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Queen Elizabeth Boat Cruise | Boat Cruise in Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth boat cruise is one of the most popular safari activities in the park during your wildlife safaris in Uganda. It makes part of the best safari in Uganda, giving some of the rare experiences on African safari cruises.

The activity is famous on the Kazinga channel, but it is also organized from the Katunguru Bridge Area.

The serene waters of Kazinga Channel suit unforgettable safari boat rides for a safari exploratory cruise.

Launch trips on the Kazinga Channel are organized by either the

  • Uganda Wildlife Authority that manages three big boats
  • The renowned Mweya Safari Lodge

However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority offers cheaper launch trips with memorable experiences as you safari Uganda. In fact, the UWA(Uganda Wildlife Authority) boats competently have a high number of tourists leaving for boat cruises, and having many trips in a day is a guarantee.

Nonetheless, you can as well book your convenient boat trip with the Mweya Safari Lodge. Your tour operator can better still help you with the bookings as you freely wait.

Kazinga Channel Boat Trip | Boat Cruise On Kazinga Channel Uganda

The two (2) hour Kazinga channel community boat cruise is the most famous boat trip the North of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This Uganda tour on Kazinga Channel begins from Mweya from a landing stage just beneath Mweya Safari Lodge and ends at the mouth of the Kazinga Channel which is Lake Edward.

Kazinga Channel is a 32km long stream that drains its waters into Lake Edward through Lake George. The top activity on these waters is this famed safari boat cruise that has brought tourists from near and far.

A Queen Elizabeth boat cruise in Kazinga Channel is indeed one of the best activities to do while on your Uganda safari.

On the cruise, you will enjoy the aquatic richness of your Queen Elizabeth safari with sights fascinating and sounds bellowing just in front of you. You will be able to see

  • Wild animals of Uganda
  • Birds
  • Local Fishermen

The Hippos are the main tourist attraction at Kazinga Channel since their concentration in the Kazinga Channel surpasses that of any other place in the world. Other wildlife of Uganda Africa like the Elephants can be on the shores either refreshing or drinking on the hot sunny day.

The Kazinga Channel boat trip offers the viewing of a rich variety of wildlife in Uganda Africa. A Uganda wildlife safari to this channel will give animal views like

  • Large Hippo pods
  • Elephants
  • Buffaloes
  • Waterbucks
  • Uganda Kobs
  • Giant Forest Hogs
  • Leopards
  • Lions
  • Water Monitor Lizards
  • Nile Crocodiles
  • Bushbucks

You will see large Hippo pods daily in your Queen Elizabeth National Park safari because the stream is their home. On the other hand, Giant Forest Hogs, Leopards, and Lions come at unpredictable rates.

Also, watch out for enormous water monitor lizards that frequent the riverine scrub as well as fierce Nile crocodiles that lazily bask under the sun by the channel banks.

Kazinga Channel Uganda is also rich in water birds that flock by the sandy banks to the mouth of the channel. They include

  • Water Thick-Knee
  • Yellow-Billed Stork
  • Plovers
  • Pink-Backed Pelicans
  • White-Bellied Cormorants
  • Long-Tailed Cormorant
  • Open Billed Stork
  • Black Crake
  • Yellow Billed Stork
  • African Jacana
  • African Skimmer
  • Swamp Flycatcher
  • Red Capped Lark
  • Grey Capped Lark
  • Slender Tailed Nightjar
  • African Mourning Dove

The Black-Headed Gonolek, a type of bush shrike with a dazzling red chest should be one of the smaller birds that you should look out for during a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. You should also not miss the Pied Kingfishers that attempt to grab a meal by the shores.

While on the Queen Elizabeth boat cruise, local fishers can also be seen laying their nets for night fishing as Hippos graze.

Launch Cruise Time On The Kazinga Channel

Kazinga Channel boat trip at Queen Elizabeth National Park occurs daily from morning to evening in different sessions of two hours.

Boat trips organized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority leave every day at

  • 9:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • 1:00 pm
  • 3:00 pm, and
  • 5:00 pm

While the Mweya Safari Lodge trips also leave daily at

  • 11:00 am
  • 2:00 pm
  • 4:15 pm

However, the lodge likewise organizes these trips at 07.00 pm and 09.00 pm for special requests by groups on their Uganda tours and safaris.

You are more likely to enjoy the afternoon departures because this is the hot moment when Uganda wild animals come to quench their thirst. On the other hand, you can sight Elephants bathing by the Kazinga shores.

The chances of seeing predators and nocturnal animals in Uganda are also high in the late afternoon hours.

Boat Trips On The Katunguru Bridge Area

The Beach and the Irungu Community operate boat cruises at the Katunguru Bridge Area, and they are way cheaper than Kazinga Channel Boat Cruises.

Katunguru Bridge boat cruise and surrounds are favorable for visitors who would like to arrange Uganda budget safaris to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The boat trip runs on the Eastern side of the Kazinga Channel from Kasese to Rubirizi Districts. As your boat passes below this Kazinga Channel Bridge, you will notice a papyrus swamp that has a healthy birdlife such as the Papyrus Gonolek and different Pelicans.

With Katunguru being a major fishing village in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will also notice fishermen preparing their nets.

The Uganda wildlife tours in the Katunguru area are not as high in volume as those on the Mweya side of the Kazinga channel.  However, you will notice very many Hippos, Elephants, Buffaloes, and Crocodiles that will enlighten your Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda Safari.

The boats used in the Katunguru region are smaller than those on the main Kazinga Channel boat.

Queen Elizabeth boat cruise in the Katunguru Bridge area is advantageous in two ways

  1. You get a closer view of the wildlife since the boat cruise occurs on small boats.
  2. Also, you do not need to pay park entry fees since Katunguru is a place with nearby boat tours starting from before the Katunguru gate.

How Much Is Boat Cruise At Queen Elizabeth National Park? | How Much Is A Cruise On Queen Elizabeth Park Boat Trip Channels

Before you plan for a launch trip at the park, it is important to know; “How much is a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth National Park streams?” This inquiry depends on

  • Where you are taking the boat trip from (either Kazinga channel or Katunguru Bridge Area)
  • Who is leading you on the launch trip(either Uganda Wildlife Authority(UWA) or the Mweya Safari Lodge)

Below, we look at the prices of boat cruises while you safari Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise Cost | How Much Is Boat Cruise At Kazinga Channel? 

CategoryForeign Non Resident(USD)Foreign Resident(USD)East African Citizen(UGX)
Boat Cruise by UWA302530,000


The Boat trips by Mweya Safari Lodge cost between USD28 to USD50.

How Much Are Boat Cruises At The Katunguru Bridge Area

The Beach and the Irungu Community Boat Cruises offer affordable prices to travelers that is;

  • USD 50 for 2 people, and they add USD 25 for any additional person. However, their price is negotiable for large groups.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Do A Boat Cruise

  1. A boat cruise improves your overall health and wellness. Healthwise, a boat cruise helps to;
  2. Release stress by inducing positive emotions as you view nature, helping you to relax.
  3. Acquire a healthy dose of vitamin D through the sun.
  4. Boat cruises also help you to spend quality time with your family and friends, bonding more with them.
  5. The activity is also a fun and healthy way to stay active as you get to know new places.

Best Part Of The Boat On A Cruise

In Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is advisable that when you are going for a boat trip at the Kazinga Channel, sit on the left side of the boat. Arrive early so that you can sit in this conducive section.

This is because wildlife is so prolific on the left side of the boat and you will view them without needing to stretch or inconvenience others. Better still, you will be able to take clear photos of the Uganda safari animals.

When To Go For Boat Cruise At Queen Elizabeth National Park

The best season of the year

The best season of the year to go for a boat trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park is in the dry months of June to September and December to February.

Best time of the day

The afternoon session is very rewarding as there are many Uganda animals listed to see during the hot afternoon hours. In the afternoon, numerous animals in Uganda Africa, and birds flock to the Kazinga shores to drink water.

What Can You Wear To A Boat Cruise In Queen Elizabeth National Park

Kindly remember to dress in the following attire while on a Queen Elizabeth boat cruise. This is to help you enjoy your experience without worrying about any interruptions.

  1. Long Sleeved shirts and trousers
  2. Light Shoes or Boots
  3. Polarized Sunglasses
  4. A Hat or Cap

A long-sleeved shirt and trousers will cover your body so you are protected from insects. Wearing light dull-colored clothes will also make you feel comfortable.

Polarized glasses will help to reduce light glares or direct sunlight as you view the Uganda wildlife.

Your hat or cap will keep your face and head safe from the direct sunlight that may burn your skin.

Wear light shoes or boots that are firm enough to support you on the deck and protect your feet during your boat trip.

What You Need For A Boat Trip In Queen Elizabeth National Park

A boat trip is an exciting safari activity, but the little details add more to it being fun. They include

  • Camera and Extra batteries to take photos and videos.
  • A pair of binoculars.
  • Poncho or Rain Jacket.
  • Sunscreen lotion.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Snacks and a bottle of Water.

A camera will help you to take beautiful photos to take back home from your journey. Make sure that your camera has a good strap to prevent it from falling in case of any shock or when you accidentally release it. Also, be in a place with few people to have good photographs.

Your pair of binoculars will enable you to view clear and enlarged images of distant animals from Uganda and different bird species.

In case it rains, your poncho or rain jacket will come in handy, helping to guard you against rain as you explore the animals found in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

A sunscreen lotion will help to prevent sunburn.

An insect repellant will prevent insects from biting you.

You will eat your snacks at an appropriate time when you get hungry, and your bottle of water will keep you hydrated.

Safety Precautions/ Things To Note When Going For A Boat Cruise In Queen Elizabeth National Park

  1. If the boat is full, do not board it, but patiently wait for the next shift.
  2. Kindly have a life jacket with you. Fit in your straps very well and double-check them before the cruise.
  3. It is important to go for a Queen Elizabeth boat cruise after you have visited the washrooms and toilets at the jetty. This is to prevent any inconveniences during your activity.
  4. Avoid leaning or doing anything on the boat railings. This is to prevent the fierce reality of possibly falling into the water.
  5. Smoking on the boat is prohibited as many visitors share the environment. It could affect others health-wise.
  6. Be careful when getting on or off the boats, for there is a gap between the boats and the jetty.
  7. Remain seated until the boat starts. Only disembark when your tour guide has confirmed that it is safe to do so.
  8. In case you have a problem or get sick, freely inform your tour guide and the boat staff to help you.
  9. Minimize sounds as noise can easily scare away Queen Elizabeth National Park animals and kill your fun.
  10. Keep away from the captain’s deck to prevent pressing keys ignorantly and causing danger for the rest of the people.
  11. Avoid small boats because they can overturn when an animal knocks or when waves hit them.
  12. Be with your valuables at all times to keep them safe. Most importantly, keep children close in case you travel with any for the boat cruise.

Queen Elizabeth boat cruise is one of the greatest activities to do in your safari to Uganda. This two hours trip yields memories of sights and sounds to visitors during wildlife tours in Uganda. Experience this gratifying journey today by booking your safari with us.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many passengers does the queen Elizabeth boat hold? | How big is the Queen Elizabeth cruise boat?

The boat going for a Kazinga Channel cruise is a 20-seater. Therefore, kindly note the number of passengers before going on any cruise to prevent overloading.

  1. What is the difference between a river cruise and an ocean cruise?

A river cruise happens in smaller water vessels like boats while an ocean cruise occurs in larger vessels like ships. This is because oceans are larger and deeper than rivers. In the case of Queen Elizabeth National Park, there is only a river safari boat cruise.

  1. Is it safe to go for a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park?

A boat cruise on Queen Elizabeth National Park is safe. By inquiring on this, someone may mean to ask the dreadful question, “How often do cruise boats tip over?!” Never has this happened on a Queen Elizabeth boat cruise so the experience is safe.

More so,

  • The boats are strong and modern.
  • There are free life jackets for every client.
  • The concerned people ensure that people do not sit beyond capacity.

Additionally, the boats are well-equipped with

  • Marine radio and cellphones
  • Day and night time flares
  • First aid kits
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Sound devices like horns, bells, or whistles
  1. Which tourist attraction is found in Kazinga Channel?

Kazinga Channel has many Uganda wildlife animals which include among others Hippos, Elephants, Antelopes, Buffaloes, and many water bird species.

  1. What is the difference between a ferry and a cruise?

To ferry involves the transportation of goods and passengers on the water while a cruise is a luxurious experience for clients on vacation touring on water.

  1. How can you book a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park?

You can book a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Mweya Safari Lodge. Better still you can use the best Uganda Safari Company or tour operators to book for you.

  1. Is the boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park worth the money?

There is value for the boat cruise cost at Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you view a part of the world with one of the highest numbers of herbivores in the world, you also enjoy the liberty of enjoying an African setting in a wild Uganda.

  1. What is the age limit for a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park? | River safari boat ride height limit

There is no age or height limit for a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can come with children too, even though you have to be careful to keep them close to you.

  1. What boat cruise time in Queen Elizabeth National Park is best for families?

A family can best enjoy a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park from around 11:00 am and to1:00pm. At this time, Queen Elizabeth National Park wildlife is abundant at the channel hence creating for you and your family the best safari boat cruise.

Alternatively, you can have a personal safari boat requested by your tour operator, just for you and your family. This is especially more convenient when you book with the Mweya safari lodge.

Other destinations in Uganda where you can do a safari boat cruise

  1. Murchison Falls National Park at the Victoria Nile.
  2. In Jinja at the source of the Nile River.
  3. Lake Victoria.
  4. Lake Mburo National Park at Lake Mburo.
  5. Lake Bunyonyi.

Other safari activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park apart from the boat cruise

  • Game Drives
  • Birding
  • Chimpanzee Trekking
  • Lion Tracking
  • Mongoose Tracking
  • Nature Walks
  • Hippo Census
  • Crater Lakes Tour
  • Community visits and cultural encounters

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