The Kyambura Gorge in the Queen Elizabeth National Park is among the range of destinations where Chimpanzee safaris in Uganda are conducted.
Also known as the Valley of Apes, the Kyambura gorge is counted among
the most popular spots in Queen Elizabeth National Park frequented by
travelers that come on Uganda tours. The gorge is a rich habitat to a range of wildlife and amazingly the only population of Chimpanzees in the park.
Appearing at 100m deep from the low lying flat savannah landscape, the
lush tropical forested gorge features a considerable concentration of
primates and most especially the Common Chimpanzees. The gorge presents a
different life from the immediate adjacent eco system. At times,
travelers on Uganda Safaris
wonder the Godly creation of the Albertine rift landscape; how a flat
savannah stretch filled with counts of grazers in open grassland is
suddenly intercepted by a deep gorge with a lush tropical forest that
amazingly thrives below the sea level supporting the fruit and other
foliage eating Chimpanzees.
The bed of the gorge is traversed by the
River which donates the name to the gorge and the adjacent area. A
local legend has it that the river flooded taking the local people by
surprise and took away their clothes. Following the subsiding of water,
the local people followed the river course up to Lake George with hopes
of tracing their possessions that the floods had taken. Unfortunately,
they could not locate any and would come back home lamenting Kyambura
which literally translates to “I have not seen it” and the locals
finally called the river Kyambura.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority
undertook the habituation of the chimpanzee habituation in Kyambura
gorge and the chimpanzee trekking encounter goes for $50 for each person
but putting in mind that Kyambura still offers a 50 – 50 chances of
exploring these apes. At times, the gorge might reward you with
impressive hikes through its magical slopes and the lush tropical flora
plus the views of the River below and keep the chimp experience for
another day. But when the chimps are encountered, it is an encounter of a
lifetime. They roll themselves on the trees, the get down to offer you a
courteous welcome which may be short lived and you begin following them
as they play, interact with one another and make crazy calls that
researches have branded as pant hooting among other interesting aspects
that make your encounter with them on tour in Uganda magical.
As a result of the terrain nature, trekking chimpanzees in Kyambura
gorge would be more ideal for those that are still physically fit. The
combination of chimpanzee viewing experience, the forest cover, the
challenging slopes and the River flowing below have at times lured the
travelers top rank it number one destination for tracking Chimpanzees in Uganda.
In addition, the gorge features other wild game including the
black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, vervet monkeys and baboons.
The bird species like the falcons along with the blue-headed bee-eater
among others also exist.
The Kyambura gorge marks the boundary
between the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park
and lies in the eastern section of the park.