Queen Elizabeth National Park

Size: 1,978km².

Queen Elizabeth spans the equator line; monuments on either side of the road mark the exact spot where it crosses latitude 00.

The park was founded in 1952 as Kazinga National Park, and renamed two years later to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.

The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species.

The Katwe explosion craters mark the park’s highest point at 1,350m above sea level, while the lowest point is at 910m, at Lake Edward.

With all the attention focused on gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, it’s easy to forget that a Uganda safari can include classic Savannah experiences too. Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s premier game viewing destination and one of the most biologically diverse parks in the world, not least thanks to its mind-boggling bird list of 610 species (more than the entire British Isles!).

Located in south-west Uganda, the park’s famous tree-climbing lions are its undisputed wildlife stars but visitors on a Queen Elizabeth National Park safari can also expect to see elephants, hippo, crocodiles, buffalo and plenty of antelope species.

But the park’s real reward lies in its ability to offer a diverse range of safari activities. A boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel is almost obligatory, given the rewarding game viewing and bird watching en route, while Kyambura Gorge offers a green sliver of forest to explore, home to chimpanzees and other primates. On-foot chimp tracking through the forest is available twice a day and makes a wonderful contrast with the savannah game viewing in the rest of the park.

Popular and accessible, Queen Elizabeth National Park is on many Uganda safari itineraries and combines easily with gorilla trekking in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park. There’s a wide variety of accommodation, from family-friendly lodges to secluded tented camps, and activities range from game drives and boat cruises to professionally guided nature walks, chimp treks and sensational bird watching.