The Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park is unquestionably and by far the most renowned park in the Pearl of Africa not forgetting the perfect haven for travelers. The park has a diverse ecosystem with far reaching savannas, stunning lakes and lush swamps. This has become a habitat to big game, some of the 10 species of primates like the Chimpanzees and the 600 species of birds. The Queen Elizabeth Park lies on the inside of the Albertine Rift Valley just near the Rwenzori Mountains. Sitting on 1,978 square kilometers in the western part of Uganda, the park characterized by fields, swamps, woods and slopes is tenacious with the Virunga National Park of Congo. There are 2 rainy seasons that are recorded in the park and these run from the months of March till May and that which also happens from September to November. However, the rainfall fluctuates immensely when in the park.
In 1952, the Queen Elizabeth National Park was formed alongside the Murchison Falls National Park thus it is one of Uganda’s oldest National Parks which was known before as the Kazinga National Park until the year 1954 when it was renamed during the celebration of Queen Elizabeth the second’s visit of Great Britain.
Lying at the surface of the Western Rift Valley of Africa from the Northern part of Uganda all the way to Malawi, the Queen Elizabeth National Park consists of magnificent crater lakes that meander from end to end of the rolling hills that unexpectedly show the Kazinga Channel. This Channel has a tremendous view of the elephants, hippos, bird species and buffaloes that line up at the shoreline. As one continues further toward the Ishasha sector, the amazement of Tree Climbing Lions hidden in the trees as they silently await their prey is another thing to look forward to.
Missing for over 8000 years after being eradicated by the lethal ash that came down from the local volcanoes in Lake Edward, the crocodiles have recently been sighted in the Kazinga Channel. Hippos on the other hand exist in plenty and graze in the short pasture with each feeding on about 40 kilograms every night. The Queen Elizabeth National Park also has 95 mammal species that are many compared to any other National Park in Uganda.
Putting aside the extraordinary flora and fauna in the park, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is known to assert eye catching traditions and cultural antiquities. Music, dance and drama is performed out there by the local communities to the tourists.
There are quite a number of opportunities where guests can get to meet the members of the different local communities. Here, they can meet, dance, eat together, tell stories, play the different local tunes and do so much more together. This lets the visitors explore and know more about the culture ant traditions of the local people. Through gazetting the park, many of the ecosystems have been not only saved but conserved thus it in the end it becomes beneficial to the neighboring communities.
The Maramagambo Forest is one of the few prime forests in the Pearl of Africa and with its altitude that is very moderate and given the fact that it is semi deciduous and moist, the Maramagambo is very unique in its way. Walks can be taken here as one gazes and finds their way through the lush and very green forest. One of these common walks leads you to the bat caves; a place where you can get to see numerous fruit bats. The ease of these walks also depends on how well and defined the paths are.
There is a cluster of about 10 crater lakes; the Katwe Crater Lakes that were formed from the volcanoes that became extinct. These can be found at the northern side of the Mweya Safari Lodge and they provide not only amazing scenery but stunning views of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Since some of these crater lakes still have water, they give chance to see the wild animals as they come down to drink water.