Lion tracking experience in queen Elizabeth national park
Lion tracking experience in queen Elizabeth national park : Lion tracking is an amazing and thrilling activity in Queen Elizabeth national park one of the most visited national parks located in southwestern Uganda. The national park is a home of abundant wild animals such as elephants, buffaloes, leopards, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, oribi, bushbucks, warthogs, giant forest hogs, hippos, tree climbing lions which are found in Ishasha sector, bird species among others. Lion tracking is an experiential research program in Queen Elizabeth national park that is managed by Uganda carnivore project that is aimed at monitoring, educating or creating working relationships of the local communities who live in the near the lions.
Lion tracking in the park is carried out in Kasenyi plains and allows a limited number of visitors so as to have a great time with the lions as you take photos, record moments among others. During the activity visitors and researchers monitor the lions using locator devices to locate lions with tracking devices and it gives you an opportunity to see the lions as you learn about their lifestyle, feeding habits, habituation calls, monitor weather, environment among others. Lion tracking and monitoring results from visitors will be added to the data base hence used in conservation of wildlife.
How lion tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park is done
The activity in Uganda is only done in Queen Elizabeth national park and it’s done using radio collars and radiation locators either in the morning or in the evening as you trace the movement of the lions and when a lion passes the radio caller alerts the team of researchers where the lion is and then you will follow the movement until it’s found. The activity is done in Kasenyi plains an area that harbors high concentration animals such as the Uganda kobs, elephants, buffaloes among others. Lion tracking takes about 2 to 3 hours. During lion tracking in the park you will view other animals like the buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, leopards among others which will make your safari exciting.
Number of people to participate in lion tracking
The activity allows a limited number of visitors so as not to stress the animals and also all visitors to have a great time with the lions as they learn about the lifestyle, habits, behaviors, environment while taking plenty of photos.
Cost of lion tracking
Lion tracking activity costs $100 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents and UGX 100,000 for East African citizens. Visitors are however advised to book in advance at Uganda Wildlife Authority Information Centre in Mweya because lion tracking is on high demand and allows a limited number of visitors therefore to avoid disappointments visitors should book 24 hours in advance.
When to go for lion tracking
The activity can be done anytime throughout the year and the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During this time there is less rainfall in the park therefore there will be short grass allowing you to clearly view the lions and other animals in the park such as warthogs, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, buffaloes, oribi, leopards, elephants among others.
There are other activities you can engage in while in Queen Elizabeth national park
Boat cruise, this is done at Kazinga channel a water body that joins lake Edward and lake George and the boat cruise can either be done in the morning or in the afternoon. Boats at Kazinga channel depart from the landing site near Mweya safari lodge and during the boat cruise you will view hippos and crocodiles in water and animals along the water banks drinking water such as buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, water birds among others.
Game drive, this is one of the popular activities in the park where visitors view abundant wildlife species while in the comfort of the safari van. Game drive in the park can be done in areas like Mweya peninsular, Kasenyi plains which harbors large concentration of animals, Ishasha sector in the southern part where you will be able to view the famous tree climbing lions which will be looking down on the antelopes as they graze in open savannah plains.
Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzees are the second most visited attractions in Uganda after the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Chimpanzee trekking in Queen Elizabeth national park is carried out in Kyambura Gorge which is also known as the valley of apes. The activity can either be carried out in the morning or in the afternoon which takes about 2 to 4 hours trekking the chimpanzees and once found you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat learning about their lifestyle, behaviors, habits, taking photos and recording the moments.
Nature walk, this is an adventurous and interesting activity in that it allows visitors to walk on foot as they explore the national park with beautiful views, feel the breeze among others. nature walk in the park is done in different areas such as Maramagambo forest, Kyambura Gorge, Mweya peninsular among others and during the activity you breath fresh air, get relived from stress, have beautiful views of the landscape, vegetation, animals among others.
Birding, Queen Elizabeth national park is a home of over 619 bird species which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Bird lovers can combine lion tracking with birding which is done during the boat cruise, game drive, nature walk in destinations like Ishasha sector, Maramagambo forest, Kasenyi plains, Mweya peninsular, Katwe area among others. during birding you can look out for bird species like black crake, open billed stork, African shoebill, spur winged plover, squacco heron, African fish eagle, yellow backed weaver, white backed pelican, pied and malachite kingfisher, wattled plover, pink backed pelican, water thick nee, long tailed cormorants among others.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth national park
The national park is located in southwestern Uganda and can be accessed by road and air transport means
Road transport, there are two routes which can be used when travelling to the part such as the route from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi and then to the park headquarters and the route from Kampala via Mubende fort portal and then to the park. Both routes take about 6 to 7 hours’ drive and they offer great views along the way.
Queen Elizabeth national park can also be accessed from Bwindi impenetrable national park in southwestern Uganda. When coming from Bwindi impenetrable forest you will pass via Ishasha sector where you will view the tree climbing lions and then continue to the park headquarters which takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
Air transport, there are domestic companies like Aerolink Uganda which operate daily scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe airport or Kajansi airfield to Mweya or Kasese airstrips. The aircraft departs Entebbe at 7:00am, 10:15am and 12:00pm and arrive in Mweya or Kasese at 10:05am, 12:05pm and 14:15pm respectively and the return aircraft departs Mweya or Kasese at 10:20am, 12:20pm and 14:20pm and arrive in Entebbe at 11:25am, 13:30pm and 16:15pm respectively.