Nkuringo Gorilla Sector

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Have you ever thought of considering the Nkuringo gorilla sector for your next Gorilla trekking escapade?

Here are facts about the Nkuringo gorilla sector; one of the most rewarding regions in Bwindi impenetrable national park; home to the sought after mountain Gorillas in the south of Uganda (the pearl of Africa). Get to know the location, gorilla families, accommodation, best time for a safari, and tracking fees among others; though much more is only got in the Jungle since the statistics always changes, with new births, separations and relocation among other factors.

Nkuringo sector is one of the four sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park, others being Ruhija, Buhoma and Rushaga. The region is situated in the southern part of the park, on a raised terrain which gives you a chance of enjoying amazing views of Kisoro terraced plains, the giant Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gorilla habituation commenced in 1996, with the first tracking exercise occurring in April 2004. The apes were always spotted roaming around the Kashasha river valley, beneath the Nteko ridge and at times moving to the neighboring communities where they used to destroy people’s properties especially crops, a habit that led to a lengthy conflict between the gorillas and humans. Because of this, a 12km long and 350mts wide piece of public land was bought by the international gorilla conservation to make the apes thrive in the park peacefully. Only three families have been habituated in this sector.

The sector's name was derived from the first group to be habituated and tracked; the Nkuringo family; one of the most exciting and peaceful groups in the park. Nkuringo family means "rolling hills", picked from the region from which they were got. The group is composed of about 13 members, led by a dominant silverback - Rafiki, who had separated from the Nshongi group in the Rushaga sector.  Rafiki is a Swahili word meaning "Friend” and indeed it is a very friendly and accommodative silverback, known for harboring even those that have exited the group, such as the X-Mass group.

As stated earlier on, the group was led by a silverback called Nkuringo up to 2012, when it breathed its last, aged 45years. It exited with other members such as Christmas, Rafiki and safari, all brothers who stayed united until the disappearance of safari after meeting the Bushaho gorilla group.

Rafiki led the group up to 1 June 2020. Currently; the group is made up of the following members; Rwamutwe-a dominant black back and a new leader, Tabu; the second in demand,  Kwitonda; adult female and very humble, Kuhirwa; adult female, Furaha; adult female, Kiiza; Adult female,  Kamara; black back, Nderema; adult female, Kamara; black back, Muhozi; black back, owaman; juvenile, Guma; Juvenile, and the rest unnamed infants.

The other groups include the Christmas family; a newly formed family in the sector, after splitting from the Nkuringo family. It has over 6 members, led by a dominant silverback called Christmas, 1 black back, 3 females, and an infant. It is a very peaceful and exciting family in the Jungle.

Bushaho makes the third group in Nkuringo sector, with 8 members of which some were part of the Nkuringo family. It's led by a dominant silverback called Bahati silverback, one lesser adult, 3 females, 1 infant, and one juvenile among others. This is also one of the groups used for Gorilla habituation experience.

Gorilla trekking cost

Just as it is in any other sector and Gorilla trekking destinations in the country, gorilla trekking permits cost 700usd for foreign non-residents, 600usd for foreigners, and 250,000 UGX for residents in line with the 2020-2022 Uganda Wildlife Authority tariff. The sector can be accessed from Kampala via Mbarara to Kabale route- an 8-9 hour drive, with the option of using a flight.  The other option is starting your Journey from Kigali Rwanda- a 3-4 hour drive.

With the sector’s rugged terrain, tracking is so challenging and requires physical fitness. Nevertheless, it has a good deal of breathtaking sceneries, flora, and fauna in all its corners. Tracking lasts for about 1-8 hours, plus one extra hour of watching, and photography. Tracking can be done all year round, though the best time is from June to October and December to March

Besides Gorilla trekking in the sector, one can also engage in Birding, guided nature walk, and cultural adventure. There are several accommodation facilities perfectly situated for your comfort, and they range from budget to Luxury, notably Nkuringo gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla camp, and Hammerkop bunkhouse among others.

Nkuringo sector is one of the most rewarding regions in the park. Not only does it have breathtaking sceneries, but also very exciting and peaceful gorilla families. These and more can only be enjoyed while on a safari to Bwindi impenetrable park.

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