Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Nkuringo sector is one of the 4 sectors that make up Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; the sector is found in the southern part of the park with Rushaga, as Buhoma is found in the north and Ruhija is found in the east. Nkuringo sector because of its tough terrains is the most demanding sector to trek, but the families in the sector are very rewarding.
The gorilla families that are trekked in the Nkuringo sector are Nkuringo gorilla family, Bushaho gorilla family, and Christmas gorilla family.
Nkuringo gorilla family is the most interesting gorilla family to visit. Travellers that have trekked the family all testify that this family is fun, dynamic and really gives you a great experience as you watch and spend time with it. The gorilla family was habituated in 2009 and received its first visitors in 2009 too. The group is one of the big groups in the park with 13 members currently living in the group. It was originally led by Nkuringo, who died and Rafiki took over as the lead silverback. The 19 individuals of the group currently include the 3 silverbacks, 1 black back, 2 adult females and 5 young ones plus 2 infants; this group also has twins. The group was first habituated in 1997 with 17 individuals but lost some of the individuals and now currently the number 12.
Bushaho gorilla family is a break away from the Nkuringo family, led by Bahati. After the group broke away from Nkuringo it was habituated afresh and named Bushaho after the area where the gorillas were wondering. The family has 8 individuals that include a silverback, 1 black back, 3 females and 3 young ones.
Christmas gorilla family which is the newest family in Nkuringo, the family is named after the silverback that is called Christmas. The family has 9 individuals currently including the silverback.
The gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector can be trekked at any time of the year by a group of 8 people. For you to trek any of the groups you have to acquire a mountain gorilla trekking permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
You should note that one permit will give you access to one of the families not all the families in the sector
On your gorilla trekking experience, you are required to abide by all the trekking rules and regulations as communicated by the authorities. Also, put on the right trekking gear and carry some water and a meal to sustain you on your trek.
The gorilla treks in Nkuringo like all others start early by 7:30 am with a briefing session at the trekking offices and then a trek in the forest kicks off at 8 am when you enter the forest to find the gorillas. When you find the gorillas you will spend one hour with them and then head out of the forest.
The trekking activity in this sector normally takes up to 7 hours or more sometimes.
On your gorilla trek in the Nkuringo sector, you are able to see the scenic views of mount Nyamuragira and Mount Nyiragongo that are in Virunga National Park in the Democratic republic of Congo.
On top of your mountain gorilla trekking experience in the Nkuringo sector, you can have a nature walk in the sector’s serene natural environment that has a variety of unique flora and a couple of other animals that includes forest pigs, baboons, and monkeys. On your nature walk, you also sight the unique bird species that live in the sector; you can see birds like black bee eater, Africa blue flycatcher, African emerald cuckoo and garners warbler among others.
Another interesting activity that is done in the Nkuringo sector is a community visit to the peculiar Batwa and Bakiga communities that give up insight into the unique cultures, lifestyles, and traditions in these people. On community visits, you can see the different plantations in the villages engage in local activities like dances, food harvesting, and preparations among other things.
You can get to Nkuringo by road from Kampala
- through Kisoro to Nkuringo
- through Kabale – Butogota – Buhoma – Nkuringo
- through Kabale kisoro highway to Nkuringo
All these routes that start from Kampala City take between 8 to 9 hours.
Also, you can get to the sector by road from Kigali city through Kisoro to Nkuringo which is about a 3 – 4 hours journey.
You can also get to Nkuringo by flight from Entebbe to Kisoro then road from kisoro to Nkuringo. Kisoro is about 90 minutes from Nkuringo.
There is currently no structured public transport to the sector so you are advised to use a private vehicle to get to the park. Tour operators normally have safari vehicles for hire.
For your accommodation in the sector you will have a couple options to choose from depending on your preference either luxury, midrange or budget. The accommodation facilities have excellent ambiance, food and sleeping facilities. The facilities include:-
- Nkuringo gorilla campsite
- Nkuringo gorilla lodge
- Hammer kop bunkhouse
- Clouds mountain gorilla lodge
- Nkuringo gorilla camp