NKURINGO SECTOR – GORILLA TREKKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK UGANDA

Nkuringo Sector is one of the 4 gorilla trekking locations in  Bwindi Impenetrable national park of Uganda found in southern part of the park. The other three sectors are Buhoma Sector in the north, Ruhija in the East and Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector in the south.

Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a home to half of the few remaining population of Mountain gorillas in the world and is one of the two national parks popular for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Nkuringo area which is the southern sector of Bwindi forest has beautiful scenery and amazing views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mt. Nyamuragira that are part of the Virunga ranges.

Nkuringo Sector - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda

Among all the four Bwindi gorilla sectors, Nkuringo is the hardest  location to trek given its high altitude and steepness, visitors going for trekking in this region need to be physically fit and strong enough to hike up and down the gorilla trails. Gorilla trekking is the main activity in Nkuringo sector. There are three habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo namely; Nkuringo Gorilla group, Bushaho group and Chrismas Gorilla group.

The Nkuringo family was the first group to be habituated in this sector and was led by Nkuringo the dominant silverback who died in 2008 and from that time, the family was taken up by Safari Silverback and then Rafiki. The Rafiki Silverback Gorilla was more famous than any other dominant male in Nkuringo sector. Its un fortunate that Rafiki was killed by poachers in June 2020. Rafiki is a Kiswahili name which litrally means “Friend” so Rafiki Silverback was the most friendly gorilla in NKuringo region.

The family later received twins Muhozi and kutungi though Katungi died before turning two. Christmas Group which got its name from the dominant silverback known as Christmas was named so because it was born on Christmas day, and Bushaho Gorilla family was habituated in 2012.

Each Habituated Gorilla family in Bwindi forest is visited by only 8 people a day meaning only 24 gorilla permits are available in Nkuringo per day. These Gorilla permits should be booked prior the start of the trip. The permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) through a trusted tour operator.

To avoid the last minute rush, book your permits in advance, since permits are competitive and sell out so fast especially during the peak season in the dry season. Only people above 15 years old are allowed to trek the Mountain gorillas. Remember to follow the park rules and regulations and listen to your guide during gorilla trekking Adventure.

Besides gorilla trekking, there are a number of tour activities which are done in Nkuringo sector and some of these include; Bird Watching, Nature and Forest walks, Community walks where visitor get opportunity to meet the Batwa and learn about their traditinal lifestyles as they watch them perform dances and songs. Visit community projects and many other experiences.

A lot of best Accommodation options are available in Nkuringo sector for budget, midrange and luxury lodges. Both accommodation facilities in this region provide comfort and cleanliness depending on the class you choose to stay in and enjoy your Safari time in Nkuringo. Choose the best Safari lodges that will serve delicious meals in the restaurant and enjoy great scenery during your gorilla trekking trip.

Some of the  best lodge options in Nkuringo Sector include;

Nkuringo sector is accessible by both road and air transport. By road, visitors from Kampala use Kabale to Kisoro road from where they branch off and move for about 2 hours to reach Rubuguri then Bwindi forest park headquarters in Nkuringo Village.

It’s advisable to use private 4wd cars from trusted tour operator to reach the sector since no public means go up to Nkuringo on daily basis. This will save you from any delay that may lead to missing your activities or any other program on schedule.

There are chartered and scheduled flights by local airlines like Aerolink that fly from Entebbe and go to Kisoro airstrip where visitors connect to Nkuringo by road.

A lot of rain is received in this area and after rain the village become foggy, so visitors are advised to visit Nkuringo sector with an experienced driver who knows the road better both during the dry season and rainy season. The best time to visit however is in dry season when the area is dry for easy trekking but the area is open to visitors all year round. Come have your life time experience.

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