Nkuringo sector is one of the four popular sectors within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to Nkuringo gorilla family worth exploring during gorilla safaris in Uganda. The other sectors include Buhooma, Ruhija and Rushaga sectors.
This sector is situated in the Southern side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a haven to over 400 of the 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the whole World. This exceptional sector is a haven to the popular Nkuringo gorilla family, believed to be one of the most fascinating families to explore during safaris in Uganda. This interesting family is comprised of 19 members but is one of the most challenging families to trek in Uganda.
When you track this fascinating family, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking views of the spectacular landscapes of Kabale including the rolling hills in addition to some of the Volcanoes in the Virunga Massif such as Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo which all offer very wonderful views hence visitors to the sector are guaranteed of enjoying phenomenal scenic views.
Gorilla Families in Nkuringo
Nkuringo gorilla family was named after the rolling Hills, where the family was first spotted. Its habituation started in 2004 and the beautiful rolling hills are the first thing you see when you track the sector’s only habituated gorilla family. It was originally led by a silverback named Nkuringo before he died in 2008 and eventually Safari and Rafiki the silverbacks took over leadership of the family. In the same year, Nkuringo family welcomed a set of twins named Katungi and Muhozi hence making this exceptional family to grow and expand more but the former later died before making 2 years.
There are three gorilla families that have been habituated for gorilla tourism in the Nkuringo Sector of Bwindi Forest. All these groups split from the group that was first sighted Nkuringo group. This group was launched in 2004 after the 2 year habituation process by the Uganda Wildlife Authority Team. One of the reasons for their habituation was their continued venture into the local communities gardens feeding on bananas, sweet potatoes and other crops.
The family was led by one silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008, leaving behind 2 silverbacks Safari and Rafiki. Safari took over the leadership and in the same year in November, newborn twin baby gorillas Katungi and Muhozi arrived and expanded the family further. Unfortunately, Katungi died at the age of one and half years due to illness. Tracking the Nkuringo Group takes a bit more energy and stamina. This is probably the toughest trek in Uganda. Yet there is not many complaining about being exhausted, a better word would be exhilarated after the experience of a lifetime. Nkuringo family is a large group in the southern scemic area of Nkuringo and not to be forgotten experience. The group is composed of 19 members including 2 silverbacks.
Things to Do in Nkuringo
Therefore, this sector is known for several activities that include;
Nkuringo sector is a haven to only the Nkuringo gorilla family that can be visited by tourists at anytime of the year hence only 8 permits are available per day. However, it requires real physical fitness to track the family because the terrain is strenuous.
Gorilla Habituation Experience (GHE)
Besides Rushaga sector, Nkuringo can also be visited for this life changing adventure. Permits for Gorilla Habituation Experience cost only $1500 per person allowing trekkers to spend up to four hours with these creatures. Interestingly, this activity is only possible in two sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (including Rushaga sector) in the whole World.
Birding is undeniably one of the important activities within this sector because it offers one of the most scenic and birding sights in the Park.
Forest walks or Hiking
Forest walks or Hikes are usually conducted in the mornings through the Kashasha and Ivy Rivers that lead to Buhooma sector by lunchtime. Therefore, some of the hiking trails that exist within this sector include Kashasha River trail, the Ivy River trail and Buhooma-Nkuringo trail.
Community walks lead tourists to the Batwa community to learn and discover more about their way of life and diverse cultural practices that include hunting, gathering local herbs and fruits from the forest and harvesting honey from the forest among others.
Where to Stay within Nkuringo Sector
Although not many, accommodation facilities within this sector include Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Camp and Chameleon Hill Lodge among others.
How to Reach Nkuringo Sector
This region or sector is around 45 kilometers from the signpost junction on the Kabale-Kisoro road and normally takes 3 hours from the town of Kabale. It always lasts about 10 to 12 hours (public buses from Kampala) to Kisoro then use a special Hire Taxi or a Motor cycle until Nkuringo sector.
In conclusion, Nkuringo sector, the home to the Nkuringo family is known for numerous activities that include gorilla trekking, birding, Gorilla Habituation Experience, Community walks and forest walks or Hiking among others.