Primate Holidays

Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park : Nkuringo Sector is located in the northern portion of Kisoro Town, in the southern section of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. One of the four sectors in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where gorilla trekking is done is the Nkuringo sector. This sector sits on an elevation of about 6800 feet which makes trekking gorillas difficult for the visitors to trek and consequently gorilla trekking safari in Nkuringo sector is advised for individuals who are physically fit and young travelers who are daring so as to enjoy the hike.

Nkuringo sector is a home of three habituated gorilla families namely Nkuringo family, Christmas family, and Bushaho family that provide wonderful safari experiences to the visitors on a safari in Bwindi national park in south western Uganda. Nkuringo sector is a safari destination which offers outstanding scenic vistas of kabala scenery and Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gorilla trekking in Nkuringo Sector.

Gorilla trekking safari is an activity where visitors advance in the thick tropical forests of Bwindi national park to look for of the endangered mountain gorillas. In the Nkuringo sector, gorilla trekking is conducted on three gorilla families; a maximum of eight people are permitted to trek each gorilla family. During this time, visitors can spend up to one day in the presence of the critically endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, learning about their habits and way of life, taking pictures with flashless cameras, and capturing special moments. Among the gorilla groups in the Nkuringo sector are

Nkuringo family, this was the first gorilla family to be habituated in southern part of Bwindi national park in 1997 and was open for trekking in 2004. The troop was initially seen in the highlands known locally as Nkuringo, which is near the Nshongi gorilla family in the Rushaga area. Nkuringo family is a fascinating gorilla group for trekking; it started off with 19 members but has since shrunk to 12. It is now open to 8 persons each day, which means that there are 8 gorilla trekking permits available. After Nkuringo Silverback passed away in 2008, Rafiki which translates to “friend” in Swahili became the dominant member of the Nkuringo family. The Nkuringo family is renowned for being the first to give birth to gorilla twins, Katungi and Muhozi, in December 2004. However, Katungi passed away after a year. It is also well-known for spending the majority of its time looking for food outside the park.

Christmas gorilla family, this is most recent and a newly habituated gorilla group in Nkuringo sector that is open for gorilla trekking safari and its introduction has increased the number of gorilla permits in Nkuringo sector in Bwindi national park. The Christmas family, named for its leader Christmas Silverback, who was born on Christmas Day, was the third group to become used to living in the Nkuringo area. The group consists of nine individuals, although only six are visible when trekking: a black back, three adult females, and a baby.

Bushaho gorilla family, this is one of the habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo sector open for trekking. With eight members one black back, one sub-adult, one juvenile, one infant, one sub-adult, two toddlers, and three adult female gorillas the Bushaho family is renowned for being the hardest to track in Bwindi National Park. Bahati silverback, a former member of the Nkuringo gorilla family, is the family’s dominant member.

There are 24 gorilla trekking permits available in the Nkuringo region. A maximum of 8 persons can trek with a gorilla family and spend up to an hour with the gorillas. Adults over the age of 15 are eligible to apply for gorilla trekking permits in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi National Park. The cost of a single permit is $800 for non-resident foreigners, $700 for foreign residents of other countries, and UGX 300,000 for citizens of East Africa. The permits may be obtained by making a reservation directly with the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s main office in Kampala, or via a reputable travel company such as Primate Holidays.

Nkuringo sector provides other activities apart from gorilla trekking which visitors can engage in when on a safari in Uganda

Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bird watching, Bwindi national park is a home of over 348 bird species and Nkuringo sector is the most excellent safari destination for bird watching compared to other sectors. The best places to go bird watching are the Bwindi Forest and Lake Mutanda. You can take a dugout wooden canoe ride to the other side of the forest, where you can listen to the sweet sounds of birdsong in the trees. You can also use binoculars to view different bird species up close, such as African blue fly catcher, Black bee-eater, Kivu ground thrush, Garners warbler, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, White-tailed blue flycatcher, Short-tailed warbler, and African emerald cuckoo.

Guided Nature walks / hiking, guided nature walks in Nkuringo sector are done either in the morning or in the evening where you can start either from Nkuringo or Buhoma and takes about three hours to Lake Mutanda. It is not necessary to hire a guide when hiking in this region because many people are prepared to give advice on the best paths to see the villages at a reasonable cost. The walk passes through the Bwindi forest along the Ivy and Kashasha Rivers, offering stunning views of many bird species. You will experience the local communities and the natural surroundings while trekking in the Nkuringo area. After spending the night, you will proceed to Lake Mutanda. A variety of bird species, primates including monkeys and baboons, and other creatures like forest pigs, bushbucks, and warthogs will be on display.

Cultural encounters, this is one of the fascinating safari activities in Nkuringo sector where you can visit the Bakiga community and the Batwa people where you will have a connection with various cultural activities, for example, the traditional performances inform of dances, songs, storytelling among others. See how the locals create items of art and craft, such as mats, baskets, houses, sandals, and bags, which are offered to tourists for a reasonable price. You will also learn about the Batwa, or pygmy, customs and practices, which include fishing, hunting, gathering, and singing and storytelling about their former existence in the jungle. You will also tour banana plantations, experience their hunting and gathering techniques, and cook local cuisine, among other things.

Boat ride on Lake Mutanda, this is a thrilling safari experience in the Nkuringo sector which takes about one hour crossing the lake to get to Kisoro and continue to Mgahinga national park. Using a dugout wooden boat, visitors may go to the other side of the forest and take in the stunning views of various bird species, local landscapes, the Bwindi forest, and the Virunga volcanoes, among other sites, making for an amazing safari experience.

Where to stay in Nkuringo Sector.

Nkuringo sector as a gorilla destination area offers luxury, midrange and budget accommodation where visitors can stay while on a safari in Uganda including clouds mountain gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Nkuringo gorilla lodge, Hammerkop bunkhouse among others which offer safety, comfortable shelter, prepare local and international dishes, offer free wireless internet, great scenic views of the Virunga Mountains, surrounding landscapes and Bwindi forest, drinks, spa services among others which encourage guests to unwind and have a spectacle in the refreshing surroundings after a gorilla trekking  safari activity in Bwindi national park

How to get to Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi National Park

The journey from Kampala to Nkuringo takes around 10 hours, travelling through Mbarara, Kabale-Kisoro journey, and finally Nkuringo. The trip from Kabale to Kisoro is about 45 km long and takes three hours. An alternative route that takes around 12 hours to drive from Kampala to Nkuringo is through Fort Portal. In addition, travelers can take a flight from Entebbe Airport to Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport, and then travel around five hours by car across the Cyanika border to reach the Nkuringo sector.

When to visit Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi National Park.

Nkuringo sector is a fantastic sector to go gorilla trekking safari. You can visit it at any time of year, but the best time to go is in the dry season, which is June, July, August, December, January, and February, when there isn’t much rain. This is because the grounds are always muddy, slippery, and wet during the wet season. Rain is expected in Bwindi National Park, a tropical rainforest, so visitors are advised to pack a variety of gear for gorilla trekking, such as hiking boots, long sleeve shirts and trousers, garden gloves, a warm sweater, a waterproof jacket or poncho, a waterproof backpack, insect repellent to protect them from the rain and a camera to record the moments during their hour-long encounter with the gorillas in their natural habitat.

Nkuringo sector is a rewarding location where you can combine gorilla trekking with other activities, such as bird watching and nature walks, among others. You’ll also enjoy breathtaking views of Kabale, Mount Nyiragongo, and Mount Nyimurangira in the Virunga National Park, making your safari in Uganda exhilarating and unforgettable.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *