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Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel

Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel

The Kazinga Channel is a large stream of water that joins two Lakes George and Edward. The channel is 32 km (20 miles) and the waters flows East to West from George to Edward. This channel renowned for its rich biodiversity and serves as a vital lifeline for numerous species of wildlife within Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides a permanent water source especially during the dry season, attracting a diverse array of animals such as Elephants, Buffalo, hippos, crocodiles and various species of birds like African Fish Eagle, the African skimmer, yellow-billed stork etc. It is also a source of livelihood for the communities providing fish and water. The Kazinga Channel boat cruise safari is a must do activity in the Queen Elizabeth National Park One of Uganda’s prime safari destinations that is home to a variety of big game.

Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel begins at the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park where the Kazinga Channel stretches lazily between Lake George and Lake Edward. Boarding a sturdy boat, we set sail on tranquil waters surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African wilderness. The air  filled with anticipation as we glide along, eager to discover the treasures that await us.

As the boat gently meanders along the channel, it quickly becomes apparent why the Kazinga is renowned for its wildlife sightings. Along the shores, herds of Elephants gather to quench their thirst, while Buffaloes wallow in the shallows. Crocodiles, Warthogs, Waterbucks, Uganda kob, Giant forest hog etc.

Highlights of the cruise

One of the highlights of our cruise is the opportunity to observe the majestic hippos that call the Kazinga home. These behemoths of the waterways lounge in large pods, their massive bodies partially submerged as they keep a watchful eye on passing boats. Despite their formidable appearance, the hippos exude a sense of tranquility, reminding us of the delicate balance of life in this pristine ecosystem.

For bird enthusiasts, the Kazinga Channel is a paradise unlike any other. Over 600 species of birds recorded in Queen Elizabeth National Park and many of them call the channel home. From iconic African fish eagles, kingfishers, Grey Heron, African Skimmer, Yellow-billed Stork, Knob-billed Duck, Egyptian Goose, African Jacana among others, the diversity of avian life here is staggering. With each passing moment, our binoculars are trained on the treetops and reed beds, eager to spot the next feathered gem.

The sun dips low on the horizon painting the sky with orange and pink. The air is filled with a sense of peace and contentment, as we reflect on the beauty of the Kazinga Channel and the memories we’ve made along the way. As we disembark, we carry with us a newfound appreciation for the natural world and a longing to return to this magical place.

The Kazinga Channel accommodates both man and animal and it is such a phenomenon to witness, man and beast side by side. A woman fetching water from the channel while an elephant drinks from the same in few meters. You will see the Katunguru fishing village and watch as local people utilize the channel unbothered by the hippos and crocodiles a few meters away.

What is the Best Time for the Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel?

Boat cruises are arranged at different schedules throughout the day. The afternoon cruise that starts at 2pm provides best big game sightings as elephants, antelopes and other animals move to the channel to drink water and cool off the heat. Meanwhile the morning is the nature time for bird watching. Therefore, the boat typically takes about 2-3 hours while cruising on Kazinga Channel as you enjoy the scenic beauty of the Park.

Where to take a boat cruise from?

The Kazinga Channel boat cruises are available at two places. At the Katunguru bridge where locals run wooden motorized boats on the channel. These are more affordable. Another place is at Mweya peninsula adjacent to Mweya Safari Lodge. At Mweya the boat trips are provided by Mweya Safari Lodge and the Uganda Wildlife Authority.  Meanwhile, the boats here are more upmarket and slightly more expensive. If you would like a big executive boat then proceed to Mweya. Boats start at 2pm prompt.