Nothing is quite as you would imagine in this diverse national park. Lions climbing trees, tropical birds catching a ride on a hippo's back, wild chimpanzees hooting a warning call to Ugandan kob...Queen Elizabeth National Park has been responsible for some of our most unique safari memories and every visit has brought us another astonishing scene.
Uganda's iconic national park.
This is Uganda's flagship destination and a multi-day safari usually follows a set program. Game drive across the savannah, seeking out the rare tree-climbing lions, along with prowling lionesses that chase the abundant kob, an endemic antelope spotted in their thousands. Swap four wheels for two legs and enjoy a walking safari, tracking buffalo, giraffe, and an array of other antelopes. Then cruise along the Kazinga Channel and be baffled by the antics of hippo pods.
Incredible wildlife and activities.
Queen Elizabeth's allure comes from its mix of habitats and activities, so even after three days you'll still be discovering new sights. In particular, we love how the big and the small come together. Large buffalo and elephant herds dominate the panorama, but then one of the 600 exotic birds causes you to refocus. A procession of wildlife skirts the riverbanks, giraffe followed by tiny cob, followed by kingfishers fluttering above crocodiles, and then a bird picking ticks from a hippo's hide. Chimpanzees can also be tracked here although we've found that Kibale National Park has offered more guaranteed encounters in recent years.
Luxurious riverside lodges.
As Uganda's flagship safari destination there's an excellent range of lodges on offer and we like to choose one that's amongst the game-rich area around Kazinga Channel. Being close to water is not only picturesque, it makes it easy for an impromptu sunset cruise or random hippo and elephant encounter.
Uganda sometimes struggles to match neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania for the savannah experience. Queen Elizabeth is definitely an exception and a luxury safari here offers excellent value, especially given the inimitability of some of the wildlife. Don't come here with a tick list; come to open your senses and be seduced by the unusual of the wildlife world.