3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area-Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Posted by on August 29, 2018

In 2018 there are now 3 Gorilla Families you can Trek in the Nkuringo Area

24 Daily Gorilla Permits with 3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area


3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area translating into 24 Gorilla Permits in an area where only 8 permits were available.  This is one of the most welcomed changes to South Bwindi that increasingly becoming the area of choice for Trekkers, especially those coming in from neighboring Rwanda.

Nkuringo is only a reasonable 4 hour drive from Kigali, but 9 hours from Entebbe Airport in Uganda. You can also fly into the area from Entebbe and land in Kisoro from where it is only a 45 minute drive to Nkuringo.

In 2018 you now track the Nkuringo, Bushaho, and the Christmas Gorilla Groups in the Park making Nkuringo one of the key areas in Bwindi Impenetrable for Gorilla Trekking.  Ad to that the easy access from Kigali, the lodging available and you have another prime Gorilla Destination in the Pearl This brings the total  number of Gorilla Groups you can track in Uganda, just 4 hours from Kigali to 9 which in turn translates into 72 Permits (over half of daily Gorilla Trekking Permits available in Uganda) just in Southern Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

This will alleviate some of the shortages of permits that occurred during the Summer of 2018 as the Great Grilla Trekker Migration continued to Uganda due to reasonably priced permits and lodging.  The price of permits  in Uganda remains at 600 USD, 900 USD less than in neighboring Rwanda.


The 3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 2018:


Nkuringo Gorilla Group – The first and oldest Group in the Nkurngo Area:

 Tracking the Nkuringo Gorilla Group takes a bit more energy and stamina. The starting and ending portion of the trek has been made easier in recent times not just for the Nkuringo Group, but for all Gorilla Groups here.

In the past you had to be in really good shape trekking the Nkuringo Group.  The improved Trail down up 600 meters have made if doable for more trekkers.

Even a 94-year-old woman in 2013 completed this trek and fulfilled her lifelong dream of seeing the gorillas in the wild.  She was however carried on a stretcher by porters into the forest.

The Nkuringo Group led by the Silverback Rafiki is made up of 12 individuals; 2 silverbacks, 1 blackback, 2 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 3 juveniles and two infants,

Nkuringo Group may be the tougher to track due to the tough terrain, however, those that take it – love it.


The Bushaho Gorilla Group – 8 Members:

 The Bushaho Gorilla family was just released for General Trekking after being habituated for several years and being part of the successful Gorilla Habituation Experience Program.

The Silverback Bahati is the leader of the group.  He once was a member of the Nkuringo Gorilla Family which is found nearby and is habituated.

Not only he but other members of the Bushaho Gorilla Family were once part of the Nkuringo Group, a group that is well known as one of the toughest groups to track in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The rest of the group was made up of members who came from non-habituated gorilla groups in the area.  This is quite normal – after all, they are closely related to us and we certainly are always dropping old friends, even close Theone and establishing new ties.

Researchers began to follow the Bushaho Family which they considered a parallel group to the Nkuringo Family the new family was named Bushaho which is a local area where  they began to be habituated.

Today Bushaho family is still led by the Silverback Bahati and they are found in the Nkuringo – Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park. The Bushaho family is composed of 8 individuals; 1 silverback, 1 blackback, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile, and 2 toddlers.


The Christmas Gorilla Group – 9 Members

The Christmas Gorilla Group names so after the lead-Silverback Christmas, who was named Christmas because he was born on Christmas is the latest Nkuringo Gorilla Family to be open for visitation to trekkers.

The Christmas Gorilla family is made up of 9 members to the group.  The dominant Silverback and leader of the Family is Christmas.  The present number of family members is expected to rise as the group becomes more established in the area.  This new family like others in the greater Mountain Gorilla World is a breakaway group.

Breakaway groups are normal and the size of a group of a gorilla family often varies as new members join, or are recruited in one manner or another.


 The 3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area – Permits are gotten for the Nkuringo Area, the Gorilla Family that you will track on your day is assigned to you on the day during the Trekking orientation just as in Rushaga, Ruhija and Buhoma.  

When visiting th 3 Gorilla Groups to Trek in the Nkuringo Area the best lodge to stay in bar-none is Clouds Mountain Gorilla Safari Lodge.  You save 900 USD by trekking in Uganda, invest in lodging, staying at one of Uganda’s Premier Gorilla Lodges – Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.