Introduction to the Ishasha Sector

Located in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s southern sector, Ishasha is one of only two places in Africa where you can see tree-climbing lions

It is believed that the lions have adopted this unusual behaviour to escape the tsetse flies and the heat of the lower ground.

Being perched on a tree branch is also advantageous when it comes to finding supper, as they can observe their prey from high above.

Besides the tree-climbing lions, there is plenty of other wildlife to be seen, including the Ugandan Kob, buffalo, elephant, hippo and zebra. 

Lion climbing tree in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Tree climbing is a behavioural adaptation, rather than a product of evolution.

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Visiting the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha can easily be included as part of your visit to Queens, and combined with safaris in nearby parks like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kibale, and Lake Mburo.

Things to Do

Game Drives

Game drives to observe the tree-climbing lions and other wildlife is the main activity in the Ishasha sector.

Ishasha is an excellent place for game drives as it is a lesser-known part of the park, so there will be fewer safari vehicles around, and you can spend longer with the lions. 

However,the roads are less well maintained than the park's busier sections, so a good 4x4 vehicle and a knowledgeable guide is required (if booking with us, this will be arranged for you).

Ishasha Sector

Lioness resting in the branches at Queens.

Cultural Visits

For those interested in learning about the different cultures in Uganda, a cultural visit to the local Bakiga Community can be arranged, as part of their uplift programme.

While there, you will be given a tour of their community, including visiting their homesteads, learning local ways of preparing meals, and helping them harvest some vegetables from their garden.

By the end, you will have learned a lot about Bakiga culture and may even have tried some of their local brews. 

Ishasha Sector

Where to Stay

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Surrounded by the unspoiled bush, Ishasha Wilderness Camp provides guests with a true safari experience.

Nestled underneath the trees, 10 en-suite canvas tents, with large verandas and comfortable furnishings are the perfect retreat after a long game drive.

Meals are freshly prepared using local ingredients, and guests can choose between alfresco dining by the Ntungwe River or under the grass thatched roof of the central dining area and lounge. 

In the evening, the campfire is the perfect place for swapping stories and enjoying sundowners.  

Solar power provides light to the tents and power points in the main areas so that you can recharge your electronics, ready for the next day's adventures. 

Enjojo Lodge

Bordering the Ishasha Sector of Queens, Enjojo Lodge is another great option just outside the park.

Guests can choose from 7 luxury en-suite cottages, and if travelling in a large group, there is a safari house that can accommodate up to 7 guests and includes a private campfire.

For those travelling on a budget Enjojo offers safari tents, bamboo huts and a DIY campsite. 

From the grass-thatched restaurant and bar, you can enjoy home-made food from the organic garden while soaking up the views of the small, natural lake.

Herds of elephants, buffalo and antelopes are regular visitors to the lodge and the abundant birdlife make this lodge a haven for bird watchers.  

Ishasha Sector

Luxury cottage in Enjojo Lodge is the perfect retreat.

When To Visit

The best time to visit the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is during the dry season from December to February and then again from late June to October. 

This is considered the best time for game drives, as the roads will be clearer. 

Visiting in the dry season can also increase your chances of seeing wildlife, as they will be in search of water and more likely to congregate around the fewer remaining watering holes.

The lions are also more likely to be in the trees to escape the heat.

Lion sitting in a tree in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The Ishasha sector is the hidden gem of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

How To Get There

The Ishasha Sector is easily reached from Kampala and Entebbe by air and road. Daily scheduled flights from Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala or Entebbe International Airport fly to the airstrips in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kihihi is the closest airstrip to the Ishasha Sector.

Kampala is 410km north of Queens and is at least a 6-7 hour drive, although it is likely your journey will include stops at other attractions or national parks along the way.

From Bwindi Impenetrable Forest it is just a 2-3 hour drive, so Ishasha is a perfect stop either to or from gorilla trekking

Lion climbing tree in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The camp serves as a great base for adventures in QENP.

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