For those who have been looking to get close to wildlife in Uganda, Kazinga channel boat cruise is the best safari choice to add on your safari. It is a calmly flowing water mass in the heart of queen Elizabeth national park. It joins two lakes; George and Edward. The channel flows westwards from Uganda towards Congo. It is an all-year round water body dissecting the park into two sectors. Wildlife crowds along the banks of the channel all year round. Several boat tours are conducted on the channel every day, enabling travelers to enjoy the scenery of the jungle.
Kazinga channel is a rather shallow water mass, estimated to be ranging from 3 to 4 meters deep. This status enables the channel to harbor a large selection of aquatic and land wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, fish, other aquatic plant and animal life. It is surrounded by an ever green vegetation that is home to large mammals including the big five. Wildlife has created large trails leading from the savanna plains of the park towards the channel and this is how they move in large herds seeking to cool off every day.
Boat cruise experience
During the boat cruise, you will get close to large herds of elephants, buffalo crowded in the shallow edges and schools of hippos puffing or swimming along the channel. Birds of all kinds, including migratory and endemic specie crowds on the showers of the channel all day round. You will not miss the fish eagle parched on the side or fishing. Queen Elizabeth has a long bird list with 600 species and estimated to be one of the longest of all conservation areas in east Africa. This multitude of birds also qualifies the park for birding safaris. The channel is simply a paradise in queen Elizabeth national park that should not miss on your trip list of Queen Elizabeth national park.
Daily boat cruises
Two boat trip options are available on Kazinga channel. One is conducted by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the other conducted by the local community. The two boat options provide a perfect selection of safari opportunities for all kinds of visitors. The community boat excursions add value for guests who want to pay less for the experience. To take this boat, you don’t have to paying park entrance. The community boat cruise can go any time of the day between 7:00an and 7:00pm, basing on prior bookings. Boats take a minimum number of people on-board. The minimum number for UWA boat safari is 10 people while that on the community boat trip is 2 people on-board. One person wanting to take the community cruise alone will pay the fee of the second space at 25$ extra making the full cost 50$. Likewise for UWA one person would have to pay for the nine people.
Queen Elizabeth has very experienced guides that are committed to interpret everything to the guests. The guides have been highly trained and approved by Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda community tourism association, Uganda safari guides association and the Uganda fisheries department. The community guides have lived in this area and acquired the local wildlife knowledge all their life. Every boat journey will have one of these professional guides on board, included in the price paid for the boat cruise.
Boat options and how to prepare for them
Have you been wondering how to be ready for the boat cruise? All you need to participate in this boat excursion are; booking in advice, arrive at the boast starting point 30 minutes before the agreed starting time, present your payment receipt at the dock. All guests put on life jackets that are supplied by the guide on the boat at no added cost. All payment for Mweya boat cruise is done in the visitor information center located at Mweya. The community boat cruise can be paid at our lodge accommodation next to queen Elizabeth national park or at the boat cruise reception/ office that is located at the starting point next to Katunguru bridge. Please contact us to add your name on the list of people who will take the boat safari on your trip day.