The Kyambura Gorge is the longest gorge in East Africa and it’s watered by river Kyambura that keeps the forest with lots of food and water for the wildlife. The Kyambura Gorge also known as Kyambura Game Reserve is part of the popular and exciting Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. This spot is well known for tracking chimpanzees, great apes that are close relatives of human beings. These primates can be viewed as they move around the forest jungle.
Explore Kyambura Gorge, the Underground Forest of Apes
Set in the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most prominent safari destination, Kyambura Gorge is incredibly one of a few outstanding natural wonders Uganda boasts of. It is also best known for its incredible primates including a significant number of chimpanzees which make up part of the 5000 that are confined in Uganda. Both Kyambura and the former Kyambura Game Reserve make up part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The gorge formed due to River flow from Kichwamba escarpments into Kazinga channel at Katunguru. This gorge stretches for about 10 kilometers long and features mainly a thick forest that offers refuge to chimpanzees. This makes it one of a few areas in Uganda for you to track these special creatures while they are in their natural habitat. Other primate species to look out at Kyambura gorge include the black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others. Besides chimpanzee tracking, this area is also perfect for nature walks.
Initially, this nature reserve served as buffer zone to Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is set on the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park about 30 kilometers off the park’s headquarters. It extends up to 11 kilometers and connects the Kazinga channel that makes up the northern boundary of this nature reserve. It is popular for diverse habitat that make up about 3 with distinct wildlife species.
Kyambura Gorge is mainly drained River Kyambura which links this area with Kazinga channel. Besides huge concentration of primates, this area is also ideal for its diverse bird species as well as butterflies. The notable birds to identify here include falcons, white napped pigeons, blue headed bee-eaters, fly catchers, fin foot African bird a mention but a few.
Kyambura is located on north-eastern side of QENP, approximately 30 km from QENP Headquarters. Kyambura Gorge spans a distance of 11 km and links to the Kazinga Channel, which forms the northern boundary of the reserve. Village and plantations lie to the south.
Located on Kyambura escarpment near Kyambura trading centre in Queen Elizabeth national Park, the over 16 kilometer long Kyambura Gorge is part of the Western Rift Valley in Uganda the sprawling savannah continues as before. It is one of the most incredible views in Uganda– there is also great viewpoint platform from which you can take some great pictures of the Kyambura Gorge surrounded by the Savannah and a rich tropical Forest below. Most tourists who take Uganda safaris through Queen Elizabeth National Park, do not miss the opportunity to track the fast moving chimpanzees within Kyambura.
Kyambura Gorge is accessible with park ranger guide who is well versed with area. It takes you through Katunguru which is approximately 10 kilometers to the escarpments. At the gorge, you climb down about 200 meters then walk through the dry grasslands.
Explore Kyambura Gorge
Don’t miss Kyambura Gorge on your itinerary during your visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park as you are simply amazed as to what they find – scenes beyond the imagination that show the power of nature in creating this gash in the earth, the serene savannah continuing on both sides of the gorge all making Kyambura Gorge a must see spot while visiting Queen Elizabeth Park and no wonder this park is called “A Medley of Wonders.
Move into the underground forest and you will come across a lush, rich Tropical Rainforest on the Equator. It simply is another world. Whereas on the Savannah above there is an abundance of light, of brightness and sunshine the canopy of this underground forest with its rich foliage blocks out much of the sun unless you are in a clearing and there is no longer a need for sunglasses since you want to take in clearly all that is before you and you cannot afford to miss anything during your time here at Kyambura Gorge.
With a well-informed Uganda Wildlife Authority Guide who will safely take you down the maze of trails of the Gorge walk through this forest and along the Kyambura River in the “Valley of the Apes” in search of the Chimpanzees that have been habituated, a process that takes up to two years making the chimpanzees used to humans and continuing with their activities as humans arrive. There other primates found here such as Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Red Tailed Monkeys, Baboons, Giant Forest Hogs and other mammals. When it comes to Birding Kyambura Gorge is a birders Paradise and Butterflies abound. As BBC calls it “Lost Gorge”, Kyambura is a hidden secret with its sunken underground forest where chimpanzees and other primates call home.
Top Things to See
The gorge is named after the Kyambura River which flows through this thick “underground forest”, 100 metres below the Kichwamba escarpment. The gorge is best known for its resident chimpanzees – some of which are habituated and can be tracked through the forest with trained UWA guides.
It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the only primates in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The area is an important water source for many animals and is surrounded by savanna, but is generally noted for its high concentration of primate life located in the gorge.
Things to do in Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge is renowned for its primate population and the only place with habituated chimpanzees in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other notable primates one can also view in Kyambura Gorge are the red-tailed monkey, black-and-white Colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys.
This is one of the main safari activities that is conducted in this tourist site. While on chimpanzee tracking tour, you also have a chance to catch a glimpse at other primate species including the black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys as well as forest hogs among others. While with chimpanzees, you will explore more about their behaviors and body gestures.
Like other parks, chimpanzee treks in Kyambura Gorge equally take you plus a park ranger guide who will interpret to you some of the unique body gestures these creatures demonstrate.
While on your walk through the gorge, you may spot other primates and the many birds found in the forest. The entrance to the gorge is also a pleasant spot for a picnic.
The Kyambura gorge is such a unique attraction as it provides good views for the visitors down the forest which also offers good photo graphing and video taking spots.
Kyambura Gorge Forest does not only offer chimpanzee tracking adventure but also so many other interesting tourist activities like birding ( since it host quite a number of bird species), wildlife safaris for animals like monkeys (colobus and red tailed monkeys) and forest hogs. It is a one in a life time experience enjoying Uganda’s natural beauty from just one spot; KYAMBURA GORGE!
This is another exciting safari experience that you shouldn’t miss to take part in this nature reserve. It rewards you with incredible sights at birds such as African skimmer, pink backed pelicans, lesser and greater flamingoes, broadbill, blue headed bee-eater, falcons, corncrake, white tailed lark and many others.
Where to stay in Kyambura Gorge
The nearby safari lodges for visitor night stay while on Uganda safari include Mazike lodge-the formerly Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Park View Lodge, Buffaloes safari lodge, Katara lodge, King fisher camp, Jacana safari lodge, Pumba safari lodge and many others.
How to get to Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge is set suitably along the northeastern Queen Elizabeth National Park, not very far away from the park’s headquarters. It is about 16 kilometers south of Lake George. Its visitor center is situated at the popular fig tree camp along the edge of Kyambura George.
In summary, a visit to Kyambura Gorge rewards travel endeavors with unique experiences. It is one spectacular and distinct part of Queen Elizabeth National Park that is worth exploring while you are on Uganda safari.