Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, situated in Queen Elizabeth National Park, is an exhilarating experience that offers visitors the chance to observe these fascinating primates in a unique and stunning setting. Kyambura Gorge, also known as the “Valley of Apes”, is a hidden gem nestled within the vast savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park, making it a must-visit for those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path wildlife encounter. The Kyambura Gorge is surrounded by vast summer grasslands on all sides although human plantations and villages are not very far off.  The surrounding Savannah receives a lot of sunshine while the gorge itself remains relatively cool because of the tall trees and less direct sunlight. The river Kyambura is a key water source and flows right in the middle of the forest providing water to the plants and animals throughout the year. River Kyambura gets most of its water from the rocks surrounding the gorge and during the rainy season.

Cost of Chimpanzee Permits in Uganda and Rwanda

The Gorge is home to a community of habituated chimpanzees, making it one of the best places in Uganda to see these intelligent and social creatures up close. Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kyambura Gorge is led by experienced guides who are familiar with the habits and behaviors of the chimpanzees, ensuring a safe and informative trekking experience. Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge has two sessions (Morning and afternoon). The first sessions start early in the morning with a briefing at the visitor’s Center close to the Gorge. Upon encountering these fascinating creatures, you will be able to watch them play, breastfeed, mate, rest, and even fight. The chimps in Kyambura Gorge have a remarkable habit of getting down the trees each time they see visitors. This allows for great photos from a close distance. Apart from the chimpanzees, hiking down the gorge exposes visitors to unique and amazing biodiversity. Visitors will have an opportunity to spot rare vegetation and tall tropical trees. The gorge is also home to mammals like hippos, elephants, and other smaller primates. The whole activity takes between 2 to 3 hours.

In addition to chimpanzees, Kyambura Gorge is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including other primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, and vervet monkeys. The Gorge’s lush vegetation, towering trees, and dramatic landscape create a picturesque backdrop for wildlife viewing, providing a truly immersive and authentic safari experience. Beyond wildlife encounters, Kyambura Gorge offers visitors the chance to explore a unique and lesser-known part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.  The gorge’s rugged terrain and scenic beauty make it a popular spot for nature walks, birdwatching, and photography, allowing visitors to connect with nature in a tranquil and unspoiled setting.

Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge
The Kyambura Gorge

Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge is not only a thrilling wildlife experience but also a valuable conservation initiative. The protection of the chimpanzees and their habitat in the gorge plays a crucial role in the conservation efforts of Queen Elizabeth National Park and supports local communities through sustainable tourism practices

Do chimpanzees eat people?

No, chimpanzees don’t eat people. Chimpanzees are omnivores, which means, they eat a variety of food. Their diets primarily consist of fruits, leaves, seeds, nuts, flowers, insects, and occasionally small mammals. They have also been known to eat eggs, and birds and even meet larger animals such as monkeys or antelopes. Their diet can vary depending on the availability of food in their environment.

How much is the chimpanzee tracking permit in Kyambura Gorge?

A chimpanzee tracking permit is a legal document that authorizes persons over 12 years old to trek to see these endangered chimpanzees in their natural habitat Chimpanzee permits cost $100 per person for foreign non-residents, $ 80 per person for foreign residents, and UGX 50,000 per person for nationals from East Africa. Visitors are recommended to book at least three or four months in advance, either directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) or through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safari.

What other safari activities can I do with chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge?

In addition to chimpanzee tracking, there are several other activities you can enjoy in Kyambura Gorge such as;

Nature walks; Explore the beautiful scenery and drivers’ wildlife in the gorge on a guided nature walk. You may spot various bird species such as include lesser flamingos, martial eagles, Verreaux’s eagle owls, Papyrus canary, pink-backed pelicans, greater flamingos, blue-headed bee-eaters, African skimmers, Papyrus gonoleks, African finfoot, monkey’s species, and other animals.

Bird watching; Kyambura Gorge is home to a wide variety of bird species, making it a paradise for bird watchers.  Tourists on a Uganda birdwatching safari in Kyambura Gorge can enjoy watching different bird species in include, greater flamingos, blue-headed bee-eaters, African skimmers, Papyrus gonoleks, African finfoot, African broadbills, white-winged warblers, black bee-eaters, and many others.

Cultural visits; Experience the local culture by visiting nearby communities and learning about their traditional way of life.  You can also participate in cultural activities and interact with the residents.

Hot air balloon safari; Take a hot air balloon ride over the gorge and enjoy stunning views of the landscape from above.  This is a unique and memorable way to experience the gorge and its surroundings.

Game drives; Explore the nearby Queen Elizabeth National Park on a game drive and see a variety of wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, lions, Uganda Kobs, hippos, crocodiles, and more

Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel; take a boat cruise safari on the Kazinga Channel, which runs through the national park, and see animals such as crocodiles, buffaloes and a variety of bird species such as species blue napped mousebirds, little bee-eaters, African mourning dove, black-headed gonolek, Diederik cuckoo, red throat spur fowls, grey-backed fiscal, white-tailed lark, black lured babbler, black-headed gonolek among others

Lion research tracking experience; this is one of the interesting activities in the park where visitors get an opportunity to track lions with radio collars. During lion research tracking you will get close to the lions, and spend more time with them learning about their behaviors, and habits among others.

The best time to go for chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge

Chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge can be visited at any time of the year due to its fascinating biodiversity. The best time to visit is during the dry seasons, in the months of June to September and December to February. This is also known as the peak season, and during this time, there is a little amount of rainfall received, making the forest trails for chimpanzee tracking passable compared to the wet seasons in the months of March to May and October to November, when the forest receives heavy rainfall, which makes the forest trails slippery, wet, and muddy.

Accommodation safari near Kyambura Gorge

There are several accommodation safaris near Kyambura Gorge where visitors on a chimpanzee tracking excursion can stay. These accommodations are arranged on different levels to suit all classes of visitors, such as Katara Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Enganzi Lodge, Bush Lodge, Elephant Hub Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Safari Lodge, Kingfisher Camp, Jacana Safari Lodge, Simba Safari Lodge, and Hippo Hill Lodge, among others.

Contact our trusted tour operators for more information about chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge -Queen Elizabeth National Park and Book with our tours and travel companies such as; Achieve Global Safari which offers the best tour packages while on your safari in Uganda.

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