WHERE IS THE NKURINGO SECTOR OF BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK-UGANDA
Nkuringo gorilla sector is situated in the southern part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, home to Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas, which have been said to have 98% of the human DNA. This attracts numerous tourists worldwide who come to see their closest human relatives surviving in the misty forest of Bwindi. The Bwindi impenetrable forest is perched in the southwestern part of the pearl of Africa, estimating an 8 to 9-hour drive from Entebbe or Kampala, Uganda’s capital, although some travelers choose to fly from the Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip using a domestic flight and land at Kihihi Airstrip, which is the park’s nearest airstrip. From there, you will be driven for fewer kilometers.
Bwindi’s southern sector is favorable to seasoned travelers, mostly photographers who prefer Bwindi as a challenging jungle for hiking experiences. The Nkuringo sector is subdivided into the two most famous trailheads, which are the Rushaga trailhead and the Nkuringo trailhead. The Nkuringo gorilla sector takes travelers to three habituated mountain gorilla families, and there are 24 gorilla trekking permits available per day for trekkers. Then Rushaga trail head takes travelers into the forest with one of the eight habituating mountain gorilla families. Rushaga sector offers 48 gorilla trekking permits available every day, and the other two semi-habituated mountain gorilla families and one mountain gorilla family are readily available for Gorilla Habituation experiences.
Nkuringo gorilla trailhead is about a 5-minute walk from the lodge. Travelers should note that trekking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’s southern sector is somehow physically challenging, so travelers need to be physically fit to visit the Nkuringo and Rushanga sectors.
The Nkuringo gorilla sector began in April 2004 after the mountain gorilla habituation group was started in 1996. The mountain gorilla group rangers lived along the Kashasha river valley, part of the Nteko ridge, and could often be found a few meters from the indigenous people outside the park.
The Nkuringo gorilla sector became popular because of its rewardable photographic nature and because mountain gorillas moved from the thick tropical rain forest of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to the buffer zone, which is the feeding grounds for these mountain gorillas. So, trekkers could walk down the Kashasha valley, where the most beautiful mountain gorilla families reside. Each trekker always returns with beautiful, interesting photos of the assigned mountain gorilla group, and since then, Nkuringo has become so famous that it is visited by many travelers on their Uganda mountain gorilla safari.
The Nkuringo Gorilla Group was headed by the silverback called Nkuringo, who led the mountain gorilla family till 2012 and later died when he was 45 years old. The Nkuringo gorilla group had three silverbacks, namely Safari, Christmas, and Rafiki. The silverback called Safari led the group, then later disappeared to create another family called the Bushaho gorilla family. Rafiki took over the family's leadership until he was killed in June 2020.
What makes Nkuringo a unique destination?
Nkuringo sector hiking and mountain gorilla trekking offer the most challenging gorilla trekking experiences within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park.
Gorilla trekking is an incredible experience that starts early in the morning with a briefing at the park’s headquarters. After the briefing, travelers are given a mountain gorilla family, and the park ranger guide will lead you to the tropical rainforest trailhead. Travelers also have a greater chance of viewing other primate species, such as monkeys, tree species, and bird species, as you listen to sweet melodies from different bird species. Once you locate the mountain gorilla family, travelers are only given an hour to watch mountain gorillas as they feed, play, and swing on the tree branches. Only 8 travelers are allowed to participate in gorilla trekking per group, and travelers should be at least 15 years old. Travelers cannot participate in the gorilla trekking experience without a gorilla trekking permit, which can be booked with the help of a trusted tour operator like Devine African Safaris, who knows more information about the gorilla permit process. Uganda gorilla permits cost $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for East African citizens to get a gorilla trekking permit. Travelers are advised to pack warm clothes, boots, rubber, long-sleeved clothes, and insect repellent, among others.
Nkuringo sector Forest walk
The Nkuringo sector is best for nature lovers. The sector is exceptional in the morning and evening. The Nkuringo forest walk can either start from the Buhoma sector or from Kabale Butogota—Buhoma, which connects travelers to the Nkuringo route. On your forest walk, you can come across numerous primate species, such as monkeys, baboons, forest pigs, forest elephants, and tree species, among others.
The Nkuringo sector is ideal for bird watching because visitors can see a variety of bird species such as the African emerald cuckoo, short-tailed warbler, white-tailed blue flycatcher, garners warbler, African blue flycatcher, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, and black bee-eaters, among others.
The Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest is situated in the south; never leave without participating in the cultural encounter with the Batwa and Bakiga communities. where travelers enjoy unique traditional dances, folk songs, poems, and other local performances that end with a great, memorable experience for a lifetime.
Accommodation options in Nkuringo Region
Nkuringo sector offers comfortable accommodation options that are surrounded by beautiful scenery and range from luxury to budget. Nkuringo sector includes Gorilla Camp, Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Hammerkop Bunkhouse, and many more.