The Hidden Treasures of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Author: Calah

There are no TVs and radios nor are there any man made disruptions. Only, the forest birds and insects sing. The leaves provide the rhythm and the chimpanzees tell bed time stories. Amidst this, lovers kiss, the lake waters dance and the monkeys sleep,. The silhouettes of couples against a crocking fireplace, a thunderous dip in the swimming pool and the choruses of the forest life combine to create a Garden of Eden-like magical romantic atmosphere that many honeymooners only dream of. The harmony of virgin nature has never been so real.

Living in many centuries

Set at the edge of Uganda’s largest Crater Lake, within Queen Elizabeth national park that forms one of the most diverse ecosystems on the continent, is a tree house lodge that grew out of the 280sq.km Maramagambo forest in Bushenyi District.

The tree house lodge, as Jacana safari lodge is also known, is planted inside the forest -on the shores of Lake Nyamisingire, consisting of other five interlinked craters is the largest Crater Lake in Uganda. Because of jacanas eco-friendly design, the moment you step there, you become part of nature. You live in many centuries at a go. The clock seems to have stopped around the time of the biblical Genesis. Its location plus the intricate balance of nature and organic architecture, has given the lodge yet another slabs instead of cement and the toilets seats have wooden linings.

There are no TVs or radios in the rooms. ”Those are disruptive. We want visitors to be one with the environment. We want to stop the clock in their lives so that they can mediate and rediscover themselves.

While here you come into contact with your sense,”

Geo lodges formerly known as Inns of Uganda aims to develop eco-friendly tourism facilities in Uganda. The company also owns Nile safari lodge in Murchison falls National Park and Mabira lodge in Mabira forest. The design of these lodges contributes 50% to 60% to the environment.

The best way to explore the surrounding of Queen Elizabeth national park is on foot! The superb bird and butterfly viewing opportunities for photographs and learning about the flora and fauna are extensive. Walks include exploring the nooks and crannies, riverines, valleys and hills that perfectly expose this biodiverse part of Albertine Rift valley.

If you are physically fit hiking the nearby Kikoni hill will reward you with a breath taking view of the crater lakes, Kazinga Channel and lakes Edward and George.

The Uganda wildlife Authority Markets nature and provides guides a short walk a way from the lodge in Maramagambo. The forest is home to large numbers of Chimpanzees, plus a number of other monkey species that include Olive baboons, black and white colobus monkey. Others are the blue monkeys in addition to bush babies and gallogos. The main attraction seems to be the bat cave located 4,459 steps from the UWA forest office. The cave is a rare place where both predator and prey live in peace. It houses millions of Egyptian fruit bats and their predators overfed plump python.

Because of a lot of food, (bats) the two pythons in the cave are too fat to move and quite harmless. The bats are not bothered about them much as the python do not mind a bout people entering the cave.

The game drives

The adventures include boat cruises and game drives. with about 100 animal and 606 species, the scenic Queen elizabeth national park has more bird species than any other in africa and forms one of the most diverse ecosystems on the continent. it has numerous crater lakes in addition to lake george and edward which are connected together by the kazinga channel.

The channel’s shoreline is populated by thousands of hippos and birds. In the southern part is the Ishasha sector, home to the tree climbing lions while on the the eastern part is Kyambura wildlife reserve with three saline crater lakes that attract thousands of Flamingos.

The step Kyambura gorge, is also home to Chimpanzees for Chimpanzees trekking, black and white colobus monkey and red-tailed monkeys and other primates. Kyambura Gorge is real Tarzan territory with thick treetop canopies and vines dangling down to soft forest floor. Chimapanzees crash a bout and chatter high up in branches. If they don’t feel like being seen, they just keep one step ahead of out-of breath terrestrial visitors.

Wildlife viewing includes sightings of buffalo, elephant, worthogs, leopard, lion and antelopes. The park ha sno giraffe but can be found in Murchison falls nationa park, there are no Zebras but there in Lake Mburo national park and no rhinos or Impala.

The experienced ranger guides from the Uganda wildlife Authority are necessary asset to ensure the best game viewing and maximize the experience while the lodge supplies drinks and packed lunches upon request.

Cruises on Kazinga Channel

The boating bonanza allows you to view wildlife from the water whilst floating down the Kazinga channel. Teeming with bloats of hippos, tribes of crocodiles and abundant birdlife, its banks also host herds of elephants and hordes of other wildlife.

Kazinga channel alone is said to contain the world’s largest concentration of hippos.

One of the rare birds in the park is the peculiar, pouting shoebill 0r whale –headed stork. This giant bird stands four-feet high (more than one metre) and wears a rather timid expression. This and a myriad of other birds and animals are best viewed from a boat o the channel. The boat trips are available twice a day from the park’s headquarters.

The floating dining

At the end of the day, the Virunga lounge at the Jacana becomes an ideal area for after-dinner adventure stories and tales of the day’s viewing.

The lounge’s focal point is a large stone fireplace with large lounging sofas, handmade Persian carpets, a mixture of soft pastel shades, rope lashing and rock shapes that merge to form a soothing, open-plan cosy atmosphere. Close by this meeting area is a warm-style dining room and bar.

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