Kyambura Game Reserve one that can be referred to as a Valley of Wonderment is one of Uganda’s wildlife reserves that keep the beauty of the country. Here we uncover it all about Kyambura Game reserve and Kyambura Gorge. Slopping down a 100m deep gorge to a tropical forested valley of apes sounds magical. Slopping the valley itself is an experience of its own and what one runs into down there is a whole new experience. Don’t bypass this reserve with scenic wonders to have long-lasting Uganda wildlife tour memories at Kyambura Game Reserve. It’s just a matter of spending a few hours out of your safari in Queen Elizabeth Park to have an amazing experience below sea level.
Creating the North-Eastern natural boundary of Queen Elizabeth National Park is Kyambura Gorge literally termed as the valley of apes. Separating Kyambura Game Reserve (buffer zone of the park) and Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura Gorge is home to a variety of wildlife including the only primates of the popular wildlife-filled the park. Dubbed the valley of apes, this lush tropical Gorge is as low as 100m below sea level (the major Uganda safari attraction below sea level). Kyambura Gorge is known for not only the awe-inspiring gorge but then the primates there especially chimpanzees. The gorge is about 30km from Queen Elizabeth National Park headquarters spanning on coverage of about 16km south of Lake George and within the Kyambura Game reserve conservation area. The Kazinga Channel forms the northern boundary of the reserve, this is the popular Uganda wildlife safari destination of this park because of the numerous water animals that gather here. To the south of the Kyambura gorge are villages and plantations of the neighbouring communities.
The history attached to Kyambura Gorge
The formation of the gorge as a geographical phenomenon can be understood but then there’s a myth attached to the naming of the gorge by the local people. It is believed that one time the river that crosses the gorge was flooded and carried away the local people together with their property. The natives who remained later followed the path of the river when the water reduced with the hope of finding their friends and property but all in Vain. On return, they came back lamenting in the native language “Kyambura” meaning “I couldn’t find it” thus naming the river Kyambura and the gorge, therefore.
Kyambura Game Reserve History
Kyambura game reserve or kyambura wildlife reserve is also referred to as “valley of apes” since it’s a deep forested gorge that houses the only primates within Queen Elizabeth National Park. This sunken tropical forest in the western rift valley within Kyambura gorge was formed to serve as a buffer zone to the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park that is home to numerous wildlife species teeming with a big number of birds that are encountered by tourists on Uganda wildlife safaris.
Kyambura game reserve actually forms a stunning section of the well-known magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park- the second largest national park in Uganda with the reserve situated in the far eastern corner of the park. Kyambura game reserve is sitting in Kicwamba sub-county of Rubirizi district in Western Uganda right close the equator crossing 30km from Queen Elizabeth National Park headquarters. The mean altitude of Kyambura game reserve is 1,100m above sea level covering an area of 156 square kilometres with valley apes that amaze those who go here for Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris. Kyambura gorge is 11km long, 1km wide at its widest point and 100m deep surrounded by savannah and a thick tree canopy. The gorge is actually drained by River Kyambura and links to Kazinga channel which forms the northern boundary of the reserve where tourists experience thrilling adventure safaris in Uganda when boats go past hippos. The gorge is a vital water source to quite a number of wild animals and forms a faint border between Queen Elizabeth National Park and the reserve.
What to see/Uganda safari attractions in Kyambura Game Reserve Uganda
Primates are the key wildlife species in Kyambura wildlife reserve with habituated chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. The primates are down the gorge where they make survival in the tree stems that block out most of the sun rays from this distant yet impressive valley.
Above the great ape valley is an amazement for tourists on birding safaris in Uganda. Bird species around Kyambura game reserve include Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Martial Eagle, Shoebill, African skimmer, Lesser Plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Pink-backed Pelicans, Papyrus canary, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, White-winged Warbler, Papyrus Gonolek, African Broadbill, Black Bee-eater with much many more forest bird species.
What to do/Uganda safari activities in Kyambura Game Reserve Uganda
The major attraction in the Kyambura Gorge is chimpanzees. By 2013, a total of 24 chimpanzees were given names reflecting Uganda’s beauty and to ease their identification. As human beings, individual chimpanzees are distinguishable by their facial appearance, body and behaviour. Humans actually share 98.7% of their DNA with chimpanzees! Uganda Chimpanzee trekking tours to Kyambura game reserve is what attracts various tourists to explore the deep gorge and meet their closest relatives. Chimpanzees at the reserve have been habituated for about 2 years which means they can behave normally even with the presence of human beings. Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Uganda can be extended just within western Uganda to encounter more chimpanzees in Kibale forest National Park. Many tourists on wildlife safaris in Uganda who opt to visit the Kyambura Gorge choose to go Chimpanzee tracking. However, it’s advisable to not only concentrate on the chimpanzee tracking experience but then concentrate on the enchanting walk to have a memorable experience. The walk is one like no other, you slope to the valley in search of apes, an activity you can’t undertake in any other Uganda safaris destination. The small number of chimpanzees could be disappointing and therefore embracing the walk as an experience of its own could be more rewarding.
Nature walking safaris
Nature walking Uganda safari tours through the Kyambura Game reserve is the best way to exploit and have a glimpse of the primates up close. Primates that are certainly met include the Black and white colobus monkeys, giant forest hogs, red-tailed monkeys. The verdant tropical rain forest tree canopy marvels tourists here when it shuts out most of the sun rays leaving the gorge like a whole new world, actually, it feels like being in an old adventure movie. You will be marveled by the verdant, rich Tropical rain-forest right close to the Equator crossing.
Bird watching tours in Uganda with sighting of bird species like the Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Martial Eagle, Bar-tailed Godwit, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Shoebill, African Skimmer, Lesser Plus Greater Flamingo, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler, African Broadbill, Black Bee-eater and a lot more. These avian species accompanied by Falcons, Blue-headed bee-eater and the African Finfoot will get off the birders long unticked list and extending birding safari tours in Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda makes the passionate birders list even shorter than expected because of the numerous bird species in the park.
How to get to Kyambura Game Reserve Uganda
Safari Uganda by road and discover the hidden, untapped beauty with a piece of it at Kyambura game reserve accessed from some towns with road distances including;
From Entebbe International airport (Uganda’s national airport), Kyambura Game reserve is 376km with an estimated drive time of 7h 27min.
From Kampala, Kyambura game reserve is 394km via Masaka road with an estimated drive time of 7h 9min with the equator line 79.1km from Kampala.
From Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura game reserve is 120km via Fort portal-Mbarara road with an estimated drive time of 2h 58min.
Kyambura game reserve is 263km from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park where Uganda gorilla trekking safaris are encountered. The reserve is accessed via Kampala-Mbarara road and Ntungamo-Katunguru road taking an estimated drive time of about 5h 46 min.
From Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kyambura game reserve is a drive distance of 91.1km with an estimated time of 2h 6min.
From Kasese town, Kyambura game reserve is 89.4km via Mbarara-Kasese road about 2h 2min drive time.
Air safaris in Uganda using chartered flights can be organized by Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe international airport to Kasese airstrip with an estimated flight time of 2h 15 min. From Kasese airstrip, Kyambura game reserve is 89.4km away, a drive time of about 2h 9min.
Uganda safari accommodation/Where to stay in Kyambura Game Reserve Uganda
Uganda offers all classes of accommodation ranging from Budget/basic, mid-range to up-market/luxury in order to cater for all tourists on Uganda wildlife safari tours.
Luxury safari accommodation near Kyambura game reserve is availed at Kyambura game lodge with luxury tented cottage lodging, Mweya safari lodge situated on a peninsula within the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park, Jacana safari lodge, The Baboon Safari resort at kyambura and Katara lodge.
Mid-range safari accommodation near Kyambura game reserve is availed at Ihamba Lakeside safari lodge, Simba safari camp, Kingfisher lodge in Kichwamba, Buffalo safari resort next to kazinga channel and Pumba safari cottages in Kyambura.
Budget/basic safari accommodation within Kyambura game reserve is availed at Ihamba Safari Lodge, Tembo safari lodge off Ntungamo-Katunguru road, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Simba safari camp, Engiri game lodge, Irungu forest safari lodge, Marafiki Safari Lodge in Rubirizi.
Best Uganda safari/tour/visit time to Kyambura Game Reserve
The best Ugandan time of the year for lifelong safari memories is during the dry months of December-February and June- August when the reserve is not very slippery and the trees, not water dripping and clear pictures can be taken.
After visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park, we can tailor for you a tour Uganda visiting other parks like Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Semuliki Valley National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Mount Elgon National Park and Mount Rwenzori National Park . It is also wise you supplement your Africa tour with a Uganda gorilla tour or short Uganda gorilla safari, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee trekking safaris, Uganda hiking safaris, Uganda Rwanda cycling safaris, a Jinja city tour or 1 Day Jinja city tour, a Kampala city tour or a 1-day Kampala city excursion, a Uganda cycling safari depending on your choice of safari in Uganda. It is also possible to modify it with a Birding safari in Uganda or Birding tour in Uganda or feature other Africa safari destinations like Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya among the many. Congo safaris or a Congo safari offers you chance enjoy a Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park to trek lowland gorillas or a Congo gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park to trek the famous Mountain gorillas.