You are familiar with Chimpanzee tracking within Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo Forest within Murchison Falls National Park but did you know you can actually enjoy the same experience within the Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park?
Dubbed the Valley of Apes, the mysterious and extensive Kyambura gorge lies within the floor of the western Rift Valley and known for its beauty and depth of the Valley that makes Chimpanzees appear like they are in a different World and not within the vast savannah Plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Chimpanzee tracking within this site involves hiking along its well-developed trails and transverse its rivers as well as creeks and by the time you finish the trek, you will agree that the site is one of the most beautiful wonders in Uganda.
As earlier mentioned, the Kyambura gorge is surrounded by savannah and a verdant tropical rainforest below with River Kyambura flowing through it. Most tourists that visit Queen Elizabeth National Park always pass through this site hence enjoying its beauty and scenic views. Much as the savannah above receives abundant light due to the brightness of sunshine, the canopy of this lush underground forest with its abundant vegetation blocks out much of the sunshine. Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most outstanding Uganda safari Parks within the Pearl of Africa due to its exceptional wildlife and bird species but most importantly an ideal place to relish chimpanzee tracking within the Kyambura gorge where a number of chimpanzees were habituated.
You will be able to transverse through the lush forest and along River Kyambura guided by experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guides who will safely take you down the maze of trails of the Kyambura gorge (dubbed the valley of Apes) to search the Chimpanzees that were habituated at the site. Just like those of other places like Kibale Forest National Park and Budongo Forest Reserve, the chimpanzees of the Kyambura gorge were habituated for a period of two years to make them used to the presence of humans and also not get startled at the presence of humans. It’s not only the animals and birds that will impress you about this site but also its spectacular scenery.
Chimpanzees are diurnal and social animals that normally stay in communities/troops of 30 to 100 individuals consisting of an Alpha male, several females, and infants. They feed on leaves, flowers, twigs, seeds, buds and sometimes grass and insects. These primates are arboreal as well as terrestrial spending most of their daytime hours on the ground much as from time to time walk while erect for short distances.
They are fast climbers and set up their nests high in trees and rest during midday but later sleep at night. They build new nests within a few minutes through bending branches and interweaving them to form a platform and line the ends with twigs.
They are excellent at using some tools like stones for crushing nuts and sticks for gathering termites but also use branches and big stocks as clubs for attacking enemies such as leopards.
In conclusion, chimpanzee tracking is one of the exceptional activities to enjoy during Uganda safaris and when you include the Kyambura gorge, you will be able to track some of the man’s closest relatives that call this site home.