Venturing into the Kyambura Gorge goes beyond encountering chimpanzees in their natural habitat; it’s a lesson in the intricate ecosystems of this subterranean rainforest. The gorge’s ethereal ambiance unveils its mysteries – from diverse vegetation types to avian behaviors, and the intricate web of chimp and monkey ecology.
While a guaranteed chimp sighting isn’t assured, the odds are favorable. These habituated creatures often make their presence known, offering an enchanting auditory and visual experience. The excursions, lasting between one to three hours, commence at 8 am and 2 pm daily. Kyambura Gorge rests within Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda and stands as one of the prime primate habitats. For those interested in both gorilla tracking and chimp walks, Kyambura Gorge holds a unique allure, with its proximity to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The formation of Kyambura Gorge finds its roots in the western arm of the great East African Rift Valley. The uplift, tension, or compression forces that shaped this region led to the creation of the rift valley. As the rift valley’s sides were pushed up or pulled apart, the central block subsided, resulting in a rift valley within a rift valley – Kyambura Gorge.
Kyambura Gorge is a haven for diverse wildlife, housing chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, velvet monkeys, and baboons. The chimpanzee community in the gorge, despite their mobility, has been habituated for trekking. The experience immerses visitors in both the natural tapestry and the intricate threads of wildlife, complementing other Queen Elizabeth National Park activities like game drives and boat cruises.
Chimpanzee trekking reigns as the focal activity within the gorge. Managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Kyambura’s trekking activities require permits issued by the authority. These permits, priced at USD50.00 per person per trek, provide an hour in the company of habituated chimpanzees and include a knowledgeable guide. The trek can be challenging, involving inclines and descents, making walking sticks a valuable accessory. The gorge also occasionally reveals other wildlife like hippos. With only 16 permits issued daily, advanced booking is vital. Age requirements, akin to gorilla trekking, stipulate that participants must be 15 years or older.
For those yearning to explore Kyambura Gorge, connecting with Trek Africa Tours can unlock a tailored Queen Elizabeth safari experience. Alternatively, their 5-day gorilla and wildlife safari promises not only encounters with gorillas and wildlife but also a unique chance to trek chimps in the gorge.
By Air: Scheduled flights link Entebbe International Airport to Kasese Air Strip near the Rwenzori Mountains’ base or Mweya Airstrip in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
By Road: Embarking on a 7-8-hour journey via the equator line in Kayabwe unveils captivating vistas of swamps, tea plantations, and breathtaking landscapes before descending to the base of the rift valley.
While Kyambura Gorge is accessible year-round, the optimal periods for chimpanzee trekking align with Uganda’s dry seasons: January-February and June-September. These periods enhance the chances of an unforgettable encounter with our distant relatives amidst the stunning Kyambura backdrop.