Facts about the Kyambura gorge : The Kyambura gorge is also referred to as the “valley of apes” and is among the places to visit during tours around Queen Elizabeth national park.
Some of the different things to know about the Kyambura gorge include the following;
Kyambura gorge is located about 30 kilometers from the park headquarters in the north eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park.
The gorge is part of the Kyambura wildlife reserve which is in the southern direction of Lake George which is part of the Kazinga channel that is formed where Lake George and Lake Edward meet. The Kyambura gorge was a buffer zone formed to protect wildlife species around Queen Elizabeth national park.
Getting to the Kyambura gorge by road can be done using the Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese route which takes about 6 hours and another way to access the gorge is by flights from Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip.
Another route that can be used to get to the Kyambura gorge is the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Fort Portal route. Neighboring towns around the gorge include Rubirizi district.
- Kyambura wildlife reserve
The Kyambura gorge is part of the Kyambura wildlife reserve which is among the wildlife reserves found in the south western part of Uganda.
- Size of the Kyambura gorge
The gorge covers about 156 square kilometers and is about 100 meters deep with the deepest point at the Kichwamba escarpment and the Kyambura gorge also stretches for 16 kilometers in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley.
Kyambura gorge is made up of a tropical rainforest, savannah, bog as well as a papyrus swamp around the river which the gorge derives its name from. The gorge also consists of diverse habitat which supports wildlife and bird species of a variety.
The steep walls of the gorge act as the protection for the chimpanzees found in Kyambura gorge from predators.
- Formation of the Kyambura gorge
The formation of the Kyambura gorge was as a result of volcanic activity and some of the features found in the Kyambura gorge include the Kyambura river which flows through the gorge.
The locals believe that the Kyambura gorge was formed following the flooding of the river which destroyed property in the villages and also took away the locals and after following the trail of the river flow the locals found that their property and village had disappeared which in the local language is translated as Kyambura.
The nature of the Kyambura gorge makes it one of the scenic landscapes found in the Queen Elizabeth national park.
- Chimpanzee trekking
There are many primates found in the Kyambura gorge including chimpanzees which can be visited during chimpanzee trekking experiences around the destination.
Kyambura gorge has about 19 habituated chimpanzees and visiting the chimpanzees costs about 50 USD per person for chimpanzee trekking experiences. This activity allows tourists to interact with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat and observe their behavior
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge can be done in the morning and also in the afternoon during tours around Queen Elizabeth national park. These chimpanzees can be seen up in the trees and also on the ground during the chimpanzee trekking experience.
The search for the chimpanzees in Kyambura can take about 3 hours and involves descending into the gorge for a close encounter with the chimpanzees as well as other primates at the destination. Individuals below the age of 12 years are not allowed to engage in chimpanzee trekking at the destination.
Other places where chimpanzees can be seen around Queen Elizabeth national park include Kalinzu forest and the Maramagambo forest.
- Wildlife in Kyambura gorge
The Kyambura gorge is home to wildlife species including primates like chimpanzees, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys as well as waterbucks, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, stripped jackals among others.
The wildlife species found around the Kyambura gorge can be seen around the Kyambura river during safaris during the dry season. Other wildlife species can be seen during safaris around Queen Elizabeth national park include elephants, lions, impalas, bushbucks, waterbucks, impalas, warthogs, kudu, Uganda kobs, hippos, buffalos, among others.
- Birding in Kyambura gorge
Many bird species are found in the Kyambura gorge and they include African Finfoot, Martial Eagles, African Skimmer, White winged Warbler, Black Bee eater, Papyrus Gonolek, White Tailed Lark, Bar- tailed Godwit, Fly catchers, Eagles among others.
There are about 330 bird species that can be seen during bird watching experiences around the Kyambura gorge.
- Nature walks and hiking around the Kyambura gorge
The different activities to do around the Kyambura gorge during safaris also include nature walks and hiking.
Nature walks around the Kyambura gorge take place around the forests and the gorge where tourists enjoy the amazing views of the surrounding and also closely observe the different wildlife species and primates found around the gorge. This activity also allows tourists to get close to nature and explore the gorge on foot.
Hiking in the Kyambura gorge can be done as part of the chimpanzee trekking experience and also an independent activity during tours around Queen Elizabeth national park.
- Best time to visit Kyambura gorge
Tours in the Kyambura gorge can be best done in the dry season around December to February and also around June, July, August and September.
Activities around the Kyambura gorge including chimpanzee trekking, guided nature walks and hikes are best done during the dry season because of the favorable weather conditions and clear trails to pass through during safaris around the gorge.
Chances of seeing wildlife species in the Kyambura gorge are also higher during the dry season when they are known to gather by the Kyambura river.
- Places to stay around the Kyambura gorge
The different lodges to spend the night around the Kyambura gorge include the Kyambura gorge lodge, Parkview lodge and also Mazike lodge.
Tourists can also visit the Kyambura gorge and spend the night in lodges around Queen Elizabeth national park.