Nkuringo Gorilla Sector

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Nkuringo is one of the four sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park. It was opened in the year 2004 and is known for hosting the popular Rafiki silverback in Bwindi which passed on in 2020. This sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi in Kisoro district. 

Nkuringo gives stunning views of Sabyinyo, Muhabura and Nyiragongo Mountains in Uganda and D.R. Congo respectively. Bwindi impenetrable national park hosts over 459 which is half of the world’s left gorillas and Nkuringo is one of the sectors where these apes can be trekked. Nkuringo sector was named after the rolling hills which were the first feature to be spotted upon reaching this area. 

Nkuringo provides one of the best and difficult trekking adventures because it has steep hills which require a lot of climbing. This sector has a total of 4 families and more still under habituation. The pioneer Nkuringo family was headed by the silverback Nkuringo but now led by safari. The family has 4 silverbacks, 2 black bucks, 3 females and 3 infants. 

In the southern sector of Bwindi national park, Nkuringo was the first family to be habituated. This southern sector is known to have been the first sector where gorilla twins were born. Bwindi impenetrable national park has four gorilla sectors that is to say Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma and Ruhija. All of these sectors combined have 21 habituated gorilla families.

The Rushaga gorilla sector has the largest Nshongi family consisting of 36 individuals, Mishaya having 7 individuals, Kahungye having 18 individuals, Busingye with 9 individuals and Bweza gorilla families. 

The Buhoma gorilla sector has Mubare consisting of 18 individuals which is known to be the first ever habituated gorilla family, Habyinyanja sheltering 18 individuals and Rushegura having 19 individuals. Other new families here are Katwe and Muyambi.

The Ruhija sector has 4 gorilla families, that is Bitukura with a total of 14 individuals, Kyaguriro, Mukiza and Oruzogo families having 23 individuals. 

Activities to do while in the Nkuringo sector. 

Gorilla trekking: Gorilla trekking is one of the top activities to do while in Nkuringo. This sector is known to provide the toughest but most enjoyable trek because of its steep hills that involve endless climbing. Trekking can go up to 5 hours or less depending on where they will be found. You are given one hour to be with these apes at a close range as you watch them feed, breastfeed and do other activities. 

Nature walks: A guided nature walk in Nkuringo is so rewarding as you are able to spot different birds, primates, butterflies and enjoy the scenic view of Bwindi’s beautiful nature. Nkuringo hill hike and Ivy river hike rewards you with chances to spot primates like baboons, monkeys among others. 

Birding: Having over 350 different bird species, Nkuringo is known to be a bird watcher’s paradise. Different beautiful bird species like grey cheeked hornbill, snowy crowned robin chat, African paradise flycatcher, African goshawk, bronze sunbird, augur buzzard, Klaus’s cuckoo among other species can be sited in this place. The birding tour in Nkuringo can last up to 3 hours. 

Canoeing on Lake Mutanda: Canoeing on lake mutanda is one way of relaxing from the difficult trails of gorilla trekking in the Nkuringo sector. This lake is enclosed with green vegetation and dotted by the volcanic mountains, this rewards you with a chance of spotting different bird life. Take time to swim since the lake is free from Bilharzia. This lake was formed about 13 million years ago and has a total of 13 islands but only one island has been settled on by humans.

Community walks: One of the community walks that is done in Nkuringo is the Batwa cultural trail. You can as well choose to go through the Nkuringo community and learn about their ways of life. 

Best time to visit the Nkuringo sector.

The convenient time to go to Nkuringo is during the dry season months of June, August, December and February.

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