Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda is a tropical rainforest that is located in the north eastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park. Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda also links visitors to Kazinga channel in the national park.
Kyambura in Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda is also called the valley of apes due to its high concentration of the primate species including the chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons and other wildlife species like the giant forest hogs, bird species among others. The wildlife reserve covers a total area of 156 square kilometers and is situated about 30 kilometers from Queen Elizabeth national park. It is drained by River Kyambura which makes it a water source for animals that come from the park to drink water.
The reserve was established to work as a buffer zone to Queen Elizabeth national park. The wildlife reserve has a viewpoint platform that offers beautiful and spectacular views of the savannah and tropical forest, butterflies and wildlife among others which makes it a must visit destination for all tourists visiting Queen Elizabeth national park.
Attractions in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Uganda.
Kyambura is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and plant species which include;
Primates, The reserve in Uganda is a home of 12 primate species including chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys among others. The baboons in this wildlife reserve can be seen during chimpanzee trekking and nature walks.
Birds, The wildlife reserve in Uganda is also a good spot for bird watching tours; with about 332 bird species which can be viewed during bird watching, chimpanzee trekking and nature walks. The bird species viewed in Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda include; blue headed bee-eater, African skimmer, papyrus canary, pink backed pelican, white tailed lark, African fin foot, white winged warbler among others.
Vegetation, Vegetation in Kyambura wildlife reserve mainly consists of savannah vegetation which is found in the upper escarpments and Kyambura Gorge forest which consists of tree canopies bordered by Kichwamba escarpments of the rift valley.
Activities done in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee trekking is the main activity done in Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda. The wildlife reserve is a home of habituated chimpanzee families available for trekking on daily basis. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura wildlife reserve is conducted in two trekking sessions which is in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura requires one to obtain a chimp trekking permit which can be booked at Mweya visitor Information Centre and requires physically fit visitors to engage in trekking because it involves trekking in steep slopes. Trekking chimpanzees in Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda starts early in the morning with a briefing at the starting point, after the briefing visitors will be grouped and allocated a guide who will guide them during chimpanzee trekking in the forest. The activity takes about 2 to 3 hours or even longer depending on the location of the chimpanzee families because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. Once the chimpanzees have been found visitors are allowed to spend one hour with the chimpanzee families in their natural habitat as they learn more about their habitats, behaviors, watch them breastfeeding, feeding, playing with each other among others. During your chimpanzee trekking safari in Kyambura, you will be able to view other primates like red tailed monkeys, black and white monkeys, vervet monkeys, baboons and different bird species hence making your safari rewarding.
Guided nature walk; guided nature walks can also be conducted in Kyambura. The nature walks are conducted in two sessions that is the morning session which starts at 8:00am and the afternoon session which starts at 13:00pm. Nature walk is an exciting and interesting activity in Kyambura wildlife reserve where visitors move on foot within the forest as they explore, relax your mind from the noise, enjoy beautiful views, and listen to sweet bird sounds among others. Nature walks in Kyambura start from the fig tree camp with a briefing and visitors are grouped into 4 people and each session allows 2 groups of people. During the nature walk the guide will share with you the history of Kyambura wildlife reserve, spotting animals, primates, and bird species among others.
Bird watching, Kyambura is a great destination for birding safaris in Queen Elizabeth national park. It harbors about 332 bird species out of the 651 species of birds that have been recorded in Queen Elizabeth national park. Bird watching in the reserve is carried out in the savannah forest and Kyambura is the best destination for bird watching due to the trees which contain insects and fruits that the birds feed on. Bird species in Kyambura wildlife reserve include lesser flamingos, martial eagle, Verreaux’s eagle owl, papyrus canary, pink backed pelican, greater flamingos, blue headed bee-eater, African skimmer, papyrus Gonolek, African fin foot, African broadbill, white winged warbler, black bee-eater and many others.
Best time to visit Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Uganda.
Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda can be visited anytime throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and during this time there is little amount of rainfall received in Uganda’s Kyambura wildlife reserve therefore the forest trails for chimpanzee trekking and nature walks will be passable compared to the wet season in the months of March to May and October to November when the forest receives heavy rainfall which makes the trails wet, muddy and slippery. However the wet season which is also known as the low season is ideal for bird watching because there will be plenty of fruits for the bird species.
Accommodation near Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Uganda.
There are several luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities near Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda and these include; Parkview safari lodge, Kasenyi lake retreat and campsite, Elephant hub lodge, Kyambura gorge safari lodge, Kingfisher camp, Jacana safari lodge, Katara lodge, Mweya hostel, Simba safari lodge, Hippo hill lodge among others. The lodges provide comfortable beds, prepare local and international meals, free Wi-Fi, have other facilities like swimming pool, gardens for relaxation, quiet and peaceful environment at night which gives you an opportunity to listen to animal and insect sounds at night, offer entertainment by the cultural people in the evening and during dinner, beautiful views of the national park, birds and primates among others to make visitors fell at home and enjoy their safari in Uganda.
How to Get to Kyambura Wildlife Reserve in Uganda.
Kyambura in Uganda is located near Queen Elizabeth national park and can be accessed by both road and air transport means.
Road transport, Kyambura can be accessed from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara. It takes about 6 to 7 hours’ drive and from Kampala via Mubende, Fort Portal to Kyambura it takes 6 hours’ drive.
Air transport, when using air transport means to Kyambura wildlife reserve in Uganda, you will have to book domestic airline such as Aero link which operates chartered flights to Mweya airstrip located in Queen Elizabeth national park and takes about one hour. You will then drive from Mweya airstrip to Kyambura wildlife reserve.
Conclusion: You can always combine your visit to Kyambura Wildlife Reserve with other activities in Queen Elizabeth national park such as; the Lion tracking, game drives, boat cruise, mongoose tracking, sport fishing and many more.