Like other Ugandan parks, Queen Elizabeth National Park lost much of its wildlife during the civil war. The good news is that wildlife numbers are steadily on the rise and in any case, this park is well worth visiting for its scenery alone. The huge backdrop of the incongruous snow-capped Rwenzoris in one direction, and Lake George in another.
Like the scenery, the wildlife is diverse, from the savannah-dwelling giant forest hogs to the masses of hippo, crocodile and birds found on a boat trip down the Kazinga Channel.
When we visited, a game drive took us up into the craters along the foothills of the Rwenzoris. Following a light shower of rain we watched big herds of Uganda kob, and drove slowly along the track behind a leopard, apparently oblivious of our presence, absorbed in his task of catching flying ants as they emerged from the ground.
The Kyambura Gorge is almost at the geographical centre of the greater Virunga landscape, at the heart of the Albertine Rift that straddles Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is in this gorge that you can track chimpanzees. There is a habituated group of 16 chimps and the pleasant 3-4 hour walk along the floor of this gorge is fascinating. So exciting to find their nests where they had slept the night before and knowing they were not too far away...
Ishasha, in the southwest of the park near the Congo border, is known for its tree-climbing lions.