Mweya Peninsula lies within the most visited national park in Uganda located in Kasese district in the western region of Uganda. The Mweya peninsula is estimated 55 kilometers by road in southwest of the largest town in the sub-region i.e. Kasese. It is approximately 400 kilometers by road from the southwest of Kampala City Uganda’s capital city. However, Mweya peninsula is located on the northern side of the Kazinga channel which is a fresh waterway connecting Lake Edward and Lake George in the western Rift valley and interestingly it is bordered between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that runs into the middle of lake Edward.
The area of Mweya peninsula has a well-maintained game drive tracks such as the channel Track all the way down to the Katungura gate, then it goes through to Kabatoro gate which has thick dense vegetation overlooked by candelabra Thorn. The thick vegetation which covers the area actually makes game viewing quite difficult in this area. To note, following the signposts may be a bit challenging from time to time and there might be less opportunity that at one point you may end up losing track of your way. The main road within Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Channel Track are both sounding features to which the different tracks for game drive joins with at some point.
However, travelers who normally visit the Mweya peninsular mainly do prefer to pleasure in a 2-hour launch cruise on the impressive Kazinga Channel. The park operates with a 20 seater motorized boat which usually runs two rides a day one operates in the morning hours and the other in the afternoon.
To note there are 3 cruises which run in a day but it depends on the number of visitors who are interested in enjoying this fascinating tour. The booking can be done at the visitor’s information offices that are found in Mweya, where you can request them in joining the team that is also undertaking the cruise to gain in the fresh breath taking along the Channel. The journeys set off from the landing stage beneath the lodge. You can decide to drive or to enjoy the walkway to the landing stage by leaving through the close up of Mweya’s entrance. While you’re at Mweya peninsular expect to enjoy clear views over the water with sights stretching through to the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains.
The mweya peninsula is the best place to view leopards which live within scrubby thickets and is the famous point of the beautiful northern side of Queen Elizabeth national park due to the abundant game animals and flora, the in waters of kazinga channel, good amenities, accommodation facilities, close location of Mweya Airstrip all these have made the area to become famous in the park.
The History of the Mweya
Historically Mweya peninsula was a formally human settlement that dates back close to over 50,000 years back and this area has been occupied for the last thousand years. The first explorer to account for this place was Stanley who reached on the edge of the Mweya peninsula in the month of July in 1889. To note he proved that when he reached in this area he couldn’t see anything but only a ‘’formless void’ ’which was caused due to the smoke from the brush-clearing fires. The Mweya area during that time had over 81 huts and a number of sheep plus goats.
Fortunately, when Fredrick Lugard came back in 1891, he found out that the huts had been destroyed which had happened way back before Lugard turning to Mweya peninsular. At first, they said that the area was closed from the human settlement due to the Rinderpest outbreak in an area. Then later in 1952 it was gazette for wildlife and it was first renamed Kazinga National Park to Queen Elizabeth national park after the visiting of Queen Elizabeth 11 to Uganda.
To date, the Mweya village has over 400 people and it is the major tourist’s area within Queen Elizabeth national park. Surprisingly it’s difficult to tell how these people used to live along with the wild animals in the community such as leopards, lions, elephants, buffaloes and hippos and many more.
Interestingly, Mweya acts as a tourist attraction to those who prefer doing game drive viewing and it also offers beautiful luxury accommodation ‘’Mweya Safari lodge’’ where travelers love most to sleep in on their wildlife safaris in Queen which is located on the northern extreme of the peninsular with gain of overlooking kazinga channel and adjacent lake Edward.
Other amazing activities offered in Mweya peninsular include;
Mongoose tracking: This an interesting activity that is done on foot at Mweya peninsular with an experienced guide who leads you through the trails to track the mongoose. The activity involves observing and learning the lifestyle of these unique wild animals in the Mweya peninsula, which takes 3 hours tracking. As you’re trekking you get a chance to spot out bird species and other animals like warthogs, baboons among others.
Community walk: Mweya peninsula is surrounded with community people who are so close to Mweya Safari lodge. where you can be guided with an English speaking guide to meet the local people in the community have a small interaction with them.
Accommodation facilities include Mweya Safari lodge, Hippo lodge, Mweya hostel, Jacana Safari Lodge and park view Safari lodge many more.
Mweya peninsula is situated in the western region of Uganda and from Kampala passing through Mbarara to the Main destination it takes 5 to 6 hours by road using a safari vehicle, alternatively, you can fly from Entebbe Airport to Mweya Airstrip within 1:00hour by Air.