Don’t plan your holiday to Queen Elizabeth National Park without reading our top tips first

Hippos and elephants on the shore of the Kazinga Channel during a boat cruise

Don’t plan your holiday to Queen Elizabeth National Park without reading our top tips first

Situated in the stunning Albertine Rift Valley, Queen Elizabeth National Park is a natural paradise, surrounded by majestic mountains, scenic lakes, deep gorges and spectacular craters formed over millions of years by seismic earth movements.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is a vast landscape stretching over 1,978 km2, with expansive savannahs, dense forests, open waters and swamps. Thanks to its varied habitats, the park has huge biodiversity, and is home to over 600 bird species and 95 mammal and primate species, making it the perfect place to see wildlife.

View over Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
View over Queen Elizabeth National Park

What to do in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park

The park is divided into different sections, including Kasenyi in the North, Kyambura situated in the middle and Ishasha in the South. We recommend visiting all areas, as there’s such a diverse array of wildlife and landscapes to be explored. You can even visit the local communities, including fishing villages and salt miners, to get an authentic insight into daily life here.

It’s our job at Venture Uganda to create a customised itinerary that captures all your interests in fun, exciting and insightful activities that your group or family will enjoy. Here are some of the activities available at Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Hippos seen in the water on a Kazinga Channel boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Hippos seen in the water on a Kazinga Channel boat cruise

Go on a Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise

Within the park, you will find the 40km Kazinga Channel, which links Lakes Edward and George. Taking a boat cruise along the channel is a fantastic way to experience the wildlife up close. As you cruise between the lakes, you will have the opportunity to see bird life, such as Goliath Herons, Hamerkops and African Fish Eagles, while also viewing huge numbers of hippos. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles, buffalo and elephants too!

Game Drives

Game drives are a popular way of enjoying the park’s wildlife. The best time to take a game drive is during the early hours of the morning or in the late afternoon, as the animals venture out looking for food. Think tree-climbing lions, leopards, Ugandan kobs, antelope and wart hogs.

Join Researchers

This brilliant opportunity gives you the chance to join researchers, as they monitor animals like lions. Get a deeper insight into their behaviour, habitat and environment, by taking a two-hour tracking trip, where you can monitor the lions, and see them in their natural homes.

Head out Chimpanzee Tracking

Head to the Kyambura Gorge, a deep chasm in the Earth’s surface brimming with lush vegetation and tropical rainforest, where you can go chimpanzee tracking. On this spectacular experience, you will find groups of chimpanzees playing, foraging, sleeping, swinging through the canopy and grooming one another in their home in the 11km gorge. The gorge also has visitors of elephants, hippos and giant forest hogs!

Tree climbing lion relaxes up high in a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Tree climbing lion relaxes up high in a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Seek out the tree climbing lions

The Ishasha section of the park gives you the chance to spot the tree-climbing lions on a game drive. This amazing experience allows you to look out for these majestic creatures as they slumber up in the trees.

Take in the vibrant bird life

With over 600 bird species, Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the best places to go birding in Uganda, so it’s a must-see park for birders. There is vibrant bird life all year round, and it can be seen as you tour the park. Depending on the time of year, you will find many beautiful birds, both native and migratory. We also have expert bird guides to help you get the most out of your birding tour.

Rift Valley explosion crater Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Explosion crater in Rift Valley

Tour Explosion Craters

Formed by volcanic activity during the creation of the Rift Valley, the explosion craters are a natural wonder that should not be missed when visiting the park. The scenic craters are exceptionally beautiful and definitely worth a trip.

Aerial view Katwe salt lakes in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Aerial view of the Katwe salt lakes in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Visit the Salt Lakes

Not only are the Salt Lakes extraordinary to look at, but they also have a rich history. You will find one of the main craters at Lake Katwe, the highest point in the park. This particular salt lake has been used to extract salt for the past 600 years and is also the largest salt distributor in Uganda.

A local guide will be on hand to give you an insight into the ancient salt extraction techniques and the vivid history of this impressive landscape. In season, you might even be lucky enough to see flamingoes here.

Camp at River Ishasha

If you really want to immerse yourself in a wilderness experience, then camping at the river, the Ishasha sector of the park, is a fantastic way to do so. River Ishasha marks the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a tranquil part of the park where you can spend a few days close to nature.

Watch performances from Local Traditional Dance Groups

Soak up Uganda’s culture with performances from local traditional dance groups. The spectacular performances give you a taste of traditional dance and music, while an interpreter will explain the cultural meaning of the performance.


Nearby Activities

Queen Elizabeth national park is jam-packed with adventure and wonderful activities, but if that’s not enough for you, then there are plenty of options near the park too.

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains, perfect for mountaineering or short hikes, you can get involved with fantastic opportunities, like visiting conservation projects. The school conservation education and ex-poacher beekeeper projects are great examples of this.

Put on your walking books and take a trip around the twin lakes, or wander through the tropical forest. Why not admire the art sculptures in the outdoor gallery at Rwenzori Founders? Pop along to a tea factory and learn about tea processing, or visit the Equator, which runs across the extreme Northern part of the park.


Queen Elizabeth National Park Accommodation

Whatever your budget, we have accommodation available to suit you. From luxury lodges to affordable accommodation, Venture Uganda can organise a comfortable place for you to sleep at the end of an exciting day. We recommend booking early, especially in peak season.

Ishasha Jungle Lodge accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Ishasha Jungle Lodge

Ishasha Jungle Lodge


For travellers wanting to get a glimpse of the tree-climbing lions, then staying in the Ishasha sector is a no-brainer. Ishasha Jungle Lodge makes a great base, with its spacious rooms made entirely from local materials.

This eco-friendly lodge also has a restaurant, including an international standard menu. Other eco-features include the solar systems which provide hot water and 24-hour power, while light bulbs are low energy consumption.

Elephant Plains accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
A bedroom at Elephant Plains

Elephant Plains

High-end accommodation

For something more luxurious, Elephant Plains is a beautiful property boasting spacious and comfortable rooms. This accommodation offers a gorgeous vista of the park, which can be viewed from your very own veranda. The addition of a swimming pool makes Elephant Plains a good choice for incorporating downtime into your schedule, as you relax by the pool in the glorious African sunshine.


Book your holiday or safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Venture Uganda is on hand to make your adventure holiday dreams come true.

If you’d like to learn more about Queen Elizabeth National Park, then speak to our friendly team today and we can then schedule this beautiful park into your Uganda itinerary. We can personalise your holidays, whether you’re travelling in groups or with families, or simply exploring Uganda on your own.

Uganda is our home, so we are experts in showing you the highlights, whether you want to see the wildlife on boat cruises and game drives, or want to take a tour of the explosion craters or track chimpanzees in the forest. We can also take you off the beaten track, giving you an authentic Ugandan experience that you will never forget.

If you have any questions about travelling to Uganda, contact us here:
+256 784 824 902 (whatsapp)

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Queen Elizabeth National Park guide on an iPad by Venture Uganda