Known as the “Valley of Apes”, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s hidden treasure. It is located in the far eastern corner of the Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda
Sitting at a depth of about 100 meters, this gorge is one of the most impressive landscape you will find in Uganda and it is enriched with wildlife bio-diversity that comprises of primates, wild animals as well as various species of birds.
The steep slopes of the Kyambura Gorge, which actually was formed by the disorderly waters of the thunderous River Kyambura, are sheltered by a verdant riverine forest, which is a habitat of a diversity of primates.
The gorge is a vital water source to quite a number of wild animals and is entirely surrounded by savanna, however, it is generally well-known for its big number of primates living within it.
The Kyambura Gorge is a section of the stunning Queen Elizabeth National Park or the Mweya as it is referred to locally in the lower Western part of Uganda. The majority of Uganda safari visitors into the Queen Elizabeth National park are offered a tour of this amazing gorge as a supplementary bonus.
A visit to this amazing Gorge and you will be impressed by the rich Tropical Rain-forest right close to the Equator crossing.
The tree canopy within this under-ground forest comprises of huge trees which shut out most of the sun.
The Gorge is 420 kilometers from Kampala and a 6-hour drive from the city. There are also Charter flights available from the International Airport in Entebbe to the Airstrip in southwestern Uganda at Mweya.
The flights take at most 1hour.
A total of 24 chimpanzees were recorded to be in the Gorge in July 2013, and each chimp was given a name reflecting Uganda’s beauty and to ease their identification.
Among the names given to the chimps include:
Murungi (beauty), given to the chimp that has given birth to mostly baby boys.
The name Mureefu, which reflects height, was given to one of the tallest chimps.
Other names were Miti, representing trees; Kazinga, representing Kazinga channel; Asante, which means thank you; Tatenkazi, a paternal aunt; Namanya, meaning (God knows); Maji, meaning water; Pamba, for Cotton and Pesa, meaning money.
Chimpanzee tracking is one of the most attractive tourist activities in the country besides gorilla tracking. Kyambura gorge which is famed for its underground forest is one of the hosts to these primates besides Kibale National Park.
Some of the Chimpanzees in this gorge have been habituated, which process took close to 2 years
This means these chimpanzees are familiar with humans and can carry on their day to day activities the presence of humans.
The chimp trekking experience can actually be combined with any tourist activity within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Fortunately, there are various nature walk trails within this area which are well maintained so basing on your fitness anything can be arranged for you so that you don’t miss out on this great wildlife here.
This gorge can best be explored on foot so taking a nature walk guided by any of the well trained and highly knowledgeable tour guides will unveil to visitors the natural beauty of the gorge as well as the flora and fauna within the depths of the gorge.
You are given the opportunity of viewing Black and white colobus monkeys, giant forest hogs and the red-tailed monkeys.
The gorge has a wide species of birdlife including the falcons, blue-headed bee-eater, black and white kingfisher, the Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Pink-backed Pelican, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Papyrus Gonolek and the Black Bee-eater and many others.
The gorge makes the natural boundary separating Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Accommodation around Kyambura Gorge
Around the Kyambura Gorge are a number of safari lodges that provide an exceptional experience with a view of the Gorge from up top.
Among them are Katara Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Kingfisher camp as well asKyambura Gorge Safari Lodge.
However, reservations for Chimpanzee tacking are actually made at Mweya Visitor Information Centre within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The permit-issuing office also offers information on game drives.