Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Gorilla Tours And Gorilla Safaris

Trekking Nkuringo gorilla family

Nkuringo gorilla family

Trekking Nkuringo gorilla family

Trekking Nkuringo gorilla family: Nkuringo gorilla group is one of the fully habituated mountain gorilla groups found in Bwindi gorilla park. The gorilla family is the oldest in Nkuringo sector and was open for trekking purposes in 2014. Bwindi gorilla is one of the lucky 2 national parks in Uganda harboring mountain gorillas. The national park is found in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district harboring the highest population of mountain gorillas. Nkuringo gorilla family is one of the 21 mountain gorilla families that are found in the park right now.

The name Nkuringo is a local name to mean rolling hills for it used to be sighted below Nteko ridge near Lanshasha river valley. At the time of habituation, Nkuringo gorilla family was led by a silverback called Nkuringo who unfortunately died in 2008. When Nkuringo died, 2 silverbacks from the group decided to take over the leadership and these were Rafiki and Safari.

Rafiki managed to win full leadership of the group after some time and in his regime, the grouped got good news after Kwitonda gave birth to twins Katungi and Muhoozi. Katungi later died after 1 year and a half because of illness. Rafiki was brutally murdered in June 2020 by poachers and after his death, Nkuringo gorilla family got led by a blackback called Rwamutwe who cooperates with Tabu. Nkuringo gorilla family has over 17 members and these do change due to new deaths, births, and some of the members leaving the group.

Trekking Nkuringo gorilla Group

On the day of gorilla trekking, tourists must wake up for morning breakfast and meet their driver guide to transfer them to the briefing centre of Nkuringo region. At the briefing point are park wardens that take you through the rules and regulations of the trekking activity, checking permits and grouping the trekkers.

Your local tour operator would have informed the wardens about the family you want to trek and so you will be put in the category of those that are to trek Nkuringo gorilla group. Armed ranger guides led the trek by taking you through different trekking trails while searching for Nkuringo gorilla group. The search takes 2-7 hours depending on the speed of trekkers and the location of mountain gorillas but as soon as the gorilla family is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes, watch them do daily activities take photos, and learn about their habits.

How much are the gorilla trekking permits for Nkuringo gorilla family?

The gorilla trekking permits for all gorilla families in Bwindi are of the same price at Uganda Wildlife Authority. Nkuringo gorilla family has 8 trekking permits and each of the permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and shs250,000 East African citizens. The gorilla trekking permits for this family are sold out quickly and for this matter, we advise travelers to book their permits in advance of 3-4 months.

Rwamutwe blackback and a leader of Nkurinko gorilla family

“Rwamutwe” blackback and a leader of Nkurinko gorilla family

How to book permits for Nkuringo gorilla family?

For travelers intending to visit Nkuringo gorilla family, it’s better to book permits using a trusted local tour operator for they will inform the wardens about which gorilla group you want to trek on the day of trekking. To book the gorilla permit, you will send an email to your tour operator informing them Nkuringo as the gorilla group you want to trek, the date of the month, and the year.

They will use this information to check for the availability of the gorilla trekking permits with Uganda Wildlife Authority. When the permits are available they will send you an email containing the banking details and once you send the money and they are notified they will go ahead and book the permit for you and later send you an email containing the scanned copy of the permit.

The best time to visit Nkuringo gorilla family?

The dry season is the most appropriate time to trek Nkuringo gorilla family although the park is open throughout the year. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February and is characterized by little or no rainfall. This leaves the trekking trails dry and less muddy, the vegetation is short with clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.

Travelers can still visit Nkuringo region and trek Nkuringo gorilla family in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season happens from March to May and October to November and during those periods there is always too much rainfall. The trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.

Waterproof hiking shoes are essential for Gorilla Safari in Bwindi

Waterproof hiking shoes are essential for Gorilla trekking Safaris in Bwindi Forest

What to pack for Nkuringo gorilla family trekking?

There is a lot you can pack for Nkuringo gorilla family trekking safari in Bwindi gorilla park but some of the things needed most include waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, garden gloves, a pair of gaiters, a rain jacket, a warm sweater, sunscreen, a hat, sanitizer, facemask, insect repellents, a camera, a pair of binoculars, drinking water bottle and energy-giving snacks.

Where to stay on Nkuringo gorilla family trekking safari?

Travelers visiting Bwindi gorilla park for Nkuringo gorilla family trekking have lots of accommodation facilities where they can stay and all of these are in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi gorilla park. The accommodation facilities do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options such as Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Mutanda Eco Community Centre, Nshongi Camp, Crested Crane Bwindi Hotel, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, and Virunga Campsite.

Accessing Nkuringo gorilla Group

Nkuringo gorilla family can be accessed from Nkuringo region in Bwindi gorilla park. Travelers can access Nkuringo region of Bwindi gorilla park using road transport or air transport. Air transport is the quickest way to get to Nkuringo region of Bwindi gorilla park for it takes 2 hours. Travelers will use chattered flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip where driver-guides transfer them to Nkuringo region of the park.

Travelers can access Bwindi gorilla park and visit Nkuringo sector to trek Nkuringo gorilla family using road transport from Kigali city. Travelers can cross from Rwanda to Uganda using Cyanika border in Kisoro where they will drive to Kisoro town and move to Nkuringo region. Those from Kampala will have to pass via Makasa, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro road and branch off at Muko to Nkuringo region.

A group of Batwa performing a cultural dance during cultural tour around Bwind Park

A group of Batwa performing a cultural dance during cultural tour around Bwind Park

Activities to combine with Nkuringo gorilla family trekking

Nature walk activities : Nature walks are very interesting activities to do after trekking Nkuringo gorilla family. The activity gives tourists ab opportunity to explore the sector on foot and encounter most of the attractions that are found here. Some of the attractions to see in Nkuringo region include animals such as buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, bushpigs, monkeys, olive baboons, birds, and different species of trees.

Birding: Birding in Nkuringo exposes you to over 350 bird species of which 10 can’t be seen anywhere else in Uganda apart from Bwindi gorilla park. Birding activities in Nkuringo region are done around Nombe which is found in Buniga area in Bwindi forest. Some of the bird species in Nkuringo region include cape wagtail, barred long-tailed cuckoo, paradise flycatcher, snowy-crowned robin chat, Angolan swallow, black bee-eater, grey-cheeked hornbill, Rwenzori batis, klaas’s cuckoo, grey crowned crane, waller’s starling, archer’s robin chat and double toothed barbet among others.

Batwa cultural experience: During the Batwa cultural experience in Bwindi gorilla park, you will be led by a local guide from the Batwa community who will take you around the park boundaries telling you stories of how they used to live in the forest, use bows and arrows to kill animals for meat, gather fruits, collect honey and you will go to their communities where you will meet the locals doing their day to day activities. You will visit traditional healers who will show you how some plants can be used as local herbs and in the end you will be entertained by the traditional local dancers.

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