Photo credit Ivan Ssebuuma

Elephant Plains Lodge


Queen Elizabeth National Park

Elephant Plains is a brand new luxury lodge located on the most spectacular view point in the whole of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Perched 941 metres above sea level, high upon the western escarpment of the Albertine rift in the north east of the park, the lodge offers panoramic views stretching for miles over the huge open grasslands to lake George.

Set in 80 acres of pristine wilderness, a short drive to the park gate, nowhere else here can you sleep closer to the equator. Nestled next to beautiful lake Kikorongo this is where the open plains merge into the crystal waters and seeing large numbers of Elephants coming to drink from the water, hence the lodges name.

A short drive to the Kasenyi plains offers open savannah filled with various wild animals. This area has fantastic game viewing, a huge number of grassland birds and is a major breeding ground for the Ugandan Kob which readily attract lions and other big cats to the area. The open plains and large number of wildlife mean photographic safaris are extremely rewarding.

Video tour Elephant Plains Lodge – Queen Elizabeth National Park


The northern sector of the national park is called Kasenyi, or better known as the “Kobs Mating Ground”. In this open savannah area you will find hundreds of Uganda kobs. The kob is an elegant antelope, similar to the impala, which lives in harems up to twenty females, leaded by one dominant male. Consequently, it is not exceptional to encounter a hungry lion in this area, waiting for his chance to pounce on one of the unsuspecting animals. Big herds of buffaloes, giant forest hog, warthogs, monitor lizards and sometimes a lonely elephant can be seen during a game drive in Kasenyi as well.

The Mweya Peninsula is one of the best places to startNyamunuka Crater Lake your game drive from. The forested area offers a great variety of game tracks and at the same time it hides many narrow natural trails, created by the inhabitants. A game drive in this area will give you a fair chance of finding the elusive leopard and watching herds of elephant. Also waterbucks, warthogs, hyenas and the giant forest hog are regularly seen around the Mweya Peninsula. As it is located closely to the shores of the Kazinga Channel do not be surprised when you encounter a hippo grazing peacefully between the bushes, in the early morning or evening. Many bird species like the Black Bee-eater, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and Malachite Kingfisher inhabit this isolated peninsula as well.

This famous 32 kilometers long channel is a natural link between Lake Edward and Lake George and is said to contain the world’s largest concentration of hippos. A boat trip will offer you the opportunity to view hundreds of hippos laying lazy in the water or plunge timidly when you pass. Crocodiles will be found motionless at the shores and also buffaloes and waterbucks come to the water to cool off. Occasionally you may see an elephant coming to quench his thirst. Moreover, the Kazinga Channel is a true birders paradise as it is home to hundreds of (water) bird species. You may spot Pelicans, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, Cormorants and the bright coloured Saddle-billed Stork.

One of the most scenic parts is the impressive crater area in the northwest region of the park. Formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago, you can now explore a series of dramatic craters and dry calderas in the hilly landscape, offering stunning views of the park and its surroundings. The birdlife is spectacular, with large flocks of flamingos, but also buffaloes and other wild animals come to drink here

A real Tarzan territory can be found in the northeast of the national park. This is where the savannah grassland suddenly ends into an impressive gorge of 100 meters deep and 16 kilometers long. The steep slopes are formed by the water of the Kyambura River and make a beautiful contrast with the valley that is covered by lush riverine forest. A walking safari takes you along the river, deep down into the heart of the gorge. Follow the sounds of the chTree climbing lion in Ishashaattering chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys and other primates. Or try to catch a glimpse of the colourful forest birds, while you find your way through the thick bushes, with a blanked of dense forest canopy raising high above you.

A part of Queen Elizabeth National Park consists of tropical rain forest including the legendary Maramagambo Forest. It is one of the largest forests in Uganda, with different walking trails traced out. A guided nature walk will lead you through the lush primary forest, home to a large number of primates, butterflies and bird species. Baboons, vervet monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys and even chimpanzees can be hiding in the trees or down in the bushes. Deeper into the forest you will find the Bat Cave, a large cave which serves as a shelter for thousands on Egyptian Fruit Bats and several pythons that prey on these bats. Nearby is also the tranquil, picturesque Blue Lake. As the name implicates, it is famous for the intense blue colour of the water.

Follow the road to the southwest of Queen Elizabeth National Park and you will enter the remote plains of Ishasha. The landscape slowly changes as you pass large herds of Uganda kobs, topis and buffaloes, grazing peacefully in the savannah highlands. In the far end, the winding Ishasha River forms the natural border between Uganda and DR Congo. Here you will find hippos at the shores, lazy drifting with the stream. The birdlife enriches the trees along the river, while curious colobus monkeys and baboons often come to take a look at the visitors. The highlight of this area, however, is the tree climbing lion, who likes to take a nap in the upper branches of huge fig trees. So keep your eyes open when your guide takes you for a search along one of the circuits in the southern sector!

A popular photo stop is the Equator. The spot where this imaginary line crosses the national park is marked by two large circles. Not far from the Equator is the Queen’s Pavilion. This was a temporary shelter to host Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit in 1954. Five years later a permanent pavilion was built for the visit by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. A new information centre on the site includes internet facilities and a coffee shop.


This 3-days scheduled safari, with weekly departures from Kampala, is a perfect option if you have limited time available, but want to explore the amazing flora and fauna of Uganda at its fullest!

The package includes:

  • Shared return transport from Kampala (min. 6 people)
  • Experienced English speaking driver/guide
  • Mouthwatering and filling meals including a bush breakfast or dinner
  • 2 nights at Elephant Plains Lodge.
  • Game drive and safari boat cruise
  • Traditional performances by the Bakojo tribe
  • 2 departures per week on Wednesday and Friday

Take your family on a journey of discovery in one of Uganda’s most beautiful national parks! Together you will explore the Kasenyi plains teemed with wildlife. Especially the children will love the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. Enjoy a forest walk in Maramagambo Forest and take a family picture at the Uganda equator. This tour is a unique safari package for the whole family!

The family package (2 adults and 2-3 children) includes:

  • Private transfer to/from Kampala
  • 2 nights at Elephant Plains Lodge in the family cottage.
  • Mouthwatering and filling meals including a bush breakfast or dinner
  • Exciting game drive and boat safari
  • Forest Walk in Maramagambo Forest
  • Visit to the Uganda Equator
  • Special children discount: 40% of the adult price!

Experience the best of Queen Elizabeth National Park in a 5-days safari! Follow the hidden tracks in the green savannah plains, make an unforgettable boat safari and track chimpanzees in the beautiful gorge of Kyambura Wildlife Reserve. You will spend a night in a tented camp surrounded by wildlife, while trying to find the famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha.

The package includes:

  • Private return transport from Kampala (min. 2 people)
  • 3 nights in Elephant Plains Lodge (twin room) based on full board
  • 1 night in Ishasha-Ntungwe River Camp (safari tent) based on full board
  • Game drives, boat safari and crater lakes exploration
  • Chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge
  • Visit to the remote Ishasha sector, famous for the tree climbing lions
  • Mouthwatering and filling meals including a bush breakfast or dinner

Timelapse video by @nze_eve

For more information on the Queen Elizabeth National Park, download the official park brochure from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Map of Queen Elizabeth National Park