Nkuringo Sector of Bwindi
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi is one of the four gorilla sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where the mighty and gentle mountain gorillas live. Located in the southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Nkuringo sector compliments Buhoma sector in the north, Ruhija in the east and Rushaga in the south. Nkuringo sector of Bwindi is home to three fully habituated gorilla families in the park that travelers get to visit on a gorilla trekking expedition. Nkuringo sector of Bwindi is well situated with spectacular views of Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira in Virunga National Park of the Congo that even if gorilla trekking is difficult in this sector due to the terrain, travelers still choose it a thousand times over and over for the breathtaking and rewarding views.
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi inhabits the Nkuringo gorilla family, the very first habituated gorilla family in this sector that tourists could visit while on a gorilla trekking safari. This family was named after the “rolling hills” where they were first sighted and has 14 members. The family was also blessed with twins, a rear occasion amongst gorillas. Nkuringo gorilla family was availed for gorilla trekking in 2009.
The other two gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi are Christmas and Bushao who are a recent addition to the sector. The addition of these two gorilla families implies that more permits are availed per day for tourists visiting the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi. Advance booking is still required though, and a gorilla permit is at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250,000 for East African citizens.
Besides gorilla trekking, the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi has other activities that tourists can do while in the park.
Activities in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi
Nature/forest walks: nature walks are usually done in the morning and evening, with clear trails leading to some of the most amazing places of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Nature walks are a perfect way to explore and enjoy the peaceful, calm natural surroundings with a high chance of seeing a number of wildlife roaming the impenetrable forest of Bwindi, for example, forest elephants, baboons, monkeys, forest pigs, among so many others.
Bird watching: sweet singing birds like the white tailed blue flycatcher, short tailed warbler, yellow-eyed black flycatcher are some of the birds that tourists having a bird watching activity should expect to see. This can be done during the forest walks or separately for one to have undivided attention to view the various bird species in the park. Binoculars are a must-carry for this particular activity as tourists will be able to see those birds that are in such a far distance and those that are rather small. Cameras to take pictures of these little birds is also recommended.
Cultural encounters: visiting the Batwa and Bakiga communities in a cultural encounter while in Nkuringo is one of the activities that tourists should endeavor to take part in. along with experienced and knowledgeable guides, tourists have a chance to visit local banana plantations of these locals, take part in their activities like preparing local food (which you can share with them later if you wish), house chores and also learn of their history, especially the Batwa. Tourists also get to experience the local people’s dances, poems and songs which can be performed as welcoming gestures or as a way of winding the day.
How to get to Nkuringo sector of Bwindi
Nkuringo sector can easily be accessed from Kabale district which is just 45km to Kisoro on a roughly 3-hour drive on the Kabale-Kisoro highway. The Kabale-Butogota route where tourists can connect to Nkuringo from Buhoma is also possible. Tourists using public means are advised to hire cars or motorbikes to drive them to Nkuringo since public means of transport cannot reach there.
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi, just like the other sectors of the park, has a variety of accommodation facilities that tourists can use. These accommodation facilities range from upmarket to basic that all types of travelers are well catered for. Travelers are reminded to only bool accommodation after confirming the sector from which they will trek from, you definitely wouldn’t want to book accommodation in Buhoma and yet you are trekking from Nkuringo- this inconveniences you especially on the day of the trek as you will need to drive long distances to make it on time for the gorilla trekking expedition.
Nkuringo sector is an amazing gorilla sector to track from and also spend peaceful away from chaos and noise time. Even though gorilla trekking is especially hard in this sector, be sure to be rewarded with the most amazing views. Take time to plan a trip to Nkuringo sector with the help of a trusted tour operator.