Kyambura Game Reserve which borders to the west of Kyambura Gorge is part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in Uganda. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the only primates in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The area is an important water source for many animals and is surrounded by savanna, but is generally noted for its high concentration of primate life located in the gorge. If you are looking to a primate safari in Uganda, this is a must visit destination while on a trail through western Uganda.
Kyambura Game Reserve was formed to serve as a buffer zone to the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kyambura is located on north-eastern side of QENP, approximately 30 km from QENP Headquarters. Kyambura Gorge spans a distance of 11 km and links to the Kazinga Channel, which forms the northern boundary of the reserve. Village and plantations lie to the south. The reserve’s mean altitude is 1100 m.a.s.l. The total area of the reserve is 156 sq. km.
A total of 13 habitats have been recorded in the reserve.
Kyambura is the only place in QENP where habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys are seen. The park is also known for its variety of avian species including various falcons, the blue-headed bee-eater and the African fin foot.
The Kyambura Gorge experience is more than discovering chimpanzees in their natural environment: it teaches visitors about the ecosystems of Kyambura Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology.
Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, visitors stand a pretty good chance of hearing and seeing our distant cousins as they are habituated. Tours last between one and three hours and start at 8am and 2pm daily.
There is accommodation at Kyambura gorge, one is called Kyambura Gorge Lodge. This is far away from the R & B clubs of Kampala, about seven hours drive, along a ridge adjacent to Kyambura Gorge on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park in South West Uganda. The site had been in the making for seven years before Ross arrived. Small parcels of land had been bought and assembled with the aim of creating a ‘protected zone’ between the gorge, Queen Elizabeth National Park and local communities, who were continually suffering the effects of wildlife conflicts, mostly crop raiding by large mammals and baboons. Queen Elizabeth National Park is host to over 600 bird species, big cats, elephants, hippopotami, crocodiles, antelope, buffalo and a plethora of other small mammals and reptiles.
At Kyambura you may enjoy the chimp tracking, hippos, elephants, colobus and red tailed monkeys…in addition to the chimps! Hike is not overly strenuous but may require negotiating some steep inclines for the best views – shoes with good traction that can handle deep mud are recommended.
Approximately 30 chimps are here, cut off from the nearby forest. They spend most of the time up in the canopy but are somewhat habituated so if you’re lucky they will come down for a while.