If you are planning a visit to Bwindi for gorilla trekking and trying to decide which sector to choose, this article compares the differences between gorilla trekking in the Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is divided into a southern and northern part, with the southern part made up of the Rushaga and Nkuringo gorilla trekking gates and the northern part made up of the Ruhija and Buhoma gorilla trekking gates. As one of only four national parks in the world that is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, along with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in DR Congo, Bwindi is home to a diverse range of biodiversity including 350 bird species, 310 butterfly species, 200 tree species, 51 reptile species, 88 moth species, and 120 mammal species. The park is also home to several primate species including chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey, and the iconic mountain gorillas.
The Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southern part of the park and is home to eight gorilla families, which is the most of any sector in the park. These families are easy to trek due to the relatively flat terrain in the region. Rushaga can be easily accessed from Kisoro, or it is a 4-5 hour drive from Kigali. The gorilla families in Rushaga include Rwigi, Muchunguzi, Busingye, Bweza, Nshongi, Mishaya, and Kahungye, which are all available for tracking and open to tourists. The Rushaga region is also the only one in Bwindi that offers the unique Gorilla Habituation Experience.
The Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and is home to three gorilla families available for trekking: the Nkuringo family, the Bushabo family, and the Christmas family. At times, the Bushabo family may cross from the Rushaga sector into the Nkuringo sector, so it is possible to find them in either location. The Nkuringo sector is known for offering challenging and strenuous hikes to see the gorillas in Bwindi.
There are several factors to consider when deciding between gorilla trekking in Rushaga or Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here are some key differences:
Accessibility: Both Rushaga and Nkuringo can be reached by road, but Rushaga is generally closer to the main highways and towns. Both sectors can be accessed by air, but the nearest airstrip is located in Kisoro, which is about an hour’s drive from either sector.
Lodging: Both Rushaga and Nkuringo offer a range of accommodation options including budget, mid-range, and luxury lodges. However, Nkuringo is known for its luxurious lodges, such as Gorilla Heights Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, and Lake Mutanda Resort.
Gorilla Families: Rushaga has more habituated gorilla families available for trekking and more gorilla trekking permits available daily compared to Nkuringo.
Experience: Both Rushaga and Nkuringo offer a high chance (around 98%) of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. However, Rushaga is the only sector that offers the Gorilla Habituation Experience, where visitors can spend four hours with a habituated gorilla family. Nkuringo is known for its more strenuous and challenging hikes, making it appealing to adventure seekers.
Distance: The distance traveled during a gorilla trek can vary depending on the behavior of the gorilla family allocated to you. In both Rushaga and Nkuringo, park authorities will try to assign a family that requires a shorter walk to visitors who request it, but the gorillas’ movements may still require longer hikes.
Trek Africa Tours is a trusted company that specializes in organizing customized gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. With a team of professional tour consultants, we are able to provide you with a personalized travel plan and answer any questions you may have. Our team is also fluent in multiple languages, ensuring you have a knowledgeable safari guide. If you are interested in booking a gorilla trek in either the Rushaga or Nkuringo sectors of Bwindi, please don’t hesitate to contact us on our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.