Kyambura Gorge In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Introduction to Kyambura Gorge.
The gorge was built as a buffer zone to protect Queen Elizabeth National Park from invading human activity. It is located in the northeastern portion of the park.
There is something for everyone at Kyambura. The few chimpanzees in the park can be seen by the daring through the untamed underbrush, while the curious can find a variety of fascinating birds and flora on a guided nature walk.
You can have a picnic at the gorge’s entrance or take in the breathtaking beauty from the viewing platform high above for those who just want to relax and take it all in.
Reasons to Visit Kyambura Gorge.
- Chimpanzees: This is one of the few locations in Uganda where it is possible to engage with chimpanzees and the only location where you will find them in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- You won’t find a landscape like Kyambura anywhere else; it is a subterranean underground rainforest flanked by tumbling cliffs and parched savannah.
- Birds abound: Kyambura is a haven for many endangered bird species.
- There are 13 distinct ecosystems to explore, each with its own special plants and habitats, which sustain a wide variety of wildlife.
- Get in touch with nature: Chimp treks take you deep into the canyon, and you can explore Kyambura on foot with guided nature hikes.
Within the reserve is Kyambura Gorge, which has the allure of a mysterious forgotten realm.
Thick vegetation, soggy swamps, and enormous crater lakes are surrounded by towering 100 m high rock walls, giving the impression that you have stepped back in time.
While the reserve is 156 square kilometers in size, the gorge itself is only 11 kilometers long yet 100 meters deep. The Kazinga Channel is connected to the Kyambura River, which flows through the reserve.
The chimpanzees have settled in this particular area because it offers a great sanctuary from the savannah’s apex predators.
Things to do In Kyambura Gorge
The main attraction at Kyambura Gorge is chimpanzee tracking. Explorations happen in the morning and the afternoon, and sightings are generally 80%. Kibale National Park is the only location where sightings are more likely.
The chimp trek begins with a 200-meter drop from the cliff and continues for two to three hours through dense jungle.
Because they are accustomed to people, the chimpanzees frequently engage and approach, making for excellent photo opportunities.
Walking Tours and Bird Watching.
The best way to discover this secret world and see intriguing plants, animals, and birds is by walking tours.
The colobus, red-tailed, and vervet monkeys, among the 12 other primate species that call Kyambura home, may also come into view.
Kyambura is a sanctuary for birdwatchers, so keep your binoculars pointed upward so you can see many different bird species, including the rare martial eagle.
Flora and fauna.
Kyambura’s 13 diverse habitats contribute to its tremendous biodiversity.
from sweltering savannah plains to bogs, ponds, and the cool undergrowth of the rainforest. Many of the uncommon flora that can be found are unlikely to be found anywhere else.
The Kyambura River, which flows through the reserve, is a crucial source of water for the animals that inhabit Queens.
Along with chimpanzees and other primates, you might also spot hippopotamuses, antelope, hyenas, and the sporadic passing elephant.
Accomodation Options of Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge Lodge.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge, situated on the edge of the reserve, offers a clear view of the lovely forest canopy, the adjacent savannah, and the distant Rwenzori Mountain range. The lodge, a former coffee shop, elegantly combines modern design with antiques from Africa.
Eight quiet en-suite bandas are scattered around the hillside, making it the ideal luxury location for chimp trekking and relaxing. It also has a swimming pool, a great assortment of food and drinks, and other amenities.
Park View Lodge.
The en-suite cottages, which come in double, twin, and single sizes, are another luxurious choice for visitors.
Park View Lodge is the ideal place to take a little break from the sweltering savannahs and enjoy their sauna, swimming pool, delicious food selection, and lovely suites.
Despite being outside the park, it is close enough to take advantage of everything Kyambura has to offer. From the main gate, it takes only ten minutes.
Mazike Valey Lodge.
Mazike, which means “chimp” in the native Luganda language and is perched on a hillside on the outskirts of Queens, is a great mid-range accommodation option and is within a short distance from Kyambura Gorge.
Mazike Valley Lodge offers eight private thatched-roof cottages, a swimming pool, a campfire, and a nice spot to enjoy sundowners with a great view, all in line with the 1920s old-style safari motif. The resort offers magnificent views of the savannah and an authentic safari experience to visitors.
The Mazike Valley Lodge is in an ideal location to begin your excursions in the Kyambura Game Reserve because it is only 20 minutes from the Kasese Airstrip.
When to Visit Kyambura Gorge
The dry season, which lasts from December to February and then again from late June to October, is the ideal time to visit Kyambura Game Reserve.
Because they are less likely to be impacted by rains, which could make the paths too slick or inaccessible for excursions, activities like chimp trekking and nature hikes are considered the best times to visit.
As animals will be seeking water and more likely to gather around watering holes, traveling during the dry season can also boost your chances of seeing more of it.
How to get there
It is possible to travel there by car or air to the Kyambura Game Reserve, which is 30 kilometers from the park headquarters in the northeastern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
There are two main ways one might take to get reach the Kyambura Game Reserve from Kampala. The journey takes 6 to 7 hours (420 km) via Masaka, Mbarara, and a little less time (410 km) via Fort Portal.
If you decide to travel by air, there are regular flights to the Mweya and Kasese airstrips in Queen Elizabeth National Park from Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala and Entebbe International Airport. It takes about one hour and fifteen minutes to complete the flight.
Direct flights from the Mweya Airstrip can be arranged if Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Semuliki National Park is your next stop.