Kyambura gorge chimpanzee trekking : The Kyambura gorge is located in the north eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park in south western Uganda. Chimpanzee trekking is among the activities to do around the Kyambura gorge which is about 100 meters deep and it is made up of a dense tropical rainforest and consists of lush green valley and also savannah plains.
Kyambura gorge is found in the rift valley and is home to about 8 habituated groups of chimpanzees.
The nature of the Kyambura gorge favors the livelihood of the chimpanzees and it is known as the valley of apes. Other primates which can be seen around the gorge include blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons among others.
When visiting the Kyambura gorge, chimpanzee trekking can take place in the morning and in the afternoon. A briefing is done by park officials about the rules and regulations of visiting the chimpanzees before visitors take part in the activity.
After the briefing on chimpanzee trekking, visitors venture into the natural habitat of the chimpanzees to look for the chimpanzees which can take about 3 to 5 hours depending on the location of the chimpanzees in the Kyamburga gorge.
Chimpanzee trekking is an activity which allows visitors to observe the chimpanzees and understand their behavior and how they live in the forests. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the natural surrounding around Kyambura and also encounter different bird species and primates.
Only 1 hour is spent with the chimpanzees after finding them during tours in the Kyambura gorge. However, chances of seeing many chimpanzees in Kyambura may not be as high as during chimpanzee trekking tours in Kibale national park.
The chimpanzee trekking experience in Kyambura gorge also involves hiking around the valley. The minimum age of individuals allowed to engage in the search for the chimpanzees at the destination is 12 years.
Some of the items to pack for the chimpanzee trekking experience in the Kyambura gorge include hiking shoes, insect repellant, sunhat, sunglasses, long sleeved shirts, long trousers as well as mineral water and snacks.
Other destinations in Uganda where chimpanzee trekking can be done include Kibale national park where it costs 200 USD for a chimpanzee permit and chimpanzees can also be seen in Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park where a permit costs 140 USD per person.
Within Queen Elizabeth national park,, tourists can also explore the Kasenyi plains in search of wildlife species like elephants, antelopes, buffalos, lions, leopards among others. Tours can also be done around the Ishasha sector in the southern part of the national park, Mweya peninsular, Kazinga channel, Kalinzu forest and around the Katwe salt lake area among other parts of the national park.
Activities done around Queen Elizabeth national park apart from chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge include game drives around Kasenyi plains, boat rides on Kazinga channel, bird watching, lion tracking experiences, visits to the salt mines and also community tours.
Cost of chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge
The cost of a permit for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is 50 USD per person for foreign nonresidents, 40 USD for foreign residents and 30,000 UGX for East African citizens visiting the destination.
The permits for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge can be booked through the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). When combining trekking with other activities around the gorge, tourists also incur other costs including transportation costs to Kyambura which can be around 100 USD.
Booking the chimpanzee trekking permits in advance is advised for the visitors to be able to enjoy and not miss out on chimpanzee trekking in the Kyambura gorge as a result of limited permits issued on each day.
When visiting the Kyambura gorge for chimpanzee trekking, tours can also be combined with game drives and boat rides among other activities that are done in Queen Elizabeth national park while on Uganda safari.
Park entrance fees are charged for other activities to be done around Queen Elizabeth national park and this fee is 40 USD for foreign nonresidents, 30 USD for foreign residents and 20,000 UGX for East Africans.
Other additional expenses incurred during the chimpanzee trekking tour in Kyambura gorge include accommodation costs as well as costs for activities like boat rides on the Kazinga channel.
Accommodations to stay at around the Kyambura gorge include Kyambura gorge lodge, Engiri game lodge, Aadvark safari lodge, Parkview safari lodge, Elephant hab lodge, Pumba safari cottages, Mweya safari lodge among other midrange, budget and luxury lodges.
Other activities to do around Kyambura gorge
The Kyambura gorge is also a place where many other activities apart from chimpanzee trekking can be done and they include the following;
Hiking in the Kyambura gorge involves going through steep terrains and rocky surfaces and the forests.
The activity takes about 3 to 4 hours and can also involve interactions with primates in the Kyambura gorge and enjoying the amazing views of the valley and its surrounding areas.
- Bird watching
There are different bird species which can be seen during bird watching tours around the Kyambura gorge.
Some of the birds found in Kyambura gorge include African Finfoot, Bee-eater, African green pigeon, Black-Headed Gonolek, and the White-winged warbler among others.
- Guided forest walks
Tourists can also take part in forest walks when visiting the Kyambura gorge.
Best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge
The best time for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is during the dry season in the months which include December, January and February and also from June, July, August and September.
The conditions for chimpanzee trekking around the gorge including the trails are favorable for the activity during the dry season making it a good time to visit the destination as compared to the rainy season when trails are muddy.
How to get to Kyambura gorge
The Kyambura gorge can be accessed by driving about 6 hours using the Kampala-Mbarara-Kasese route or the Kampala-Mubende-Fort Portal-Kasese route.
Flights can also be booked to get to the Kyambura gorge by flying from Entebbe international airport to Mweya airstrip and then driving to the gorge area.