Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Kyambura gorge is an extension of Kyambura game reserve, part of Queen Elizabeth National park, Kasese District, western part of Uganda. The connects straight to Kazinga channel through an enormous wetland that is locally said to have swallowed people by floods and heavy rains long time ago and when some tried to search for their loved ones but in vain they could all return saying “Kyambura” meaning “I cannot find it” hence deriving its name from this event.

The Gorge is dominated by dense and lush tropical forests making it a good and favorable habitat for wide range of wildlife, stunning bird and primate species. Interestingly enough is how River Kyambura is the basic source of water for the gorge, plants and all the wild life in the area get enough natural water. Famously known as the “Valley of Apes”, the gorge homes not very many primate species but the number of chimpanzees trapped in this comely valley is being habituated, and therefore the only spot that offers chimpanzee tracking services and activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.  


Forest Nature Walks. 

Guided nature walks along and through Kyambura gorge is one of the tourist activities in the gorge and gives such a lifetime memorable experience. The coolness down in this comely valley blended with stunning canopies of tropical rain forest tall trees while the surroundings of the expose you to hot Savannah sparks the curious attention of many.

With the proper professional guidance of the game rangers and tour guides, Guests are being led through the valley for nature walks while receiving informative knowledge of the gorge including its history and formation. Visitors are always divided into two group of 4 visitors per group for two sessions a day. The morning nature walk session kicks off at exactly 8:00am while the Afternoon session comes at 2:00pm. 

Bird, primates and wildlife watching.

Due to the presence of thick lush canopies and tall trees, visitors can expect to have the birding experience in the gorge. This lush vegetation shelters delicious fruits and insects keeping the birds trapped in this valley.  Some of the bird species in the gorge include African skimmers and fin foot, Martial eagles, Chapin’s flycatcher, shoe storks to mention but a few. 

Deep in the valley is the wide range of mammal species including lions, buffaloes, leopards, hippopotamuses to mention but a few. There are also a variety of the beautiful primates aside the common chimpanzees in the gorge including baboons and monkeys. 


Chimpanzee trekking in the gorge requires extra fitness of the guests simply because it involves descending down in the valley then hiking the steep slopes back and it is very rewarding at the same time. Tracking chimpanzees down in the gorge is one of the most satisfying tourist activity on a Uganda safari. Visitors get to learn a lot about these most intelligent of all primate species, how they build nests up in the trees for rest, their feeding habits and love for fruits, and how they prey on other small primates for food is such an eye catching moment and unforgettable one. 

Briefing is being carried out in the early hours of the morning in preparation of the fun activity before kicking off the first session at 8:00am. The remaining session is in the afternoon and they are only two sessions per day. Each session consists of 8 visitors and they must possess a legal chimpanzee trekking permit.  While on this interesting activity, visitors can also have an opportunity to sight a variety of beautiful wildlife species, insects and bird species in the gorge.

The easiest way in locating the chimpanzees is by tracking their foot prints stamped in the mud especially when they are quiet. The entire chimpanzee trekking activity takes about two to three hours, and the chimpanzee trekking permits are booked through Uganda Wildlife Authority or your preferred tour agency, at a cost of $50 USD per person. 

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