Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector – Bwindi impenetrable national park
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector – Bwindi impenetrable national park : Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park and its one of the four gorilla trekking sectors in the park. Other gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park include Ruhija sector in the east, Buhoma sector in the north and Rushaga sector in the south. Nkuringo sector offers the best gorilla trekking experience to visitors on a gorilla trekking safari in that it harbors 3 habituated gorilla families which include,
- Nkuringo gorilla family
Nkuringo gorilla family is one of the 3 habituated gorilla families and also known as the most interesting group to visit due to its photographic nature in that the gorillas always moved from the thick bushes in Bwindi forest to the buffer zone looking for food. Nkuringo gorilla family was habituated in 1997 which makes it the first gorilla family in the sector and at the time of habituation it was under the leadership of Nkuringo silverback who led the group till 2012.
Nkuringo silverback died at an age of 45 years and left the group with 3 silverbacks’ safari, Rafik and Christmas. After the death of Nkuringo silverback the family was led by safari silverback who later disappeared after an encounter with another gorilla family Bushasho and the group is led by another silverback Rafiki. Rafiki led the group for some time and later died due to an injury from a sharp spear that penetrated his left upper abdomen, pierced the stomach wall and the internal organs.
Nkuringo gorilla family has 13 members including 4 black backs such as Rwamutwe who was Rafikis son the dominant black back, Tabu black back who is the second in command, Kamara and Muhoozi, 5 females Kwitonda, Kuhirwa, Furaha, Kiiza and Nderema, 2 juveniles Guma, Owamani and 2 infants.
- Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family is the second habituated gorilla family in Nkuringo sector. Bushaho gorilla family has 8 members and was formed as a result of some members who broke off from Nkuringo family and other non habituated members to form their own group. Bushaho gorilla group is headed by Bahati silverback and it’s comprised of 8 members including 3 adult females, 1 sub adult, 1 black back, 1 juvenile and 1 infant.
- Christmas gorilla family
Christmas gorilla family is the third and newly habituated gorilla family in Nkuringo sector. The gorilla group has 9 members and it’s headed by Christmas silverback who was born on Christmas day. Though the family has 9 members mostly 6 members are viewed during trekking.
Trekking of Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas gorilla families starts with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will be subdivided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with different trails in the jungle. Gorilla trekking in Nkuringo sector takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to enjoy great views of the scenery, other primates, bird species among others and once the gorillas are located you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to observe their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record videos.
Where to stay in Nkuringo sector
There are several accommodation facilities where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Nkuringo sector. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget such as Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Mutanda Eco Community Centre, Nshongi Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge among others.
How to get to Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala or Entebbe via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to the park headquarters which takes about 8 to 9 hours drive. Nkuringo sector can also be accessed from Kigali Rwanda via Cyanika border to the park headquarters which takes about 4 to 5 hours drive.
Nkuringo sector can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book charter and scheduled flights with Aerolink Uganda to Kihihi airstrip or Kisoro airstrip and then connect to Nkuringo sector by road.