The Most Visited Sectors in Queen Elizabeth National Park
The Most Visited Sectors in Queen Elizabeth National Park are those parts of the park that carry the largest amount of wildlife or unique features. Queen Elizabeth National park is undoubtedly one of the best and most visited parks in Uganda due to the fact that it has several sectors each with its own unique and eye-catching attractions that one can’t miss out on during a Uganda tour to Queen Elizabeth national park. Queen Elizabeth National park is one of the oldest and biggest parks in Uganda established in 1954 after the royal visit of Queen Elizabeth 11 in Uganda in the western part of Uganda the pearl of Africa
This article talks about the Most Visited Sectors in Queen Elizabeth National Park and activities taking place in each sector of queen Elizabeth National Park such as Ishasha sector, Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plain, Kyambura Gorge, Maramagambo forest and many more as elaborated below;
Ishasha sector is situated in the extreme southern corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park and is famously and unforgettably known for being home to unique tree-climbing lions that leave every visitor wondering about the cause of them climbing the trees. Some visitors think that the lions climb up in the tree to take shade from the hot sun, others think that they climb the tree to hide away from the insects but, all in all, the cause for their climbing still remains a myth.
The major activity carried out in the Ishasha sector is the game drive to encounter the tree-climbing lions. Ishasha sector is commonly known for harboring the tree climbing lions thus taking a game drive in this sector especially in the afternoon brings you closer to the king of the jungle which is every traveler’s dream to encounter as they sleep lazily with in the acacia tree branches and fig trees watching the Uganda kob as they graze on the vegetation within Queen Elizabeth National Park. Ishasha sector is found in the far south at the extreme corner of Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the top sectors to visit while on a tour to Queen Elizabeth national park. Tracking these tree climbing lions is a fascinating experience as visitors alongside armed rangers and guide drive within the southern part of the park in search of tree climbing lions which will be seen swinging in tree branches and give you a chance to take as many pictures of them as possible important to note is that these tree-climbing lions are found in only two destinations in Africa that is Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda and lake Manyara national park in Tanzania. However, several visitors have it that in most cases they visit Lake Manyara and fail to trace any of these lions which is not the case with Uganda.
During the search for tree-climbing lions, visitors also are blessed with a greater opportunity of spotting other mammals including the Uganda Kob, buffalos, impalas, elephants, antelopes, warthogs, buffalos, waterbucks and many more. Look around also for different bird species such as woodpeckers, green pigeons, Ross’s turaco, crested eagle, kingfishers, white-headed barbet, and many more without forgetting the beautiful butterflies that are seen flying from one plant to another making the whole drive in Ishasha sector more fun.
Mweya Peninsula is known as the heart of Queen Elizabeth national park situated in the northern part of queen Elizabeth national park and it is in mweya peninsular where the park headquarters are situated and even the mweya airport is situated in this place implying that most of the park activities are commenced from within mweya peninsular. Activities carried out in mweya peninsular include game drives, nature walks, mongoose tracking, boat cruise and many more as below;
- Game drive: as usual most visitors on a Uganda tour are interested in exploiting the fauna and flora that is hidden within the landlocked country and the major way to exploit the wildlife is by taking a game drive around the park with the camera ready to capture the exciting moments in the wild. Different mammals seen during the morning game drive include Elephants, buffalos, Uganda kob and many more. However taking a night game drive opens the door for encountering the nocturnal mammals, and hunters and cats such as Hyena, leopards, among others in the wild
- Guided nature walks: Taking a walk alongside rangers is an exhaling adventure within mweya peninsular where visitors move via different trails exploring the crater lake of Lake Nyamunuka, shores of Lake Edward towards the Kazinga channel where several species of mammals, birds, and butterflies are sighted
- Mongoose tracking: This is another interesting activity to get involved in as visitors alongside the rangers trail through various trails in search of the mongoose within mweya peninsular. This activity lasts between two to three hours and it offers opportunities of encountering other wildlife alongside mongoose
- Boat cruise: boat cruise in mweya peninsular is done on the Kazinga channel that connects two lakes of Lake Gorge and Edward. Boat cruise in mweya peninsular is one of the most attractive activity that visitors on a Uganda tour do not want to miss out as it involves sailing on top of the Kazinga channel that is situated in mweya peninsular while sighting different mammals such as Hippos as they cool their bodies in the channel, several herbivores such as elephants, antelopes, buffalos, Uganda kob are seen flocking the channel, especially in the afternoon to quench the thirst. Also during the boat cruise, visitor watch several water birds along the shores and other unique bird species such as Billed Stork and the rare shoebill stork
- Hippo census: Since it is known that Kazinga channel harbors the highest population of Hippos meaning that hippo’s census is carried out on this channel to determine the number of hippos that are still thriving in Uganda. Visitors alongside researchers and armed rangers engage in this exercise within mweya peninsular
This sector is located in the eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and best known for harboring a variety of fauna and flora making it the most visited sector while on a tour to Queen Elizabeth National park. Here are the major activities carried out in kasenyi plains;
- Game drive: A visit to Queen Elizabeth national park remains pending until you get into the tour vehicle with the guide and drive around the eastern part of queen deep into the wilderness as you will be in position to watch as many wildlife as possible and even capture your own photography at ease. Most mammals encountered in kasenyi plains include herds of buffalos, elephants, Uganda kob, zebras, among others. Taking a night game drive in kasenyi plains with the help of spotlight and armed rangers enable visitors to watch nocturnal cats and hunters as they get out of their hideouts in search of what to feast on. On a lucky night, visitors have a chance to see the Leopards during the night game drive
Kyambura gorge is yet another interesting sector to visit while on a Queen Elizabeth national park tour. This gorge is located in the eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and is best known for harboring the primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys, several plant species, birds and butterfly species that makes it one of the best sector to visit while in queen Elizabeth national park.
- Chimpanzee trekking: once in Queen Elizabeth national park, chimpanzee trekking is mainly carried out in a gorge which is an underground forest filled with thick blush and several tree species that provide good habitats for the chimpanzees and other primates. Chimpanzees in kyambura gorge were habituated and can be trekked at any given period of time all year round. Alongside chimpanzee trekking, trekkers also have an opportunity to view plenty of wildlife including other primates such as Red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, several mammals such as Uganda kob, elephant since in most cases trekkers follow the Elephant trails via muddy terrains. Also expect to see several birds and butterflies among others. The most important to note is that the minimum age to trek chimpanzees is 12 years and of now the trekking permit goes for $50 per person valid for 24hours
- Birding: Uganda being the best birding destination is one of the most important things to note that almost in every forested area, there exist birds hence kyambura gorge becomes one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. As long as you hike deep into the forest with the binoculars, be sure to watch several bird species such as African kingfisher, Bee-eaters, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, African Fish Eagle, African broadbill, white winged warbler, papyrus Gonolek, Shoebill storks, Bar-tailed Godwit, black-headed bee-eaters, papyrus canary, African skimmers, Martial Eagles, flamingos, White-tailed Lark, Black-rumped Buttonquail Corncrake, and many more that make the gorge one of the birders paradise
- Guided nature walks: taking a guided walk deep into the forest heading towards Kyambura River while identifying several-wildlife, tree species, insects, butterflies and many more is yet another fascinating activity that is enjoyed by visitors on a tour to Queen Elizabeth national park
Maramagambo forest is also found in the southern part of the park known for harboring several unique creatures that are worth a visit. Most of the attractions found in the Maramagambo forest include different tree species, primate species, mammals, birds, butterflies, caves and many more that are good in the viewer’s sight.
Here are some of the activities enjoyed by visitors who grab a chance of penetrating into the magnificent forest and they include;
- Birding: Birders have a chance of viewing several bird species while in Maramagambo forest and these include; Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, African Emerald Cuckoos, white-spotted fluff tail, Broad-tailed Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Martial Eagle, Grey Woodpecker, Flycatchers, white-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Hairy breasted Barbet, purple-headed starling, Green Hylia, speckled Tinkerbird, among others that enjoyed by the birders
- Primate viewing: Maramagambo forest is home to about seven primate species such as chimpanzees, baboons, L’Hoests monkey, colobus monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys and many more.
- However, the primate species in the Maramagambo forest are not habituated and so will be seen shying away especially the chimpanzees and monkeys thus not recommended for trekking them but can be seen alongside other activities. For visitors interested in trekking the chimpanzees are recommended to trek them in kyambura gorge or in Kalinzu forest all in Queen Elizabeth National park.
- Hiking and Nature walks: Hikers in Maramagambo forest have different designated trails through the forests some leading to the waterfalls, crater lakes, rivers, and many more all offering the best sightings of wildlife species such as primates, mammals like elephants, antelopes, hippos, topis, and the other trail also leading to the bat caves where the bats and snakes reside together
After exploring some of the above or the most Visited Sectors in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will hopefully enjoy the experience and the everlasting memories after encountering the king of the jangle swinging in the tree branches, cruising on Kazinga channel where you will be surrounded by huge populations of Hippos, driving in kasenyi plains for several mammal sightings, taking a walk in the forest for the best birding experience and many more.