Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge
A trek to see a group of chimpanzees in the jungles of Kyambura Gorge is remarkably one of the most rewarding experiences that visitors on safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park shouldn’t miss out in life. These unique primates thrive mainly in the dense and old forested gorge which also stretches via the African savanna. Kyambura gorge is also popular as valley of apes. A trip to Kyambura gorge rewards visitors beyond chimpanzees as the reserve also features distinct vegetation, birds, monkeys and many more. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is entirely discovering the general behavior of these unique creatures as they play, swing, interact with one another and many more features that will display for you to catch a glimpse. The usual trek lasts for 1 to 3 hours and it begins at 8:00am and 8:00pm.
Chimpanzees share about 98.7 percent of their DNA with humans and this makes them our closest cousins in the wild. They thrive in communities of about 15 to 12o members and they communicate by vocalization, body gestures, facial expressions and gestures just like humans. Kyambura gorge is one of the most incredible sites in Uganda that offer visitors a chance to spot chimpanzees while in their natural habitat. This reserve is famous to be a home to 25 habituated chimpanzees and they can be tracked by visitors on Uganda safaris. Also popular as Kyambura game reserve, Kyambura gorge forms part of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is credited for its stunning biodiversity both savanna and forest species.
Kyambura reserve was established as buffer zone to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The dry spell usually left the biggest part of the protected area parched though this stunning gorge an oasis of wildlife that is worth exploring. The water flows from rocks and maintains the gorge green throughout. This reserve is situated on the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park about 30 kilometers away from the park headquarters. It extends up to 16 kilometers south of Lake George and connects to Kazinga channel that makes up the northern boundary of the reserve.
The gorge lies within elevation of 1100 meters above sea level and it covers an area of around 156 square kilometers. Its visitor center is situated at the popular Fig tree camp just at the edge of the Kyambura gorge approximately 2.5 kilometers east of the main route via the turn off which is clearly marked, some 9 kilometers south of the bridge and this route isn’t in better conditions but hiring one of our best 4 by 4 safari cars you will certainly have a chance to realize your dreams. The gorge itself offers the most remarkable views in Uganda as it comes with amazing viewpoint platform where you will have a chance to take most of the outstanding photos of the gorge and surrounding savanna as well as the dense tropical forest. Besides chimpanzees, visitors also have a chance to spot other 12 more primates which include the vervet monkeys, giant forest hogs, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, red tailed monkeys and many mammal species. This remarkable game reserve isn’t only for primate watching but also a birder watchers paradise and the notable avian species for you to spot include the African fin foot, blue headed bee eater and several falcons as well as butterflies. Other birds to spot in this reserve include the flamingos especially at the 3 salty crater lakes. Its green riverine forest features birds like martial eagle, black rumped buttonquail, shoebill, bar tailed godwit, African skimmer, lesser and greater flamingo, Chapin’s flycatcher, white winged warbler, verreaux’s eagle owl, papyrus canary, papyrus gonolek, corncrake, pink backed pelicans and many more.
Chimpanzee trekking is the leading adventure which is conducted in Kyambura gorge and trekking permits cost $50 per visitor. You can book for one at Uganda Wildlife Authority and you will have a chance to strike your imaginations with these dramatic creatures. Like mountain gorilla trekking, trekking for chimpanzees also gives visitors only an hour of face to face encounter with these primates. The trek is breathtaking and visitors have to be physically well as it entirely involves hiking up and down the slopes of Kyambura gorge. Interested visitors for this lifetime experience should be above 15 years.
Kyambura gorge is reachable from Kampala city center via Mbarara for about 420 kilometers. Through Fort portal, it is 410 kilometers. You can also take chartered flights from Entebbe International Airport where you will land in one of the airstrips in southwestern Uganda at Mweya. The flight can take you not more than an hour compared to traveling by road which takes 6 hours’ drive from Kampala.
For night stays, the key accommodation facilities include Kingfisher Camp, Kyambura Gorge Safari Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Katara Lodge and many more.
In conclusion, Kyambura gorge is more than chimpanzee trekking. Visitors have wide range of attractions and activities to enjoy which will make their stays very memorable while they are on safari in Uganda. You can incorporate your Kyambura gorge safaris with other exciting activities at Queen Elizabeth National Park.