Also called the Valley of Apes, Kyambura Gorge is found in the far east corner of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The gorge is about 1 km across with its broadest point about 100 meters deep drained by River Kyambura. This is one of the most impressive landscapes to find in this country, the Pearl of Africa. The place is full of wildlife including wild game, primates, butterflies and birds.
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This is the main activity at Kyambura Gorge, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) issues permits for chimpanzee trekking. The Kyambura chimp permits are booked at UWA offices in the capital Kampala, on the ground; at Mweya visitor information center or at fig tree camp where the trek starts. This permit offers one hour of interacting with habituated chimpanzees and a day ranger guide.
A chimpanzee trek is a bit strenuous. It requires moving up and down the gorge using a walking stick. Book your ticket early to avoid missing out since this is a popular activity. Ensure to consult your tour operator on the price, availability, and procedure of booking your chimp trekking permit. The age limit for this activity is for those above 15 years.
Both activities offer long-lasting memories but trekking chimpanzees is easier. This is because chimps usually live on flatter terrain. Additionally, chimpanzees rarely frequent upper mountain tiers. Chimpanzee families are easier to navigate and takes less time compared to gorilla trekking. Keep in mind that chimps are more likely to stick in the tress than on the forest floor.
One of the most scenic gorges in the East African Rift Valley, Kyambura Gorge is about 389 km in the southwest of Kampala. The gorge is located about 30 km in the northeast of Queen Elizabeth National Park headquarters. Kyambura Gorge is the only location where to interact with habituated chimpanzees or still in the two-year habituation process. It is a wonderful opportunity to watch these primates going about their activities in the midst of humans.
You have to trek with a guide to Kyambura Gorge. The guide is always ready to respond to your questions regarding the local conditions. Perhaps you might take the road from Katunguru and move about 10 km towards the escarpment. At the gorge, you might have to climb down 200 meters passing from dry grassland at the top to the river and thick forest at the bottom.
There are two chimp trekking shifts with one at 8 am and the other at 2 pm. Foreign none-residents are expected to pay USD50 for the chimp trek per person. This fee excludes the park entrance fee of 40$ that has to be paid at the gate. The Kyambura Gorge chimp trek shift usually takes between one to three hours. Luckily, there is more to look forward to during the chimp trek.
Guided Nature Walk
With steep slopes formed by disorderly waters of River Kyambura, this gorge is covered by a verdant riverine forest. A guided nature walk here offers immense opportunities to catch amazing glimpses of various primate species including:
Apart from chimpanzees, Kyambura Gorge is also well-endowed with various avian species that make it a bird watcher’s paradise. These include:
The neighboring area has multiple salt crater lakes that attract beautiful flamingoes not seen anywhere in Uganda. Additionally, you might also be lucky enough to spot huge forest hogs roaming from time to time.
There are three guided walks near the spectacular Kyambura Gorge. A more straightforward trail is around Lake Kyasanduka forest shore dedicated for bird watching. The second trail is at Lake Nyamasigiri revolving around five interlocking craters extending for over 4 km. Finally, the third trail leads to a large cave home to a large colony of bats food for the rock pythons in Maramagambo forest.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the place to be when looking forward to a wonderful Uganda safari experience. Apart from attractions like the Kazinga Channel boat cruise, you can’t miss the Kyambura Gorge chimpanzee trek. This will get you face to face with habituated chimps for an hour as they go about their daily activities unbothered about your presence.
Kazinga Channel is a section of Queen Elizabeth Nation Park. It offers memorable experiences for anyone looking forward to making the most of their Ugandan experience. Kazinga Channel connects Lake Edward and Lake George. This 40km water stream lies beneath the Mweya Peninsular.
Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise
A Kazinga Channel boat cruise offers the ultimate African experience. In fact, a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park is not complete without taking a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. This is the highlight of a Uganda Safari experience. Therefore, when choosing an itinerary, it should not miss a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Kazinga Channel boat cruise.
What To Expect The Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise
Conducted by a team of professional and friendly tour guides, the Kazinga Channel boat cruise lasts for about 2 to 3 hours. The guides will give you all you would like to know about the environment and wildlife along the shores.
During the boat cruise, you can ask the guides anything you would like to know. These might include animals, birds, water, and surrounding vegetation. The guides will even furnish you with information regarding the communities around the Kazinga Channel. With all this knowledge handy, you will definitely have a blast on the Kazinga Channel boat cruise.
When to go on a Kazinga Channel boat cruise
The boat cruise takes place twice a day including in the morning and evening hours. You can take a morning cruise at 11:00 am ending at 1:00 pm. The evening cruise departs at 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm. However, the cruise rounds might be increased to 3 times according to visitor traffic.
This is because the Kazinga Channel boat cruise is the highlight of the trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The experience offers a chance to explore the wildlife including animals, birds, and reptiles.
Wildlife To Look Out For During The Boat Cruise
While in a 20-seater vessel sailing along the Kazinga Channel, you will get a chance to watch and learn about the behavior of the hippos in the channel. These stay in the channel water and move far distances at night to graze.
Afterward, they trek back into the water by morning before sunrise. The hippos don’t move in direct sunlight to avoid the heat from going directly into their skin. These animals have too much fat beneath their skin to compensate for the lack of fur on their bodies.
Other animals to look out for during the Kazinga Channel boat cruise are crocodiles. These used to inhabit the Kazinga Channel many years ago. However, the crocodiles were forced to migrate because of volcanic activity before they came back along the River Semliki.
On a lucky day, you might catch rare glimpses of other wildlife including:
The eastern section of Kasenyi Plains and Kasese Road are wonderful spots to catch amazing glimpses of Kazinga Channel lions. These usually prey on the multitudes of Uganda kobs in the vicinity. You can catch rare glimpses of the lions during the morning and afternoon Kazinga Channel boat cruise.
Recognized for being an important birding area by Birding International, Kazinga Channel is blessed with about 612 bird species. This location naturally attracts various bird species to watch out for during the Kazinga Channel boat cruise.
Some of the bird species to watch out for include:
Where to stay
To enjoy the most of your Queen Elizabeth National Park experience, it is important to book convenient accommodation. The ideal spot is the Elephant Home located next to the park. You can grab a hot cup of coffee before boarding the luxurious vessel to enjoy the Kazinga Channel boat cruise.
When planning to have a safari of your lifetime, a visit to Queen Elizabeth National park is the go-to destination. Here, you can’t miss taking the Kazinga Channel boat cruise to catch rare glimpses of amazing wildlife along this channel.
Ideal for adults and children, this boat cruise is a relaxing experience to rejuvenate your life. This experience is filled with various Instagram moments in the midst of this wonderful natural environment.
This trip is the unobstructed access to the local people and wildlife in their daily setting that depicts the local nature and culture, in queen Elizabeth national park. From the time you board the boat, you will be in a different world, celebrating life in paradise. The views display different natural setting like you would see in the dream of a thick jungle. The rim of the channel is lined by the thicket, bushes and sometimes patches of wetland that is home to the colorful birds and the crawling gentle monitor lizards. Sometimes, the eye will shoot to one of the rare creatures such as the crocodile, the fish eagle or otter diving for a fish catch.
The freshwater of the Kazinga channel is such a precious natural gift to the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth national park, every day. The large trails that touch the edge of the channel open up the extended miles of the savannah plains on both sides of the channel. They are the daily trails for wildlife as they move from near and far seeking to cool off.
You won’t miss the shooting puffs like fountains, or floating snouts of the hippopotamus swimming in the waters of the channel. Kazinga channel is home to hundreds of schools of Hippopotamus. It has the hippo population estimated to be over 1000 in the 20 miles channel alone.
Every hour of the day, the different land animals such as elephants, buffalos, antelopes, waterbucks, and multitudes of birds take turns to deep for a fresh drink or a swim. The edges of the channel will commonly be spotted with wildlife. You will not miss the fun of seeing elephants charge to chase the small game from their water space.
The local communities have their space too. Despite the existence of hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife that could be dangerous, the local people are never deterred from swimming, fishing or collecting water for domestic use, off the shores of the channel. You will not miss the sceneries of the local wooden fishing boats, sometimes with energetic fishermen peddling their way to the fishing fields. This qualifies Kazinga channel as a life-giver for both people and wildlife, leave alone the green vegetation that is able to survive the scorching climate of queen Elizabeth national park and can still demonstrate the green belt along the edges of the channel.
From the time the boat cruise started on the Kazinga channel, decades of years ago, none of the travelers has ever regretted the decision to take the boat cruise. Making a decision to go on Kazinga channel boat cruise is your opportunity to explore wildlife closely in the most relaxed way, as you cruise east and west of the channel. Take a step today, contact us to arrange your turn of taking this experience during your next trip to queen Elizabeth national park.
Are you planning a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park? You ought to choose accommodation that will give you the value for your money. The Elephant Home is the ideal place to stay on a trip to this amazing national park. Located in a serene part of the community at Kikorongo, you will get amazed by their self-contained rooms, restaurant with a variety of cuisines, and information that will come in handy during your tour of the park.
Read on to understand why you should stay at The Elephant Home.
Proximity to the park
The first thing to love about The Elephant Home is its prime location inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. This makes it very accessible regardless of whether you come by public transport or private means. This accommodation is a 10 minutes’ drive to Kasenyi Tracks Park Gate. This is where the game drive begins. The lodging has easy access to a good road to allow exploring the whole park.
This lodging has very hospitable staff with a wonderful chef to give you a pleasant experience at this budget accommodation. The rooms here are self-contained and furnished with appropriate beddings including other accessories to enhance your experience including:
The hospitality from the staff, beautiful rooms, and wonderful food are tailored to meet your ultimate safari experience.
Impromptu Elephant Visits
Just like the name The Elephant Home, look forward to seeing the magnificent African elephants even before touring Queen Elizabeth National Park. The chances of spotting elephants on the property are high. If you come in the cotton season, you will amazingly watch the locals interacting with elephants to protect their crops. You might even dare to walk the path of the elephants!
Since this accommodation is located outside the park, you won’t have to pay the parking fee to enjoy this remarkable closeness to wildlife. You might even get some Instagram moments as the elephants retreat to the park in a long procession while enjoying your breakfast in the open.
During your stay at The Elephant Home, the locals can guide you around the area. These will share their stories and experiences about living in the midst of wildlife. You can’t miss an opportunity to take a self-guided tour. This usually involves a savanna forest walk for about 30 minutes with the opportunity to catch amazing glimpses of Lake George located inside the park. This lake is lined with fishing people with amazing silhouettes of grazing wildlife at sunset.
Amazing picturesque views
The Elephant Home is situated on the foothills where Mountain Rwenzori kisses the savanna of Queen Elizabeth National Park. the lodge has a front view where to catch amazing glimpses of the park with its extensive wildlife field. This is where various animals wonder 24/7. You will get an opportunity to listen to the lionesses howling, hyenas laughing, and elephants trumpeting at night.
In the east of the park is Bunyaruguru Highlands offering a scenic backdrop of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can catch this view from the restaurant while enjoying a delicious meal or on self-guided tour of the hills. There is also an opportunity to watch the sun set on Rwenzori Mountain.
Immense activities to indulge in
There is a lot to indulge in while residing at The Elephant Home to make you looking forward to your next Queen Elizabeth National Park safari. Some of these include:
Book your slot now
Queen Elizabeth National Park has to offer to give the ultimate safari experience. To enhance your experience, book your place at The Elephants Home to make the most of your safari. Located next to the park and easily accessible by a good road, you will have all the time to check out wild game in its natural habitat.