Kyambura gorge, the longest gorge in East Africa is located in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth national park west of the country. The gorge that looks like a forested depression is home the endangered chimpanzees and about 10 other primate species. Normally the gorge receives visitors interested in trekking the chimpanzees among other activities. The gorge harbouring chimpanzees and other primates makes it one of the three natural habitats of primates in Uganda with chimpanzees.
The gorge is located on the northeastern side of Queen Elizabeth national park and spreads across an 11 km detachment that connects to the kazinga channel to form the northern part of the boundary of the park.
The gorge covers a total area of 156 sq km, with 11 km stretch that links to the Kazinga channel at the North Eastern edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park; the link to Kazinga channel creates a flow of water into the gorge making it the main source of water in this park. The Kazinga channel feeds the Kyambura stream that flows through the gorge watering it and enhancing the growth of vegetation hence the gorge is a rich source of food for the primates and wildlife in the park; especially the herbivores animals.
The Kyambura River or the kyambura stream flows through the forest 100 meters below the kichwamba plateau slopes. The Kyambura gorge actually gets its name from this river/stream.
The gorge is the only place in Queen Elizabeth National Park that has primates while the other parts of the park have other land animals and the Kazinga channel has water animals; the primates in the gorge apart from the endangered chimpanzees include the red tailed monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, colobus monkeys among others.
The main activity that is done in the gorge is chimpanzee trekking that is done all year round and other activities that are also done in the gorge are bird watching and nature walks.
A chimpanzee trekking experience in Kyambura gorge will give you a chance to meet the famous, rare and endangered chimpanzees, interact with them for one hour as you observe how you they live their day to day life; playing, eating, nurturing the young among other things.
On your trekking experience, you will spend 1 or 2 hours trekking in the forest looking for the chimpanzees as you enjoy the beauty of the forest, see numerous birds, other primates and the amazing gorge beauty; when you find the monkeys you will spend one hour with them and then take a 1 or 2-hour trek out of the forest.
Chimpanzee trekking in the gorge lasts about 2 to 3 hours or more and starts either in the morning at 7 am or in the afternoon at 2 pm. The gorge has habituated chimpanzees but sighting these primates is not always a guarantee because they tend to move deep into the forest at times, some travellers may opt to follow the primate trails into the forest which turns out to be a long trek into the forest; other guests give up and settle for the noises and sounds of the chimpanzees and sightings of other primates. However the upside of this chimpanzee trekking experience you get to see other primates like baboons, colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others, so though missing the chimpanzees is such a heart-breaking thing, you will still have a lot of other good things to tell about your trekking experience in this gorge.
Nature walks are also done in the gorge to appreciate the beauty, ambience and diversity of the forest as you see different forest tree species and creatures that live in the gorge. The gorge walking trails for the nature walks are delightful spots for picnics and just lounging and enjoying the forested gorge; travellers normally take picnic luncheons on these beautiful trails as they lounge and take pictures of the scenic gorge.
The gorge is also home to a variety of bird species that you get to see, on bird watching sprees as you walk through the forested trails that have tall trees where the birds make their nests and fly off often. The birds in the gorge include bout not limited to flycatchers, falcons, foot African bird, blue-headed Bee-eaters, white napped pigeons and many others.