Tracking Lions in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park: If you’re looking for Lion Tracking in Uganda, go no further than Queen Elizabeth National Park! The park, which was established in 1952, is one of Uganda’s most popular tourist destinations. It is located in Western Uganda and is home to over 600 bird species as well as 95 animals like as lions and leopards. gorgeous plains, woodlands, savannah grasslands, crater lakes, gorges, gorgeous forests, and mountains have been bestowed upon Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Mountain Rwenzori is the most famous, with its magnificent snow-capped top – a sight to behold. Regardless of other activities, the lions are the park’s main draw. The most well-known of them is the tree climbing lion, which can be seen in the park’s Ishasha area. While seeing tree climbing lions on a game drive in Ishasha is one of the highlights of a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, lion tracking is an even more exciting activity.
About the Uganda Carnivore Program.
The Uganda Carnivore Program (UCP), which began in the 1990s, is credited with making lion tracking possible in Uganda. It was formerly known as the Uganda Large Predator Project. This effort was started to put a stop to the canine distemper virus, which was killing many dogs in the Serengeti National Park and environmentalists were afraid it might spread to Uganda.
When it was discovered that the predators in Uganda were only dying as a result of poisoning, the project continued to monitor them and do study on them, as well as other community conservation programs. The Uganda Carnivore Program was given a new name.
Dr. Ludwig Siefert, a lecturer at Makerere University, directs the Uganda Carnivore project. He also helps with predator studies in other Ugandan wildlife parks. Kenneth Mugyenyi and James Kalyewa are two other senior staff members working on the Lion tracking project at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kalyewa is in charge of predator monitoring on a daily basis, while Mugyenyi is in charge of community engagement initiatives.
After taking over the Uganda Large Predator Project, UCP has continued to train future biologists. They collaborate with the government and other international partners, and they welcome foreign volunteers and student researchers with an interest in ecology. Lion tracking was implemented to collect funding and boost project exposure. For a price, one may go lion tracking to learn more about these predators.
How much is the Lion Tracking Experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park?
The only national park that organizes lion tracking is Queen Elizabeth National Park. The action takes place in the park’s Kasenyi grasslands, not among the tree climbing lions of the Ishasha section. Experiential lion tracking in Uganda. To participate in the activity, one must make a reservation in advance. This can be done with the assistance of travel operators or by paying directly at the Mweya Information Centre. A foreign tourist pays $60, but any East African person pays 100,000 Ugandan shillings.
The national park administrators donate $10 from each payment made to the Uganda Carnivores Program. This program not only focuses on predator research, but it also educates local residents near the park on how to coexist with lions and other cats. It should be noted that this booking charge does not include the park admission fee.
What to expect during your Lion Tracking Experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park?
Lion tracking experience in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park is now possible thanks to technological advancements. One of the lions or lionesses is fitted with a radio collar with a signal. Because she generally sets group movements and hunting schedules, the dominant lioness is selected. A lioness will frequently remain with the main pride while the males mark their territory. The Researchers find it easier to track the entire pride by tracking the lioness.
How are trackers put on the neck of the lioness/lions?
The lioness is shot with a little harmless injection containing a sedative to keep her asleep while the collar is placed around her neck. It is designed in such a manner that the lioness can still roam freely and will not become entangled in any vegetation.
The radio collar then transmits radio frequencies to the researchers through GPS, indicating the lioness’ precise location. This equipment assists scientists in observing lion movements, determining if they are unwell or if they are too close to residents living around the park.
If you want to go lion tracking at Queen Elizabeth National Park, you should know that there is a restriction to how many people may participate. It must be a minimal number so that the presence of many human invaders does not stress the lions. A smaller group allows for better photography, and the research team can easily handle a smaller group.
In Uganda, there are three sessions for lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are three sessions: morning, afternoon, and evening. Everyone must be on time for briefings. A session lasts about 2-3 hours.
The lions are being tracked by GPS devices, which emit a beeping noise. As you go closer to the lions, the beeping noise grows louder. There is no set route to follow when tracking lions. The researchers track the beeping sounds, which might take them anywhere, including to human settlements living near the park. When the squad gets close to the lions, the motor is turned off to avoid scaring them away.
On an average lion tracking day, the lions can be discovered after following them for 40 square kilometers, but this distance can increase to 400 square kilometers during times when food is short and they must travel large distances for the pride. Tracking is never dull since you will come across other park species such as buffaloes, hyenas, warthogs, elephants, and antelopes, among many more.
Through the activity, you will learn how lions feed, as well as their behavioral and socializing behaviors. You’ll also learn about lions’ lifespans and their duties in a pride. You could even be lucky and locate the entire pride in one area. If you do, you will learn about how territorial lions are and how they communicate with one another in times of danger. A lion’s mane is longer than that of a lioness. You will also discover that lions urinate about their territory to deter other males from entering there.
While everyone knows that the male is the pride’s leader, it is the female who does the majority of the hunting and decides what occurs in the pride. A lioness is very protective of her cubs, even fighting off males that harm them. We hope you may also see one of the monkeys being injected with a tranquilizer and having a radio collar fitted around its neck.
How to get to Queen Elizabeth National Park?
The park may be reached by air or car. If you want to travel by air, simply book a flight from Kajjansi/Entebbe to Mweya, Ishasha, or Kasese airport. Your tour company can handle this. They should also have someone waiting at the airfield to pick you up and take you to the offices to register for lion tracking. If one takes the lengthier road trip from Kampala, they should plan on driving for roughly 4 hours to Mbarara.