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Nkuringo Gorilla Family
Family size: 15 members including 2 silverbacks
Location: Nkuringo
The Nkuringo group was named after the Rukiga word for “round hill” and was launched in 2004. Nkuringo is the Rukiga word for round hill. The group was first spotted and targeted for habituation at a hill named Nkuringo. This hill is not peaked and can be distinguished by its rounded crest.

One of the most important reasons for their habituation were the problems they created for the local communities by destroying crops and other products. By opening up the gorilla family for visitors, the community could directly benefit from tourism and it formed a protection for the gorillas as well.

The Nkuringo Family is made up of Nkuringo habituated gorilla group. This family is comprised of 15 individuals and 2 silverback gorillas.

Nkuringo locally denotes “round hill” a word from the Rukiga language referring to the hill where the family was initially sighted.

Nkuringo Gorilla Family

Nkuringo gorilla family was launched in 2004 after the two year habituation process. Like earlier said, one of the reasons for the habituation of Nkuringo was their continued venture into the local communities’ gardens feeding on bananas, sweet potatoes and other crops.

The permits were allocated to the local community so that they would directly benefit from tourism till it was later added to the quota managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The revenue sharing with the local communities has helped to gain the local’s support to gorilla conservation.

Historical Notes

In the first few months of contact with the group, the habituating trackers noted that it was under the leadership of an elderly silverback, who they naturally named Nkuringo. However, even then, Nkuringo’s son, Safari, had began calling the shots and, as heir-apparent, he had apparently taken over most of the leadership responsibilities. The aged Nkuringo died on 27th April, 2008, leaving behind two silverbacks in the group, Safari and Rafiki.

This meant that the threat of a leadership showdown was expected. How did the situation resolve itself? Was there a battle of biblical proportions to determine dominance? The two silverbacks-Safari and Rafiki were left in the control and eventually Safari took over the leadership. In the same year in November; newborn twin babies Katungi and Muhozi arrived and increased the group more.

The unfortunate bit of it is that Katungi passed on at the age of one and half years as a result of sickness.

Rafiki of Nkuringo

During the Corona Virus lockdown of 2020, Rafiki was killed by poachers who entered the park to hunt for other animals. Later the killers of Rafiki were arrested and imprisoned for 11 years.

Tracking the Nkuringo Family

This group is also known to be demanding in terms of energy and stamina. It features among the breathtaking groups in the park. But exploring it offers the most thrilling experiences of life time. It is also a large troop in southern scenic sector and offers unforgettable encounters. This family is recommended for youthful hikers and tourists who opt for this family must have a reasonable degree of fitness.

Would you like to learn more about the Family? Find out by ‘friending’ the silverbacks of the Nkuringo family to see how the situation was resolved.