The Batwa people where the first people to inhabit the rain Forests in Uganda. Some of these include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. They lived as hunters in the forest. The forests then became a home to the Batwa pygmies as their keepers since 1993 when Bwindi was established as a forest. The pygmies relocated from the forests near the towns and villages. Batwa pygmies depended on forest resources for survival. During their life in forest, they hunt forest animals using spears and gather meat, plants and fruits for food. They use honey for medicine, constructed huts using leaves, trees and climbing plants from forest. The Batwa people live in harmony with forests, chimpanzees, forest elephants, Mountain Gorillas, birds and many more. You can visit them whilst on your gorilla trekking tours. Whether you opt for a luxury gorilla trekking or budget gorilla trekking encounter, this experience is a must do.
Facts about the Batwa
When the Batwa people relocated from the forests, their life changed and started living an endangered life since then. Batwa people had no land outside the forest which made their lives difficult. The Batwa people can be trailed in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park. In Bwindi, the Batwa trail is carried out from the Buhoma and Rushaga sector of the park. Bwindi apparently has a four sectors Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma and Nkuringo. However, the Batwa are located in only two areas. If one needs to trail the Batwa, you will need to inform your Uganda tour operator early so that your Gorilla permit corresponds with where the activity is. A tourist doesn’t need to pay park entrance fees to participate in Batwa Trail or Experience.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda from Kampala. This is approximately a 8 – 9 hours drive from Entebbe international Airport and a one hour flight flying to Buhoma. This experience starts from Batwa crafts shop and office located in Buhoma trading center, few meters away from the park headquarters. From here your guide will give you full information about the Batwa and also demonstrate their way of life. This will give you an opportunity to experience and learn more about their culture. The Batwa experience costs 80 – 100 USD per person and 70 USD per person in a group of two to three people then 60 USD in a group of four or more people. Tourists interested in filming are charged a cost of 400 USD per day per group.
The Batwa trail takes 5 hours to and from for a great experience. This activity has no set time. Its very flexible to join them as they prepare their culture food, visit their community or learn from their traditional herbalist. The hike is moderate and part of its trail is manageable irrespective of your age group. The trails are well maintained but not recommended for people with major health issues.
Endeavor to pack cameras in order to capture the great moments with the Batwa people. Other must-packs include a bottle of water, lunch box with energy giving snacks / food, hiking boots, long sleeved cloths, garden grooves, rain jacket and many more. The minimum number of people for Batwa experience is one and maximum is 12 people. The group of people to participate in the trail consists of 24 people. Discover the great life of the Batwa people in the area with Focus East Africa Safaris.