Queen Elizabeth National Park

Spectacled Weaver
Spectacled Weaver
  • Size: 1,978sq km
  • Checklist:606 Bird Species
  • District: Bushenyi and Kasese
  • Geographical location:With in the Albertine Rift, between lakes Edward and George.
  • Altitude:910–1,365 m

Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most popular game reserve and certainly one of the most scenic. It stretches from the crater-dotted foothills of the Rwenzori ranges in the north, along the shores of Lake Edward to the remote Ishasha River in the south, incorporating a wide variety of habitats that range from open savannah to rainforest, dense papyrus swamps and brooding crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward. These make it a little wonder that it is the highest biodiversity conservation game reserve in the world.

This remarkable diversity is reflected in its bird list of 606 species, the largest of any protected area in Africa. Eleven species of global conservation concern have been recorded, and there are old records of three other such species The notable of the 606 bird species in the park include Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, White-winged Terns, Swamp Fly-catcher, Grey-capped Warbler, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Collard Pranticles, African Jacana, Pin-tailed Whydah, Martial Eagle, Gabon and Slender-tailed Nightjars, the lovely Black-headed Gonolek, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, Common Squacco Heron, African Skimmer, African Fish Eagle, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Sedge Warbler, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, Great white and Pink-backed Pelicans, African Mourning Dove, African Open-billed Stork, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Yellow-billed, open-billed and Marabou Storks, Egyptian Goose, a number of Gull species, endless list.

Bronze Mannikin

In the crater lakes, spectacular flocks of flamingos gather, creating the image of a moving pink carpet. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel between Lakes George and Edward is a memorable way to view the abundant game in Queen Elizabeth and to see an astounding number of bird species. Queen Elizabeth National park has over 95 mammalian species. This ranks it among the best safari destination in Africa with big herds of elephants, a profusion of hippos, the elusive giant forest hog and handsome Uganda kob which are all regularly sighted around the tourist village on the Mweya Peninsula.

A Launch Cruiseis taken along the Kazinga channel. On the cruise different animals and birds can be seen on the 34km tranquil Kazinga Channel shore. These include large Schools of Hippos and solitary Buffaloes, elephants, reptiles like The Nile Crocodiles and Lizards, water birdsbirds like Pelicans, Egyptian goose, Saddle-billed Stork, African Fish Eagles, African Jacana and Kingfishers among others.

A guided forest walkis taken from the nearby Imaramagambo Forest, a tropical forest covered with relatively low trees and gentle slopes. The important features worthy to see from this forest include the Blue Lake, the Hunters Cave, the Bat Cave where thousands of Egyptian Fruit Bats stay, and different tree species which include medicinal species.

Sooty Chat

Queen Elizabeth National park is 6-8 hours from Kampala via Mbarara - Kasese-Fort Portal, and can be reached on a dirt road from Bwindi. For travelers interested in traveling to the park by air, a private charter flight from Entebbe international airport to Kasese airstrip can also be arranged.

Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world's most endangered apes with a population of less than 800 individuals world over- none in zoos. They are found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

They share 97% DNA with human beings! They are our closest living cousins after the Chimpanzee, They have up to 25 vocalization for communication

Mountain Gorillas are shy, social and very active during day. They live in families of 8-25 members with one leading male (The Silver Back).

Gorillas have a lifespan of 50 years in the wild. They reproduce at a very slow speed with a gestation period of approximately 8.5 months and an interval of four years to the next birth.

Diet: Mainly herbivores eating fruits, herbs, leaves, stems, roots and shoots. Sometimes ingest small insects like ants and termites.

Grauer's Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Family: Eurylaimidae, Genus: Pseudocalyptomena, Species: Pseudocalyptomena graueri

The Grauer's Broadbill or African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is an actual broadbill, one of only a few African representatives of a primarily Asian family. It is bright green with a blue throat and vent and a small bill, quite unlike those of the other broadbills. It is endemic to the Albertine Rift Mountains of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests where it forages in canopies.

It is one of the African Big Five bird species, highly sought after by ornithologists but very elusive.

The species is both globally endangered and endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus)

Kingdom: Amimalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Aves, Order: Coraciiformes, Family: Meropidae, Genus: Merops

The Blue-breasted Bee-eater is endemic to Africa and just as the name suggests, predominantly eats flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera.

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