Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector; Nkuringo sector is one of the four gorilla sectors located in southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park in Kisoro district. Nkuringo sector lies at a high altitude area of about 6800 feet and was the second sector to be open for gorilla trekking in 2004 after Buhoma sector. Nkuringo sector is a home of three gorilla families namely Nkuringo family, Bikingi family and Bushaho family which are available for trekking daily. Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the most visited gorilla destination in Africa due to the fact that it harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of over 22 habituated gorilla families which are open to visitors and apart from Nkuringo sector, gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is done in Rushaga sector in the south, Buhoma sector in the north and Ruhija sector in the east.
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo gorilla family
Nkuringo gorilla family was the first gorilla family to be habituated in southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park in 1997. Initially the gorilla group had 17 members and a number of members kept on breaking up to the current size of 12 members.
The gorilla group derived its name from a Rukiga word Nkuringo which means a round hill. Nkuringo gorilla family is the first gorilla group to record the birth of gorilla twins in Bwindi impenetrable national park and it’s also famously known for foraging outside the park for up to 98 percent of their time. This practice however led to the displacement of the former human settlers in the neighboring villages to create a buffer zone so as to minimize human-wildlife interface. At the time of habituation, the gorilla group was under the leadership of an elderly silverback who was named Nkuringo who had three silverbacks namely safari, Rafiki and Christmas. Nkuringo silverback died on 27th April 2008 at the age of 45 and the family was led by safari silverback in close partnership with his two brothers. However safari mysteriously went missing up to date after a fight with a wild gorilla group Bushaho and his whereabouts are still unknown. After the disappearance of safari, Rafiki took over leadership of Nkuringo family. Rafiki silverback was later speared down by a group of hunters in June 2020. Nkuringo gorilla family is currently headed by Rwamutwe black back in close partnership with Tabu black back and is comprised of 12 individuals that is 4 black backs, 4 adult females and 2 infants.
Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family is the second gorilla group found in Nkuringo sector Bwindi impenetrable national park. Bushaho group was established in 2012 and some of the members in the group were former members of the Nkuringo family and other members were from non-habituated groups. The gorilla family is still under habituation and is currently composed of 10 members 1 silverback Bahati who is also the dominant silverback, 1 black back, 3 adult females, 2 sub-adult females and 3 infants.
Christmas gorilla family
Christmas is the latest or newly habituated gorilla family in Nkuringo sector Bwindi impenetrable national park which is available for Gorilla trekking. Christmas gorilla family is composed of 9 individuals under the leadership of Christmas silverback who was once a member of the Nkuringo family.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits in Nkuringo sector
Gorilla trekking permits in Nkuringo sector cost 700 USD per person for foreign non residents, 600 USD per person for foreign residents and 250,000 USD per person for East African citizens.
How to get to Nkuringo sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park and can be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book scheduled or charter flights with Aero link Uganda or Bar aviation from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip and then connect to Nkuringo sector by road.
Nkuring sector can also be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to Nkuringo sector which takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive.
You can also access Nkuringo sector from Kigali Rwanda whereby you will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect to Nkuringo sector through Cyanika border which takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
Where to stay in Nkuringo sector national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Nkuringo sector where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari including Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Gorilla heights lodge, clouds mountain gorilla lodge, Bwindi backpackers lodge among others.
Best time to visit Nkuringo sector
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February because during this period there is less rainfall in the national park therefore gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable compared to the wet/ rainy season when the trekking trails are muddy and slippery.