Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of Uganda’s most valuable national treasures. Spanning from the foothills of the Rwenzoris in the North, to the shores of Lake Edward and onward to the remote Ishasha River in the South, her lakes, savannah grasslands, forests and wetlands are home to diverse African wildlife. Over 100 species of mammals roam the terrain, as well as more than 500 species of birds.
A true paradise for twitchers, QENP has the is the 6th highest diversity of bird species in the world. Bird-watchers might be lucky enough to spot the Grey Crowned Crane, Martial Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Marsh Tchagra Broad-tailed Warbler, Grey-capped Warbler, Black-headed Gonolek, Sooty Chat, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-lored Babbler and Rupell’s Griffon Vulture, as they all nest within the park.
Large numbers of mammals, including hippo, giraffe, Uganda Kob, lions, zebras, buffaloes, elephants, as well as the elusive Giant Forest Hog, roam the park. Great populations of crocodiles rest on the banks of rivers and waterways.
There are only two places in the world where you’ll find tree-climbing lions. One is Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, the other is the Ishasha sector within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The tree climbing lions of Ishasha are a unique attraction appearing on many a traveller’s bucket-lists. You’ll find the lions resting between the boughs of giant fig trees, the males recognisable by their iconic black manes. The scenery within the Ishasha sector – which is near the most South-Western edge of reserve – is notably different from the landscape you’ll explore in the other regions of QENP.
Your stay in Queen Elisabeth National Park should include a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, as well as a guided walk through the Kyambura (Chambura) Gorge. This leafy oasis is home to large troops of primates, and visitors typically come here to track chimpanzees.
A flight in a hot-air balloon over Queen Elizabeth National Park is another bucket-list adventure we love to do. This birds-eye view offers a spectacular perspective of the unspoilt African wilderness.
Despite being the most popular national park in Uganda, QENP is relatively quiet. Guests can expect to enjoy relative solitude within this pristine wildlife sanctuary.
Coffee aficionados will tell you that Ugandan coffee is considered to be amongst the world’s finest coffee cultivars. Uganda enjoys two rainy seasons and a wide range of agro-ecologies, providing high-quality coffee beans throughout the year. High altitudes and a cool equatorial climate means that Ugandan coffee beans ripen slowly, resulting in richly-flavoured, aromatic coffee.
The buffer zone between QENP and the surrounding farmlands is dedicated to growing coffee crops. Run by the Omwani Women’s Cooperative, this initiative grows 1 500 Arabica and Robusta organic coffee plants without using pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
This cooperative of local women is committed to growing organic coffee beans that are all harvested, sorted, dried, cleaned and roasted by hand at a communal processing plant. The coffee programme educates women in all stages of coffee production, and provides them with a sustainable source of income, allowing them to support themselves and their families.
Many of the women from Omwani have HIV and have been abandoned. The Cooperative has allowed them to connect with one another and form a self-sufficient community of their own. The coffee plantations and processing plant provide them not only with income, but also with agency and satisfaction.
Your tour of the world-renown Ugandan coffee-lands will end with sampling the plantation’s finest coffee, roasted in their very own roastery. From field to cup, you won’t get a fresher Arabica and Robusta experience.
Known for enjoying premier locations, andBeyond’s Ishasha Wilderness Camp is found on the banks of the Ntungwe River. Offering only ten tended rooms, the camp is a private oasis within the wild African landscape. Private verandas overlook the river, and a thatched lounge provides a welcoming communal area where guest can unwind and connect.
The tent’s interiors are a simple blend of rustic-meets-luxury, allowing visitors to enjoy an authentic, African safari experience. Guests can choose to dine indoors or al fresco, beneath the stars. Evenings are best rounded off by watching “Bushman’s TV” – a blazing campfire – where travellers can swap stories and travel adventures.