Today we visited Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda.On our way to the park, we stopped at the Kajara Tea Estates,which is one of the largest tea estates in the region.
We all got off the bus and took pictures with the workers who were picking tea leaves.Surprisingly, the highest paid tea-harvester earns 10,000sh(5 dollars) per day.The method of picking tea leaves is manual and highly labour-intensive.The tea leaves picked are taken to a nearby factory for processing.
The park is found in the western arm of the East African Rift Valley,and it is the second-largest game park in Uganda after Murchison falls park with an area coverage of 1978 sq. km. It is located on a plain near Mountain Rwenzori,which is the highest mountain in Uganda.
We were excited to learn that there are 95 species of mammals and 614 bird species,and the numbers in the park are increasing. Earlier in the day we had a boat ride along the Kazinga channel that connects lakes George and Edward,from where we saw elephants,buffalos,hippos,birds and crocodiles. Among the birds we saw, there is the spur winged prover that is able to pick meat from a crocodile's teeth. The bird enjoys a special relationship with the crocodile.
The park has about 200 tree-climbing lions however we were not able to see any.
Visitors to the park are able to find accomodation at Mweya Safari Lodge, which has separate cabins for the President of Uganda and the Queen of England.
The park offers various activities such as game drives,boat rides,chimpanzee tracking,guided nature walks and camping,among others. We had a game drive and a boat ride on our visit to the park.
The park encounters the following problems:poaching,bush burning,encroachment due to population pressures,poor roads,pollution and road accidents involving the animals along the Mbarara-Kasese highway.However, some of these problems are being dealt with.
We left the park at about 7pm local time.