Nkuringo Sector –Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Nkuringo Sector –Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park : Nkuringo sector is one of the four popular sectors where gorilla trekking is conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. Nkuringo sector is positioned in the southern side of Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park a renowned safari destination that hosts half the remaining endangered mountain gorillas .Apart from Nkuringo sector there other sectors where gorilla trekking can be carried out such as Buhoma sector in the north known as the most visited among the four sector ,Rushanga sector sits in the south the best sector to host the highest number of habituated gorilla families, Ruhija sector in the east.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is popularly known worldwide because of these critically endangered mountain gorillas, located in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kanungu district estimating 9 to 10 hours’ drive.
Gorilla Trekking in Nkuringo Sector
Nkuringo sector harbors with three habituated gorilla families which are available for trekking mountain gorillas on daily basis. Such families are;
Nkuringo gorilla family
This gorilla group got its name from Nkuringo a round hill where it was first designated by trekkers. Nkuringo gorilla family was officially opened for tourism in 2004, after habituated gorilla family under the leadership of elderly Nkuringo silverback who later died in April 2008 leaving two species of silverback’s safari and Rafiki. It is now composed of 19 members with 2 silverbacks.
Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family is one of the families found in Nkuringo sector which was habituated at same time with Bikyangi gorilla group in Rushaga sector. Later in 2012 some members in Nkuringo gorilla family who separated from the family like Bahati silverback and when the trekkers carried out a search they found out that the members had joined the Bushaho gorilla family. By that time the family was already habituated and now comprises of 11 members including 1 silverback Bahati a dominant leader of the family ,4 adult females ,2 semi adult females ,1 black back and 3 infants.
Christmas gorilla family
This is a new habituated gorilla trekking family in Nkuringo sector. The group derives its name from a dominant silverback which was born on Christmas. It is comprised of 9 members and 6 members which can be encountered during trekking time such members are 1 silverback ,3 adult females ,1 infant and 1 black back.
Gorilla trekking in Nkuringo sector starts in the morning with a briefing about the dos and don’ts during trekking just like in other three sectors. After briefing you will be grouped into 8 individuals to trek /allocate you to habituated gorilla family. Bwindi gorilla trekking only allows a maximum of 8 people to trek a habituated gorilla family so as to minimize the behavioral change of the gorillas and spread of human diseases such as diarrhea, flu, malaria.
The trek starts at around 8:00am accompanied with a park guide who will be sharing right information about this gentle giant. An activity of gorilla trekking in Nkuringo sector takes about 3 to 7 hours in the midst of the forest, once the gorillas are located trekkers are given a great chance to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. In this one hour you will be able to learn about their lifestyle, habits as well as photo taking with a digitalized camera.
Tourists who are interested in trekking gorillas in Nkuringo sector should first acquire a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda; Foreign nonresidents pay USD700, USD600 for Foreign resident and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. Gorilla trekking permit can be booked direct through Uganda Wildlife Offices or book through a recognized tour company with trusted tour operator like we Achieve Global Safaris. We advise visitors to always book through a tour operator which is the best option to use and we will not only acquire a gorilla trekking permit for you but also make other arrangements of transportation to Nkuringo sector, meals and sleeping accommodation.
Note ,only 24 gorilla trekking permit available in Nkuringo sector meaning that only 24 visitors will be allowed to trek the mountain gorillas in the sector daily .Therefore it’s advisable to book your gorilla trekking permit in advance before the trekking date so as to avoid destruction at the last minute because the permits are on the daily sale and are on high sale during peak season in the month of June ,July ,August ,December and January to February therefore travelers are advised to book 6 months in advance.
Apart from key selling point in Nkuringo sector listed as gorilla trekking, there are other reasonable activities you can engage in such as birding where you will be able to view variety of beautiful bird species like African blue flycatcher, garner warbler, Kivu ground thrush, short tailed warbler, Yellow eyed black catcher, African emerald cuckoo, Short tailed warbler few mentioned. You can do forest walk on foot where you get a chance of exploring the hidden treasures of Bwindi Impenetrable forest as you enjoy the fresh air, listening to melodies of birds, primates viewing like monkeys, Community encounter –you will be able to meet the local people and interact with them ‘’Bakiga’’ and the Batwa people who used to live in the forest with endangered mountain gorillas’ years ago.
Accommodation in Nkuringo Sector
Nkuringo region has a number of comfortable accommodation facilities ranging between luxury, mid-range and budget where you can stay on your gorilla trekking safari in Nkuringo sector such lodges are Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Campsite, Hammerkop Bunkhouse, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge many more. They all offer comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, garden for relaxation, giving a rewardable views of the forest, bird species and primates view. Other activities are forest walk, birding and community tour.
Best Time to Visit Nkuringo Sector for Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking in Nkuringo sector can be conducted in all seasons but the best time is during dry season when the park is not slippery starting in the month of June to September and December to February. During dry seasons roads are passible to access Nkuringo sector and thus enabling you to clearly view the mountain gorillas.
Visitors can still visit Nkuringo sector for gorilla trekking in rainy season because heavy rain leads to less competition for the gorilla trekking permits, accommodation rates turns low and even at the last minute traveler can acquire a gorilla trekking permit.
Getting to Nkuringo Sector
Nkuringo sector sits in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and visitors to access the sector can either use road or air transport means;
By Road Transport
Nkuringo sector is easily accessible from different areas that is to say; traveling from Kampala you will drive via Masaka –Mbarara-Kabale to Nkuringo sector which lasts 8 to 9 hours’ drive. Then from Kabale town it lasts about 3 hours’ drive.
You can decide to use public means of transport to access Nkuringo sector though not recommended. When using public means, you will board a bus from Kampala to Kabale, from Kabale hire a private taxi to access you to the park headquarters.
By Air Transport
You will book a domestic flight Aerolink Uganda Limited which operates chartered and scheduled flights right from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi airstrip or Kisoro airstrip where you have to connect to Nkuringo sector by road transport.