Kyambura Gorge | Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge is an amazing feature located in Queen Elizabeth National Park and attracts quite a number of travelers because it holds a lot of wildlife species. Situated with in the Queen Elizabeth national park is a thick collider filled with lush known as the Kyambura Gorge. The name kyambura was obtained as a result of a river shifting some local members together with their belongings and on return, they couldn’t find their colleagues anywhere that the name kyambura which locally means it’s lost. Most people have it in mind that kyambura gorge is a home to Chimpanzees but trust me there is a lot of hidden treasures beyond chimpanzees which all make the gorge worth a visit as you hike through different trails including the elephant trails filled with terrains and muddy slopes as you enjoy the splashes of the river that crosses in the middle of the gorge filled with tropical rainy forest with evergreen trees.
All you need is to prepare your good hiking boots, long sleeved attire, insect repellent as there could be possibilities of insect bites in the gorge, a raincoat as it can rain at any time while inside the gorge, a good hiking stick, a warm sweater to keep you warm though you will reach some point and pull it off after an extensive hike in the steep slopes of the gorge, sunglasses should not miss out in your backpack as you will need them for eye protection against direct sunlight, a cap for your head and the garden gloves to protect your hands without forgetting enough drinking water plus snacks to munch on while in the forest.
Activities carried out in kyambura Gorge – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Chimpanzee trekking: Chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge is a tiring and really exhaling adventure due to the nature of the gorge with thick blush, slippery terrains, steep slopes and muddy trails making it very difficult for the trekkers to watch the chimpanzees in close vicinity. In most cases, these chimpanzees are rather heard from a far distance as they communicate amongst themselves. But on a lucky day, expect to meet as many chimpanzees as you can. During the chimpanzee trekking, visitors are gifted with plenty view of other wildlife including primate species such as red-tailed monkeys, baboons, black Vervet monkeys, and white Colobus monkeys, several mammals such as Elephants which normally visit the gorge, Hippos, lions, Uganda kob, warthogs, several bird species, butterflies, flowers and different plant species all residing in this extraordinary underground forest. The permits to trek the chimpanzees in kyambura gorge are obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) at a cost of $50 per permit for foreigners and UGX 30,000 for east African community members relatively cheaper as compared to Kibale forest chimpanzee trekking permit which costs $150 per permit only guaranteed to people above 12 years. However, the permit excludes the park entrance fees to Queen Elizabeth national park and the best time to trek chimpanzees in kyambura gorge is early in the morning as they leave their nests up in the trees to start their daily lifestyle. Trekkers can watch them feeding, copulating, breastfeeding and up to the evening as they construct new nests overnight. Trekkers always follow the elephant trails which are always dirty and surely expect to exit the gorge tired and very dirty not the same way as you entered but trust me it’s worth it.
Birding in Kyambura Gorge: Since Queen Elizabeth national park is amongst the best birding paradise in Uganda, expect to views plenty of them in this beautiful gorge. All you deserve is a pair of binoculars and a camera to catch the everlasting moments then you are good to go. Some of the common bird species seen in Kyambura gorge include; African Fish Eagle, Bee-eaters, African falcons, African kingfisher, African broadbill, black-headed bee-eaters, Martial Eagles, Pelican, falcons, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, White-tailed Lark, Bar-tailed Godwit, Pink-backed, Shoebill storks, flamingos, Black-rumped Buttonquail Corncrake, white winged warbler, papyrus canary, Chapin’s Flycatcher, African skimmers, papyrus Gonolek, water birds that are normally seen along the river kyambura and many more birds that flock the forest to enjoy the fruits and insects
Guided nature walks: Guided nature walks in the gorge is yet an awesome experience that takes visitors deep into the gorge alongside the armed rangers and guides through different trails identifying different tree species, viewing the mammals, primates, birds, and butterflies. The nature walk also offers the scenic view of the rive kyambura crosses through kyambura gorge
How to Access kyambura Gorge
Kyambura gorge can easily be accessed either by road or by flight depending on the visitor’s interested.
Choosing by road, the distance between Kampala to kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park takes over six hours’ drive via kampala-Mbarara-Bushenyi road covering 420km
Whereas those who opt for the flight can book charter flights from Kajjansi airstrip and Entebbe international airport and land on mweya airstrip then take a drive to kyambura gorge.
Visitors who would like to stay within with in kyambura gorge can book their accommodation in a Kyambura Gorge Lodge which is a luxury lodge situated in close vicinity with the gorge or else visitors can opt for accommodation facilities within other sectors of Queen Elizabeth National Park depending on the visitors budget such as mweya hostel, Ihamba, Kingfisher Restaurant, Enganzi hold up, bush lodge, Emin Pasha Lodge, Katara Lodge and many more and then move to kyambura gorge only for the activity.
“A visit to kyambura gorge can best be joined with an entire tour to queen Elizabeth national park to enjoy the boat cruise on the fresh waters of Kazinga channel, game drive in the Kasenyi plains, take a pleasure of watching the tree climbing lions in ishasha sector, and finally encounter with the chimpanzees in the thick and unique underground gorge known as Kyambura Gorge, several; mammals as the quench their thirst on river kyambura, birding and nature walks and all this can be achieved by taking a 3 or 4 days tour which is easily organized for you by Achieve Global Safaris”