Nkuringo sector/region is located west of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. When you visit this park, be rest assured of having unforgettable gorilla safari experience of your life. Bwindi is located in the south western part of Uganda; offering its visitors an unmatched opportunity to meet one – on – one with the last remaining endangered Mountain gorillas in the world.
The park has four sectors with all are interesting to visit. However, you can start your trip in one of the most visited sectors of Bwindi, which is Nkuringo Sector. Located in the western part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Nkuringo is one of the most interesting spot for Gorilla trekking. It is a home to the most renowned Nkuringo gorilla family which is considered as the most interesting group to visit though tiresome to trek.
This wonderful family has 19 members. Back in time, these groups’ members used to be found in the nearby villages destroying people’s crops hence creating human-gorilla conflicts. Due to this, the responsible bodies had to react by habituating them, so it was the first family to be open for tourists in 2009.
Nkuringo region original had only one family (Nkuringo) which was previously led by Silverback Nkuringo who died in 2008, leaving the family under the leadership of Silverbacks, Safari and Rafiki who were the two silver backs present at that point.
In the summer of 2018, another group, named Christmas was successfully habituated and opened for tracking to visitors, bringing the number of permits in Nkuringo sector to eight on a daily basis. Nkuringo is a name derived from a rukiga word which means “round hill”.
Nkuringo Gorilla Family
In the first few mouths of finding this group, trackers responsible for habituation noticed that this group was led by an elderly silverback who they named Nkuringo. However, Nkuringo’s son, Safari had started taking over most of the leadership roles. His Father “Nkuringo” died on 27th April 2008, leaving behind only two silver Backs in the group, Rafiki and safari. This was a true indicator that it is time for new leadership to be put in place.
Some of the key family members include Safari the dominant silver back, Rafiki the second Silverback, Bahati the third silverback, Kirungi the fourth silverback, kwitonda an adult female, Semehe and adult female, Karibu a black back, Posho a black back, Kwesima a juvenile, Magara a juvenile, Kuhirwa a juvenile female, Rwamutwe an infant, Muhozi an infant, Tabu an infant, Furaha an infant and Kizza.
This is the recent gorilla family to be habituated in Bwindi, together with Katwe family in Buhoma. Under the leadership of silverback Christmas, this group broke up from the original Nkuringo group. The group is comprised of 9 members, including one silverback, three female gorillas, one black back and one baby gorilla.
Besides Gorilla trekking, lots of activities can be carried out In the Nkuringo sector which include nature walk – done in the early mornings and evenings beginning from different places. If connecting from Buhoma sector and use Kabale – Butogota – Buhoma – Nkuringo road, you have a great opportunity of enjoying the nature forest to Nkuringo. This forest exposes you to high chances of enjoying the quiet environment while seeing the baboons, forest pigs, as well as monkeys.
While in Nkuringo sector, the birds will welcome you with nice melodies and beautiful colors. This activity is well done during the forest walks where every traveler expects to see birds such as white ailed blue flycatcher, yellow eyed black catcher, black bee eater, short tailed warbler, garners warbler and African emerald cuckoo among others.
For those who love getting exposed as well as learning from other people’s cultures, you can get a chance of meeting the Batwa people as well as the Bakiga communities. You have a chance to discover more about norms, unique traditional dances and local performances, hunting experiences and cultural tour with the Batwa and Bakiga communities.
The hiking experience in this sector is a true test of your fitness; it happens to be very challenging but offers you a chance of meeting the local people as well viewing the Virunga National Park in DRC.
Accessing Nkuringo Region
From Kampala, Nkuringo can be accessed via Kabale –Kisoro –Rushaga route. However, from Kisoro, you can reach Nkuringo sector via the Buhoma or Rushaga route. You can also opt to use air transport. From Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip, you can take a scheduled or charter plane that will land you in Kabale/Kihiihi airstrip, where you can thereafter connect to Nkuringo region.
The overnight accommodation options at Nkuringo sector range from Budget to Luxury. They include Nkuringo gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla campsite, and hammer kop bunkhouse, Chameleon Hill Lodge, among others. Nkuringo sector has emerged to be one of the best sectors in Bwindi national park receiving a number of visitors in the park, due to the various interesting activities in the sector. No one should plan to miss this interesting part of the park.