Kazinga Channel: Home to Uganda’s Magnificent Hippos and a Variety of Wildlife


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Uganda is a country gifted with a tremendous variety of wildlife, including many rare bird species, as well as amazing landscapes that change from drier Savannah to rainforests. Part of these amazing landscapes is the Kazinga Channel.

The Kazinga Channel is a wide, 32-kilometer-long natural channel that links Lake Edward and Lake George and is a dominant feature of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kazinga Channel has two parts: North Kazinga and the Kasenyi Plains. Both parts are cool points for viewing the game; the Kasenyi Plains are ideal for lion tracking.

Kazinga Channel is lined with a swamp on its northern shore beneath Mweya Peninsular, which is home to Nile crocodiles, numerous bird species, water and land Sitatunga antelopes, and waterbucks, among others.

Old buffaloes, when chased from their herds, find comfort on the shore of the Channel. On a boat cruise, you can see a number of individual buffaloes bathing in mud which is referred to as wallowing. Wild animals wallow in mud to get rid of ticks and other biting insects from their bodies. In the afternoon, most animals quench their thirst on the Kazinga Channel, where you can view elephants, buffaloes, monitor lizards, and the biggest lizard only found in Africa, the giant monitor lizard.

The shores of Kazinga Channel attract wildlife throughout the year, with the biggest population of hippos and numerous crocodiles in the whole world.

Over 100 waterbird species flock to Kazinga Channel banks, making it an excellent birding sport for avian enthusiasts. Prominent birds one may encounter on a boat trip include the African skimmer, African shoebill, Yellow-billed stork, Fish eagle, and African spoonbill, among others.

Kazinga Channel splits Queen Elizabeth National Park into two unequal chunks of game-viewing attractions. The larger south of the Channel features the Ishasha sector, a wildlife-rich park sector known for its tree-climbing lions, and Kyambura Gorge, a valley of apes good for watching chimpanzees in the wild.

The best time to visit the Kazinga Channel is during the dry seasons of June to August and December to February. During dry, hot days, the dry puddles and heat push the animals toward Kazinga Channel, and predators are high during the dry season.

Make sure to visit the Kazinga Channel on your next trip around Uganda for a memorable experience.

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