The Scenic Nkuringo Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Posted by on August 30, 2018

Scenic Nkuringo – Gorilla Trekking and the Habituation Experience

Nkuringo – the most scenic part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – now with Gorilla Families

 Scenic Nkuringo in the south of Bwindi Forest. The quiet – less touristy part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, unlike the Buhoma area of the park.  This is home to some of the best Gorilla Trekking and the one of a kind Gorilla Habituation in the nearby Rushaga area

Stunningly Rugged yet Beautiful Nkuringo is at the edge of the Southern Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you find a variety of Gorilla Families to Trek, where you can take an all-day hike through the ancient forest from Buhoma.  Where you can trek down to scenic Lake Mutanda, through idyllic Villages and Hamlets and then paddle across the Lake in ancient appearing dugout canoe.

Nkuringo is home to cultural interaction with a community walk that takes in the top of the world hike where you get a good look at the Congo, a village walk, a walk in Buniga Forest with first people of the forest that have lived here for thousands of years prior to Bantu Tribes migrating here.  

 If you are a photographer – Scenic Nkuringo is a location that you do not want to miss in all of Uganda- it, simply is an incredible location and the views seem to change all day long, from the early morning mist to the sunset in the evening. Nkuringo is truly magical and mere words cannot describe its beauty and wonders, you have to visit this incredible spot in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and you too will see it as one of the most stunning locations in all of Africa. Nkuriongo is an experience in sight, color, the surrounding sounds that weave together a tapestry of memories of this magical place called Nkuringo in the southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

In 2018 Gorilla Trekking became better with now 3 Habituated Gorilla Families that can be trekked from here.  The added benefit being that you can fly into Rwanda and Trek Gorillas in Nkuringo all the while saving at least 900 USD on the Permit Price alone over neighboring Rwanda.

Nkuringo is the perfect area for those that want a bit more of a physical challenge on their trek.  There are the 600 meters or up at the beginning or end of the trek, but make trekking here a matter of choice and preference.

Scenic Nkuringo – Things to so and See

 The Easiest Way of getting to Nkuringo:

Getting here is almost the same as getting to the ]\ of the park.  You can fly into Kigali, Rwanda and we take you on the 4-hour drive to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  This saves you 5 hours in drive-time over getting here from Entebbe which is a 9-hour drive.

The other way is to fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro/  This is a 1 1/2 hour flight, however, it remains costly for most.  That is one way – meaning you are adding a hefty sum to the cost of the Gorilla Trekking Safari.

The other way is to incorporate other parks such as Lake Mburo, Kibale Forest, GoeQueen Elizabeth Park which cuts down the drive times.  Many of our clients choose to fly into one country and at the end of their Safari fly out of the other country.

You can also fly from Arusha, Tanzania or Nairobi, Kenya to either Kigali or Entebbe.  The incentive to get here gets even better when you look at the cost of a Gorilla Permit of 600 USD.

 Gorilla Trekking in both Nkuringo and nearby Rushaga:

When it comes to Gorilla Trekking,, the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has become the best location inside of the forest to Trek Gorillas.  The area is not as developed as the Buhoma area but it certainly has many habituated groups to choose from. In our Opinion, the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is ripe for a quality upmarket, luxury lodge such as Bwindi Lodge or Mount Gahinga Lodge.

Nkuringo is coming into its Prime with 3 Gorilla Families and 24 permits.  16 permits were added to Nkuringo in less than one year.

Rushaga with is 5 Gorilla Families is a 45-minute drive from Nkuringo which translates to a total of 64 permits in Southern Bwindi, the new hotspot in Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.

 The Gorilla Habituation Experience:

The one-of-a-kind Gorilla Habituation Experience where you spend 4-Hours with a Gorilla Family on an All-Day Trek is just a 45-minute drive from either Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge or from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.

The Permit cost is 1,500 USD, however, you get more for that than you would in Rwanda. There are only 4 participants allowed instead of 8 – You are in the presence of the Gorillas for 4-hours instead of only one.

There were two groups open for the habituation experience but there is now only one for the time being.

The difference between trekking is that with trekking you are an observer, with the habituation you are an active participant.

It remains one of the most requested activities that we offer..

 Golden Monkey Trekking or the Golden Monkey Habituation Experience:

From Nkuringo you can take the 1-hour plus drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park Mgahinga Gorilla Park has the distinction of having more  Golden Monkeys than the other two countries that share the Virunga Volcanoes.

It is only in Uganda that you can do the longer Habituation Experience with the Golden Monkeys.  The normal Trek is being one hour with a Golden Monkey Group in the Bamboo Forests of the Volcanoes.

Golden Monkey trekking is especially easy to add if you are coming from or flying out of Kigali since it is on the way.

The Golden Monkeys of the Virunga Volcanoes are an endangered species and not to confused with the Chinese Golden Monkeys.

 Buniga Forest Walk with the Batwa Pygmies:

Near to Nkuringo is the Buniga Forest Walk where you see the forest through the eyes of its first People, the Batwas. They lived in the forest in harmony with nature for thousands of years until they were evicted in 1991 when the parks were formed.

The Forest Walk is a win-win for both tourists who learn of their ancient ways and culture and for the Batwa People who keep their culture alive, make an income for the tribe and allow them back into their beloved forest.

The longer Batwa Trail with the First People of the Forest can be done in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.  There it is a 5-hour walk and more extensive than what it is in Buniga Forest.

Either the Buniga Forest Walk or the longer interactive Battwa Trail are rewarding cultural experience in Southwest Uganda.

 Hitting the Trails near Nkuringo:

Hiking Trails abound in the Nkuringo area both inside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and outside of the park.

You can hike through the Park on a day-Trip, take the hike down to Lake Mutanda and paddle across it in a Dugout Canoe or take half-day or full-day hikes inside of the park.

You are in the Gorilla Highlands, a hikers paradise where you can spend days on the hiking trails.

The most popular is the two-day Hike through the Bwindi trail that begins in Buhoma and ends in Nkuringo and the following day you continue on to Lake Mutanda and Kisoro.

Hitting the trails in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an activity that has gained popularity in recent years with hiking through Bwindi from one end to the other is done by many.

 Lodging in the Southern Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

There is a wide variety of lodging choices for you in Nkuringo, nearby Rushaga, and along Lake Mutanda.

The exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and moderate-Upmarket Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge are right in Nkuringo but within one hour of Nkuringo are some other great choices.

The Lodge of Choice for Luxury Trekkers is Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, a lodge that must be booked well in advance especially if you are planning to come to Uganda during the High Seasons of the year.

Midrange lodges abound in the area, the area does need some upmarket, luxury Lodges along the line of Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma or Mount Gahinga Lodge in Mgahinga Gorilla Park. In the meantime, we know the lodges in the area and will assist you with the right choice for you during your Gorilla Trek.

 Scenic Nkuringo once thought of when you could not find a permit elsewhere has overnight in 2018 become one of Uganda’s Premier Trekking Destinations. 

The Gorillas are there waiting for you to visit them, the infrastructure is playing a bit of catchup here unless you are financially well off and can afford to stay at one of Uganda’s Finest Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. 

We make it our business to know all about Gorillas and Nkuringo is one of those vital Gorilla Links that we know about.

Scenic Nkuringo – if you would like to include the Nkuringo Area in your safari with us – please contact us