Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is found in the south western part of Uganda, the park is renowned for harbouring half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the world. There are four regions tourists can choose to trek gorillas from while in Bwindi.
The Nkuringo region of Bwindi offered breathtaking views of scenic landscapes though the hike for gorilla trekking is strenous but the reward is good, this area is situated in the southern part of Bwindi forest. The gorilla family in Nkuringo area is one thought tourists staying here can also trek in Rushaga area.
Nkuringo gorilla family
The Nkuringo gorilla family is the largest group in the southern part of Bwindi, the group derives its name from the Nkuringo hills where the gorillas where first sighted by the trackers. The dominating silverback at that time was Nkuringo who died in 2008. This group was habituated because they used to go to village farms and destroy people’s fields by eating their food. The family is one of the gorilla families gifted with twins though one twin died before hardly reaching their second birthday.
While at the Nkuringo area of Bwindi, tourists can also go for the gorilla habituation experience in the Rushaga area / sector where you spend 4 hours with scientists and researchers studying the great apes. The cost of gorilla habituation is USD 1500 unlike trekking in Rwanda that costs the same price. One of the advantages is instead of 8 people, only 4 tourists are allowed to trek the family.
The Batwa people also known as the Forest people lived in the ancient Bwindi forests for about 500,000 years. Visiting the people will expose you to their ways of lives and you will learn many things like making fire out of a stone and stick, how they use herbs for healing several ailments and above all get immersed in African untamed culture through local traditional dances.
Tourists can take nature guided walks to the stunning lake Matanda and explore through the forest canopy having views of Congo and be able to see lots of primates, bird species, butterfly species and different types of trees. Getting to the Nkuringo side of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park will take about 9-10 hours drive from Kampala, alternatively tourists can fly in to Kigali in Rwanda which take about 6-7 hours only.
While in Nkuringo area of Bwindi tourists can sleep in clouds mountain gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla camp.
When trekking gorillas from the Nkuringo gorilla family, tourists need to book their permits in advance because the permits are scarce as only 16 permits are sold in a day. The cost of one gorilla permit is USD 600. Tourists trekking gorillas in the Nkuringo area of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park need to be physically fit and carry rain coats, cotton clothing, hiking boots, insect repellents, energy snacks and garden gloves.