Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park that contains half of the remaining mountain gorillas left in the wild with others living in the Virunga volcanoes straddling in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo.
Mountain gorillas are large primates sharing 98% DNA with humans like chimpanzees, mountain gorillas in the world can only be trekked in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the only park that offers mountain gorilla habituation experience, the park is also a birders paradise with over 300 species of birds, 77 mammalian species, 1000 flowering plants, 200 tree species and about 220 species of butterflies.
Gorilla groups in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi
Nkuringo gorilla family
Nkuringo gorilla family is dominated by the silverback named Nkuringo who died in 2008 and the silverback Rafiki took over the group leadership, the name Nkuringo means round hill a place where they were first sighted from at the Nkuringo hill.
Nkruringo gorilla family was the first habituated gorilla family in the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in 1997 and had 17 individuals at the time of habituation. Nkuringo gorilla family is among the lucky groups in Bwindi to get twins in 2004.
Nkuringo gorilla family used to over moving in the village farms outside the park causing human-animal conflicts that led to the resettlement of humans near their home range. After the displacement, there was a scabies outbreak in the family.
Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family was formed by some of the dispersed members of Nkuringo gorilla family, after a follow up it was discovered that Bahati one of the former silverbacks in Nkuringo was leading a parallel group of some family members and some unhabituated gorillas.
The name Bushaho was derived from the topo name an area of their locality, the group is now composed of 8 individuals with 1 silverback, 1 black back, 3 adult females, 1 juvenile, 1 sub adult and 1 infant. Though gorilla group numbers keep changing with others joining other groups, death and so forth.
Other sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable has got the oldest gorilla group that was the first to be visited by trekkers in the entire Bwindi region in 1993. The gorilla families habituated in this sector include; Mubare gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, and Habinyanja gorilla family. Buhoma sector of Bwindi national park has got the best accommodation options for all travelers’ budgets.
Ruhija is found in the southwestern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and its one of the most visited in the park, the gorilla families that can be trekked in this area are; Oruzogo gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family, and Kyaguriro gorilla family.
The Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southern part of the park, Rushaga sector comprises of 5 gorilla families and it’s also one of the sectors where tourists can encounter gorilla trekking experience.
Rushaga sector of Bwindi national park is also close to Mgahinga gorilla national park, this sector has got good scenic views and it’s easily accessible from Rwanda just within four hours drive.
What to do in Nkuringo besides gorilla trekking
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the only place in the world that offers the gorilla habituation experience, gorilla habituation is the process of making gorillas get used to human presence so that they can easily be trekked by tourists when the group is ready. Tourists opting for gorilla habituation have a greater chance of spending four hours with mountain gorillas unlike gorilla trekking which is one hour and the number is also limited to only four people per day. Gorilla habituation is in the Rushaga sector, just 30 minutes away from Nkuringo.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park was home to the indigenous Batwa tribe who were hunter-gathers in the forest before it was made a national park, the displaced Batwa tribe used to depend on the forest for shelter, medicine, and food. You can visit these ancient forest people and learn about their traditional ways of living, eat dinner with locals, visit a traditional healer and get entertained with local traditional dances.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is not only home to mountain gorillas but there are various animals within the park such as; warthogs, forest elephants, bushbucks, buffalos, African civet, African giant genet and primate species like olive baboons, blue tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and aquatic genet among the rest.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be reached within 9-10 hours drive from Kampala, 5-6 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda. Luxurious tourists can take flights from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe international airport in about 2 hours.