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                                            KYAMBURA GORGE





 

 

 


Kyambura Gorge is located in the far eastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda. About 1 km across and roughly 100 meters deep, the gorge also known as the ‘Valley of Apes’ is drained by River Kyambura. Kyambura landscape is one of the most impressively extraordinary topographies you will find in Uganda and it is enclosed in a rich wildlife bio-diversity which contains of good numbers of primates, wild animals and birds.
The Gorge also known as Kyambura Wildlife Reserve or Kyambura Game Reserve is= a section of the spectacular Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the biggest parks in Uganda. The majority of visitors into the park are offered a Chimpanzee Safari to the incredible Kyambura canyon as an additional bonus to the main safaris involving game drives and a boat cruise.
When you enter into this remarkable Gorge, you will be impressed by the green, rich tropical forest nearby the Equator crossing making it another territory on its own. The Savannah above the gorge has a sensible aggregate of sun shine that provides brightness. The tree cover in the under-ground jungle encompasses of rich chunks of plant life locked out much of the sunrays. Except when you are standing in a clear place, you certainly not need sunglasses or caps for a need to have a clear view for the great variety of Wonders within the Gorge.

                                   Chimps in Kyambura Gorge















Topmost Uganda Tour activities in Kyambura Gorge:-Chimpanzee Trekking is the main safari activity in Kyambura Gorge. Most of the Chimpanzees in the gorge have been habituated meaning they are acquainted with human beings to the reality that they are can freely do their daily activities in the presence of people. Tours in the gorge are done between 1 – 3 hours and usually begin at 8:00 am and 2:00 pm every day.
Guided Nature Walks, Forest Walks and other Primates’ Tracking
Besides chimps in the gorge, there are other primate species found there like the Red Tailed Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Giant Forest Hogs, Baboons plus other mammals.
                                                       
       Birding Safari in Uganda
For bird watching, this valley of Kyambura is a birder’s Paradise and Butterflies abound. Around 332 bird species have been recorded in this Kyambura Wildlife Reserve with seven types of universal conservation concern.
Getting to Kyambura Gorge
In case you are travelling from Kampala, Uganda’s Capital City via Mbarara town, the place is 420 kilometres to be reached. And if you are moving from Kampala going through Fort Portal, you will cover a distance of 410 Kilometres. Ugandan Local Charter flights are available from Entebbe International Airport to the Airstrip in southwestern Uganda at Mweya or Kasese, flying for about an hour.
Accommodation Facilities around the Gorge
Kyambura Gorge is a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Within and outside the park is a collection of lodges good for use while of your Uganda safari to have a feel of the sights and sound this detached and impressive valley. Accommodation properties range from high-class, mid-range to budget lodges. Examples are Katara lodge, Enganzi Lodge, Jacana Safari Lodge, Kyambura Gorge Safari Lodge and Kingfisher Kichwamba Lodge among others.
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
The Kyambura Game Reserve is a fragment of the much toured Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda. The wildlife reserve is home to a multiplicity of flora and fauna among which are the only primates in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The game reserve is a key water cradle to relatively several wildlife species and largely surrounded by grassland.
                                           
                Kyambura Gorge Wildlife
The reserve is essentially the sole area where one can visit habituated chimpanzees on a chimp trekking safari in the park. Reservations for Chimpanzee tracking are made at the Mweya Visitor Information Centre in the magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Mweya Office as well offers information on game drives and additionally sells postcards and maps and for other species of primates like the red-tailed monkeys, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys and the vervet monkeys.
Kyambura Chimpanzee Habituation exercise lasted about 2 years. Habituation of chimps implies that these primates are used to be close people and can interact with ease, play, eat or jump freely in the presence of people.
The area also hosts a wider range of avian species including the African Fin foot, the blue-headed bee-eater and the diverse falcons. Large games like the gigantic forest hogs are common in the area. There gorge has got three salty crater lakes which attract a dozens of good-looking flamingo crowds that have not been seen anywhere in Uganda.


The precipitous hills of Kyambura Gorge were formed by the messy waters of the roaring River Kyambura. These slopes are shielded by a  green  riverine woodlands that are habitats to a variety primates including chimps, the black colobus monkeys, white Colobus monkeys,  red tailed monkeys and the olive baboons among others primates categories. Similarly, the green riverine jungle as well offer shelter to several forest birds and other species such as the Shoebill, Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Button quail, African Skimmer, Bar-tailed God-wit, Lesser plus Greater Flamingo, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Corncrake, Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Pink backed Pelican, Papyrus Canary, African Broad bill, White-winged Warbler, Black Bee-eater and the Papyrus Gonolek that are visibly common in the area.

The gorge of Kyambura can best be explored by hiking in form of a guided nature walk led by the proficiently experienced tour guides. The guides explain to guests the natural attractiveness of the valley, its flora and fauna plus its depths. When at this wildlife reserve, you will ably have a close experience of the noteworthy wildlife in the area including the rousing chimpanzee.


Kyambura Gorge chimpanzee tracking safari may actually be done independently from Kampala or be combined any other tourism activity in Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Based on the available time, the same chimps trekking is doable with other tour activities beyond the park like Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi, vacation tour of Lake Bunyonyi, Adventure of Rwenzori Mountain or Wildlife Safari in Lake Mburo. Queen Elizabeth National Park where Kyambura Gorge is found is almost in the middle of the geographically positioned tourist destinations.
 

                                     ISHASHA SECTOR

The Ishasha Sector, found in the Southern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park is prominent for amazing Tree-Climbing lions. Lions visibly hanging in big fig trees are an exceptional attraction and a major highlight of tours and safaris done in Queen Elizabeth National park. The Lions climb trees to take relaxation in the branches and also be able to detect their prey notably the Uganda Kob which also graze at the park in bigger numbers.


Queen Elizabeth National Park is not only the most preferred park but also the widely toured to park in Uganda, with Murchison Falls National Park almost tying in same position. The landscape of Ishasha Sector is substantially dissimilar from that found in other fragments of this vast park. The sector, vividly plain with grass and tree is habitat to the globally distinguished tree-climbing lions that are prevalent to this area. The male lions of this sector exceptionally have black curls.


Many Tourists to Queen Elizabeth National Park generally visit the Mweya section of the park and tend not to go down to the sector and end up missing out on the adventure of spotting the tree-climbing lions. The sector is roughly a two-hour drive to reach from the main area of the park. Beside the lions, there is great diversity of wildlife.
Worldwide, there are only two areas where tree-climbing lions are found and these are; Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania and Ishasha Sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.  Amazingly, it is very stunning view the King of the jungle rested up high on the branches of the gigantic fig trees as time passes.


More to the captivating Tree Climbing Lions within Ishasha segment, guests will also spot large herds of buffalo, hundreds of antelopes that are fond of crossing the road. Elephant are vividly present in the large of the sector plus hippopotamuses which are not very common. Ishasha offers you a feeling that you are on an African Safari as you enjoy the breathtaking wilderness.
As you calmly move across Ishasha plains, along the pathways dotted with acacia trees you will in reality begin to understand the reason as to why many people always decide to make Uganda and Queen Elizabeth National Park in particular their vacation holiday destination.
Accessing Ishasha Sector


The sector, one of the holiday memorable destinations in Uganda is accessible as one drives from the northern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park or from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park side. The sector is commonly visited by tourists who coming from Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest and are having Queen Elizabeth National Park as their next destination and vice versa.
Accommodation Facilities around Ishasha Sector
Lodges near and around the Ishasha Sector include Ishasha Wildness Camp, Enjojo Lodge, Ishasha Jungle Lodge, Ishasha River Camp (shasha-Ntungwe River Camp) and At the River Ishasha Camp among others.

 

                                                   KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Lying in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of Karamoja province on the far northern border with the Sudan, Kidepo Valley is Uganda’s most remote national park. Few undertake the pilgrimage to the park but the spectacular beauty of this pristine wilderness impresses all that make it. For the visiting birder, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the host of dry, eastern “specials” not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of East Africa’s rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apallis.
BIRD WATCHING
The Apoka Rest Camp and Park Headquarters overlooking the swallow, southern Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your Kidepo birding. The attractive Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike frequent the thorn trees around camp, as do a number of other widespread species such as Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. A small permanent water hole at the edge of camp attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephant, Buffalo and occasionally Lion. Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-ruKidepo Valley National Park

Lying in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of Karamoja province on the far northern border with the Sudan, Kidepo Valley is Uganda’s most remote national park. Few undertake the pilgrimage to the park but the spectacular beauty of this pristine wilderness impresses all that make it. For the visiting birder, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the host of dry, eastern “specials” not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of East Africa’s rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apallis.
BIRD WATCHING
The Apoka Rest Camp and Park Headquarters overlooking the swallow, southern Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your Kidepo birding. The attractive Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike frequent the thorn trees around camp, as do a number of other widespread species such as Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu. A small permanent water hole at the edge of camp attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephant, Buffalo and occasionally Lion. Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill may be seen in the rank grass along the normally dry stream bed adjacent to camp or along the track to Apoka lodge.
                                             
   Key Species of Birds
Ostrich
African Swallow-tailed Kite
Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk
Pygmy Falcon
Fox Kestrel
Stone Partridge
Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins
Yellow-necked Spurfowl
Kori
White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards
Violet-tipped Courser
Black-headed Plover
Four-banded Sand Grouse
Bruce’s Green Pigeon
Rose-ringed Parakeet
White-crested Turaco
White-bellied Go-away bird
White-faced Scoops Owl
Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars
Little Green Bee-eater
Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers
Abyssinian Ground
Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills
Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets
Brown-backed Woodpecker
Singing Bush Lark
Red-winged Lark
Ethiopian Swallow

                                                               
  OTHER WILDLIFE


Kidepo’s mammal list of over 80 species includes 28 that are found in no other Ugandan National park. Amongst these are such charismatic African animals as Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah and Klipspringer. Unfortunately, Kidepo suffered the same fate as many other Ugandan parks during the Amin era and is still recovering from years of poaching that left game herds depleted. Striped Hyena, Lesser Kudu, Grant’s Gazelle and Beisa Oryx have not been seen at all in recent times and are presumed to be locally extinct. Other large mammals have shown a remarkable recovery and there are now healthy population of Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, Bohor Reedbuck, Waterbuck and Kongoni. Predators are plentiful and Spotted Hyena, Leopard and Lion are frequently seen. Oribis is abundant in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets in the north are home to Guenther’s Dik Dik. Senegal Galago and Sidestriped Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose is common but more likely to be found on a night drive. The park also has a very rich and diverse reptile fauna.


                                                              ACCOMMODATION
Apoka Rest Camp, run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, offers comfortable bandas within the national park, including bedding, mosquito netting and showers. It is recommended that you bring all your own food although it can be cooked for you if necessary.
A more upmarket option is the exclusive Apoka Lodge. This luxury lodge is located in the middle of Kidepo National Park with spacious rooms and private veranda. Each room has a sitting room and ensuite bathroom. A restaurant and swimming pool are available as well.
It is recommended that a ranger-guide accompany you at all times whilst at Kidepo Valley National park and this can be arranged on arrival at Apoka. Patrick is an excellent ranger who knows many of the birds. Park officials also suggest that all vehicles travelling north into the Kidepo Valley be escorted by multiple armed guards due to the periodic presence of poachers and cattle rustlers in the area.
ACCESS
Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible either by road or by air. The most commonly driven route from Kampala is via Gulu and Kitgum, an 600 km journey taking a minimum of 12 hours and a sturdy 4WD to complete.

 

Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s WheatersAfrican Grey FlycatcherFoxy and Red pate CisticolasKaramoja ApalisWhite-bellied TitMouse-coloured Penduline TitNorthern White-crowned and Yellow-billed ShrikesSlate-coloured BoubouFan-tailed RavenSuperb StarlingRed billed OxpeckerEastern Violet backedPygmy and Beautiful SunbirdsRufous and Chestnut SparrowYellow-spotted PetroniaWhite-headed and White-billed Buffalo WeaversWhite-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow WeaversGrey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted WeaversGreen-winged Orange-winged and Red-winged PytiliasBlack-bellied and Black-faded WaxbillSteel-blue and Strawtailed WhydahsBrown-rumped Bunting​

                                                                                                  KASENYI PLAINS

Kasenyi Plains are part of the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park in south western Uganda one of the most visited National Parks in the country. The flat plans are about 48 kilometres by road from Kasese town. The plains are on the western shores of the neighboring spectacular Lake George adjoining to the area where the Kazinga Channel and this lake make a convergence.

Kasenyi Plains, on the north-eastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park are also known as the Kasenyi Sector, different from the renowned Ishasha Sector in the southwestern side of the park. Kasenyi is mainly an open Savannah characterized by various wild animals with the Uganda Kob being the most dominant one and in fact this area is the major breeding area for the this mammal species in the park. Because the Uganda Kobs are many in the plains, Lions are frequently spotted here by tourists when taking game drives. The kobs are the main prey to the major cats in this area.

Lions in the park were rare to find but are now increasing in numbers are totaling around 200 and are commonly seen in the vast green plains. Kasenyi also supports an attractive variety of Savannah birds such as the red-throat spur fowls, grey-crown cranes and the yellow-throated long crow.

Opportunely, the biggest number of the Uganda Safaris done in Queen Elizabeth National Park is undertaken carried out in Kasenyi Plains due to the fact that lots of animals are found here. Being open plains, they are loved by animals at large. In the open, the prey can identify an enemy and run clearly and on the side of the hunters (lions & leopards); they can as well clearly spot a prey and run after it with ease. This open area is also very ideal for visitors interested in taking snapshots. Guided game drives in this area are not rushed to allow tourists enough to view and capture all the wild treasures with their eyes and on cameras. On uncommon occasions, you may essentially have an opportunity to watch lions chasing or capturing their prey.

The Mweya – Kasenyi plains have got the biggest numbers of animals in the park like Buffaloes, Lions, Elephants, Warthogs, Antelopes and Hyenas among others.