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Queen Elizabeth National Park - Mweya Sector, Uganda

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Queen Elizabeth Map PDF
Queen Elizabeth Map Gif

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.

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

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

 Launch Trip - Kazinga
Channel
 Daily at 09.00am, 14.00hrs & 16.00hrs subject to demand
 Adult  US$15- per person
 Citizen  Ushs15,000- per person
There two private operators conducting launch trips at Murchsion Falls.

 Chimpanzee Tracking  Non-Resident  Foreign Resident  East Africans
 Kyambura Gorge  US$50-  US$20-  Ush20,000-

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.

Fines:
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- Mweya/Kasenyi/Crater Lakes Sectors

The Mweya/Kasenyi Sectors of Queen Elizabeth National Park receive the majority of visitors to the park. Not least because here there is a newly refurbished lodge and the park HQ situated on the Mweya Peninsular.

Access:
Distances from Mweya
Kampala 418 kms 7 hours
Fort Portal 144 kms 3 hours
Kasese 64 kms 1 hour
Ishasha 123 kms 3hrs
Katunguru Gate 20 kms 45 mins
Kabatoro Gate 8 kms 20 mins
Buhoma (Bwindi NP) 213 kms 5 hrs

Getting into the park or more specifically to Mweya for those without their own transport can be frustrating to say the least. Hoping to catch a ride from the Katunguru gate is the best place to wait for transport going through to Mweya. Parks vehicles make this journey often throughout the day and may pick you up. Parks staff at Mweya resort to requesting lifts from anyone making the journey between the main road and Mweya as they have the same transport problems as you will find yourself in. Wait at the barrier for a lift to the main road when leaving Mweya. You could of course guarantee access to the park by considering a private hire vehicle from Kasese. If your part of a group this would be an ideal cost sharing option.

Kazinga Channel
Kazinga Channel

Matatu's make the journey from Kasese to Katwe throughout the day. Ask to be dropped on the main road at the turning to park entrance (100m) and wait at the gate for transport going through to Mweya. From the Kabatoro gate it is 8 km to Mweya.

For those with their own transport Mweya can be approached through the Katunguru gate and along the Channel Track (the option for most people approaching from Kampala direction) or through the Main gate at Kabatoro (better for those approaching from Kasese direction).

Location:
Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1,978 Km2 in area and is situated astride the Equator in the Western Rift Valley of South West Uganda, close to the Southern most tip of the Ruwenzori Mountains and is contiguous with Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire).
It is a region of varied habitats including, open grassland with thickets, thick bush, forest, swamps and lakeshore. Queen Elizabeth National Park together with Virunga National Park in (DRC) completely encircles Lake Edward, which is connected to Lake George by the Kazinga Channel.

Mweya Peninsular:
The peninsular area including the Channel Track down to the Katunguru gate and across to the Kabatoro gate has a thick ground cover of dense vegetation predominated by Candelabra Thorn. Game viewing can be difficult. There are several game drive tracks to follow that are well maintained. The signposting can be difficult to follow at times and it is most likely you will get lost at some point. The main road in the park and the Channel Track are obvious features that the game drive tracks juncture at some stage.

Buffalo at wallow
Buffalo at wallow

Most people that come to Mweya do so to enjoy a 2 hour cruise on the Kazinga Channel. The park operates a 20 person motorized vessel. There are sometimes 3 cruises a day depending on numbers of persons interested. Visit the parks office at Mweya to register your interest in a trip. The parks office will marry groups and individuals together to condust a cruise. Trips depart from the jetty below the lodge. Walk or drive to the jetty by exiting through the barrier at the entrance to Mweya HQ.

Kasenyi:
This is a open savannah area where Uganda Kob are the dominant mammals. Lions are frequently seen here on game drives. The Kasenyi Track can be reached by leaving Mweya on the main road to Kabatoro gate and proceeding to the main Mbarara-Kasese road. Immediately opposite is the Kasenyi Track and parallel Kasenyi Channel tracks. There are many tracks leading off the main track to follow and explore. A visit to Kasenyi is best conducted in the morning.

Crater Lakes Region:
This area comprises a scenic area of explosion craters, some containing salt lakes, formed by volcanic activity some 8-10,000 years ago. Some of the craters are dry. The craters form a unique scenic vantage point and are important dry season watering points for animals. Buffalo and Elephant are commonly seen on the crater floors. Flamingo are common residents.
The crater area is such a captivating and breathtaking phenomenon. It's impossible to give a fair description of the crater area, there is nothing with which to compare. It is one of the wonders of Uganda/East Africa

Kyambura Gorge:
The Kyambura river gorge is situated on Northeastern side of the Park (QENP) 35 kms from Mweya. The Ranger camp is signposted 'Figtree camp' on the main Kasese-Mbarara road. Departing Mweya via the Katunguru gate, turn right and cross the bridge over the Kazinga Channel and proceed approximately 12 kms before turning left for 3 kms along a track leading to Figtree Camp.

The Gorge spans a distance of 16 kms and it's deepest is some 100m deep and at it's widest point over 500 metres. The Gorge emerges between savannah grasslands and has a riverine virgin forest that transits to papyrus swamps towards the Kazinga Channel.

It is the only place in the Park where chimpanzees tracking activities are conducted. These chimps have been "Habituated" to allow for viewing at close quarters. Other primates include B/W Colobus Monkey, Red-tailed monkey, baboons and vervet monkeys. The Gorge is in addition an important water source for savannah animals.

Maramagambo Forest:
Maramagambo Forest is one of the largest forests in Uganda. It is a medium altitude, moist, semi-decidious forest. Characteristics of such forest are increasingly becoming rare in Africa. Attractions in the forest include: primates, e.g. Lhost monkeys, chimpanzees, bush baby, baboons, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys.

The best access to the forest is through the park gate close to Jacana Safari Lodge. There is a research station where vehicles can be left and a guide sourced. Visits are conducted on foot.

Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge

Accommodation: Mweya/Kyambura Gorge areas
There are 2 campsites along the Channel Track at 4 and 6 kms from the lodge. They are rarely used and have fallen into disrepair. There is a large camping area at Mweya with views over the Kazinga Channel. Facilities include showers, toilets and a large shelter. The site is exposed and can be wind swept, a total lack of shade and level ground make this campsite far from the idyllic location it could be. It is however convenient for access to the lodges facilities and the Tembo Restaurant.

The Student Hostel at Mweya provides the cheapest option for those not equipped to camp. It is used mainly for school groups but you may find a bed in the school holidays.

Mweya Safari Lodge: The lodge has a prime location with views over the Kazinga Channel. Not sleeping here does not stop you from taking in the ambience, a drink at the bar or using the restaurant.

Mweya Safari Lodge room rates per night valid till 31th December 2009 excluding Christmas and the New Year festive season.

Royal Cottage: US$590- per night full board (four adults sharing) or US$500- per night bed and breakfast only (four adults sharing). This cottage has 1 double bedded room and 1 twin room it accommodates 4 adults .

Suite: US$335- per night full board or US$285- per night bed and breakfast only, a suite accommodates 2 adults, has one big bed, a living room and is air-conditioned.

Twin/double deluxe room: US$310- two adults sharing per night full board or US$260- two adults sharing per night bed and breakfast only. Deluxe rooms are air conditioned and face the Kazinga Channel and accommodate a maximum of 2 adults per room.

Twin/double ordinary room: US$270- two adults sharing per night full board or US$220- two adults sharing bed and breakfast only. Single supplement rates for this room are US$112- B&B, US$132- FB.

Single room: US$148- per night full board or US$125- per night bed and breakfast only.

Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge: Tel. +256 (0)312 294894, email: booking@naturelodges.biz. This lodge operated by Nature Lodges Uganda is in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park and conveniently situated for wildlife viewing in the Kasenyi and Mweya sectors of the park with excellent proximity to the Kyambura Chimp tracking, The Bush Lodge consitutes an excellent central base for your Quenne Elizabeth National Park safari.

The small scale set up built along ecological principals and the unique setting where animals room in and out the camp, offers a unique opportunity to experience a safari as it once was in East Africa.

The Bush Lodge is located just off the main Kasese – Mbarara road. Turn right after 500m when coming from Kasese and crossing the bridge over Kazinga Channel, a signpost will direct you along a maram road for 2km where you will find the camp.

The lodge currently consists of 10 self contained units spaciously placed. The rooms are made from a fine combination of canvas and local materials and built to ensure the best views on the seasonal Kamera river. Each room has its own private ensuite bathroom with an eco toilet and an outside shower.

Rates 2012
Single Room US$80- B&B, US$95- HB, US$105- FB
Double/Twin US$100- B&B, US$130- HB, US$150- FB
Extra bed US$20- B&B, US$35- HB, US$45- FB

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.

Hippo Hill Camp - Katwe: Tel 0312 276 878, email kitanda@infocom.co.ug. Built spectacularly on a hill overlooking Kitako and Kabazimu Islands in Lake Edward in the buffer zone between the park and Katwe. The camp is surrounded by Lake Edward, Katwe salt lake and Munyanyange crater lakes. The camp presently offers 10 luxury tents with private toilets, hot showers and solar power. Other facilities include a spacious dining and raised bar with views over the Salt Lake. There is a and a very spacious camping site for those who want to pitch up their own tents also.

Full board rates 2010 - Double US$280-, Single US$170-

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 not possible here.

Eating and Drinking:
On the Mweya Peninsular the only alternative to the Mweya Safari Lodge to enjoy a sit down meal is at The Tembo Restaurant/Canteen adjacent to the campsite and Student Hostel. Cold drinks and beers are on sale as is there a small shop with basic foodstuffs. Talapia is the speciality of the menu enjoyed with views out over the Kazinga Channel.

The Mweya Safari Lodge has an excellent restaurant and breakfast buffet. Reservations should be made in the restaurant.

When to go:
Queen Elizabeth National Park is at it's best outside of the rain season periods of March-April and November-December. Road conditions can be difficult and very muddy in the Kasenyi area during the rain season.

Wildlife:
Elephants are plentiful especially along the Channel Track when they come to water during the dry season. Large breeding herds are commonly seen. The Kasenyi sector is regarded as the best place to observe lions. Uganda Kob are plentiful here on the grass plains. Around Mweya there is a large concentration of buffalo and hippos are numerous. The rare Giant Forest Hog can also be seen during the day close to the old airstrip. Leopard sightings are not uncommon. Buffalo, Wart Hog , Hippo and Defassa Waterbuck are just about resident in the Mweya campsite.

Bird Life:
Queen Elizabeth National Park has the largest recorded number of bird species (568) of all Uganda's national parks. Years of research in the park have contributed to a substantial bird list which can be observed at the Bird Observatory located in Mweya. Entrance to the bird observatory US$10- per person. QENP is an important wintering and stopover site for a great number of European migrant species whose numbers can exceed millions at pre-migration build-up times.

Mechanical Emergencies:
At Mweya the National Park has an extensive workshop where even serious mechanical emergencies can be attended to. Do not expect them to have any spare parts for your vehicle. Welding jobs can be attended to here.

Medical Emergencies:
The closest clinic and pharmacy will be found in Kasese.
There is an airstrip close to Mweya where there are almost daily charters from Entebbe.

Amenities:
Diesel and Petrol is available at Mweya. Fuel is slightly cheaper in Kasese.




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