Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park is historically the main tourist focal point and is currently one of the most visited attractions during wildlife safaris in Uganda.
This 10 km2 area has a raised arrowhead bushy land that connects to the Northern mainland by a natural isthmus. This isthmus is a bit wider than the road that crosses it.
Mweya Peninsular projects between Lake Edward, and Kazinga Channel in the immediate North where the two waters unify from. The area has a dense vegetation cover, candelabra trees, thorny bushes, shrubby thickets, and many game drive tracks. The signposting may make you lose your way back; hence it is advisable to move with a guide during your Queen Elizabeth Safari in this region.
This peninsular has an awe-inspiring setting as it overlooks a model Uganda scenery of an equatorial African riverbank. This includes the abundant animals of Uganda like Elephants and Buffaloes roaming the opposite shores and the unclear view of the snowy Rwenzori ranges. In your Uganda safari, you will also appreciate a beautiful view of the forests and the savannahs of this region.
Mweya Peninsular is also the launch point for Queen Elizabeth National Park’s legendary Kazinga Channel boat trips. Other major activities in this region during your Uganda tour are the day and night safari game drives, Mongoose tracking and nature walks.
The place is also famous for the Mweya Guest Data Centre where visitors do Reservations for experimental tourism in the park.
There are many Uganda animals that you can see on your Uganda wildlife safari in the Mweya peninsular. Moreover, there are no restrictions on walking around the developed area between Mweya safari lodge, the airstrip, and the campsite. However, it is important to be cautious of any animals found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, especially Hippos.
Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park is generally a popular destination as you safari Uganda. It also harbors Queen Elizabeth park’s oldest lodge and arguably the most classy one which is Mweya Safari Lodge.
However, there are also some midrange, budget lodges, and some guest houses that the Uganda Wildlife Authority manages. They are just about a 45 minutes drive from the game viewing circuit on the Kasenyi plains.
Mweya Peninsular radiates the expression of the wild lives living among humans peacefully. Discover this mystery with us now and get to know about the animals, activities, and people in this area!
History and happenings at Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park
It is believed that about 5000 years ago, Mweya Peninsular was a settlement area. In explorer Stanley’s visit in 1889, he reported that he found Mweya a smoky place, and concluded that this was because of bushfires from human activity. He also reported that the place had 81 huts, and many goats and sheep.
In 1891 however, explorer Fredrick Lugard found out that the huts were abandoned and the area closed because of the Rinderpest outbreak.
The park was gazetted in 1952, as Kazinga National Park, but was renamed Queen Elizabeth National Park. This was to commemorate the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Uganda in 1954.
Today, Mweya village has over 400 settlers living among the wild Uganda community of Elephants, Hippos, Buffaloes, Lions, and Leopards; many wonder how! However, it has been possible since Queen Elizabeth National Park is a Man and Biosphere Reserve.
In 2006, the Madhvani Group of Companies (managers and owners of Mweya Safari Lodge) suggested building a golf course in Mweya. However, conservationists and tourists opposed the idea, claiming that animals would migrate to new places, hence frustrating animal safari to Uganda.
Where Is Mweya Peninsular Located?
Mweya peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the Rwenzururu sub-region of Kasese District, Western Uganda.
It is on the North Eastern shores of Lake Edward in the place where the lake meets Kazinga Channel.
The peninsula lies along geographic coordinates 00°11’40.0″S 29°53’57.0″E at an altitude of 980 m (3,220 ft.) above sea level.
Attractions In Mweya Peninsular
Mweya Peninsular offers many things to see in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is known for its
Wild Animals In Mweya Peninsular
Mweya Peninsular harbors several animals in Uganda partly because of its strategic proximity to the Kazinga Channel. You can see many herds of Elephants by the Kazinga shores facing Mweya Safari Lodge and Warthogs milling by the Peninsula’s road.
Giant Forest Hogs appear on the airstrip toward dusk while the family of habituated Banded Mongooses stays on the lodge grounds. Lions and Spotted Hyenas come with less frequency and make solitary campers uncomfortable.
When you safari Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Mweya Peninsula you will most likely see the following animals from Uganda;
- Deffassa Waterbucks
- Giant Forest Hogs
- Banded Mongoose
- Spotted Hyenas
Hence, a fulfilling place for your wildlife tours in Uganda.
Birds In Mweya Peninsular
Birds in Mweya Peninsular are prolific around Mweya Safari Lodge and the lake shores facing the lodge. More so, the dense vegetation and the crater lakes are suitable for birding in Uganda, especially Lake Munyanyange which hosts many bird species. For example, the migratory Flamingoes that you can see during your crater lakes tour.
Other bird species to spot in the Mweya Peninsular in your Uganda birding safari include
- Squire-Tailed Nightjar
- Slender-Tailed Nightjar
- Swamp Nightjar
- Grey-Headed Kingfisher
- Pygmy Kingfisher
- Little Bee-Eater
- Nubian Woodpecker
- African Mourning Dove
- Diederik Cuckoo
- Blue-Naped Mousebird
- Red-Capped Lark
- Marabou Storks
- Grey-Capped Warbler
- Swamp Flycatcher
- Black-Headed Gonolek
- Pin-Tailed Whydah
- Scarlet-Chested Sunbird
- Red-Chested Sunbird
- Lesser Masked Weaver
- Slender-Billed Weaver
- Yellow-Backed Weaver
Crater Lakes In Mweya Peninsular
The Katwe-Kikorongo Volcanic Craters are located in the Northern Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park. From here, you can have a Uganda crater lakes tour to view the beautiful circular craters with the landscape of beautiful dropping vegetation.
- Katwe Crater Lake
- Lake Munyanyange
- Lake Bunyampaka
- Lake Kikorongo
- Kitagata Crater Lake
- Nyamunuka Crater
- Kyemengo Crater
- Lake Mahiga
Additionally, these craters flock with much wildlife in Uganda’s Queen’s Park, hence supporting your Uganda wildlife tour too.
Other attractions in the Mweya Peninsula include
Mweya Information Center; gives all the necessary information you need about Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Peninsula. It provides information about attractions and activities, maps, and books for sale.
Mweya Airport; this is a small airport where visitors from Entebbe can land and connect to other places inside the park.
Activities In Mweya Peninsular
Mweya Peninsular gives gratifying safari activities to visitors in their Uganda tours and safaris. They include;
- Game Drives
- Mongoose Tracking
- Kazinga Channel Launch Trips
Game Drives At Mweya Peninsular
Mweya Peninsular hosts both day and night game drives in which you can see different wildlife of Uganda around the park.
Game drives are famous at the Peninsular since different tracks pass through it; one at the channel circuit and another at the crater circuit.
Day game drive safaris at Mweya Peninsular will allow you to view
- Leopards, among others.
Since night game drives do not occur in the neighboring Kasenyi Plains, Mweya Peninsular offers this package. This will help you to view the nocturnals like
- Serval Cats
- Civet Cats
The channel track that goes through Kabatoro gate has dense vegetation and candelabra thorns overlooking it. This makes game viewing very challenging because of the trees and bushes in the area. However, it is still a worthwhile adventure to experience on your Queen Elizabeth National Park game drive.
Mongoose Tracking In Mweya Peninsular In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Mongoose tracking is one of the experimental research supporting wildlife safaris in Uganda. It allows visitors to study the life patterns of the Banded Mongooses as they refer to the prior information that they get about them.
However, new changes in the animals are also recorded and managed for further studies.
Even though this activity is not famous in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mongoose tracking is one of the fun activities that create the best safari in Uganda. It involves a guide looking for the Mongooses and then calling visitors to participate in studying them.
Visitors do this safari activity in small groups to not stress the animals, but also to make their experience more fun. You can do this fun and bonding activity with friends and families.
In this adventure, visitors will learn to call on these animals, recognize them, and record their weight, and other necessities. Mongooses in the Mweya Peninsular live in groups as means of protection against predators.
The activity takes about 1 to 3 hours and is best done in the morning around 7:00 am.
Kazinga Channel Boat (Launch) Trips at Mweya Peninsular
The Kazinga Channel cruise excursions begin from Mweya Peninsular at the landing site just beneath Mweya Safari lodge. It is a walkable distance from the lodge, but you can drive to the destination. The two-hour excursions give you the best experiences daily at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 4:15 pm.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Mweya Safari Lodge organize these Kazinga Channel cruises.
The thrilling Kazinga Channel boat cruise is an awarding journey that will give you the chance to see the large school of Hippos, Elephants, Kobs, and many water bird species.
Community Walks/ Nature Walks In Mweya Peninsular
With the guided nature walks, you can interact with a community around Mweya Safari lodge and learn a lot from them since they understand English.
Additionally, you can also view different bird, butterfly, and animal species. A nature hike during the Queen Elizabeth National Park safari at Mweya will also give you spectacular views of Lake Edward and the beautiful savannah landscape.
Other things to do at Mweya Peninsular include
- Crater lakes tour
10 Most Important Expert Safety Precautions (Do’s and Dont’s) While Visiting Mweya Peninsular
- Always make sure that you have a ranger or guide with you. This helps to ensure your safety during the safari.
- Swimming on the cliff at Mweya or any water body is not allowed for your own safety!
- The distance between you and the Queen Elizabeth National Park animals during an activity should be about 8 to 10 kilometers.
- Kindly do not harass the animals by throwing items at them. They may in turn attack you!
- While for a game drive, close the windows and make sure that you are inside the car; unless a guide instructs that it is safe for you to view and take photos of the Uganda safari animals.
- Game drives in Mweya Peninsular should be done on accorded tracks, and the driving should be at the recommended speed of 40km/hr.
- Do not make noise while doing safari activities at Mweya Peninsular. This is to not stress the animals in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It includes avoiding hooting cars and keeping your phone silent.
- When you carry a snack, keep it covered and when eating, make sure that windows are properly closed. This is because some animals smell food from afar and hence may attack you to have it.
- Follow the instructions from your guide and allow them alone to call the animals.
- Make sure you wear attire that suits an occasion. For example, when going for activities like game drives, nature walks, and Mongoose tracking, wear long sleeves to protect yourself from insects and harsh vegetation. Also, have firm shoes for easy trekking and all the personal items that you will need; for example the
- Insect repellant
- Sunscreen lotion
- A hat and sunglasses
- A guide book
- Medications in case you have any allergies
- The necessary toiletries
- A rain jacket or Poncho
- A backpack.
5 Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Mweya Peninsular
- Mweya Peninsular is the jumpstarting point for some of the best safari activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. These are the launch trips, game drives, and Mongoose tracking. Other famous activities in this region are nature walks and community/cultural visits.
- The Peninsular harbors Lake Katwe which is the top salt mining reserve in Uganda. Other Katwe-Kikorongo craters also promote Uganda crater lakes safaris in this Northern sector of the park.
- Mweya Peninsular is a good and safe destination for birding and sightseeing. The area, through Lake Munyanyange, has many flamingos that migrate from Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
- The area also has unique Uganda wildlife that you can see both during the day and the night game drives.
- The oldest lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is “Mweya Safari Lodge” is found in the Mweya Peninsular.
Best Time And Period To Visit Mweya Peninsular
The dry season is the best time to visit the Mweya Peninsular in Queen Elizabeth National Park. That is, from mid-December to February and June to September.
In this season, tracks are dry and animals are in the open, especially on the afar off shores of the Kazinga Channel. They are present, quenching their thirst and bathing by the shores.
How To Get To Mweya Peninsular
Visitors can use the Mbarara-Masaka, Mbarara-Kasese Road of about 400km to reach Mweya Peninsular. They can also use the A109 Road about 450km. Mweya is 20km West of Kasese-Ishaka Road.
Also, a flight takes about 1 hour from Entebbe International Airport to Kasese Airstrip or Mweya Airstrip.
Accommodation/Lodges In Mweya Peninsular In Queen Elizabeth Park
Mweya Safari Lodge; the lodge itself is an important tourist attraction during Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda safaris. It overlooks the Kazinga Channel which has a prolific animal and birdlife.
Marabou Storks regularly roost on a bare tree between the lodge and the restaurant. While the striking Red-Chested Sunbird, Black-Headed Gonolek, and a variety of Weavers are also among the common residents of the lodge grounds.
The lodge is on the extreme Northern part of the Mweya Peninsular and gives a striking view of Lake Edward.
Mweya Hostel; is also called the Mweya Institute of Ecology. It is near Mweya Safari Lodge and you can see animals moving within its locale.
Mweya Campsite; is also a beautiful campsite in Mweya Peninsula. It has beautiful views of the Hippos and Antelopes around the lodge.
Other lodges around Mweya Peninsula include
- Engiri Game Lodge
- Parkview Safari Lodge
- Tembo Safari Lodge
- Jacana Safari Lodge
Mweya is one of the places you should visit for a memorable Uganda wildlife tour. Its wild ambiance and the people will give you an experience of a lifetime. Discover more about Mweya Peninsular by planning your adventure with us today!