Mgahinga Gorilla National Park besides its prominence in being the greatest habitant for the endangered golden monkeys and the endangered gorillas in the whole of Africa. It was also established in the land for Batwa who are said to have occupied the Kigezi region for about 1000 years ago. Our journey to Uganda with my colleagues enabled us to have a nice experience about these historical people. We organized a four day Batwa experience tour to Uganda with a Uganda tour company known as Eco Tours Uganda.
We were charged $80 per person for this activity because we were foreigners and other personal expenses such as accommodation, transportation and food we paid them separately. It was Thursday when we landed into Uganda in the evening; we were picked from the airport by Moses up to hotel triangle in Kampala where we slept while waiting for the next day’s journey to the west. We used Kampala – Mbarara highway to Kisoro which took us almost 8hours on the way.
On reaching the park, we could not perform the activity on that very day because we reached a bit late and yet the activity is best done in the morning hours. We slept at Amajambere Iwacu Camp at Ntebeko area and in the morning of our third day in Uganda, we started our guided nature walk along the Batwa trail experience within the forest where we witnessed a huge cultural significance experience of these indigenous Batwa pygmies.
While interacting with the Batwa, we got know their historical background, their best local food and how they prepare it, how they spend their lives while in the bush, their marriage experience, their local crafts including sandals, dresses, shirts and the huts. Most of the Batwa history remains unrivalled because of their nomadic way of life. They stay in leave thatched houses which do not take them time to construct and when food becomes scarce, they move to another areas in its search.
So interesting is was their traditional dance performances and the way how male Batwa lead the hunting activities within the forest, what we noted is that these indigenous people become so hospitable when they are not attacked. They are now civilized since they no longer encroach into the national park to carry out deforestation and also to poach the wild game
There shortness doesn’t matter in most cases as they live their own life, from the guidance we got, we were told that a tall one can reach 1.5m high and indeed this was so amazing on this experience. We entertained all these on that very day while in the trail with the Batwa pygmies. In the evening, we were taken back to Kampala to arrange for our departure back to Newzland. Due to the close relationship these people showed to us and the vigorous s performances they gave to us, we concluded by challenging most of the people who regards the pygmies as being rude, they should also visit Uganda to enjoy this experience as we also enjoyed with the nice tour guide.