The Elephant home Pitch

Simple, affordable, flexible, and amazing!

This time, it is the Kazinga channel you have never taken before. Looking for wildlife in the most unique way, that nothing stands between you and the animals. Not even the trees or plants allow these animals to hide for one minute.  The animals are in action, lined on the banks cooling off!

A new Kazinga boat cruise is organized by the local community. Besides the cruise itself, the guides are very hospitable and they cater to every need. While on the boat, you even get safely closer to the animals than you would on any occasion, for that unique moment with these animals in their natural habitat. No wonder all our guests’ community who choose this trip during their visit to Queen Elizabeth really love this boat safari experience.  The stay at the elephant home makes this experience even more complete. It makes the Kazinga channel more accessible by all means of transport; private, public, or bodaboda!

This had never been possible before. It has always been so hard for guests to sort their boat cruise. The fixed times for the cruise are also no longer there to limit your chances of participating in the cruise. Come any time of the day and you will go for the cruise. it runs any time of the day, between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.

Will you be alone or two and you fear there may be no people to join? No problem. Now you don’t need to be a big group to enjoy this amazing animal viewing experience. If you’re alone, you need just one or two more people to join. Alternatively, you can pay an extra fee for this one person then the boat safari is all yours! Besides, in most cases, we always have that small number of people waiting to join us. This is why we are able to have this sorted without you hustling.

Elephants playing in the river in Queen Elizabeth N.G.P
Elephants playing in Kazinga Channel Queen Elizabeth N.P

Our guides are not hired from far. They are just the community members who have lived with the wild animals all their life in the queen Elizabeth habitat. during the cruise, you may not get all the general scientific facts about this wildlife, but you will be getting the specific and latest facts about how these animals live with the people harmoniously sharing the Queen Elizabeth National park habitat.

Queen Elizabeth is a human biosphere. It is a habitat equally shared by people and wildlife. Over time the animals have adjusted to the people’s behavior just as the people have to the needs of the animals, creating a harmony that you will be amazed at, during this boat cruise.

The innovation of both the people and wild animals addressing the challenges is another aspect that makes this cruise unique to all others. During the tour, you will see households, fishermen, and tourists sharing the same waters with the hippos, buffalos, elephants, crocodiles and wonder how they manage to do this.

Remember, guests who stay with us, at the elephant home, on the night before they participate in this boat cruise find it a lot easier to benefit from our arrangements, hospitable guides, and the amazing boat cruise experience. Our rooms are comfortable, spacious, clean, and self-contained.

Oh, I almost forgot to say the last but most important information. I want to remind you that you can book this boat cruise and our accommodation right here on our website. Payments for both the boat safari and accommodation can also be done in advance or on arrival at the lodge.

Which date should we book you on? Feel free to contact us any time when you have the answer!

Preventing covid19

We are specifically doing the following to prevent the acquisition and transmission of Covid19.

At the entrance during arrival and check-in:

The payment options available are;

In guest rooms:
Common areas;
Village guided walks and community experiences;
During the stay at the camp

“Clean and safe for your stay”

The following are the community empowerment and conservation projects you can participate in during your visit to the elephant home. This work is ongoing and implemented in the rural communities surrounding the elephant home or other community’ lodges that share the same ecosystem with the national parks in the Rwenzori region.

Renewable energy briquettes making

To solve the problems of cutting trees, lack of income to buy charcoal and firewood, reducing on women suffering when collecting firewood, household hunger due to lack of energy, accidents caused by wild animals, and arrests to local community members when they encroach on the park environment for fuel, and many other problems associated to fuel scarcity, there needs to be a source of renewable energy that can be easily and affordably accessed by the households of Kikorongo community.

Kikorongo youth are engaged in the production of energy briquettes. The briquettes are made out of clay, charcoal dust, or any other wood shavings. These briquettes burn for longer, are made of purely local materials that have less impact on the environment, and can produce easily.

During the participation, the volunteer will learn how briquettes are made. You will also make your own to show off with or give them to the local households to use.

Organic manure preparation and household gardening

Kikorongo community is faced with excessive drought. It is probably one of the hottest areas in the region. Kikorongo receives a very small amount of rainfall annually. Besides, the land has been exhausted from excessive traditional farming. As a result, all households buy food which is imported from other areas. The community youth and women are running a revolutionary campaign to feed the soils and start household gardening to be able to supply their own household food. Feeding the soil is one sure way for fighting hunger in the community, especially now, when the community households are mainly dependent on handouts due to the impact of covid19 on their livelihoods.

The community is engaged in organic manures preparation and household gardening to be able to produce their own food. This is done on a voluntary basis where the household and other community members offer all the required local inputs ranging from labor, land, and the demonstration site. The external resources that come from tourism and small donations are used to buy the external inputs such as seeds and others. As part of this project, organic waste is collected and added to the manure piles. The none biodegradable waste such as plastic bottles, plastic bags is also innovatively used in other interventions of the activity, as much as possible.

During the participation in the project, volunteers will work with the project on the community demo sites and at the household level. When you travel to the area, you can carry some of the items to use, such as seeds, hand farming tools, reading materials, or just your motivation to participate.

Handicrafts making

Handcrafts production is one of the sure ways communities living next to the park can easily generate income from tourism at the comfort of their homes without stopping their household traditional roles. However, the produced items need to be well managed and presented to the market. The community women lack skills and inspiration in the production and marketing of crafts. Most of them have not moved out of their communities so they don’t understand what the tourists’ expectations are.

Twice a week, the community members come together to make handicrafts as they share ideas. During this time, we provide external experts to give them some training on crafts production and marketing as a way to provide some inspiration to the producers. The community has been empowered to run a crafts shop near the lodge, but they lack the skills of managing it well. They need some support to guide them on how to run the shop in order to attain proper crafts presentation and sales.

When volunteers participate in this project, they will be involved in handicrafts production, branding, and sales management. Most of the working time will be spent with the community women as you directly exchange skills with them during the work.

Waste management and recycling

Kikorongo community is a sprouting urban center on the highway running next to Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is on the highway that connects the major towns of Kasese, Mbarara, and the Congo border. This location is also a tourism zone of the Queen Elizabeth National park. The area is surrounded by many lodges, meaning that most tourist vehicles pass through this community. Kikorongo community has a population of about 300 households (About 800 people)

The increase of the local population and businesses has led to a high generation of waste in the community. This waste pollutes the environment both in the community and in the neighboring areas of the park. The resulting pollution lowers soil production and attractiveness to the tourists. Eventually, the community losses money and food that would be potentially generated from tourism and agriculture respectively.  

To address the pollution and increased waste generation, Kikorongo youth is involved in waste collection and management through reducing, reuse and recycling. With support from various well-wishers and the community effort, the youth group has established public waste collection bins and keeps sensitizing to raise awareness of the local community on proper waste management.

During the work on this project, the volunteers work on community capacity building on the Reduce, reuse, and recycle of waste. This involves involvement in the entire value chain, starting from attending the waste collection days to seeing new products made out of waste.

Skills training for women and youth

Empowering women is empowering the nation, and empowering the youth is empowering the future. We base on this to look for every opportunity of giving life skills to these two social groups of the community. When the community members can learn to produce their own basic needs, they save the money that would be spent on them. this saving can then be used for other investment needs. We intend to give both productions, entrepreneurship, and life skills so that the unemployment challenge can be addressed. Currently, we give tourism skills, handicrafts production skills agricultural skills, and personal life skills.

After the skilling, we give material support to the trainees to enable them to start the production process that allows them to use the knowledge acquired. During the work, volunteers share skills with the community on the running and other potential initiatives. Volunteers can also engage in other partnerships establishments especially product marketing and capacity building.

Tree planting in the buffer of national parks

Under the buffer zone conservation initiative, the elephant home is involved in tree planting activities in the Rwenzori region. We have facilitated the growth of a few thousand trees at different locations and on the elephant home property. Because the elephant home is located in a semiarid savannah climate, we mainly promote the natural regeneration of the local forest but support the planting of trees in other areas where planting new indigenous trees can be more appropriate.

During this activity, volunteers will be able to provide support in areas of forest regeneration, tree planting, innovative tree planting resource mobilization, and forest management skills to the local communities involved in the work. The works involve seed collection, tree nursery management, tree planting, community awareness-raising on tree planting, tree planting-related tourism products

Agro-processing and produce value addition

In the communities neighboring the national parks, agriculture is the main income earner followed by tourism and traditional gathering. Agriculture also provides an important source of food to every household. However, agriculture faces many challenges including extreme climate conditions, pastes, and diseases, perishability of produce during bumper harvest, wild animals dispersing from the park to ride the crops, etc.

In an effort to address the problem of perishability and fluctuating prices, the communities are being empowered to add value to their produce in post-harvest interventions. This effort is aimed to increase agricultural output and reduce wastage of food. This will increase the agriculture-related economic benefits hence diverting the communities from poaching if they can get reliable sustainable income to support household economic empowerment and alternative investment.

The community members are helped with three main crops; coffee, vanilla, and bananas. These are the main crops that generate a substantial income for the households but also are affected by the above-mentioned problems. Once empowered, the households can earn a considerable income increase from these crops. The key activities being promoted are; coffee drink processing, banana winemaking, vanilla curing, and banana fruit drying.

as we are still at the piloting stage, the Work on this activity mainly involves community training and knowledge exchange on the implementation of the post-harvest value addition processes. other areas of intervention include product development, marketing, and business development skills.

Beyond the Elephant home:

The elephant home is an affiliate of the buffer conservation project. The project generates all its support from community voluntary work, tourism revenue, and partnerships. Your participation in our work helps reduce the carbon footprint on the natural environment.

Please choose the project of choice and get back to us if you have any other questions regarding this community work initiative. Otherwise, you can proceed to reserve your space on the accommodation and work schedule, through our booking or contact us forms.

The Bakonzo are Bantu-speaking people. This tribe is one of the 54 tribes of Uganda. They live on the Rwenzori Mountains and are until now, known as the indigenous tribe of this mountain. The Bakonzo people originally traveled from the Congo and settled here about 300 years ago.  There are about 800 000 Bakonzo people in Uganda today.  

Iceberg on Rwenzori mountain peak
Iceberg on Rwenzori mountain peak

The Rwenzori Mountains are central to the life of the Bakonzo people who live on the lower slopes, and it is the home of their central spirit Kitasamba, king of the Mountains. In the local language (Lukonzo), Rwenzori means Rainmaker, and they are called Mountains of The Moon as during the day they are covered by cloud, but are often clear at night and visible by moonlight. These mountains are shared by Uganda and Congo. The mountains provide an important source of water as they supply water to the surrounding communities and to Lakes George, Edward, and Albert, which support an important fishing industry

The Bakonzo people are reliant on subsistence agriculture and despite poverty and economic problems; they are blessed with a plentiful supply of clean, fresh water and fertile soil.  Traditional crops include millet, yams, beans, potatoes, and bananas.  More recently new crops such as cassava, maize, and coffee are also grown.

The Bakonzo are distinctive from all other tribes of Uganda. They also stand out from the other Bantu tribes of Uganda in many ways. Their language dialect is not easily adopted by any other tribes of Uganda, including the closely living tribes such as the Batooro who live in Kabarole located on the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. Many other ways of life stand out from all other Ugandan ethnic tribes, such as the way they carry their luggage, the naming of children, the clans, their diet, and the dressing code.

Because it is the most unique tribe of Uganda, you probably don’t know Uganda well, until you have met the Bakonzo people. To learn more about the Bakonzo tribe and culture, visit Ruboni community camp, in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Experience one of the most outstanding moments while at Queen Elizabeth National Park by participating in the village hill trek. It is a 3-5 hours hill trail overlooking this wildlife-packed savannah of Queen Elizabeth, astride Lake George at the equator. The trek offers one of the best views in the area.

This panoramic view gives it all. Viewing the lakes surrounded by expansive savanna is like a magical dream of the jungle. You will see the land dotted with grazing wild animals. on the earlier part of the trail, you can also be able to take the sight of fishing boats hovering over the waters in the middle of the jungle. With a local guide, the trek starts from the Elephant home, Kikorongo. The tour is offered in an affordable package that includes a packed lunch. Within the price, you will also get a day pack with 1 liter of water.

Taking this tour is probably the first time you will realize that 3 hours of trekking can feel to be too short. The beauty of this trail easily keeps you going without realizing the hustle of climbing the hills. It feels like flying over Queen Elizabeth National Park as you enjoy the views over Lakes; George and Kikorongo, that you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

Anybody can go on this trek with ease. It is suitable for all levels of strength since it has two optional routes. Those who wish to visit the mountain lake by car will be able to use a less scenic route driving to the village near the lake. The advantage of using a walking trail is that it is mainly open with short grasses and shrubs that allow for full-time views of the landscape in the entire region.

As you trek, unique plants, insects, and colorful birds are a common sight, making this trail a birder’s pick. With a bird guidebook, you will be amazed to spot and identify some of the birds such as black-headed Weaver, scaret_chested sunbird, and more. As you take the breaks, spend some time learning from the guide how the local people relate to these birds.

The hill trek gives every guest, an opportunity to live like a local for a moment. During the tour, you will meet and mix with the local people doing their local trades. These meetings can turn up to be all-round participation in the local life. From observing the local mountain architecture, innovative wats of transporting basic and commercial commodities, planting, harvesting, processing and tending to domestic animals. You ill also be amazed to hear the story of how the local culture contributes to the conservation of the natural habitat on these hills. The farmers are taking the effort to innovatively prevent the soil from flowing downhill. 

This trek is a world on its own. You will be inspired by this survival economy that runs without any machinery on these hills. All basic needs such as firewood and other domestic luggage are carried manually on the back. The women carry with a string around the head, supported by the neck. They carry this way to have a balance on the mountainsides. As you intermingle with the mountain people, you will learn that this way of carrying is another bizarre adaptation by the tribe over years.

The hills are so fertile that everything put on the ground will germinate. The food grown contributes to the domestic food needs and income when they sell the surplus. The local crops grown on these hillside farms include; cotton, coffee, bananas, beans, and other vegetables. Visit the farms to take some pictures or even participate in the farm activities. The farmers will explain the farming processes of their crops.

After spending time with the farmers, you will continue to the most interesting point of the trail; the mountain lake, parched on the top of the mountain. At the most scenic spot next to the lake, you will take your picnic lunch. The farmer will tell you the story of the local beliefs and practices he knows about this mountain lake and how it formed in his garden. Take a tour around the lake to view it from different angles. The time at the lake is a memorable picture moment. After the tour around the lake is a good time to descend to your lodge at Queen Elizabeth national park. 

It is very easy to arrange this trek if you want to take it. We require you to book at least one day before the trekking day. Contact us today to reserve your date.

Queen Elizabeth is the second oldest park in Uganda. Its size is 1978 square km, making it the second-largest in Uganda.

This park was established in the year 1952 as Kazinga National Park. This name lasted only two years, then it was renamed to its current name to commemorate the visit of the queen of England.

From the traditional tales, the land currently occupied by the park was a hunting ground for the local tribes. These tribes include the Batagwenda and Banyaruguru in the Bunyaruguru highlands and Bakonzo on the Rwenzori Mountains side.

At the creation of the park, this land was never settled due to the infestation of tsetse flies that were in the area. As a result, the people who used to live there had moved to other neighboring landscapes leaving the park to remain as an exclusive wildlife habitat. This land use has lasted until this current day. When it was turned into a National Park, hunting from here was reduced but the tribes kept hunting the stray animals that would go to the human residential areas since these areas were equally forested and sparsely settled.

In the year 1979 hunting wild animals by soldiers were permitted in Uganda National Parks during the rule of President Iddi Amin. This permission was also practiced in Queen Elizabeth, an act that accounts for a considerable loss of Uganda’s wild animals during that time.

However, due to the successive conservation strategies, the Uganda wildlife population has greatly recovered in recent decades, making the country one of the leading wildlife havens in east Africa. Specifically, this has qualified Queen Elizabeth to be the most preferred destination for wildlife activities in Uganda, that no one should miss.

Queen Elizabeth is dissected by a national public highway from Mbarara to Kasese/ fort portal. This road is tarmac and all-weather standard. The road makes a loop from Kampala and back to Kampala on both ends, making it easy to access Queen Elizabeth National Park by public transport. You can easily find buses from Kampala or Matau (shared taxis) in the neighboring towns passing through the park. No one will be allowed to enter beyond the gates on foot. This means if your lodge is inside the park, if you want to do a boat cruise at Mweya or any other activity, you will need to have private transport. If you visited by public transport, the cars can be easily hired from Katunguru, Kasese town, Kyambura, lake Katwe or at the Elephant home

Neighboring National Parks and how to get there after your stay in Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth is located in the center of natural wonders. Its neighborhood makes up other unique nature reserves and National Parks that can be reached in a few hours drive. as the west is entirely dominated by Rwenzori mountains, the East is covered by Kalinzu, Maramagambo, Kyambura and Kigezi wildlife reserves.

In the North, you find Kibale National Park, the home of chimps and other primates.

To the west, you find Rwenzori Mountains National Park forming the wonderful backdrop during the safari. Rwenzori is the scenic park for those who want to do all levels of adventurous mountain climbing.

South of Queen Elizabeth, you will find Bwindi forest almost touching ends. This is the home of the famous mountain gorillas.

From the immediate neighbor parks, you will find other parks such as Semuliki national park to the northwest, Murchison falls national park to the far north and Mugahinga gorilla national park to the far south.

It is possible to travel from Queen Elizabeth to any of these parks within one day. If you haven’t figured how to travel to/ from Queen or you need any other on-ground help, please feel free to contact us now. We will provide support from the smallest to the most complex holiday details, including travel, hotel reservation, and wildlife safaris or booking other destinations around Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth is home to over 95 mammals and more than 500 bird species and a variety of reptiles and small insects. The common animals you may see during your visit include;

Since this park is home to a large variety of bird species, every guest will not miss on birds during a game drive/ safari or the Kazinga channel boat cruise.

Location and access:

Queen Elizabeth is located about 400km, on the equator, west of Kampala. From Kampala, the two routes that can be used to access the park are;

  • Kampala-Mubende Fort portal route.
  • Masaka-Mbarara route.

For road transport, public and private means is easy to arrange from Kampala city, at no extra cost other than the  net price of transportation. contact the Elephant home or your tour operator for current information regarding transportation. 

It is also possible to fly to Queen Elizabeth from Kanjansi (Entebbe Road) to Kasese airstrip. Scheduled flights are available twice a day on most days of the week. Chartered flights can be arranged any day.

Year of establishment: 1952

Size: 1978 square km

Mammals species: over 95 mammals

Primates species: 10

Birds species: Over 500 species

Vegetation and land features: Savannah, Wetlands, Forests, fresh water lakes, salt lakes, rift valley escarpment, equator