The Kazinga Channel is an extensive, 20 miles/32 kilometer long natural channel linking the two spectacular lakes-Lake Edward (larger Lake situated to the West of the Channel) and Lake George (smaller Lake found to the East of the Channel). This Channel is one of the most spectacular features within Queen Elizabeth National Park (the second largest and most favored National Park in Uganda, spanning at 1978 square kilometers), and offers amazing views of most wildlife species within the National Park.
On the Eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national Park is Lake George, a small Lake spanning at 250 square kilometers and has a depth of 2.4 meters/240 centimeters is fed by rivers/streams flowing from the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains, situated North of Lake George. The overflow/outflow from the stunning Lake George flows through the Kazinga Channel and drains westwards into the adjoining Lake Edward (one of the most beautiful fresh water Lakes in Uganda) that spans at 2000 square kilometers.
The banks or shores of the Kazinga Channel draw several large mammal species such as Buffaloes and Elephants, more than 60 riveting bird species (such as African Skimmer, 11 different species of Kingfishers, Great white Pelicans, Open-billed Stork, Pink-backed Pelicans, Saddle bill stork and Black Crake, Cormorants, Black bee-eaters, Black-rumped Buttonquail and Jacana among others ) and some captivating reptiles especially the Nile Crocodiles all the year round, and one of the largest numbers of hippos in the entire world (though some of them were killed in 2005 due to Anthrax) are found here.
The best way to sight the different wildlife and bird species found within the Kazinga Channel is through boat rides/launch cruises down the course of the Channel or more likely at the entrance of the magnificent Lake Edward. A launch cruise on this water body is one of the most incredibly rewarding moments and is among the most desired and liked Launch trips in the Uganda. Boat cruises within the Kazinga Channel are conducted from 2pm and 5pm Ugandan local time.
This awesome place is made up of two different sections that include the North Kazinga and the stunning Kasenyi plains. It is undeniable that the Plains of this Channel provide mind-boggling view-points for sighting several wildlife species. When you venture into wildlife safari on these Plains, you will have a more wonderful way to watch a wide range of wildlife species thriving in this area within its tranquil Natural Environments. The Elephants and buffaloes together with other wildlife species that survive within the grassland thickets in the Northern side of the Kazinga Channel near Mweya area will make you love Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Nevertheless, the most appropriate and convenient spot to sight the Lions is within the eastern part of the Kasenyi Plains, together with Kasese road in which these “kings of the jungle” prey on a large population of the Uganda kobs within the area. The most perfect time for game drives is early mornings and late in the afternoons and should be conducted in the company of qualified ranger guides who provide tourists with detailed information on the wildlife species identified during the game drives hence allowing tourists to have a memorable experience.
Activities done on and around Kazinga channel
Boat trip/ cruise– the 2hrs boat sailing on Kazinga channel offers guest an opportunity to see Hippos, crocodiles and many water loving birds up close. Kazinga channel protects the largest number of Hippos in the world.
Other game seen at the bank of the channel include herds of elephants, Buffaloes, antelopes plus others mammals which come to drive water when to quench thirsty.
Bird viewing – For bird lovers, Kazinga channel is one of the best places keeping many birds. While on the boat safari, expect to see over 60 bird species. The popular birds seen at Kazinga channel include 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.
Scenic views – While on a boat safari, you will need to see and take photos of every moment. This is a beautiful Channel. The topography of the area is amazing!!
How to Reach the Kazinga Channel
Tourists can access the Queen Elizabeth National park through road and air transport. Travelers using road transport have to use Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Bushenyi- Kasese then to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Boat cruises in the Kazinga Channel start from the Mweya Peninsula, situated 20 kilometers West of Kasese-Mbarara main road.
The Boat trip begins at the Mweya peninsula, found 20 km west of Kasese-Mbarara main road. all vehicle itinerant between Mbarara and Kasese go through Katunguru. There are Special hire taxis available at the Katunguru trading centre. These normally charge between USH 25000 to Ush30,000 – a one way fare to Mweya Lodge.
The Kazinga is one of the numerous features within Queen Elizabeth National Park, and offer golden opportunities to tourists to see several aquatic avian and wildlife species.