Distance from Buhoma to Nkuringo sector
The waking distance from Buhoma to Nkuringo sector is 14 km and Buhoma – Nkuringo trail is one of the best as well as famous walking trails in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Buhoma is located in the northern side of Bwindi and Nkuringo is located in the southern side of the same park. The two gorilla trekking regions are neighbors and from the begging of the trailhead in Buhoma at Nkuringo, it’s 14km it takes 60-7 hours to complete this journey.
Travers that are intending to visit Bwindi gorilla park and are planning to take a visit to these two regions can always be part of walking safaris after successful gorilla trekking. The walking safari from Buhoma to Nkuringo sector takes you to the thick forest led by an armed ranger guide. During the walk, you are able to encounter different plant species, mammals, primates, birds, and water sources.
Buhoma and Nkuringo are part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is in southwestern Uganda. The national park covers a total area of 331 sq. km and it was gazetted in 1991. The park is famous for harboring endangered mountain gorillas but it’s home to over 10 primate species, 350 bird species, and 120 mammals. Bwindi can be accessed in a single day using air transport from Entebbe international airport/Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip or road transport from Kampala or Kigali.
Activities in Buhoma and Nkuringo sector
Gorilla trekking: Encountering mountain gorillas for 1 hour is the most done activity in Buhoma and Nkuringo sector. There are several mountain gorilla families in these two trekking regions that are open for trekking at all times of the year. To trek mountain gorillas you must be 15 years and above and you must have a gorilla permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning at the sector headquarters where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity, grouped, and given armed ranger guides to lead them in the jungle. Trekking takes you through thick vegetation covers searching for where the mountain gorillas might have slept the previous night. When the mountain gorillas are spotted, armed ranger guides give trekkers 1 hour to be around these apes and this gives them an opportunity to watch them do daily activities and take photos.
Gorilla habituation: This can only be done in Nkuringo sector where Bushaho mountain gorilla family was designed for habituation activities to enable travelers to have enough time around mountain gorillas. Gorilla habituation in Nkuringo is done like gorilla trekking because it starts with a briefing and later armed ranger guides accompanied by the researchers and conservationists head to the jungle to search for this family. When the mountain gorilla family is spotted, trekkers be around the members for 4 hours and they are able to be part of the activities to make these apes get used to human beings around them.
Birding: Bwindi is home to more than 350 bird species of which some are endemic to the Albertine region. Birding trails have been constructed in the different park sectors to enable bird lovers to encounter as many bird species as they can. Buhoma is said to be the best birding region but still, if a bird lover is staying in Nkuringo they can try out birding in that sector.
Birds to look out for in Nkuringo and Buhoma region include scared ibis, black kite, little grebe, African jacana, crowned hornbill, cattle egret, crested guinea fowl, long-crested eagle, common sandpiper, olive pigeon, red eyed dove, yellow bill, black swift, olive long-tailed cuckoo, white-headed barbet, olive woodpecker, lesser honey guide, grey wagtail, African pitta, fire crested alethe, olive thrush, forest robin, wood warbler, Rwenzori batis, sooty flycatcher, brown illadopsis, green hylia, and olive sunbird among others.
Batwa community visit: There are Batwa communities living around Nkuringo and Buhoma sector and therefore travelers that love to explore the African culture, they can take a visit to the communities. The Batwa community visit was put in place by the local people and these are the ones who lead you to their homes to see how they live their day to day life. A visit to the Batwa takes you around the forest boundaries first to enable you to know how these people survived in the jungle and then after to their communities to see how they live. At the end of the visit, the Batwa people entertain you through dances and drama.
When to visit Buhoma and Nkuringo sector?
Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors can be visited at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit these two sectors and these occur from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trails stay dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas while the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Buhoma and Nkuringo during the rainy season and this favors budget travelers because during that time the lodges are at a discount. The rainy season is characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.
Where to stay in Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors
There are a lot of accommodation facilities in Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors where travelers visiting these regions can stay and these range from budget to mid-range to luxury options. Accommodation in Buhoma and Nkuringo sector include
Buhoma Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhoma Rest Camp, Nshongi Camp, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Ride 4 Women Guest House, Silverback Lodge, and Haven Lodge among others.