Did you know that there is a new Gorilla group you can track in Uganda? Get out of what everyone knows and do this; Visit one of the latest Gorilla families habituated and open for tracking in Bwindi impenetrable national park; one of the luckiest, most exciting, strong, social, and vibrant Gorilla families in the wild. It is surprising to know that even in the jungle, there is a gorilla family called “Christmas” a well celebrated day on the Christian calendar.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the south-western part of Uganda, at the foothills of the great Virunga chain Mountains. The gorilla species in this park are the Mountain gorillas found only in the continent of Africa. The majority of mountain gorillas reside in this park, within the known four sectors; Buhoma- first sector to receive gorilla trekkers; Ruhija sector, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector in the south – a region where Christmas gorilla group resides.
In 2004, Nkuringo sector was established with only one gorilla group, the Nkuringo family, but now three groups are present all of them open for trekking. The group number increased under the leadership of a dominant silverback, Nkuringo.
As years went on, a new baby was born on 25th December, his growth and influence led to the birth of a new family, the present Christmas group. The group name was derived from its leader Christmas who was born on the 25th of December. This silverback split from its parent family with other loyalists.
Though numbers keep on changing; what is known is that the group currently has 9 members of which 1 is a silverback, 3 adult’s females, 1 black back, 1 baby, and the rest infants. The Uganda wildlife Authority opened this group for visitors at a time when the demand for Gorilla permits in Uganda was very high. Christmas family members are primarily vegetarians feeding on fruits, roots, bamboo shoots, leaves and stems among others.
They are very active during morning hours; feeding, playing and relaxing. The young ones learn everything from the adults since a Gorilla family bond is created right from childhood.
Who is eligible to track Christmas gorilla family in Nkuringo sector?
Once you are aged 15 years and above, you are permitted to search and find this group, no matter your nationality, color or dialect. The question of if parents can track with their children is answerable by the authority but possible. For those who are disabled, don’t miss seeing gorillas in their natural habitat because you have a special tailor-made package.
The cost of trekking Christmas gorilla Family.
A valid gorilla trekking permit is a must – have in case you want access to this or any other gorilla family. As stated in the July 2020-2022 UWA tariff; foreign non-residents pay 700usd, 600usd for foreign residents and East African citizens, inclusive of Ugandans who pay 250,000ugx. Permits can be acquired at UWA headquarters in Kampala or through a professional local tour operator.
Purchasing a trekking permit means you are contributing to the conservation efforts, paying a park ranger, entrance fees, as well as playing a role in the welfare of those staying outside the park.
Rules to obey when trekking Christmas gorilla family.
First thing, wash your hands as soon as you reach the park, don’t litter the place, no making noise, stand at least 7 meters from the apes, don’t imitate the apes, use flashlights while taking photos, follow all instructions from the park rangers, don’t run or react when the gorilla is drawing nearer to you, don’t create paths and speak at a low voice.
Best time to see Christmas Family in Nkuringo sector.
Morning hours are perfect for gorilla trekking adventure. It is when you will find the gorillas very fresh, strong and active. June to September and December to March are the best months. Nonetheless; don’t hesitate to visit at any time of the year. Every visitor to the park has up to 97% chances of finding Christmas family; so worry not!
From Kampala, Kigali or Entebbe international airport; you can decide to either use a flight or road. A fight lasts for about 45 minutes to one hour; whereas road distance from Kampala via Mbarara to Nkuringo may last for the whole day. From Kigali, Rwanda the driving time is between 4-5 hours.
Where to stay?
When it comes to accommodation, we advise you to book a lodge, homestay, campsite, or hostel near or within the Nkuringo sector to catch up with morning briefing time that starts at a bird’s call.
On the look of things, we are convinced your question about the Christmas gorilla family is answered. Why not reach out to us for a successful gorilla trekking experience, and specifically to Christmas family of Nkuringo sector?