Nkuringo Gorilla Family in Nkuringo Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Nkuringo Gorilla Family is a mountain gorilla group found in Nkuringo sector in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In 2004, this family was unveiled for gorilla tourism. Nkuringo means a round hill in the local Rukiga language. The group of gorillas was first seen and later habituated for human visits on Nkuringo hill. This family is one of the three gorilla groups including Bikingi Gorilla Family and Bushaho Group. Nkuringo is one of the most favoured for trekking.
Interestingly, Nkuringo group has 12 members including 2 silverbacks, 2 adult females, 1 black back, 2 half adults, two infants plus 3 juveniles. Since these are animals in the wild, the figures given here can always change-up or down due to some cause. Deaths, splitting and births are the major causes of variations in gorilla numbers.
In 1997, Nkuringo group was the first family to undergo habituation in the whole southern segment of Bwindi National Park. At first, the group had 17 members and as time went by, the number reduced to 12 individuals. According to record, Nkuringo was the first gorilla family in Bwindi to have the birth of twin gorillas in December 2004. The same group is also known for wandering out of the park for most of the time. Going frequently into community gardens and home, led to the relocation of human settlers in some villages of Nkuringo to make a safer zone for the primates and reduce human interference. The resettlement came after an outbreak of Scabies in Nkuringo group in December of 2000.
Since these primates were liked feeding crops of the villagers, this created problems until it was resolved that a group for visitors be created. And this would later benefit the local communities as well.
In the early of habituating this group, the trackers realised that the unit was under the leadership of an aged silverback, they called Nkuringo died on 27th April, 2008, leaving behind two silverbacks in the family including Safari and Rafiki. His son Safari succeeded him on leadership. And after seven months, the family welcomed twin gorillas from Kwitonda, the female. They were named Muhozi and Katungi but sadly Katungi died later aged 1.5 years due to natural illness.