Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the four gorilla trekking sectors which make up Bwindi harboring habituated mountain gorillas ready for trekking by tourists. Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the outstanding ecological systems in Africa famous for being home to amazing apes mountain gorillas situated in south western Uganda. Bwindi forest national park is composed of a montane and low land forest of 1633 tree species together with approximately 104 fern species. Bwindi is also home to mammals, birds and other 12 primates apart from mountain gorillas.
Nkuringo sector is the most popular gorilla trekking sector located in southern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park at the higher altitude of the park, Nkuringo sector is 45 kilometers from Kabale and it is a 3 hour drive and from the capital city of Uganda Kampala Nkuringo gorilla trekking sector is approximately 12 hour drive while using kibale – Kisoro route, Nkurigo is one of the four main trailheads and a home to the most fascinating gorilla family Nkurigo which is made up of 19 members and first family to record a birth of twins in 2014. Nkuringo gorilla family group which derives its name from Nkuringo hill where a first mountain gorilla was spotted is led by an alpha silverback Rafiki was the first gorilla family to be visited by gorilla trekkers since it was habituated in 1997 with 17 members, Nkuringo sector offers great trekking experience to tourists that is why it attracts a lot of them and to participate in gorilla trekking a tourist must be in possession of a gorilla trekking permit which costs US$ 600.
Gorilla trekking in the Nkurigo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park is the most challenging trekking sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park since the sector is situated at a higher altitude, it requires tourists to be physically fit. Regardless of trekking being challenging a tourist is awarded view Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira in the Virunga national park democratic republic of Congo. Nkuringo sector is a magical place never to miss if you are a photographer with love to nature because of its beauty, wonders and ever-changing sceneries that is mist in the morning which fills the sector and beautiful sunset in the evening which reflects stunning different color rays on the sky.
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park consists of three gorilla families that is
Nkuringo family: The Nkuringo family initially was composed of 17 members and currently Nkuringo family consists of 12 members that are 2 silverbacks, 1 black back, 2 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 3 juveniles, and 2 infants and it is led by Rafiki an alpha silverback.
Bikingi gorilla family: Bikingi gorilla family is a family of 15 members which split from the Mishaya gorilla family of the Rushaga gorilla sector, the habituation of this group was started as early as 2012 and currently the habituation is still going on which has left the family with no leader. The family is composed of 1 silverback, 5 female adults, 2 sub-adults, 2 juveniles, and 5 infants.
Bushaho gorilla family: Bushaho gorilla family is made up of habituated mountain gorillas which split from Nkuringo family as early as 2012 lead by a male silverback Bahati, the group was later habituated and named Bushaho composed of 8 members that are 1 silverback, 1 black back, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile, and 1 infant.
Nkuringo gorilla sector is the best sector for Bwindi gorilla trekking because it offers more interesting activities other than mountain gorilla trekking, these activities include
Bird watching: Nkuringo gorilla sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home to various bird species which makes birding as an activity never too miss while in the Nkuringo sector. Bird species in Nkuringo include African emerald cuckoo, white tailed blue flycatcher, short-tailed warbler, yellow-eyed black catcher Kivu ground thrush, Africa blue flycatcher, black bee-eater, yellow-eyed black flycatcher and garners warbler which can be seen I the forest while hiking and on village walks.
Batwa community visit: Batwa community is another cultural activity never to miss in Nkuringo sector as it takes tourists through the culture of the early ancient occupant of the forest. The Batwa are pygmy people most times called forest people who were dragged out the forest during the time of gazetting Bwindi impenetrable forest as a national park making them lose their homes. Batwa trails lead the tourist through ancient activities of the Batwa which include picking of local herbs, making of fire, hunting and preparing of local meals. Community visits also include witnessing cultural dances, singing songs and reciting of local poems.
Other activities include forest walks/ nature walks which takes tourists through Ivy and Kashasha rivers.
While doing gorilla trekking in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park accommodation can be got from clouds mountain gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla campsite, Nkuringo gorilla camp, Nkuringo gorilla lodge, Hammerkops bunkhouse and many more which provide comfortable bedding and meals with other amenities like parking, bar, and restaurant.
To participate in gorilla there are rules to be followed by tourists as they were drafted by the Uganda wildlife authority. These rules and regulations include
- Ill people are not allowed to participate in trekking
- Tourists below the age of 15 are not allowed to participate in gorilla trekking
- On each trekking, a group consists of only 8 people
- Do not litter in the park
- Always stay in a group
- Do not make unnecessary noise and control your movements in the park
- Do not take pictures with a flashlight on
- Always follow instructions as given to you by your tour guide.
Tourists also need essentials to make there gorilla trekking a great expedition, they include
- Waterproof jackets
- A travel bag
- A hiking stick
- Strong hiking shoes
- Long-sleeved shirts
- A hat
- Bottled water and packed launch
- A porter
- Insect repellents