The Kazinga Channel is a wide, 40km long natural channel that connects Lake Edward in the west, to Lake George in east. The channel is a dominant feature of the Queen Elizabeth National Park (Uganda’s most popular reserve covering a total of 1,978km2). The Kazinga channel attracts a various range of animals and birdlife, with one of the world’s largest concentration of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.
On the East of the Channel lies Lake George – a small lake with depth of 2.4m (250km2). The lake is supported by streams from the Rwenzori Mountains, north of the lake. Lake Gorge outflow is through the Kazinga Channel which drains into Lake Edward (one of Uganda’s major freshwater lake) situated west of the channel, covering 2000km2.
If you are interested in a thrilling boat cruise and you are on Uganda safari, Kazinga channel is that one remarkable site you need to pay a visit. This area is breathtaking and incredible rewards you with diverse wildlife species. It is wide with about 40 kilometers long, connecting two scenic lakes-Lake Edward to Lake George. Remarkably, it is best described as an oasis of hippos and crocodiles as well as varied avifauna species.
The Lake George is a small water lake with about 2.4 meters deep and it is fed by streams from the Rwenzori Mountain ranges.
The outflow is via Kazinga channel that also empties it to Lake Edward. This channel can be best explored while you are on a boat/launch cruise which takes you about 2 to 3 hours.
While on a boat cruise, you have a chance to catch a glimpse at varied species including hippos that make up about 1600 members in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Besides, you may also have a sight at other wildlife species including buffaloes, elephants, crocodiles, birds and many others. Lake Gorge and Edward straddle at foot of Rwenzori Mountain range. Basking crocodiles can be spotted along the banks. Previously, few of them thrived within this area due to volcanic eruption but after sometime, they returned through River Semuliki valley.
Distance from Kampala: 420km
Entrance: Non-residents US$30 per day, East African residents US$20 per day
Boat Trips Fees: US$10 per person
Top Activities: Launch trips on Kazinga Channel, Game Viewing, Birding, etc
Attractions: Flamingos, Pelicans, hippos, Waterbucks, African Elephants, buffalo herds etc.
Boat Trips start at the Mweya peninsula, situated 20km west of the Kasese-Mbarara road. Any vehicle traveling between Mbarara & Kasese passes through Katunguru. Special hire taxis are available at Katunguru trading centre. They charge around Ush30,000 one way fare to the Mweya Lodge.
Top Things to See and Do:
Boat Cruise along the Kazinga Channel is quite rewarding and one of the most famous launch trips in Uganda. Boat drives at the Kazinga Channel offers the opportunity of viewing hundreds of water birds, huge mammals like hippos, buffaloes, elephant herds. On occasions you might see a lion or a leopard along the banks of the Kazinga Channel. Visitors on boat cruise are accompanied with professional safari guides who will give you the best information that you need to have while on African safari. Ideally, a launch cruise along Kazinga channel is a major safari highlight in most visitors’ travel plans.
Must See birds include pelicans, flamingos,
The two –hour boat trip along the Kazinga Channel costs US$10 per person. Trips start at 9am, followed by another at 11am, 3pm, & 5pm.Booking can be made at Mweya Safari Lodge, facing the Kazinga Channels just up the Mweya Peninsula.
If you are interested in bird watching, Kazinga channel has you covered up. It attracts diverse bird species and while on birding Uganda tour, you will spot out variety of birds while on a boat cruise in this area. An average of 60 bird species can be spotted during the launch trip. Carrying up to 40 passengers, the boats guarantee a seat with a view, while expert ranger guides narrate the creatures’ stories.
The birds to identify along this channel include kingfishers, African shoebills, yellow billed stork, African skimmer, falcons, black great white and pink backed pelicans, open billed stork, great and long tailed cormorants, darters, black crake, jacana, saddle bill stork a mention but a few.
Where to stay
The nearby safari lodges for visitor overnight stay in Kazinga channel of Queen Elizabeth National Park include Mweya safari lodge, Kazinga channel view resort, Mweya hostel and many others.
Besides Kazinga channel, a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park also offers you a chance to explore other sectors especially Kasenyi track which is famous for game drive or game viewing. A visit to this particular sector rewards you with excellent views over diverse savanna grassland wildlife species including the African bush elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, antelopes, savanna birds and breathtaking landscape. As well, you can pay a visit to Ishasha sector where you can find the tree climbing lions relaxed on tree branches and many other wildlife species that will excite you while on a game drive. For visitors on gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Ishasha area is that one magical place you shouldn’t miss to explore.
Lodging in the Park:
Mweya Safari Lodge: Rates start from US$130 per person
Tel: +256 (0) 312 260260/ 414 255992
Mweya Hostel: Rates start from US$28 per person
Tel +256 782 802650
Mweya Campsite: Rates start from US$6 per person
Tel +256 (0) 414 342926