In 2022, we are reaching out to request your assistance for vital projects that Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports near our lodges in Uganda and Rwanda. Support is especially critical at the moment, when so many of our communities have seen their livelihoods affected by Covid-19.

Our new partnership with Empowers Africa as our fiscal sponsor provides a simple way for contributions from US residents to be tax-deductible.

We need your support, donate here.

The renowned Kyambura Gorge Lodge, with entirely remodelled public areas and gardens, has been converted from a coffee store to create a breathtakingly beautiful space. Located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park the lodge has sweeping views of the rolling savanna, the distant Mountains of the Moon, and the sunken Kyambura Gorge.

Guest bandas have a afro-chic theme with an accent on local artifacts re-imagined in a new context. Each banda offers a unique view either across the savanna or the gorge. There are four new deluxe bandas and four standard bandas. A new spa and swimming pool was launched in 2019.

The lodge is the ideal location for tracking the lost chimps in the sunken forest of Kyambura Gorge nearby and seeing the amazing game in one of Africa’s most beautiful parks, centred around the waterway of the Kazinga Channel. The park has six hundred amazing bird species, the highest in an African park.

Guests can participate in the Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism project, a series of community and conservation activities developed since 2009 to safeguard the Kyambura Gorge ecosystem.

New walking safaris have been created around the lodge to experience the dramatic landscapes of Kyambura gorge and the Queen Elizabeth savannah, and visit a reclaimed wetland. Guests can walk along the Kyambura gorge buffer zone we have created to protect the fragile ecosystem from encroachment and contribute to its long-term conservation project by planting a seedling.

Lodge overview

  • Eight unique luxury bandas (four deluxe and four standard).
  • Guide Cottage available.
  • Direct private footpath to chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura Gorge
  • Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism Project.
  • Personal butler service for all guests.
  • All bandas have indoor and outdoor showers.
  • Swimming pool and new spa.
  • Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge building.
  • Premium wine, whisky, and cocktail menus.

Ready to book your safari to search for the lost chimps of Kyambura Gorge? Contact our sales team now!

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Activities at Kyambura Gorge Lodge

The VSPT secured 45-acres of wetland south of the Volcanoes Safaris Kyambura Gorge Lodge. The wetland, which previously had been used as an illegal brick works, is now regenerating rapidly back to its natural state. The rejuvenated wetlands now attract over 200 species of birds, different mammals and primates and the sight is used to train members of the community in birding and guiding. This project has been a key success for the VSPT, particularly regarding its ecosystem conservation efforts given the amount of species that have now repopulated the area: new entries are added to the spotters’ lists almost daily!

Community outreach and guide training take place throughout the year with the objective of establishing a pool of qualified local guides who can lead tours of the wetland. Guests can participate in a 2-hour guided walk in the wetland.

The VSPT has worked on purchasing the 3km long buffer along the northern part of the Gorge since 2009. With the purchase completed at the end of 2018 and following the Kyambura Eco-Tourism Project launch event in February 2019, a 3-hour guided walk has been developed and is offered to guests to showcase the buffer created by the project, the scenic views over the Gorge, the Park and Kyambura reserve, and the chance to experience the local homesteads.

With the help of the community and of Volcanoes guests, approximately 3000 indigenous trees have been planted in the Kyambura Buffer area.

A guided 3 hour walk through the buffer area is available to lodge guests.

The VSPT, in partnership with the Mvule Trust, constructed a tree nursery and conservation outreach program in the Kyambura area, located near Kyambura Gorge Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

The tree nursery aims to establish a large nursery of 400,000 indigenous trees on VSPT land adjacent to the national park. The young trees will be handed out to community members living in the National Park and also planted in the VSPT 100 acre restoration area along the Kyambura Gorge.

Guests are encouraged to participate in the reforestation project whilst walking through the Kyambura Gorge Buffer area and Kyambura Wetland.

Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.

Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is considered to be one of Uganda’s most varied and most beautiful protected areas. Queen, as she is affectionately known, is home to two of Africa’s big cats, the majestic lion and the elusive leopard. Kyambura Gorge Lodge guests can explore the plains of Queen Elizabeth Park in Uganda on a variety of game drives, usually at dawn and dusk. It is when daylight hours are coolest that wildlife is most active.

Join a local scientific researcher on his daily game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park to locate and record the behavior of a lion pride he is studying. This activity is best done in the mornings when there is ample time to track the pride and chances of finding them are high.

It is highly uncommon for lions to actually climb trees. In fact, there is only one subspecies known to climb trees regularly, and one of the two populations of these subspecies can be found in Ishasha, in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Finding a pride lounging on the branches of one of the many fig trees in the park is considered to be one of the highlights of visiting the park.

Both Uganda and Rwanda offer some of the world’s best bird watching, with a vast diversity of bird species. Uganda has over 1,000 bird species with 150 found only in Uganda. Rwanda has over 700 bird species and is home to the second highest number of Albertine endemics in the Albertine region. Each of our lodges offers the chance to see a number of different birds, with the vast majority endemic to the Region.

The Kazinga Channel is a 32-kilometer long channel, rich in wildlife, that links Lakes Edward and George. Boat trips down the channel depart from Mweya Safari Lodge (about an hour’s drive through the park from Kyambura Gorge Lodge) and last 3-4 hours. The boat cruise provides a wonderful opportunity to photograph the many animals that come to cool off at the waters’ edge, including lion, buffalo, hippo, elephant, and leopard.

See the transformation of coffee beans into delicious Ugandan coffee – all done by hand, by local community members – and even get to sample the finished product for yourself. At the end of the tour guests are given the opportunity to purchase some of the cooperative’s coffee, which makes a great souvenir and supports the local community.

Set up by Damien Hirst, the Rwenzori Sculpture Foundry & Gallery are a short drive from Kasese Airport. Sculptures by rising Ugandan artists sit alongside works by leading European sculptors, the result of collaborations and artist residencies. All works are inspired by the people, culture, wildlife and landscape of Uganda, and make the perfect memento to mark an unforgettable journey.

The Rwenzoris, or the Mountains of the Moon, so named by the Hellenic astronomer Ptolemy, have a legendary beauty. They were explored and mapped out by Henry Morton Stanley, Emin Pasha and Prince Luigi Amedeo di Savoia.

At the centre of the range are six peaks capped with ice and snow and three glaciers. The mountains – about 120 km long – were forced up during the creation of the Great Rift Valley. The highest peak of Mount Stanley is Margherita, which rises to 5,109m, the third highest in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.

The heavy rain makes the mountain flora luxuriant, growing to absurd proportions, with giant lobelia and groundsel shooting up to 10 metres. The wild flowers and birds are enchanting.

A hike through the lower reaches of the central Rwenzori needs about six days; ascent of the peaks is a technical climb and takes a further two days and requires climbers to be physically fit and equipped with ropes, crampons and appropriate mountaineering equipment. The best time to climb the mountain is from June through to August and from December to February. Climbing is organised by Rwenzori Mountaineering Services.

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Safaris at Kyambura Gorge Lodge

This short safari to Kyambura takes you on scenic game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, on a spectacular boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and to trek to the ‘Lost Chimpanzees of Kyambura Gorge’ into the sunken forest of the Kyambura Gorge. Visit the community and conservation projects run by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust and plant a tree in the wildlife buffer zone.

View our 4 Day Kyambura Safari

Our popular 7-Day Kyambura and Bwindi safari takes you to Bwindi Lodge in the highlands of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to trek the majestic mountain gorillas, on game drives to see the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha, a wildlife boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, and finally to search for the ‘Lost Chimpanzees of Kyambura’ of Kyambura Gorge Lodge.

View our 7 Day Kyambura and Bwindi Safari

Launched in July 2021, this 10-day safari allows guests to experience trekking the gorillas in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga mountains of Mgahinga National Park. You will also see the the endangered golden monkeys, experience the ancient Batwa culture in Mgahinga, search for the lost chimps of Kyambura Gorge, before finishing your safari in the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park to see the famous tree-climbing lions.

 

 

 

View our 10 Day Gahinga, Bwindi and Kyambura Safari