What is special about the Kazinga channel?
What is special about the Kazinga channel?, Situated in Kasese district inside Queen Elizabeth National Park is the fascinating Kazinga Channel. One of the dominant attractions of the park. This wide 32 kilometre long fresh water channel joins two lakes; Lake Edward and Lake George. Interestingly, these two lakes were named after Queen Victoria’s son, King Edward VII and his successor King George V (Queen Victoria was one of the former queens of the United Kingdom).
More to that, Lake George is a small lake that is fed by streams from the Rwenzori mountains and is only 2.4 metres deep. Its outflow drains into Lake Edward through the Kazinga Channel which is about 8 metres deep. It is also important to note that Lake George (250 square kilometres) is ten times. Smaller than Lake Edward (2325 square kilometres) as portrayed by their respective sizes.
What do we find at the Kazinga Channel?
This channel is truly endowed by nature as it is a home to a variety of animal and bird species. Thus offers some of the best wildlife views ever! Additionally, it is popular for having one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos as well as a large number of Nile crocodiles. At the channel, we also find other animals such as buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, monitor lizards and bird species. For instance the African Shoebill, yellow billed stork, jacanas, darters, great white and pink backed pelicans and many others.
Most popular activity on the Kazinga Channel – the boat cruise
Usually, when a tourist/traveller is preparing for their safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park. One of the major highlights that is pointed out in his/her itinerary. Is the exciting boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel.
This activity has been in existence since 1952 and due to the fact that the shores of this channel attract a large number of wildlife, birds and reptiles. You will surely be rewarded with spectacular views and heartwarming experiences during the boat cruise.
A typical boat cruise experience on the channel
The boat cruise on Kazinga Channel starts from Mweya peninsular and is normally operated between 11 a.m in the morning and 1 p.m in the afternoon and the next session is operated between 3 p.m and 5 p.m.
As you cruise along the Kazinga channel, you will catch sight of a number of buffaloes bathing in the mud. It is said that old buffaloes (which are eliminated from their herds) turn to the channel for comfort. These animals bathe in mud to get rid of biting insects from their bodies such as ticks. Besides buffaloes, expect to see other animals such as elephants, hippos, Nile crocodiles and monitor lizards. Many of these animals gather at the shores of the channel to drink water and quench their thirst especially in the afternoon. Others bathe in the water to cool off and refresh their bodies.
The boat cruise will not only expose you to the breathtaking beauty of nature but also give you an opportunity to briefly explore the fishing villages and learn more about the day to day activities of the locals. You may be able to see young boys catching fish using traditional methods such as hook fishing, fishermen repairing their boats and washing their fishing nets in the river as well as women repairing the fishing nets to prepare for the next hunt.
Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park
For those who may be interested in staying in the park for a couple of nights during your safari. There are several accommodation options that you may select from. These facilities are categorized into below budget. On budget and above budget and one is free to make a selection basing on their tastes, preferences and the budget that they plan on working with.
Some of the accommodation facilities in this incredible safari destination include;
- Mweya Safari Lodge and Elephant Plains Lodge (above budget)
- Ihamba Safari Lodge and Twin Lakes Safari Lodge (on budget)
- Simba Safari Camp and Ishasha Wilderness Camp (below budget)
How does one access the Kazinga Channel?
The distance between Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kampala is 410 kilometres and it takes around 7 to 8 hours to reach there by road. Alternatively, one could travel by air by taking a flight of 1 hour and 35 minutes from Entebbe International Airport to Kasese. Thereafter, you will be driven to the park for about 1 and a half hours.
When you reach the park and are ready for the boat cruise, the starting point on the Kazinga Channel is the Mweya Peninsular which is located 20 kilometres West of the Kasese-Mbarara road.
Boat ride operators and the duration of the boat cruise
Inside Queen Elizabeth National Park, there are two independent boat operators that include Mweya Safari Lodge and the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The boat safaris offered by both of the operators last for two hours.
Mweya Safari Lodge offers boat cruises on The Sun Bird (a 10-seater boat) and the Kingfisher (a luxurious 12-seater boat). Any of these boats is absolutely capable of facilitating your Kazinga channel adventure and leaving you with unforgettable memories.
COVID 19 and Ebola travel guidelines
Ensure to follow all the necessary COVID 19 and Ebola travel guidelines. To ensure that you are in a safe and healthy condition during your safari with us. One of our major priority is to provide the best possible safety and comfort during your tour. So please rest assured that you will be in safe hands.
Some of the travel guidelines include wearing and carrying a sufficient number of surgical masks. Moving with an alcohol based hand sanitizer, vaccination against COVID 19 or taking a PCR test and several others.
Book your safari with us today and get an opportunity to explore the exciting Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our top priority is to ensure that you get an incredible, comfortable and safe safari experience.