When you think of safari, you think of open topped jeeps driving through the vast expanse of wilderness. I had never even considering taking a safari by boat until it was suggested for us to do in Uganda. We were in Uganda for its most famous attractions – gorilla trekking and chimp trekking however the Kazinga Channel is an attraction that shouldn’t be missed! The Kazinga Channel is home to some of the most diverse wildlife in Uganda and the best way to get up close to the animals is to do a sailing safari down the Kazinga Channel. In this post we round up our experiences of taking a Kazinga Channel Boat Trip
Where is the Kazinga Channel?
The Kazinga Channel is the channel that links Lake George and Lake Edward and runs through the Queen Elizabeth National Park
Why You Should Do a sailing Safari Down the Kazinga Channel and what you will see on a Kazinga Channel Boat Trip
I had never really considered the benefits to this type of safari until we actually did it. Being on a boat offers a unique perspective to other types of safari.
Firstly it allows you to get up close and personal to many animals that for safety reasons you couldn’t do in other mdoes of transport. One of our favourites was getting to see Hippos really close. Hippos are really dangerous on both land and in water so having a sturdy boat was the only way in which to see these animals up close. We saw entire herds of them and even saw a baby out of the water! This is because the Kazinga Channel is home to one of the largest populations of hippos in Africa!
Other than hippos, we also saw crocodiles, elephants, water buffalo and wart hogs. Nile crocodiles are also particularly abundant along the channel!
But perhaps one of the best bits was the ability to bird watch from the boat. As you can see from this picture, the variety of birds you see here is pretty unbeatable. There are believed to be over 60 species of bird that can be viewed along the Kazinga channel. The best time as with any bird watching excursion is to see them at sunrise or sunset! Our boat trip was in the late afternoon and we got to do the sail back just as the sun was setting which meant we got plenty of bird spotting opportunities!
Some birds have their nests in the muddy embankments of the channel, a view that would have been impossible to see if not by boat!
Another great aspect of the boat trip was getting to understand more about the local life and social history. As the sunset over the Kazinga Channel we sailed alongside boats full of men going out to fish. It was humbling to see how people live.
It also gave an interesting perspective on how animals and humans coexist. The guide here told us about the villages that remain inside of the national park and how the Ugandan Wildlife Authority are trying to make it so these villages thrive off tourism more than poaching.
This is my favourite picture showing how the villagers and wildlife coexist.
Fun Facts About the Kazinga Channel
- It is home to the world’s largest concentration of hippos and Nile crocodiles! And from experience we can tell you we saw A LOT of them!
- The Channel is 20 miles long and links Lakes Edward and George!
- The Queen Elizabeth National Park was originally called Kazinga National Park but was changed to honor the Queen after her visit int he 1950s!
How we arranged our Kazinga Channel Boat Trip
Our whole Uganda Safari experience was organized through Steppes Travel! The Kazinga Channel Boat trip was organized through our tour operator as part of our trip! Be sure to speak to your tour agent to make sure they add a Kazinga Channel boat trip onto your itinerary!
IF you are trying to organize the trip yourself the cruise starts at the Mweya Peninsula!
Have you ever been on a water safari? I would love to hear your experiences.
Further reading: essential guide on what to pack for a safari
This post was part of the #MondayEscapes linkup