Crater Lakes in Queen Elizabeth

Crater Lakes in Queen Elizabeth

Crater Lakes in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park, located in western Uganda, is a sprawling savanna grassland park covering approximately 1,970 square kilometers, making it the country’s second-largest national park. This diverse park offers a wide range of activities including game viewing in the Kasenyi, Mweya, and Ishasha Sectors, nature walks, chimp trekking in the exhilarating Kyambura Gorge, boat cruises on the Kazinga Channel, bird watching, and more. Visitors can witness an array of wildlife, including water bodies, savanna grasslands, primates, mammals, and numerous bird species.

A highlight of Queen Elizabeth National Park is its numerous crater lakes, formed through volcanic activity. These craters result from the violent eruption of molten rock (lava), which causes the top of a volcano cone to blow off, forming large basins surrounded by lava, harsh terrain, and rock debris. The resulting landscapes are breathtaking and add a unique dimension to the park’s beauty. A visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park is exceptionally rewarding, as it allows visitors to experience the stunning crater lakes alongside the park’s diverse wildlife and natural attractions.

Crater Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The crater drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, known as the Explosion Crater drives, offer a spectacular two-hour adventure through some of the park’s most breathtaking landscapes. Experiencing these craters is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, best undertaken early in the morning or late in the evening when visibility is optimal and temperatures are cooler.

Highlights of the Crater Drive

Lake Katwe: This large body of water, located near Lake Edward, is famous for its historical salt mining. Visitors can learn about the traditional salt mining process, from the creation of salt pans to the hands-on experience of entering the water. During the dry season, the ancient salt factory demonstrates how salt is extracted from the super-concentrated salty water.

Scenic Views and Wildlife: The drive offers stunning views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga Channel that connects Lake George to Lake Edward, and the expansive craters themselves. Along the way, you can observe a variety of wildlife that inhabit the craters and surrounding areas, including elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and various bird species.

Practical Considerations

Vehicle Requirements: A 4WD vehicle is essential for this tour due to the rough, rock-strewn, and potentially slippery conditions, especially after rain. The challenging terrain requires a sturdy vehicle to navigate safely and comfortably.

Optimal Conditions: When the weather is favorable, the crater drives are particularly enjoyable, offering clear skies and vivid landscapes. The unique combination of geological wonders and wildlife sightings makes this drive an unforgettable experience.

Other Safari Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Game Drives

Queen Elizabeth National Park offers several game drives, providing an opportunity to observe a wide range of wildlife during your Uganda safari tour. These drives are scheduled in three sessions: morning, afternoon, and evening.

Morning Game Drive: Starting at 06:30 a.m., this drive allows you to see herbivores beginning their day and predators returning to their hideouts. You can expect to see elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, oribis, impalas, lions, leopards, and many other spectacular animals.

Afternoon and Evening Game Drives: These drives offer a different perspective as animals become more active in the cooler parts of the day. The evening game drive, in particular, provides a chance to witness the transition of the park as diurnal animals retire and nocturnal species emerge.

Crater Drives

The crater drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, also known as the Explosion Crater drives, last around two hours and are best experienced early in the morning or late in the evening. This drive provides stunning views of the craters, the Rwenzori Mountains, the Kazinga Channel, and diverse wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, and hippos. A 4WD vehicle is essential due to the rough and sometimes slippery terrain.

Night Game Drives

Night game drives offer a unique experience, allowing you to see nocturnal species such as lions, leopards, and hyenas hunting in the wild. These drives reveal how the park comes alive after dark, with the prominent night jars being among the bird species you might spot.

Boat Cruise on the Kazinga Channel

The Kazinga Channel offers a distinctive safari experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This 40-kilometer-long waterway links Lake George with Lake Edward and runs beneath the renowned Mweya Peninsula, near the Mweya Safari Lodge.

The Boat Excursion: Lasting 3-4 hours, this boat trip is led by trained guides who provide extensive information about the Kazinga Channel, its history, and the wildlife along its banks. The guides are knowledgeable about the animals and birds, the surrounding vegetation, and the local villages. They will answer any questions you may have, enriching your experience with fascinating insights. Many visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park consider the boat tour on the Kazinga Channel the highlight of their Uganda safari.

These activities provide a comprehensive safari experience, showcasing the rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Whether it’s the thrill of spotting big game during a drive, the tranquility of a boat cruise, or the excitement of a night safari, there’s something for every wildlife enthusiast to enjoy.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Kyambura Gorge

Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge offers an exciting adventure, though it involves traversing slopes in search of the chimps. These primates can be easily located due to their loud calls and hooting, which can be heard from afar. If no sounds are heard, tracking their footprints is another effective method. Upon sighting, visitors can observe chimps playing, interacting, and even mating. Interestingly, when chimps notice people, they often descend from the trees, allowing for close encounters.

Uganda Chimpanzee Safaris

Chimp trekking in Kyambura Gorge is organized into two sessions: morning and afternoon. Each session allows only eight permits, totaling sixteen permits per day. Including this trek in your itinerary ensures a unique and intimate wildlife experience. The trek begins with a briefing, after which a guide accompanies you to the gorge. The entire activity typically lasts about 2-3 hours, offering ample time to observe and appreciate these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

This adventure provides a memorable experience, allowing you to witness the dynamic behavior of chimpanzees and enjoy the stunning landscape of Kyambura Gorge. Whether you opt for the morning or afternoon session, the thrill of spotting and watching these intelligent primates up close is a highlight of any safari in Uganda.

Popular Tours And Safaris

6 Days 5 Nights
Volcano & Lake Kivu National Park-Rwanda
$3,900
Explore
3 Days 2 Nights
 
Queen Elizabeth National Park-Western Uganda
$800

Explore

4 Days 3 Nights
 
4 Days Best of Water Rafting and Sipi Falls
Jinja, Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa Uganda
$570

Inquire Now

18 Days 17 Nights
 
Bwindi, Kibale, Kidepo & other National Parks
$4,950

Explore

7 Days 6 Nights
 
Bwindi, Murchison Falls National Park
$2,300

Explore

20 Days 19 Nights
Uganda’s most loved and visited National Parks
$6,000
Explore
10 Days 9 Nights
 
Uganda, Rwanda Best of the National Parks
$3,900

Explore

25 Days 24 Nights
 
Bwindi, most loved and visited National Parks
$6,800

Explore

Related Blogs

June 17, 2024
best-places-to-visit-in-uganda-in-christmas-season

Best Places to Visit in Uganda in Christmas Season

Best Places to Visit in Uganda in Christmas Season Best Places to Visit in Uganda in Christmas Season As we approach the Christmas season, many travelers […]
June 17, 2024
uganda-safaris-in-christmas-season

Uganda Safaris in Christmas Season

Uganda Safaris in Christmas Season Uganda Safaris in Christmas Season Uganda safaris during the Christmas season offer a magical and memorable experience amidst the country’s diverse […]
June 17, 2024
booking-a-gorilla-trekking-permit-in-uganda

Booking a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda

Booking a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda Booking a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit – Gorilla trekking in Uganda is an unforgettable adventure, […]
June 17, 2024
best-rwanda-gorilla-safaris

Best Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Best Rwanda Gorilla Safaris Best Rwanda Gorilla Safaris Best Rwanda Gorilla Safaris offer visitors an immersive and exhilarating experience, allowing them to trek through the rainforests […]
June 17, 2024
gorilla-habituation-tours-in-uganda

Gorilla Habituation Tours in Uganda

Gorilla Habituation Tours in Uganda Gorilla Habituation Tours in Uganda Gorilla habituation tours in Uganda offer a unique wildlife experience, allowing visitors to spend extended time […]
June 16, 2024
gorilla-trekking-in-uganda-and-rwanda

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda

Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Gorilla Safari Tours Gorilla Trekking In Uganda And Rwanda Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda – […]
INQUIRIES