Batwa Tribe /Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Batwa Tribe /Bwindi Impenetrable National Park : Batwa tribe were the first people to inhibit the tropical rainforest who used to stay with mountain gorillas in harmony, it has been once their home for centuries. They used to eat the same food with mountain gorillas considering gorillas as part of their forest family. Visiting the Batwa tribe of Bwindi Impenetrable national park can be an eye opener to you as a culture that will give a great view of the original people of South-western Uganda ‘’the Batwa’’.
The Batwa tribe are historically hunter gatherer who lived in the montane rainforest for the past 500,000 years. During those ancient years there was no farming, no charcoal making and their shelter did not destroy the environment and continued to live in peace with their beloved forests. Before there was a saying ‘’Amutwa’’ from Batwa which means loving the forest as much as they love their own body.
Currently, the Batwa tribe are called Gorilla Killers and poachers reason being blamed for any poaching that take place in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla trekking. Honestly, the Batwa people were the first forest keeper till the Bantu people migrated the area. Since then, the Bantu tribes were in charge of deforestation and become cattle keeper who used to graze their herds of cattle on the boundary of the forest which was once their reserving rainforest.
Later in 1992 the life for Batwa turned into a miserable when the montane rainforest turned into a national park and a UNESCO in order to protect the endangered mountain gorillas. The Batwa became conservation refugees in the world which was unusual life to them and it was their start of suffering.
Unfortunately, the Batwa tribe are no longer accepted to live in the forest that made up the park. For that case, in 2011 Uganda Wildlife Authority had to pull out a hand of help through getting funds from the United States Agency for International Development and Netherland’s Embassy in Kampala to help this famous Batwa tribes in Buhoma of Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
This Batwa tribe have survived for years due to the International Gorilla Conservation Programme which handsomely pulled out a hand of help to work with the Batwa tribe. The organisation started the Buniga Batwa forest walk and Village visit program to assist them in terms of earning money for their social being through educating their children. This supportive program is located in the south end of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, however the wildlife and primate species found in Buniga forest were similar to those of Bwindi. Moreover, the Batwa people have got another amazing experience which was set up by the Kellerman foundation which is found outside the park where you can go and encounter more about the Batwa tribe.
Visiting this Batwa people you won’t go missing as you will be able to learn how they used to hunt the small animals, preparing local food and tool, encountering their traditional houses built in huts made of grass, visiting the caves thus impacting on tourism due to their creativity and hospitality to visitors. Their social life is full of unforgettable experience.
Visit the Batwa tribe to experience more about their life style
Batwa Culture Experience
The Batwa culture is a memorable encounter you meeting up with the first people who used to stay with mountain gorillas in the forest .You will visit their traditional homestead and be able to learn how the Batwa women prepare the local food and serving their meals .You will have chances of tasting their traditional dishes .Listen to their interesting storytelling and their ancient folk stories as well as their traditional songs .You will also be able to learn on how they lived and hunted in the traditional manners and also enjoy their remarkable hunting techniques which teaches you on how to crack with a bow and arrow. Truly this is an emotional experience.
Buniga Batwa Forest Walk
The Buniga forest walk is positioned near Kisoro and can be easily reached from the southern region of Bwindi Impenetrable national park in Nkuringo gorilla sectors. The forest walks here very informative about the Batwa tribe and visiting the craft shop where you can but souvenir things. Batwa people are fully aware of the tips given by the visitors on gorilla trekking activity while they are prohibited from the forest.
This forest walk activity is led by the Batwa guide which has supposed a lot in gaining money for home consumption and through developing their community.
Besides visiting the Batwa tribe you can engage in gorilla trekking which estimates in same location of these precious tribe. Gorilla trekking can be conducted in Bwindi forest impenetrable and Mgahinga gorilla national park both found in southern region of Uganda. What you need to do is to caught up with the trust worthy tour operator who can plan for you an itinerary combined with visiting the Batwa tribe and gorilla trekking activity.
Tourists on their visit to Buhoma /Bwindi Impenetrable national park can sleep in beautiful comfortable accommodation facilities with great views of primates, rolling hills and valleys such lodges are Haven lodge Buhoma community, Gorilla Valley lodge, Gorilla Safari lodge, Bwindi Forest lodge, Buhoma lodge. The accommodation rates differ on the traveller’s wallet.
How to access to Buhoma/Bwindi Impenetrable national park
From Kampala via Kabale –Mbarara road which can take 9 to 10 hours to access the main destination. Another optional, fighting from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip by a domestic flight ‘’Aero link’’ to Kihihi Airstrip taking 1:30hours.