where can one sleep during the tree climbing lion’s experience in Ishasha sector?
Queen Elizabeth national park offers the best accommodation facilities including luxury lodges, budget lodges and midrange lodges that can be used depending on the visitor’s pocket. But most of these accommodations are situated in the northern part of the park.
There are budget, midrange and luxury accommodations for visitors in Ishasha sectors which include; Ishasha safari camp, Ishasha Ntugwe, Savanna resort, Ishasha wilderness camp, Ishasha jungle lodge, Topi lodge, Enjojo lodge and many more that are normally used by visitors who are connecting queen and Bwindi tours.
Since tree-climbing lions are always combined with an entire tour to Queen Elizabeth national park for the game drive in kasenyi plains, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge and the nature walks, then choosing accommodations in the mweya peninsular is the best alternative since it’s the focal point of the park and most of the park activities are carried out from northern part of queen Elizabeth national park with in mweya peninsular. So a visit to the southern part of the park takes approximately 2 hours’ drive from mweya peninsular to ishasha sector.
Also, for visitors combining Queen Elizabeth national park tours together with Bwindi impenetrable for gorilla tours need to stay in mweya peninsular which is in the northern part of the park with several accommodation facilities including the famous and oldest luxury lodge known as Mweya safari lodge. Then pass via the ishasha sector in the south as they connect to Bwindi specifically to Buhoma sector taking about 5-6 hours’ drive through ishasha sector to kihihi and then to Buhoma
Several visitors actually think that the tree-climbing lions are a myth and do not actually exist until they visit the Ishasha sector for confirmation.
The best time to visit Ishasha sector
Ishasha sector can be visited at any time of the year in any season though the most convenient season is during the dry seasons when the road roads inside the parks are a bit dry and easy for vehicles to drive through. At this time, the leaves of the trees are few for clear views through the blush.
In Africa, Tree climbing lions are plentifully found in only two countries the best one being Uganda in Ishasha sector as they prey on the Uganda Kobs as they graze on Ishasha plains with in Queen Elizabeth national park which is the second largest and less crowded park in Uganda and other climbing lions are found in Tanzania in Lake Manyara national park though not as much as those in ishasha sector.
Visitors on a Uganda tour, especially to Queen Elizabeth national park, normally congest in Mweya peninsular forgetting that in the extreme southern ends of the park exists the king of the jungle that is worth a visit to sum up the best tour in Uganda. After exploring the primates (Mountain Gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons, and other primates) from other parks, cruising on freshwaters of Uganda, and driving in several parks, it’s always a great pleasure to add tree climbing lions on your tour bucket in order to have an awesome Uganda tour.