Are game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP worth the money?
Many people request to include the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park but before one does, several questions always arise. Does a game drive or visit to Ishasha Side of Queen Elizabeth National Park worth the money to be spent? What is so special about Ishasha side that one should include it in the itinerary while in Queen Elizabeth National Park? What is the cost involved to visit Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park?
The Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is very famous because of its population of tree-climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction, the lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the many Uganda Kobs that are grazing in the open Ishasha grasslands and are actually the primary prey to these lions. Sometimes even leopards can be seen lying in the tress. Depending on Luck, you will be able to see them while on a game drive. Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park is mostly used for game drives for visitors to spot the unique tree-climbing lions and other various animals which is always a great experience for many and worth the money.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha side.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular national park in Uganda, one of the savannah Parks found in Kasese district in Western Uganda, it spreads to the western arm of the Great Rift Valley and is home to a wide many of wild animals including elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah kind of habitats, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with its tree-climbing lions and maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda.
The game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP start very early in the morning at around 6:00 am for chances of cats and other wild animals till evening, the game drives can be done at any time of the day. All our vehicles while on these game drives have a pop-up roof that allows you to view clearly, even in a distance, and also great Photograph. The driver-guide will help you in identifying the animals and birds as you drive through the trails speed an exceptional experience worth the money.
How are game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP worth the money?
What you pay as entrance fees for the game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP is an investment in yourself given the fact this gives you an opportunity to see the tree-climbing lions and other wildlife as you enjoy the beautiful African wilderness sceneries which is amazing The money paid also helps in conservation of wildlife and their natural habitat in Queen Elizabeth National Park which makes the money spent on the game drives worth it.
Money spent on the game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP and park entrance fees to the park also helps to benefit the local communities that leave near and within Queen Elizabeth National Park this, in turn, encourages the local communities to conserve and protect the wildlife in the park since their importance is known by the local communities through the 20% money they receive every year of the park entrance fees paid by tourists who visit Queen Elizabeth National Park. This money goes to the local communities directly through payment of the local communities who are on the lead committees and indirectly through infrastructure and projects that help contribute to a better life of the local communities through the construction of schools, hospitals and practicing agriculture, this thus also makes the money spent on the game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP worth it.
What is the cost of game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP?
Game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP can be done on different schedules of the itinerary you booked. You can opt to do Morning, afternoon, evening, and night game drive to fully explore the Park but this will require more days of stay. You will be required to Pay Park entrance fees of USD40 per person for Non-foreign residents to be allowed to do game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP. The night game drives cost USD40 per person per day for Foreigners and UGX 40,000 per person per day for the East Africans while the day game drives cost USD 30 for foreigners per person per day and UGX30000 shillings for East African Citizens per person per day. The charge is paid to Uganda wildlife Authority at the Park headquarters or at the head office.
Best time to do game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP
The best time to do game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP is during the dry season from June to September and December to February every year. The park can as well be visited all year round and you will be able to see the wildlife and do a safari in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Dry seasons offer great sightings of tree climbing lions and other wildlife compared to wet seasons.
What else to see from Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Gorilla trekking in Buhoma side of Bwindi
While in Ishasha, you may choose to drive 2-3 hours to Buhoma side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking. The road is a bit bumpy, but it is worth driving to and from. Gorilla trekking remains Africa’s most requested tourist activity one should take advantage of once in Ishasha. It is always advised to book your gorilla permit in advance since gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly. Buhoma which is very close to Ishasha is the most popular region in Bwindi and permits are always competed for by tour operators and individual tourists. When contacted, Encounter Africa safaris with check availability and book your gorilla permit before including gorilla trekking in your program.
Game drives and Kazinga Channel Boar cruise
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second-largest conservation area in Uganda with two major sections. Apart from Ishasha located in the south, we have one beautiful sector called Mweya located in the northern part of this large conservation area. In the savannah plains of Kasenyi, one can enjoy more game viewing to add on what he/she could have missed in Ishasha. Mweya also gives one an opportunity to enjoy a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel to spot animals that flock to this place for water. Such animals include birds, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, sometimes lions and so many others. In fact, the Kazinga channel is one of the few highlights when in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Hiking Rwenzori mountains
If you are fun of climbing mountains, you may choose to drive north to plan hiking Rwenzori mountains. It is believed that Rwenzori is one of the challenging but most rewarding mountain experience provider in Africa. You can choose to spend 3-8 days of hiking, but if you need to reach the snow-capped peak of this mountain, you will need at least 8-9 days depending on your physical fitness. Encounter Africa safaris organizes hiking expeditions to Rwenzori National Park and if interested, please contact us.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura or Kalinzu.
Primate lovers can endeavor to visit Kyambura gorge to do a primate work in this gorge. A primate walk that gives you an opportunity to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat costs $50 per person and each day 8 permits are available. It’s approximately 2 hours drive from Ishasha to Kyambura where chimpanzee trekking and primate walks are done. It is advised to pre-book your Kyambura chimpanzee permit to avoid missing out. Kalinzu forest is another alternative for chimpanzee trekking and birding one can visit while or from Ishasha. Contact Encounter Africa safaris for more information about chimpanzee trekking in both Kalinzu and Kyambura gorge.
Where to stay in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP
Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP has a variety of accommodation choices where you can stay while on your safari. The lodges range from Luxurious to Budget Lodges and are very comfortable and safe for stay. It is always advised to choose Lodges depending on your budget. Luxurious Lodges include Ishasha Wilderness Lodge, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, For budget/Mid-range lodges Enjojo Lodge, Topi Lodge, Ishasha on the River Lodge, and many others.
How to get to Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park
By flight: There are daily flights to Kihihi Airstrip which is close to Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP and this is the easiest means of transport to access the park which only takes you approximately 1hr 15minutes to get there. You can take a flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi to Kihihi Airstrip. The drive time from the Airstrip into the park is very short and a lot to see as you enter the Park.
By Road: You can as well have a road trip to Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP. It is approximately a 6-7 hours’ drive from Entebbe/Kampala. The drive may seem long but it is very enjoyable as you can have some stops on the road with a lot to see and photograph. We only use 4×4 vehicles for transportation considering the state of our roads in the park. The vehicles are very comfortable and spacious with a pop-up roof to enable your viewing and taking of photographs. This side of the park is as well easily accessed by travelers coming from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, so this means it is very easy to combine gorilla trekking with game drives in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP.
Why book your game drive in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP with Encounter Africa Safaris
Founded in 2003, Encounter Africa safaris takes pride in customizing tailor-made safaris in Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth NP. It has a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 20minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer all your questions, and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. It all depends on your preference. Feel free to contact us here.