The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

February 20, 2024
News Journeys Uganda

Home of tree-climbing Lions

The Ishasha sector is found in the south-western rim of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is by far the most visited game park in Uganda The Pearl of Africa. The Ishasha sector is not as frequently visited as the Mweya sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park but is one of the most unique and breath-taking sceneries and a highlight of a typically rewarding African Safari. This is majorly because of the unique flora and fauna in the region such as the Tree Climbing Lions, the fig trees, and the famous Uganda Kob which is always grazing in the Ishasha plains.

This unique and magnificent sector of the park is characterized by a different landscape compared to the rest of the park and it is dominated by savannah woodland species of vegetation such as the cactus trees, acacia trees, and the enormous fig trees among others. The region also consists of savannah grasslands in the plains of the Ishasha region. Given the unique vegetation types of the sector, the Ishasha sector is also characterized by numerous species of wild animals including the popularly known” King of the Jungle” the lions, antelopes, hippos, Leopards, and elephants among others

Leopard watching prey

The Ishasha sector is famously known for the tree climbing Lions that are hanging in the enormous candelabra trees which are usually big and easier to climb than other trees. This unique type of lion can only be found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania. Even though lions are normally best seen in night game drives given their nocturnal habits, viewing lions hanging up on big branches of trees is a normal scenery in the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are very many proven reasons as to why these giant cats adapted to the habit of climbing these trees. Such as, the lions climb the trees to escape the very hot ground and temperatures, especially during the dry seasons of the year, it is also believed that the raised position while on top of the trees is an added advantage when spying and attacking their prey especially the antelopes that usually be grazing in the savannah grasslands. It is also believed that these lions adapted to these tree climbing behaviors while running away from tsetse flies. The presence of prey such as antelopes, attracts other carnivores into the region such as the leopards making it a perfect gaming destination.

Despite the presence of the unique tree-climbing lions, this sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park offers different other activities that one can enjoy and these include; Game Drives which involve great opportunities to view the different wild animals such as African elephants, lions, Topis, and buffaloes among others, Birding in the Ishasha sector is another activity not to be missed while in this particular part of the park as different bird species such as the Green-wood Hoopoe, Martial Eagle, Ross’s Turaco, Shoebill, African green Pigeon, African crowned Eagle, African Cuckoo-hawk, Short-winged, Croaking, Trilling and Zitting Cisticola among others are found here. Guided nature walks and Interactive community tours are among other rewarding activities one can get involved in while in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

African Green Pigeon

On the whole, the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is a habitat for numerous wildlife species and vegetation species which are unique around the East African region such as the tree climbing lions and the fig and acacia trees. Despite the different attractions in the sector, one needs assistance from a professional tour operator or guide for a fully rewarding and satisfactory experience of the Ishasha sector, and Journeys Uganda offers some of the best travel experiences to visitors seeking such exciting experiences.

When is the best time to visit the Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park?

Usually, the dry seasons which are characterized by low levels of rainfall and high temperatures are the most favorable times to visit the park even though this region can be visited throughout the year. The dry seasons usually occur between June to September and December to February. These are considered the best times to visit the park because the roads are not slippery and are accessible during these dry seasons. Furthermore, there is good clear visibility of wildlife during the dry season due to the absence of certain unfavorable weather conditions mist/fog, and rainfall among others.

What to carry when visiting the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park?

Some of the recommended items one should never forget while visiting the south-western Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park include; a pair of binoculars for spotting birds and the tree-climbing lions, a Camera, and huts among others.

How to get to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park?

The Ishasha sector is situated in the south-western edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is located in western Uganda. The park can reached by either road or Air means of transportation. By road, it takes around 6-7 hours to travel from Kampala the capital city of Uganda to the park and the journey is 410 km. The other way to reach the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is through the use of Air means of transportation. This can be done by boarding a plane from either Kajjansi or Entebbe Airport which will fly straight to Kihihi airstrip which is the nearest airstrip to the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.


Where to camp and get accommodation around the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park?

Different lodges are located around the park and Ishasha sector of the park and some of the recommendable accommodation lodges include the Ishasha Wilderness Camp which is luxury, Embogo Lodge, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Topi Lodge, and the nearby Savannah Resort among others.