Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an interesting adventure for tourists. Kyambura Gorge is a tropical rainforest located in the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is also known as the “Valley of Apes” and it’s the only destination in the park where you can see the endangered chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking is the major and most interesting activity in Kyambura Gorge. You’ll get an opportunity to move on foot into the dense tropical forest in search of the habituated chimpanzees and once found spend one hour with them in their environment.
Kyambura Gorge is known for harboring a variety of bird species. These include shoebill stork, martial eagle, African broadbill, black-headed bee-eater, and papyrus canary. You’re most likely to find Mammals like elephants and hippos in Kyambura Gorg. Other primate species like black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, and Olive baboons among others also call Kyambura Gorge home.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge is an adventurous activity that is done in two sessions every day. There is the morning session which starts at around 8:00 am. The afternoon session starts at around 2:00 pm. Trekking of chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge starts early in the morning with a briefing at the visitors center. You’ll after be subdivided into groups of 6 people and start trekking in the jungle with a well-trained park guide. The park guide is knowledgeable about the chimpanzees and also well-conversed with different trails.
Chimpanzee trekking takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are. This is because they like to move from one place to another in search of food, especially during the dry season. During trekking, you will be able to view a variety of bird species. You’ll also see other primates like vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and different plant and tree species among others.
Once you find the chimpanzees, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their environment. This gives you a chance to take pictures and learn about their behaviors, and lifestyle. You’ll record the breathtaking moments as they carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, playing, hunting, fighting, resting, and grooming young ones among others.
A chimpanzee trekking permit is a document or card that is issued to any visitor above the age of 15 years. It allows the tourist to visit a habituated chimpanzee family in Kyambura Gorge. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kyambura Gorge costs USD 100 per person for foreign nonresidents and USD 80 for foreign residents. And, UGX 50,000 per person is for East African citizens. A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kyambura Gorge is cheap compared to Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park. A permit in Budongo costs USD 120 per person for foreign nonresidents. It costs USD 110 per person for foreign residents and USD 80 per person for East African citizens. A Kibale Forest National Park chimpanzee trekking permit costs USD 200 per person for foreign nonresidents. It is USD 150 per person for foreign residents. The permit is UGX 150,000 per person for East African citizens.
A chimpanzee trekking permit in Kyambura Gorge can be booked directly through the Uganda Wildlife Authority. You contact the offices via email or telephone calls. You can alternatively book through a trusted tour operator. Booking through Safari Vacations and Travel Services is the best option to use. You’ll contact us with your names and dates when you wish to visit chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge. We will check for permit availability which matches your date. When there are permits available, you will be asked to make a deposit. Once we receive the payment we will purchase the permits on your behalf and send you a scanned copy as confirmation.
Kyambura Gorge can be accessed by road transport means. You’ll drive from Kampala or Entebbe via Mubende – Fort Portal road. You can alternatively access it via Masaka – Mbarara road to Queen Elizabeth National Park. You then drive to the headquarters which takes about 6 to 7 hours’ drive in a 4WD safari vehicle and then drive 30 kilometers to Kyambura Gorge visitor’s center.
Kyambura Gorge can also be accessed by air transport. You will book a charter of scheduled flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield. You’ll land at the Mweya airstrip or Kasese airstrip. Domestic flights to Kyambura Gorge can be booked through your tour operator.
There are several accommodation facilities near Kyambura Gorge where you can stay during your chimpanzee trekking safari in Kyambura Gorge. The accommodations range from luxury to midrange, and budget. These include Pumba Safari Cottages, Hippo Hill Lodge, Simba Safari Lodge, and Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge. There’s also Ihamba Safari Lodge, Katara Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Mweya Safari Lodge, Parkview Safari Lodge, and Elephant Hab Lodge among others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge can be done anytime throughout the year. However, the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in June to September and December to February. During the dry season, there is less or little rainfall in the tropical rainforest. Therefore, vegetation will be thin which makes viewing of chimpanzees easy. Chimpanzee trekking trails in the gorge will be dry and passable compared to the wet season when the trails are wet, muddy, and slippery which makes trekking difficult.
Apart from chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge, you can also participate in other interesting activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. They include game drives in Kasenyi plains and a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. It also includes a lion-tracking experience, guided nature walks, and bird watching among others.
For more information about chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge-Queen Elizabeth National Park or chimpanzee trekking packages, you can visit our website or contact us at Safari Vacations and Travel Services.