The park contains about 770 square miles (1995 km²) of tremendous scenic variety, including volcanic craters and crater lakes, grassy plains, swamps, rivers, lakes and tropical forest. The snowcapped Ruwenzori Mountains lie to the north and are not part of the park itself. The park is being extended to give migratory species more protection while moving to and from Virunga National Park in the Congo.
A two-hour launch trip on the Kazinga Channel, which joins Lakes Edward (Lake Rwitanzige) and George, affords excellent opportunities for viewing hippo and a great variety of waterfowl at close range. The launch trip departs from just below Mweya Lodge and should not be missed.
The Katwe-Kikorongo area in the north of the park has several saline lakes.
The Chambura Gorge, located on the northeast boundary of the park, has a population of chimpanzees. Trekkers descend from the savannah into a tropical rain forest within the gorge.
South of the Kazinga Channel, the Maramagambo Forest is home for large numbers of chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, the rare red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and baboons. The Ishasha region in the south of the park is famous for its tree-climbing lions.
Elephant are present, as well as buffalo, leopard, sitatunga, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, topi and Defassa waterbuck. Over 540 species of birds have been recorded, including the rare prehistoric-looking shoebill (whale-headed stork), which may be sighted along the shores of Lake George and in the Ishasha region.
Interestingly enough, there are no giraffe, zebra, or impala, rhino and only a few crocodile have been sighted in the Kazinga Channel, while none have been seen in Lakes Edward or George. The crocodiles are believed to have been killed long ago by volcanic activity.
From Kampala the park is 260 miles (420 km) via Mbarara and 285 miles (460 km) via Fort Portal. A landing strip is located at Mweya for light aircraft; larger planes can land at Kasese.