Kyambura Gorge, commonly known as the “valley of Apes”, is an underground rainforest found in the Queen Elizabeth national park. The gorge is part of the Kyambura wildlife reserve that is made up of the Kyambura gorge and the Kichwamba escarpment. Kyambura gorge is famous for chimpanzee trekking but still has other attractions like birding, nature walks, and other wildlife sightings.
A visit to the Kyambura gorge is one of those that can coupled with wildlife safaris in Queen Elizabeth national park and gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park. It entails a trek in the forest, sounds and sightings of chimpanzees and birding.
How Kyambura Gorge was formed?
Kyambura gorge was formed as a result of the formation of the western rift valley. As the tension pushed and pulled to create the rift valley. As the valley of the rift valley was formed, another faulting led to the creation of a valley within a valley, hence creating the gorge.
However, others believe that the gorge was formed as a result of the drying up of Kyambura River. As the river dried up, the fertile river bed sprang to life, bringing forth the amazing vegetation and tropical forest in the gorge.
Wildlife in Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura Gorge has many attractions but primates are one of the most sought after. Some of the primates include chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons, red tailed monkeys and many more. During your trek in the gorge, you will get to enjoy the beauty and the tranquilly of the forest. The bird sounds, the smell of the fresh leaves and the sights of these primates make amazing Uganda safari memories.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge
Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity that is done in the gorge. In order to trek the chimpanzees, you will have to book a permit at Uganda wildlife authority either at the head office or on ground. The minimum age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge is 15 years. At the gorge, you will be allocated a ranger who will lead your group through the trek in the forest. A certain level of fitness is needed because the hike is strenuous. You will be given walking sticks to enable you on your trek. During the trek, other primates and wildlife can be seen, making the experience more enjoyable.
Chimpanzee trekking is done at 8am in the morning and 2pm in the afternoon. Since 8 permits are issued per trek, you are advised to book early enough. You can customize your Uganda safari to include wildlife in Queen Elizabeth national park and chimpanzee trekking which is near the gorge.
How to get to Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura gorge is a 7-8 hours’ drive from Kampala. Cross the equator at Kayabwe, drive through the flat lands of western Uganda, the tree plantations in Bushenyi and at the base of the western rift valley is Kyambura gorge.
Scheduled flights from Kajjansi airstrip and Entebbe airport will take you to Kasese airstrip or Mweya airstrip. Here, your tour operator will pick you up and take you to Kyambura gorge for your primate safari.
Best time to with Kyambura Gorge
Kyambura gorge is open to tourists all year round. However, trekking through the forest is best done in the dry season of January-April and June- September.