Fairend Safaris

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park allow travelers to have a close look at the wild species while keeping a safe distance. This is achieved by using a safari pop-up safari vehicle with the guidance of an experienced guide or ranger. Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most visited park in Uganda located in the western region of the country. Additionally, it is well known for its rare tree-climbing lions. Game drives in this park are usually conducted either in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening/night.

The morning game drives give travelers a chance to see many species since it is the time when most animals are active. The afternoon game drives are usually conducted along water sources since most animals gather around the watering points to quench their thirst Lastly, the evening/night game drives allow travelers to see nocturnal animals since they are usually active at night.

Where game drives are conducted

Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park are conducted in different parts of the park giving travelers a chance to see different species like lions, elephants, warthogs, buffaloes, hippos, bushbacks, leopards, hyenas and birds. These parts of the park where game drives are conducted in Queen Elizabeth National Park include;

Ishasha sector

The Ishasha Sector is located in the southern part of the park and is famously known for its tree-climbing lions. Game drives in Ishasha offer travelers an opportunity to see the unique lions lounging in the branches of fig trees. Additionally, the sector is home to other wildlife such as elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and a variety of bird species.

Kasenyi Plains

The Kasenyi Plains are one of the most popular areas for game drives, located in the northern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. They are commonly known for their vast savannah landscapes and high concentration of wildlife. This area is great for spotting lions, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and various bird species.

Kyambura gorge

Kyambura gorge is primarily known for chimpanzee trekking experiences, however it also offers opportunities for game drives. This area is home to a variety of wildlife, including primates, antelopes, and birds. Game drives conducted in Kyambura Gorge provide a unique opportunity to explore both savannah and forest habitats.

Mweya Peninsula

The Mweya Peninsula is situated between Lake Edward and Lake Kikorongo and offers stunning scenery, including views of the Rwenzori Mountains. Game drives around this area provide sightings of wildlife such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs, and numerous bird species.

 Ishasha River

The Ishasha River area is located in the southern part of the park and is another popular game drive destination. In addition to the tree-climbing lions, visitors may encounter elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species along the riverbanks.

The best time to go for a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

 Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be conducted any time of the year. However, the best time for a game drive is during the dry season in June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. During these months, there is little or no rainfall in the park making it easier to drive through the untarmacked roads. The terrain of the park is great during the dry season and the grass is short making animal viewing easier and clear pictures can be taken.

What to pack

It is essential to pack the right gear and essentials to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable game drive experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Some of the items not to miss are;

Proper clothing

Wear lightweight, neutral-colored clothes to blend into the surroundings. Preferably a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect against the sun and insects. Comfortable, closed-toe shoes are a must-have since they are suitable for walking during stops or short hikes.

Camera gear

Do not forget to carry a camera to capture the great moments, additionally carry spare batteries and memory cards to ensure you have enough space for storage. Binoculars should be brought along since they are great for viewing animals that are at a distance.

Sun protection

Most game drives are carried out during the dry season therefore there is always a lot of sunshine. Always carry sunscreen, pair of sun glasses and hat or cap.

Water and snacks

Game drives usually last for 3 to 4 hours meaning travelers need to carry enough water to enable them stay hydrated. Snacks can also be carried to keep energy levels high but remember not to litter in the park.

A first-aid kit

This carries small medication and bandages to use in case there is an accident during the game drive. Hand sanitizer for maintaining hand hygiene while in the wilderness.

How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park

 Queen Elizabeth National Park can be accessed by either road transport or air.

By road; travelers from outside Uganda use Entebbe International Airport as their point of entry and travel to the park by using either Mityana – Mubende- Fortportal to Kasese. Alternatively, travelers may use Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Kasese.

By air; there are domestic flights to Kasese airstrip from Entebbe airport which take about 45 minutes. Upon arrival at the airstrip, travelers take a one-hour drive to get to the park. The best thing to do is hire a tour company to arrange transportation.