Kyambura is the only place within Queen Elizabeth national park where tourists can encounter habituated chimpanzees while in Uganda. The gorge is a tropical forest found on the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth national park. The gorge which is 100m deep, 11km long and about 1km wide, home to different bird species, primates, and mammals.

Kyambura River is the main water channel in this valley and most of the park animals drink water from this stream whose sources are from the rocks surrounding the gorge. Kyambura River flows and pours its water into the Kazinga channel which is the largest water body in Queen Elizabeth national park. Kyambura gorge is sometimes called the valley of apes and this is because it’s home to a small population of chimpanzees and other primates.

About Kyambura gorge

Kyambura gorge is home to a small population of chimpanzees which are habituated for tourists to spend some time with them. Chimpanzees are somehow related to human beings with about 97% human DNA and it's for this reason that travelers love to spend time around them and closely watch their behaviors.

Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth national park is done twice a day in the morning and afternoon, all sessions start with a briefing at the visitors center which is near the gorge. Here trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of chimpanzee trekking and then armed ranger guides can lead them into the jungle. A maximum of 8 people trek chimpanzees in Kyambura gorger per session.

The trekkers are given walking sticks to help them go through the steep slopes and vegetation in the park. The armed ranger guides lead the trekkers down Kyambura gore up to the river down the valley. The search for these chimpanzees doesn’t take so long because the area is small. The moment the chimpanzees are, tourists can be around them for 1 hour.

During the time given to be around chimpanzees, one can learn about their habits, take photos, record videos, and watch the chimpanzees do daily activities which may be mating, nesting, feeding, breastfeeding, hunting, and resting among others. Apart from seeing chimpanzees, tourists to Kyambura gorge can see different mammals, primates, and birds that live in this area.

For any travelers to trek chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge, they must have chimpanzee trekking permits and these are sold to people above the age of 15 years. The chimpanzee trekking permits are bought from Uganda Wildlife Authority and travelers should try to book these permits in advance especially if they are visiting the region in the dry season.

What to pack?

Being a tropical rainforest, travelers are asked to pack good waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, gardening gloves, a rain jacket, a sweater, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a light backpack, a hat, a pair of binoculars, a camera, sanitizer, insect repellents, sunscreen, drinking water bottle and energy giving snacks.

Where to stay?

Tourists that are looking for where to stay around Kyambura should know that there is a variety of lodges in Queen Elizabeth national park. The lodges range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they include Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Kingfisher resort, Katara Lodge, Elephant Hab Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Pumba Safari Cottages, and Jacana Safari Lodge among others.

How to get to Kyambura gorge?

Kyambura gore is located in Queen Elizabeth national park and can be accessed from Kampala via Mubende Fort Portal or Kampala via Masaka Mbarara Kasese road to Queen Elizabeth national park where you connect to Kyambura gorge. Luxury travelers can fly to Mweya airstrip from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport using Bar Aviation Uganda or Aerolink Uganda.