Delving into the heart of Nkuringo, a region that has captivated adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts since 2004, promises an awe-inspiring journey. Nestled at an elevation of approximately 6,800 feet, this sector graces the southwestern border of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, just north of Kisoro town. Nkuringo’s breathtaking location is accessible through various routes, depending on your starting point. If you’re embarking from Uganda’s vibrant capital, Kampala, you can journey for approximately 10 hours via the Mbarara-Kabale Road, covering a distance of 480 kilometers. Alternatively, you can opt for a different scenic route from Kampala, venturing through Fort Portal to Nkuringo, spanning around 634 kilometers and requiring a drive of roughly 12 hours. For those seeking a shorter journey, many tourists who embark on gorilla habituation and tracking tours in the Pearl of Africa choose to fly to Rwanda, arriving at Kigali International Airport. From there, it’s just a five-hour drive, crossing the border at Cyanika.
Nkuringo’s allure lies in its elevated location, which offers breathtaking vistas of the Virunga Volcanoes, unrivaled by any other trailhead within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who wish to be captivated by the mesmerizing beauty of the natural world.
The Nkuringo Gorilla Family, after which the region is named, traces its legacy back to its founding alpha silverback, Nkuringo. His name translates to “Round Hill,” a fitting name for a place of such picturesque landscapes. In 2004, the family achieved full habituation, allowing humans to form an extraordinary connection with these majestic creatures. Tragically, Nkuringo passed away four years later, but his legacy lives on. He left behind two sons, Rafiki (meaning “friend” in Swahili) and Safari. Safari has been a steadfast leader for the family, guiding them through times of happiness and trials. Under Safari’s leadership, the family celebrated the birth of healthy twins just seven months into his reign, naming them Katungi and Muhoozi. While Katungi, regrettably, did not live to see his second birthday, the family continues to flourish, boasting 19 members, including two silverbacks.
In recent times, a new addition has graced the Nkuringo sector: the Christmas Gorilla Group. This group, situated in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, consists of six members under the leadership of a silverback named Christmas. The group comprises one blackback, three females, and an adorable baby. The introduction of the Christmas gorilla group has not only enriched the biodiversity of the area but also expanded the number of gorilla permits available for trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Previously, there were 16 permits for the Nkuringo sector, but with the introduction of the Christmas gorilla group, there are now 24 gorilla permits offered daily.
Gorilla tracking permits in the Nkuringo sector cost USD 700, granting you a precious one-hour encounter with these mountain gorillas. To embark on this remarkable journey, you can rely on Trek Africa Expeditions to craft a memorable holiday in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. While Nkuringo may be one of the more challenging gorilla tracking sectors in Bwindi, the rewards are immeasurable. The experience of a lifetime awaits those who venture along its trails.
Nkuringo, a sector teeming with remarkable biodiversity, hosts three habituated gorilla families available for tracking. With 24 gorilla permits accessible daily, Nkuringo allows a total of 24 individuals to trek mountain gorillas each day. You can secure your permits through the Uganda Wildlife Authority, but it’s recommended to book in advance, ensuring that your journey unfolds seamlessly. Nkuringo is truly a unique destination, as it’s the only place on Earth where you can find both the highly endangered and globally significant mountain gorillas and chimpanzees coexisting in their natural habitat. Don’t miss the chance to experience this incredible region firsthand. Contact Trek Africa Expeditions to receive detailed information about the Nkuringo gorilla region and embark on your journey to witness mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.