Uganda 2015 – Queen Elizabeth NP

After renewing our food supplies in Fort Portal, we headed south to Kasese. Soon after crossing the Equator line (markers on both sides of the road), we turned right, toward Kabatoro gate of QENP.

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After paying our entrance and camping fees, we headed further to the Mweya peninsula, where we camped for three nights at Mweya campsite. There is not much shade there, but as most of the time we were alone, we could use the thatched lapa for our kitchen and living room – it provided a nice shade during the hottest hours of the day. The campsite is overlooking the Kazinga Channel and during the day we were regularly visited by a herd of waterbucks. During the nights, we heard hippos grazing right around our tent.

 

 

 

 

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Game-viewing tracks in a channel area of the QENP are very overgrown, so animal sightings are rather limited by thick vegetation. But nevertheless, we saw plenty of elephants, buffaloes, and plain antelopes. On the other side of the park, in Kaseny plains, typical savanna offers different experiences, with broad views and only lonely trees here and there. There, we saw the only pack of lions on this trip and a lone leopard in an euphorbia tree.

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Near peninsula campsite, there is a nice restaurant, called Tembo Canteen, which offers inexpensive cold drinks and decent meals, as well as excellent views across Kazinga Channel.

 

We did a boat trip along Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward. We found this launch trip very worth-while. Besides the usual near-water animals, it offers splendid bird sightings.

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At one occasion, when returning from Kasenyi plains, we took a “Crater drive”, as advised by one of the rangers at entrance gate the previous day. This 2-hour drive is really spectacular. Not in terms of game viewing (which is nearly non-existent in that part of the park), but in terms of scenery among numerous craters and crater lakes. The track itself is very rocky and steep in parts and offers some real challenges for your 4×4. The only fauna, that was in abundance on that drive, were tsetse flies.

After three nights in Mweya, we moved to the southern tip of the park, to Ishasha sector, for one more night. That area of QENP again has a totally different character, with typical east African savanna. We liked it enormously. We stay at river campsite #1. Campsite #2 is even more private and isolated, but it doesn’t have running water from the tap. Campsites lay on the banks of the Ishasha river, which also forms a border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on the other side. We hired a ranger to guide us on a game drive around fig trees at the south corner of Ishasha, to help as locate tree-climbing lions, for which this part of the park is famous. Unfortunately, we have had no luck with them. Maybe next time.

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Topi in Ishasa plains of QENP

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