Queen Elizabeth NP
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a savannah game reserve, the largest and most accessible in the country. With a diverse landscape of volcanic mountains, broad open plains, wetlands and forests it’s a classic rift valley.
Head into the Chambura Gorge for a true Tarzan-like experience where the air is thick with vines hanging from the treetop canopies.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1,878 km² of open savannah with acacia and euphorbia plants, extensive wetlands and tropical forest.
The park supports 612 bird species including 54 raptors. 95 species of mammal: 2,500 elephants, 20 different predators with 200 lions (around 40 tree-climbing lions in Ishasha) and 10 primate species. Chambura Gorge protects an isolated patch of riparian forest with a habituated population of chimps. 8 permits are available for the twice daily 2-3 hours treks and should be booked in advance. The Gorge and Maramagambo Forest are good for viewing kob, large buffalo herds, giant forest hog, waterbuck, topi, hyena, and crocodile and Leopards.
Maramagambo Forest and Kigezi Wildlife Reserve have guided walks including a visit to the bat cave (home to several thousand Egyptian fruit bats) and a walking trail focusing on the forest and its birds.
The southern circuit is the main kob breeding ground, best known for the 40 odd tree climbing lions around the clusters of sycamore figs and albizias. The Mweya Peninsula at the confluence of the Kazinga Channel with Lake Edward is the northern main safari attraction and for good sightings of giant forest hog.
The park is divided by the 40km long Kazinga Channel flowing from Lake George in the east to Lake Edward in the west. Cruise along the shoreline for excellent viewing of hippo, buffalo, elephant and prolific birdlife with lots of waterfowl.
The northern Kasenyi plains have a good game viewing network with Lake George; the “Explosion Craters”, a large cluster of 7 crater lakes and dry calderas.
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Whilst leopards are strong climbers it’s unusual for more bulky adult lions to take to climbing trees. Not so in some specific areas! They’re seen in the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park where around 40 individuals are regular tree climbers!
Arguably more reliably witnessed than the famed tree-climber of Manyara. It’s believed that lions climb trees to evade biting insects and catch a breeze at certain times of year. In Ishasha they’re habitually found napping in fig trees year round.