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Queen Elizabeth National Park - Ishasha Sector, Uganda



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All National Park tariffs indicated below are effective 01 January 2009 through 30th June 2010
UWA New tariffs document Jan 2009 - June 2010 (148KB)Adobe Acrobat Document

 Visitor Entrance Fees  Non-Resident  Foreign Resident  East Africans
 Class - Category A  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees Ush
 Adult  1 day/night - $30-  1 day/night - $20-  1 day/night - Ush5,000-
 Child (5-15 years)  1 day/night - $15-  1 day/night - $10-  1 day/night - Ush2,500-
 Child (0-5 years)  Free  Free  Free
Foreign Students with valid international identity cards are allowed 25% on entrance fees.
One days entrance is valid for twenty-four hours from the time of entrance.
All visitors will be required to produce valid ID's in order to determine their resident status.

 Vehicle Entrance Fees  Foreign Registered  Uganda Registered
 Motor Cycles  US$30-  Ushs10,000-
 Saloon cars  US$50-  Ushs20,000-
 Mini buses (private)  US$50-  Ushs30,000-
 Pick-ups & 4-WD (private)  US$50-  Ushs30,000-
 Tour Company vehicles  US$100-  Ushs40,000-
 Buses, lorries plus 2 tonnes  US$150-  Ushs150,000-
Vehicle Entrance is paid only once per visit

 Camping Fees  Camping sites
 Wilderness Campsite US$210- minimum charge per campsite per night, above 7 people  each pays US$20- per person per night
 Category A site (Exclusive)
 Maximum 20 persons
 Requires advance booking
 Minimum charge per campsite per night US$240- for 12 people. Above 12 persons each pays USD15- per night
 Category B site (Public)  Ush15,000- per person per night
Category B camp sites include a pit latrine, firewood, rubbish pit, water, fireplace and a thatched shelter.

 Banda's - Traditional/basic  Single  Double  Triple  Extra Bed
 Category B - Ishasha  Ush10,000-  Ush15,000-  Ush30,000-  Ush5,000-

 Student Centre (Ishasha)  Dormitory - style accommodation
   Ushs10,000- per person per night

 Game drive Ranger / Guide 
 Day Drives  Night drive 19.00 - 23.00
   US$20- per vehicle  US$15- per person

 Chimpanzee Tracking  Non-Resident  Foreign Resident  East Africans
 Kyambura Gorge  US$50-  US$40-  Ush30,000-

Commercial Filming Fees:
Commercial filming in this Category 'A' Protected Area is US$200- per person per day plus a refundable fee of US$1,000- when you provide UWA a copy of the film.

The fine for those caught driving off track without permission will be fined US$150-.
Over speeding fines Ushs100,000- per offence.
Accident fee for killing animals US$500-.

Queen Elizabeth NP- Ishasha Sector
The Ishasha sector of QENP is so very contrasting to that of the Mweya Peninsular, Kasenyi and the Crater Lakes areas of the park. Ishasha is a vast low-lying savannah plain lying south of the equator in the Albertine Rift Valley. The Ishasha River separates the larger Parc national des Virunga in the DR Congo with which it shares an international boundary.

Ishasha sector
Ishasha sector

Distances from Ishasha
Mweya 123 kms 3hrs
Katunguru 99 kms 2 hrs
Buhoma (Bwindi NP) 90 kms 2 hrs
Kampala 7-8 hrs

Unless you are very determined getting to Ishasha by public transport will require all your resolve. There is little traffic along the Ishasha to Katunguru road where hitching from the junction near Katunguru is one option. From Kihihi there is a better chance of getting to park especially if the parks vehicle has made a journey into town for provisions. At least in Kihihi there is food, drink and accommodation if you get stuck. You could also consider a private hire vehicle from Kihihi.

Those with there own vehicles and equipment will enjoy the remoteness of Ishasha. It is likely you will be alone in the sector other than for the parks staff. The drive from Katunguru can be deceptive. The direct road to the Ishasha border post can in the rain season be under a sea of mud. It is best described as seasonal and a 4 wheel drive recommended. The road is continually being maintained but it takes little rain to destroy the surface and only one truck to get stuck to stop you in your tracks and necessitate a major detour via Isaka, Rukingiri and Kihihi. This is certainly a more reliable route if you are determined and need peace of mind. If approaching from Mweya you would be advised to get a radio message through from the parks office in Mweya to Ishasa Katookye gate-requesting information if vehicles are passing from the direction of Katunguru. This should indicate that the road is open. There are also several bridges on the route in poor condition. Additionally do not stop unnecessarily on this route for individuals, as security has been a problem on occasions.

Many visitors come to Ishasha after visiting Bwindi via Kihihi. This route provides just about guaranteed access to Ishasha on fair to good gravel roads.

In the Park:
There are 2 game drive circuits in the Ishasha sector, namely the south and north circuits. You would be advised to take a Ranger on your first game drive here so as not to get lost or stuck in mud. They also know where to locate the famous tree climbing lions so are well worth taking along. The south circuit can be difficult to navigate as the long grass can hide the road. There are many places to get bogged on the South Circuit. The North Circuit is much easier to follow the track and you are much less likely to get stuck. The branch fork to Lake Edward Flats off the Northern Circuit is totally over grown, as is the River Track. Do not attempt to game drive these tracks unless you are with someone with local knowledge.

Tree climbing Lion - Ishasha
Tree climbing Lion - Ishasha

It is unfortunately no longer possible to camp at what was the 3 campsites all with frontage onto the Ishasha River set in riverine forest. You can vertainly visit the site for a picnic. A new campsite has been constructed on the south circuit. Firewood is provided for free. Water is available from a borehole at the rangers camp but the water is very muddy. Bring water from Kihihi or further a field if possible before coming to Ishasha.

There are 3 private bandas available for rent through the national park and 2 hostel rooms next to the canteen. (see above for fees).

Ishasha Wilderness Camp: This exclusive tented camp opened in 2005 and offers high quality accommodation in this unspoilt remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Ntungwe river. Accommodation is provided in 10 twin bedded safari tents. Contact with the camp via Wild Frontiers Uganda office in Entebbe on tel 0414 321479 or email info@wildfrontiers.co.ug, www.wildfrontiers.co.ug.

Children are welcome and catered for at 50% of the above rates between the ages of 5-12 and free of charge for those under 5 years.
Residents rates are available on request

Savannah Resort Hotel: Tel. +256(0)772 777317, (0)753 932987, email: info@savannahresorthotel.com. Conveniently only 11 kms from the Katookye Gate, Isasha sector of QENP. The hotel is 5 kms from Kihihi town overlooking the national park. The hotel comprises 28 banda rooms and 19 classic rooms, a restaurant with meals at very fair prices and satellite TV.

Double/Twin B&B US$120, Full Board US$180, Half Board US$160
Single Occupancy B&B US$80, Full Board US$100, Half Board US$95
Triple Occupancy B&B US$150, Full Board US$210, Half Board US$180

Jacana Safari Lodge: Up market 24 bed lodge with swimming pool and sauna located 12 kms off the main road from Katunguru to Mbarara set in the Maramagambo Forest. Bookings through Inns of Uganda Tel. 041 4258273 or email info@geolodgesafrica.com. The lodge is well sign posted on the main road at the bottom of the escarpment when coming from Mbarara. The lodge is within the boundaries of QENP. It is private camping is not possible at the lodge but you may be able to camp at the Research Station nearby if you are self-contained.

Rack Rates 2010
Twin Share( per person per night)/Single( per night)
Fullboard: US$140- / US$160-

*Children's Rates: under 5 years are free.
Children ages 5 years to 12 years pay 50% of the adult rate
NB: Rates are subject to change without notice.

Kyambura Gorge Fig Tree Camp:
The national parks maintain a chimpanzee trekking station at Fig Tree camp over looking the Kyambura Gorge. Camping here is possible at Ushs10,000- p/p.

Eating and Drinking:
You will need to be totally self-sufficient for a visit to Ishasha if you plan to stay over in the sector. There is a canteen by the parks office at Ishasha camp where you can on occasions get cold drinks but no food. It is not unusual for there to be no drinks either if no one has gone to Kihihi to get stock.

Great herds of buffalo are common in Ishasha as are Uganda Kob. The star attraction is a pride of tree climbing Lions that are regularly seen. Less often seen are elephant that cross from the adjacent Parc National des Virunga in the DR. Congo at night and return at first light in the morning. Hippos frequent the Ishasha River with Lake Edward hosting the largest hippo population in the world. Waterbuck, bushbuck and topi are other large ungulates seen.

Uganda Kob & Topi - Ishasha
Uganda Kob & Topi - Ishasha

Mechanical Emergencies:
At Ishasha there is no mechanical workshop although do run several vehicles, they are all maintained by the main NP workshop at Mweya. Kihihi is the closest small town where fuel and oil is avaliable but spares parts are scarce and workshop facilities equally thin on the ground.

Medical Emergencies:
In Kihihi you will find only a basic clinic. Ishasha does have an airstrip but is now rarely used and now possibly uncertified by the CAA. The nearest airstrip is at the Ntunmgarmo Tea Estate close to Bwindi.

Closest fuel is available in Kihihi (22 kms) or at Katunguru (99 kms)

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