A magnificent underground rainforest, the mighty Kyambura Gorge stretches about 16 kilometers and 100 meters deep in the Queen Elizabeth national park. This panoramic valley is sometimes referred to as ‘The Valley of Apes’ because of the steep Gorge created by thrashing waters from the Kyambura River.
Kyambura Gorge is among the attractions of Queen Elizabeth national park, which is found in the Southwestern part of Uganda. The gorge is part of the Kyambura wildlife reserve, consisting of tall trees and savannah grassland. Kyambura Gorge stretches for about 16 kilometres and is 100 meters deep. Kyambura wildlife reserve is among the reserves of Uganda and is home to wildlife species such as hippos, lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, different species of antelopes and also different bird species.
River Kyambura also runs through the Kyambura wildlife reserve and crosses through the gorge. The Kyambura River, according to the locals, was formed due to a flood that took away everything along its path, leaving them empty-handed hence the name Kyambura.
Kyambura Gorge is among best the destinations in Uganda where chimpanzees can be trekked. Chimpanzee trekking tours in Kyambura gorge are conducted in the morning and afternoon.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge can be done all year round, but the best time for chimpanzee trekking here is during the dry season, around June to October as well as around December to February.
A chimpanzee permit in Kyambura Gorge costs 50 USD for foreign nonresidents, 40 USD for foreign residents and 30,000 Ugandan shillings for East Africans. This fee is paid to the Uganda wildlife authority.
Apart from chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge, other primates can also be seen during tours at the destination, including black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, and red-tailed monkeys, among others.
The Kyambura gorge is steep, and the chimpanzee trek goes as far as deep in the forests where the chimpanzees can be seen as they climb the trees, swing in the tree branches, and groom each other tourists can enjoy all these experiences during the safari.
Because of the chimpanzees, which can be seen around Kyambura Gorge, the destination is also referred to as the “Valley of apes”.
Kyambura Gorge is also home to several bird species. There are over 300 bird species at the destination.
Some of the bird species which can be seen around the Kyambura gorge include martial eagles, blue-headed bee-eaters, lesser and greater flamingos, the African fin foot, kingfishers, papyrus canary, white-winged warbler, African broadbill, pink baked pelican and many others.
These birds can be seen in different parts of the Kyambura Gorge, including in the forested area and around the Kyambura River.
Wildlife viewing, Nature Walks and Hikes.
Safaris in Kyambura Gorge also involve viewing wildlife such as hippos, buffalos, antelopes, and predators like lions and leopards can be seen around the gorge.
A wildlife safari around Kyambura Gorge can also be combined with a Queen Elizabeth national park tour to see more wildlife.
Nature walks around Kyambura Gorge can also be done during safaris, and exploring this gorge on foot is an exciting way to see the wildlife and enjoy the beautiful views while getting the feel of the natural surroundings at the destination.
These nature walks around Kyambura Gorge are guided and are combined with hiking along different trails. A hike around the gorge follows trails such as along the Kyambura River and the forests.
Descending into the gorge during hikes around Kyambura Gorge offers a closer view of the biodiversity in the forest and the transition from savannah to the forested environment at the destination. The hike around the Kyambura Gorge can take about 3 hours during safaris at the destination.
These community tours are a way of getting to know more about the culture of the locals, their daily life like local food preparation processes, their traditional dances, learning about traditional practices, and so much more.
Engaging in community tours around the Kyambura Gorge area is also a way of supporting the local enterprises, which can be done by buying souvenirs like bags, clothes, and jewellery, among other items, from craft shops managed by the locals.
Tours in Kyambura Gorge can be done any time of the year; however, the best time to visit the destination is during the dry season.
The dry season takes place around June to October, the long dry season, and around December to February. The dry season also falls in the high tourism season, when many tourists engage in safaris across destinations in Uganda.
Some tourists, however, also prefer to visit the Kyambura Gorge during the low season, which takes place around March, April and May and around November, which is also part of the rainy season. Fewer tourists on safari characterize the low season compared to the high season.
There are several lodging places where travelers visiting Kyambura Gorge can stay and these vary in class from luxury to midrange to budget safari lodges and camps; all to satisfy the financial capabilities of the guests. Some of these establishments in Kyambura Gorge.
There are different lodges to stay during tours to the Kyambura Gorge, including budget, midrange, and luxury accommodations. Some of the lodges include the following;
Kyambura gorge lodge, Enganzi game lodge, Pumba Safari Cottages, Park view safari lodge, Mazike valley lodge, Katara Lodge, Enshama game lodge, Kasenyi safari camp and many others.
Kasenyi Safari Lodge:
This lodge is idyllically situated on Lake Bunyampaka in the park’s northern portion, facing the creator salt. Its location provides the camp with picturesque views of the flamingo-colored lake shoreline and beyond into Queen Elizabeth National Park’s northern plains.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge:
The lodge is located on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park, offering panoramic views of the vast savannah plains. Kyambura Gorge Lodge is great for following wayward chimp armies in the gorge’s forest reserve and taking a Kazinga Channel boat trip safari, with the Rwenzori Mountains as a backdrop.
The Elephant Plains
It is located northwest of Queen Elizabeth National Park and provides easy access to the Kazinga Channel, Kasenyi trails, and the Mweya Peninsula. The lodge provides expansive panoramic views of the savannah plains going all the way to Lake George.
The Kataara Lodge:
Katara Lodge is located on escarpment grassland overlooking the northeastern portion of Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. A charming, modest, and simple safari lodge with eight cottages overlooking the huge savannah plains of the park.
Bush Lodge is a safari camp perfectly located in the center of the park for animal viewing, Kazinga Channel launch tours, and Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Tracking.
Marafiki Safari Lodge:
Marafiki Safari Lodge, located on the northern border of Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooks Lake George and offers private luxury safari tents. The safari tents are built on raised timber floors with tapeline canvas walls that visitors may roll back to see the broad savannah plains across the park, framed by the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains.
The Enjojo Lodge:
The lodge is located in the Ishasha area of the park, on the park’s southern boundary. It is surrounded by acacia forest, lush foliage, palm trees, grassland, and a small lake.
Ishasha Wilderness Camp:
If you’re searching for some traditional safari isolation in Queen Elizabeth National Park, drive south to the Ishasha sector and spend a few nights at the aptly titled Ishasha Wilderness. Ishasha Wilderness Camp is a true eco-camping experience in a pristine setting, where hippos snort lazily in the river and elephants bathe in the shallow water of the channel.
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