Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park; Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda located in western region in Kasese, Kamwenge, Rukungiri and Rubirizi districts. The national park covers a total area of 1,978 square kilometers which makes it the second largest protected area in Uganda after Murchison falls national park. Queen Elizabeth national park is a home of 95 mammal species including the famous tree climbing lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, bush bucks, warthogs, topi, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys and over 600 bird species.
Game drive is one of the top safari activities in Queen Elizabeth national park where travelers will get an opportunity to explore the savannah plains in a comfortable 4 WD pop up safari vehicle with a professional driver guide. They can either be done very early in the morning when animals are most active, in the afternoon and in the evening when animals are going back to their resting areas. Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park are commonly done in Kasenyi plains because its known for harboring the highest number of animals, Ishasha sector which harbors the tree climbing lions, Mweya peninsula, crater drive game track, channel game drive among other. During the game drive tourists will be able to spot different animals including elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, warthogs, bushbucks, topi, Uganda kobs, hyenas, waterbucks, giant forest hogs, view some bird species, enjoy views of the sunrise or sunset among others.
Queen Elizabeth national park also offers night or nocturnal game drives where travelers will be able to explore the park at night with spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals which become active at night and an armed ranger guide. Night game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park is only done in Mweya peninsula due to the fact that Kasenyi plains receives a wide range of tourists during the day therefore animals are left to rest at night as a way of minimizing stress. During the night game drives which start at around 6:30 pm or 7:00am, you will be able to spot nocturnal animals like serval cats, lions, leopards, civet, bush babies, banded mongoose, view hippos feeding, beautiful stars among others.
Self-game drive is Queen Elizabeth national park costs 10 USD per vehicle for foreign non residents and foreign residents and 10,000 UGX per vehicle for East African citizens.
Guided game drives costs 20 USD per vehicle for foreign non residents, 15 USD per vehicle for foreign residents and 20,000 UGX per vehicle for East African citizens.
Night game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park costs 30 USD per person for foreign non residents, 20 USD per person for foreign residents and 50,000 UGX per person for East African citizens using a private vehicle and when using UWA vehicle night game drive costs 40 USD per person for foreign non residents, 35 USD per person for foreign residents and 40,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.
Best time to go for game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, august, September, December, January and February because during this period there is less rainfall in the park their access roads and game drive tracks will be dry and passable which makes game drives easy compared to the rainy season when the tracks are muddy and slippery which make game drives difficult. During the dry season, vegetation in Queen Elizabeth national park will be short which gives you an opportunity to view different animals in the park clearly.
Other activities in Queen Elizabeth national park
Apart from game drives, Queen Elizabeth national park offers other interesting activities that tourists can engage in during the Uganda safari including boat cruise on Kazinga channel where you will be able to view Nile crocodiles, large concentrations of hippos, water birds, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge where you will be able to spend time with the chimpanzees, guided nature walks where you will be able to get up-close and personal with different animals, bird watching where you will be able to view variety of bird species, cultural tour where you will be able to interact with the local people among others.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park is located in western part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means where you will drive from Kampala via Mubende, Fort portal or Masaka, Mbarara to the park headquarters which takes about 7 to 8 hours’ drive.
Queen Elizabeth national park can also be accessed by air transport means where you will book scheduled or charter domestic flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe international airport to Kasese or Mweya airstrips and then connect to the park headquarters by road.
Queen Elizabeth national park can as well be accessed from Kibale forest national park which takes about 2 to 3 hours’ drive.
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park can be combined with chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee habituation experience, nature walks and bird watching in Kibale forest national park for unforgettable memories during the safari. For more information about the game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park, you can reach out to us at Achieve Global Safaris.