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The Kazinga Channel, Uganda


kazinga channel animals - queen elizabeth national park - uganda 

Kazinga Channel - Queen Elizabeth National Park Information - Uganda
 
 

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kazinga channel animals and birds QENP ugandaUganda is not just mountain gorillas in Bwindi and chimps of Kibale,...its a country gifted with tremendous variety of wildlife, including many rare birds, as well as amazing landscapes changing from drier savannah to rainforests. It’s amazing what you see at the Kazinga channel.

The Kazinga Channel is a wide, 32-kilometre (20mi) long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George, and a dominant feature of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is an oasis that quenches the thirst of both humans and numerous animals.The channel attracts a varied range of animals and birds, with one of the world's largest concentration of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.

Lake George is a small lake with an average depth of only 2.4 metres (7.9ft) and which is fed by streams from the Rwenzori mountains. Its outflow is through the Kazinga Channel which drains into Lake Edward, water levels fluctuating very little.

hippos in kazinga channel - queen elizabeth national park UgandaThe Kazinga Channel boat trip/safari is probably the most popular activity in the QENP and rightly so. Boats leave the landing stage below the Mweya Safari Lodge four times a day for a trip that lasts about two hours. You can take this slow boat cruise along the edge of the channel and see about a third of the hippo population of Queen Elizabeth park amounting to over 1,600 hippos. That alone is simply incredibly and those hefty creatures are simply amazing and if you are staying in the Mweya area you can hear them munching the grass at night. It's one place in Uganda where you can find tourists in numbers.

In 2005, large numbers of hippos were killed in the channel as a result of an anthrax outbreak, which occurs when animals eat remnants of vegetation in the driest months, absorbing bacterial spores that can live for decades in dry soil. FYI, hippos, as is well known, kill far more humans in African than any other large animal.

monitor lizard at kazinga channel QENP ugandaBuffalo and (in the afternoons at least) elephant, crocodiles, monitor lizards are virtually guaranteed. You can see the giant Nile Monitor Lizard, the biggest lizard that can be found in Africa, along with a wealth of bird life. You get to see fish eagles throwing their heads back and making the most extraordinary calls.

Visitors with great birding desire can easily spot 60 species of birds on average in the 2-hour boat trip along Kazinga Channel. Among the common ones include; the Black bee eater, Black-rumped buttonquail, 11 different species of Kingfisher, several Falcons, African skimmer, the Great White and Pink-Backed Pelicans, African Shoebill, Yellow Billed Stork, Great and Long Tailed Cormorants, Open-Billed Stork, Saddle Bill Stork, Darters, Black Crake and Jacana and so many more.

In the late afternoon you also get to see men from the fishing village of Kazinga on the opposite shore of the channel to Mweya, setting out in their flimsy boats for the night's fishing. They go out at night to avoid the hippos (which, of course, graze on land at night and spend the days in the water).

birds and animals at kazinga channel QENP ugandaIt's also interesting to watch elephants and the goats interacting, not something you see in your average "Western world" wildlife park. These goats a not wild so they run home just before it gets dark, but it's amazing to see them suddenly remember an urgent appointment back in the village, and they all make their way home.

The boats at the Kazinga channel boat come with expert Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger guides who narrate the creatures’ stories. You can rent a smaller boat through the Mweya Safari Lodge and take a private boat ride, the boats are covered and have the most comfortable time along the Kazinga Channel.


If you would like to receive additional information about Kyambura Gorge/Game Reserve, Uganda Safari itineraries, Competitive pricing, ground transportation, accommodations or any kind of help in that area, please feel free to either call us on +256 777 201697 or write to us today, our staff is always happy to answer your questions.


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By Jesse Tom Kitanywa
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