Kyambura gorge is situated in the spectacular Queen Elizabeth national park in the south western part of Uganda, it’s also known by many as “The valley of Apes”. Kyambura gorge is a stunning underground forest about 1 kilometer wide, 32 kilometers long and 100 meters deep.
The name Kyambura is derived from the gorge river called Kyambura that drains the forest, the word Kyambura is likened to mean “ I couldn’t find it” the river was named so as the locals believe that River Kyambura flooded one time and carried away both people and their property but when they came to look for their belongings, friends and family they couldn’t find anything. The gorge is home to some of the habituated chimpanzees in Uganda a species of great Apes that shares 98% DNA with humans though they are endangered with less than 300,000 left in the wilderness of tropical Africa.
Chimpanzee tracking is the commonly done activity in Kyambura gorge, the tracking can be done in the morning or afternoon hours where you adventure the jungle in search of chimpanzees and once he chimpanzees are found you will spend one hour observing them in their natural habitat. The chimpanzee population in Kyambura gorge is low so chances of seeing chimpanzees sometimes can be very rare. The cost of tracking chimpanzees at Kyambura gorge is $50 per person per trek and children under the age of 15 years and people with infection cannot be allowed to trek chimpanzees.
16 permits are available for tracking chimpanzees at Kyambura gorge daily with eight available in the morning and eight available in the afternoon. Permits can be booked through Uganda wild life authority, tour operator or at Mweya visitor information centre. During the peak season permits should be booked in advance.
A part from chimpanzee tracking, Kyambura gorge is also home to other wildlife and primate species like black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, giant forest hogs, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, bush babies, bush bucks and so much more.
Kyambura gorge is home to several bird species some of this are endemic to the forest, examples of bird found at Kyambura gorge include; Blue headed bee eater, African fin foot, bartailed Godwit, lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, martial eagle, verreoux eagle owl, African skimmer, rare shoebill, black rumped button quail, white tailed lark, white winged warbler, African broadbill, chapins flycatcher, black bee eater, papyrus gonolek, corncrake, pinkbacked pelican and many others.
How to get there
Kyambura gorge is located 420 kilometers from Kampala the capital of Uganda this can take 6-7 hours drive by road. Tourists can also take standard chartered flights from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe international airport to Mweya and then drive to the gorge in an hour. Kyambura gorge has got no hotels but tourists can sleep in the nearby hotels at queen Elizabeth like; Kyambura gorge safari lodge, Katara lodge, Kingfisher camp and Jacana lodge among the rest.