Kyambura Wildlife Reserve is a stretcher for the magnificent and popular Queen Elizabeth National Park. The reserve lies on the eastern side of the park where the Kazinga channel leaves the lake overlooking to Lake Edward. Before the reserve is the greater escapement (gorge) which forms the Kyambura gorge through which is the Kyambura River.
The Kyambura River is an important source of water for many wild animals that resides in the gorge tropic and its extensions of the surrounding savannah. The gorge is also known as “Gorge of Apes” noted for hosting a high concentration of primate species.
Kyambura Game Reserve in 1962 was conserved as the Kyambura Controlled Hunting Area, but later was upgraded to game reserve status in 1965. In the 1980s the southern area was colonised, but these people were evicted in 1990, and the land rented out to a private concessionaire called Zwilling. In 1996 Uganda Wildlife Statute changed the name of all game reserves to wildlife reserves, the reserve became formally known as the Kyambura Wildlife Reserve and the hunting concession was terminated in 1999.
Kyambura wildlife reserve together with Maramagambo forest and Kigezi Game Reserve all subscribe to Queen Elizabeth Protected Areas. The protected area encircle Lake Edward and extends to the borders of Uganda and DRC sharing borders with the Virunga National Park. Widely the Kyambura wildlife reserve is a gently sloping savannah, though the landscape has a sharp tilted depression (gorge) of tropics drained by River Kyambura.
Wildlife in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
The reserve is noted for habiting a volume of primate species among which include chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and baboons. Other species remain similar to that of Queen Elizabeth National Park with mammals including hippopotamus, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and a variety of antelope and other small ungulates. Water birds feature prominently in the avifauna including occasional visits by lesser flamingo, blue headed bee eater, African finfoot, falcons etc.
The chimpanzees at Kyambura gorge remained after the connecting forests from Maramagambo and Kalinzu were cleared. Chimpanzees here are being habituated, and trekkers to the reserve have an ample time of walking through the underground forest amidst birds and other primate species.
Accessing Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Geographically, Kyambura is located northeast of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The reserve can be accessed right from Queen Elizabeth National Park via road or by plane. Before heading to the reserve from the Queen one should need to have an allowance permit which attained at Kyambura visitors center located at the famous fig tree camp on the rim of Kyambura gorge.
Activities in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Kyambura is among the amazing chimpanzee tracking forests in Uganda just after Kibale National Park and Budongo forests. Chimpanzees here are habituated to enable a close-up encounter for tracker who wish this adventure at the reserve. Have a chance to watch the chimpanzees undertaking their daily activities of feeding, building nests, as juveniles entertain. There are two tracking sessions at Kyambura reserve which the first goes in the morning and the second session proceeds at the afternoon. To trek chimpanzees one should have a permit which can be procured at Mweya information center at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Tracking can last for 2 to 3 hours and can go longer depending how deep to locate the apes. Chimpanzees tracking at Kyambura comes along with various primate species which can be encountered in the forest.
Nature Walks in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve.
There are two walking sessions of the morning and afternoon hours taking you closer to nature. The nature guided walks are done with a lead of an experience ranger who are well informed about what trackers would be interested in either plants, birds, butterfly or even several animals. Nature walking tours are very interesting undertaking which have as they lead walkers close to their interests. Kyambura gorge is another breath taking tropics which rewards with variety wildlife encounters. Nature walks starts from fig tree, and grouped and take a roll into the set direction for a nature catch.
Birding activities in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Being in the arrays of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the reserve protects quite a number of bird species of over 300 species can be recorded at the park. Birding in the savannah thickets is an amazing rewarding undertaking as these thickets are habitats for volumes of insects which act as food for several bird species, considering a birding adventure here is a great achievement.