Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Situated in western Uganda on the edge of the Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Africa’s finest national parks, the lodge has stunning views over the Gorge and the lush savannah of the park, with the peaks of the mystical Rwenzori Mountains in the distance. The Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge is a celebration of contemporary Africa. It provides guests with excellent hospitality in a unique setting. It connects them to the conservation of wildlife and chimpanzees and to the communities nearby. This allows guests to experience an integrated view of the challenges of ecotourism in Africa today.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge prides itself on being actively involved in a variety of community projects that educate local people. These practical initiatives are what sets this lodge apart and makes sure it plays a central role in the life of the community today. This connection between tourism, communities and conservation is central to the great ape eco-tourism vision that Volcanoes Safaris has developed.
The lodge celebrates contemporary Africa in its whole approach to design and build. The materials used reflect contemporary interpretations of traditional design and construction techniques. The décor reflects the context of the original buildings and African creativity. The main lodge building was originally a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations. The original structure has been sensitively restored to create a generous living space, creating a series of distinct inspiring spaces for guests. In keeping with other Volcanoes lodges, it seeks to create a quiet harmony between the buildings and the landscape, using the ancient Indian technique of Vasthu.
The airy and spacious living and dining area features a long covered veranda facing the savannah. A covered extension protrudes from the veranda and faces the beautiful Kyambura Gorge. This is the centerpiece of the complex with its dramatic sombrero-shaped straw roof, contrasting with the recycled tin roofs of the main building. A creeper-covered breakfast terrace takes in the morning sun.
Each of the four accommodation bandas is uniquely appointed, and has a different aspect of the panoramic views across the gorge, savannah and mythical Rwenzoris.
The lodge is on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Protected Area. The area has a stunning and varied number of activities for guests, in one of the most beautiful parks in the African continent. The QE area, in the centre of the Great Western Rift valley, the Albertine Rift in western Uganda, has some of the greatest biodiversity in Africa. The intricately connected streams, rivers and lakes, including the Kyambura River, connect the heart of Africa to the Nile in Egypt. The park has a rich diversity of wildlife, including nine species of primates: two nocturnal species, six monkey species; the clever and curious olive baboon and gorgeous black and white colobus monkey as well as one of Uganda’s two great ape species and our closest relative, the endangered chimpanzee. Considered to be one of the most varied and beautiful, the park also offers two of Africa’s big cats, the majestic lion and elusive leopard. Guests go on a variety of game drives on the plains of Queen Elizabeth, usually at dawn and dusk when viewing is best to spot wildlife or view some of the park’s 600+ bird species, the highest in any park in Africa! Other mammalian predators such as hyenas and small carnivorous cats and mongooses also find their home in QE. Large herbivores such as elephants, hippos and water buffalos as well as a multitude of ungulates also thrive in the savannah habitat and along the lake and river shores.
The Kazinga Channel linking Lakes Edward and George is especially rich in wildlife and a great place to see a diverse range of mammals, birds, and reptiles, including the African crocodile. Boat trips on the Kazinga Channel provide a wonderful opportunity to photograph the many birds and mammals, which come to forage or cool off at the waters’ edge. This is one of the highlights of any visit to QE.
Location and Transfers
Located at the heart of the Albertine Rift in western Uganda on the edge of Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park. 10 minute drive from the Fig Tree UWA Park Office (the meeting point for chimp tracking) – central location, ideal for game drives and other park activities.
The Lodge: getting there
- 1 hour light aircraft flight from Entebbe (followed by an hour’s scenic drive from Kasese)
- 3 hour drive from Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge
- 5-6 hour drive from Volcanoes Safaris Mount Gahinga Lodge
- 5-6 hour drive from Rwanda’s Uganda’s capital city: Kigali
- 6 hour drive from Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge
- 6-7 hour drive from Uganda’s capital city: Kampala
Local Ugandan mud huts are often coated in pastel-coloured paints or mud washes mixed with natural ochr. Internally they are left bare, free from ornament; a utilitarian space for sleeping. The bandas at Kyambura Lodge invert this pattern. Four beautiful, spacious bandas have been built so far, carefully nestled into the hillside. Each banda is different and consists of a covered entrance deck, breezeway, bedroom, balcony and its own luxury bathroom.
The design is determined by local views, existing vegetation, prevailing weather and privacy. Drawing on local village design, different building and roofing materials are used to break up and minimize the visual bulk of the bandas, ensuring a sympathetic integration with the surrounding landscape.
Each banda is uniquely appointed, adopting a different colour theme. They are elevated off the ground allowing for ventilation and better viewing as each room has a different aspect of the panoramic views across the gorge, savannah and mythical Rwenzoris.
Please note there are no air conditioners or power sockets/charging facilities in the rooms
Uncomplicated, international cuisine with a Ugandan flair with tropical fruits, cooked breakfasts, light lunches, warming soups and generous alfresco dinners served.
Facilities and Activities
Saltwater Swimming Pool
Terraces for outdoor dining overlooking the savannah with scenic panoramic views
Contemporary, ornamental gardens attract a wide variety of birds and other wildlife
Curio shop offers Volcanoes Safaris merchandise and clothing
Chimp Tracking in Kyambura Gorge & Kalinzu Forest (must be booked in advance)
View Tree Climbing Lions in Ishasha
Kazinga Channel Boat Trip
Visit to Garama Bat Cave
Birding from the lodge in the nearby Omumashaka wetland or in the park
Katwe Salt Lake and the crater lakes; seasonally home to large flocks of flamingos
Community & Cultural Activities