The East African Rift Valley is a geological phenomena and a traveler’s paradise. It is full of lakes, mountains, rivers rare animals, plants birds and not to mention the people and if you have been to an Eastern African Safari Chances are that you didn’t realise that you were in a Rift Valley.
The Eastern arm of the Rift Valley in Kenya is very known unlike the Western arm in Uganda . One of the wonders of the Western arm of the East African Valley are the Ice capped Rwenzori Mountains, for my A’levels i went to a college at the foot at this range of mountains and I can tell you it is amazing!
Image from Uganda Safaris and Tours
In this post I would like to introduce you to the a hidden gem in the Western Arm of the East African Rift Valley. Kyambura Gorge! I say hidden because I am not sure how much travellers know about it or make it to this part of the Rift valley and because it is literary hidden
Kyambura Gorge is part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park or Mweya as it is locally known to the West of Uganda. Most visitors to the Queen Elizabeth National park (QENP) will be offered a visit to the gorge as an added extra TREKKING CHIMPS
I can best describe Kyambura gorge as a “sunken tropical forest” as all around it is savannah.
When we arrived it was a very hot day, our tour operator handed us over to a machete wielding local guide, and announced that he would lead us on the chimp trek! I must admit I was a little nervous on seeing the machete and the fact that our tour operate was not going down the gorge with us didn’t help!
Our guide didn’t speak a word of English so the role of translation fell onto me so we hit the road down the gorge and before we knew it we had entered a MAGICAL LAND! There we huge tall trees, flowers, giant cobwebs, birds were singing in the trees, colourful butterflies, black and white monkeys , colourful fruit, with rays of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy and to say that I was blown away is understatement.
We trekked for a good hour or so without seeing a single chimp, our guide would stop occasionally and ask us to listen out! He could hear the chimp’s cries on the other side of the river but they were well and truly staying out of our sight! Our guide observed that they were moving in the opposite direction to us and it is quite possible they could see us !
It turned out too that our guide needed the machete to clear a path or us in the forest as more than once we encountered fallen tree branches.
Emerging back into the Savannah was almost a shock to the system, the sun was intense and low and we longed to be back down into the tropical forest of the gorge. My husband realised hew as without his sunglasses and we had this image of a chimp prancing around in his glasses! Priceless!
For more information about the Kyambura gorge and how to get there visit
and this album contains some amazing Ugandan wildlife photography