Welcome to this virtual tour of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in Southwestern Uganda. QENP is one of the oldest and most scenically beautiful protected areas in Africa. If Uganda is the ‘Pearl of Africa’ (as Sir Winston Churchill once famously quipped), QENP must be the Pearl of Uganda.
This huge park lies across the equator in the Western, or Albertine, branch of the Great Rift Valley. The Rift Valley was formed by a continental crack in the Earth’s crust, stretching the length of Eastern Africa, and its unique geological past has shaped the landscape, with this area in particular being famous for its 72 bowl-shaped craters. Seven of these craters contain lakes; some rich in minerals, some fed by hot springs. As you virtually venture forth, all around you will enjoy the natural vegetation, bird-song and passing wild animals, large and small. Can YOU tell a termite mound from an animal?
We make seven stops on the tour, and in each one you can zoom in and out to search for interesting features. Click on the green “hotspot” icons to learn more. During this drive through the park, we are accompanied by Mustafa, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s lion researcher, who works with the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers to monitor the lion population and try to reduce conflict with local communities, who sometimes suffer losses of livestock to big cats venturing out of the park. If you pay close attention, you’ll also discover a detour to Ishasha, the southern sector of the park, where lions are world renowned for their unusual tree-climbing behaviour.
Click on the green leaf icon to begin your vEcotour.
After your tour, why not find out more about the organisations working to protect Africa’s precious wildlife?
- The Uganda Wildlife Authority welcomes you http://ugandawildlife.org/explore-our-parks/parks-by-name-a-z/queen-elizabeth-national-park/areas-of-interest
- The Wildlife Conservation Society supports research and conservation in the region www.wcs.org/ as does the Uganda Conservation Foundation www.ugandacf.org/
- Learn more about the poaching crisis facing elephants at www.96elephants.org/ and www.BloodyIvory.org and get involved in combating the ivory trade!
- You can witness the French Government crushing tonnes of illegal ivory at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris here: http://www.vecotourism.org/news/tuskstodust/
- Encounter a forest elephant in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to the south of QENP, here: http://www.vecotourism.org/news/vecoworldelephantday14/