When you embark on a thrilling gorilla trek tour in Uganda’s magnificent Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to explore one of the park’s four sectors. Nkuringo, located in the southern part of Bwindi, is home to three incredible gorilla families or groups. Tracking gorillas in Nkuringo sector offers a unique and challenging experience within the heart of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This area is a photographer’s dream, with its ever-changing landscape, from the early morning mist to the mesmerizing sunset in the evening. Nkuringo’s enchanting beauty and the captivating sounds of the forest come together to create an unforgettable experience that words alone cannot capture. To truly understand its magic, you must visit this extraordinary place in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and witness one of the most stunning locations in all of Africa.
Nkuringo family consists of 12 individuals: two silverbacks (one was tragically killed by poachers in June 2020), one black buck, two adult females, two sub-adults, three juveniles, and two infants. This gorilla family calls the Nkuringo tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park its home. Nkuringo was the first gorilla group to be habituated in the entire southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park back in 1997. Over time, the group’s size has decreased from 17 to the current 12 members due to various members dispersing. Nkuringo family holds the distinction of being the first gorilla group in Bwindi to welcome the birth of gorilla “twins” in December 2004. This family is well-known for foraging outside the park for up to 98% of their time, a practice that led to the displacement of local human settlers in the frontline villages of Nkuringo sector to create a buffer zone, reducing human-wildlife interactions. This displacement was initiated after a Scabies outbreak in the Nkuringo family in December 2000. Nkuringo family has been consistently led by Rafiki.
The habituation of the Bikingi gorilla group began in early 2012 as an initiative to monitor the dispersing members of the disintegrated Mishaya family. Several members of the former Mishaya family were integrated into the Bikingi family alongside other non-habituated members, leading to the decision to habituate this family for close monitoring. Bikingi family is located in the Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Currently, the family’s leadership remains unconfirmed, as it is still undergoing the habituation process. Bikingi family consists of 15 members, including one silverback, five adult females, two sub-adults, two juveniles, and five infants.
The Bushaho gorilla family’s story begins with multiple individual gorilla dispersals from the Nkuringo family. In early 2012, a search was initiated to locate these dispersing members, leading to the discovery that one of the former silverbacks from Nkuringo, SB ‘Bahati,’ had taken the lead in forming a parallel family. Some of the members in this family were former Nkuringo family members, along with other non-habituated gorillas. This transition from tracking to habituation began as a follow-up exercise but later developed into close monitoring of the parallel family’s behavior. The group was subsequently habituated and named ‘Bushaho’ after the topography of the area where they predominantly forage. Bahati continues to lead the Bushaho family, which is found in the Nkuringo tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Bushaho family comprises eight individuals: one silverback, one blackbuck, three adult females, one sub-adult, one juvenile, and one infant.
Nkuringo is not just about gorillas; it’s a place where you can fully immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and culture. The sunrises and sunsets in Nkuringo are experiences that extend beyond photographs; you must witness them in person. Engage in nature walks like the Top of the World, where you can gaze endlessly into the lush landscapes of the Congo, explore the local village of Nkuringo, and gain insight into the culture and traditions of its people. Nkuringo offers a remarkable tapestry of memories and experiences that will leave an indelible mark on your heart. For further details about habituated gorilla family groups in the Nkuringo sector and how to secure gorilla permits for your trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, reach out to Trek Africa Expeditions. They are your reliable resource for planning your gorilla adventure in this captivating region.