Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve is a tropical rainforest that is located in the northeastern corner of Queen Elizabeth national park and also links to the Kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest national park in Uganda after Murchison falls national park. Queen Elizabeth national park is the most visited destination in Uganda due to the wide range of biodiversity including animal species like the tree climbing lions which are found in the south western part of the park in Ishasha sector, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, mongoose, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, warthogs, leopards, lions, chimpanzees, bird species, vegetation types and offers several adventurous activities like lion research tracking, mongoose tracking, game drive, boat cruise at kazinga channel, nature/forest walks, bird watching, chimpanzee trekking in kyambura gorge among others.
Kyambura wildlife reserve 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 reserve covers a total area of 156 square kilometers, 30 kilometers from Queen Elizabeth national park and it is drained by River Kyambura which makes it a water source for animals that come from Queen Elizabeth national park to drink water.
The reserve was formed to work as a buffer zone to Queen Elizabeth national park and it has a viewpoint platform that offers beautiful and spectacular views of the savannah and tropical forest, butterflies, wildlife, Queen Elizabeth national park among others which makes it a must-visit destination to visitors on a safari in Queen Elizabeth national park.
Attractions in Kyambura -Queen
Kyambura wildlife reserve is a habitat of various wildlife species including
- Primates, The wildlife reserve 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 Kyambura wildlife reserve are seen during chimpanzee trekking and nature walks.
- Birds, It is also known as a birders paradise in that it harbors about 332 bird species which can be viewed during bird watching, chimpanzee trekking and nature walks. The bird species viewed in the wildlife reserve include blue-headed bee-eater, African skimmer, papyrus canary, pink backed pelican, white tailed lark, African finfoot, white winged warbler among others.
- Vegetation, The reserve 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 can be done in Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
- Chimpanzee trekking, chimpanzee trekking is the main activity carried out in Kyambura wildlife reserve. the wildlife reserve is a home of habituated chimpanzee families available for trekking on a daily basis. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura has two trekking sessions the one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura reserve requires a 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 in The wildlife reserve 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. Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura wildlife reserve 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 chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura wildlife reserve, 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, Kyambura wildlife reserve is a great destination for a nature walk where you will be able to explore the forest as well as enjoying nature. A guided nature walk in Kyambura wildlife reserve has 2 sessions that is the morning session which starts at 8:00 am and the afternoon session which starts at 13:00pm. Nature walk is an exciting and interesting activity in the wildlife reserve where visitors move on foot within the forest as they explore, relax your mind from the noise, enjoy beautiful views, listen to sweet bird sounds among others. Nature walks in Kyambura wildlife reserve 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 the wildlife reserve, spotting animals, primates, bird species among others.
- Bird watching, Kyambura wildlife reserve is a great destination for bird watching Queen Elizabeth national park in that it harbors about 332 bird species. Bird watching in Kyambura wildlife 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 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 finfoot, African broadbill, white winged warbler, black bee-eater, and many others.
Best time to visit Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Kyambura wildlife reserve is located in the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and can be visited anytime throughout the year. Kyambura is a must-visit destination for visitors is queen Elizabeth national park due to its fascinating biodiversity and 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 Kyambura 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 Reserve
There are several luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities near Kyambura wildlife reserve where visitors on a safari can stay including 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 Queen Elizabeth national park, birds, primates among others to make visitors feel at home and enjoy their safari in Uganda.
Getting to Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
The wildlife reserve is located in the northeastern part of Queen Elizabeth national park and can be accessed by both road and air transport means
Road transport, when traveling from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara to Kyambura reserve it takes about 6 to 7 hours’ drive and from Kampala via Mubende, Fort Portal to Kyambura wildlife reserve it takes 6 hours’ drive.
Air transport, when using air transport means to Kyambura wildlife reserve in Queen Elizabeth national park you will book domestic airline such as Aero link which operates chartered flights to Mweya airstrip in Queen Elizabeth national park which takes about one hour and from Mweya airstrip you will connect by road to Kyambura wildlife reserve.
Kyambura wildlife reserve is an exceptional destination with breathtaking attractions which can be combined with attractions in Queen Elizabeth national park to make your safari exciting and extraordinary.