Batwa Community Trail in Bwindi
Batwa Community Trail in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in South West of Uganda. Though it is well known for Bwindi gorilla Trekking , it also offers Batwa community trail in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Communities which is worth your visit. Batwa community trail offers an exceptional feeling of being close the ancient life of the Batwa who were the first inhabitants of the tropical forests about 4000 years ago and believed to have migrated from ituri forests of democratic republic of Congo. The Batwa Community trail in Bwindi impenetrable National Park is connected to Batwa community trail in Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Batwa pygmies are also known as forest keepers and also referred to as dancers of the gods by the Egyptians. For more than four thousand years Batwa lived as hunters and gatherers depending on fruits, leaves and animal meat and peacefully they existed with other animals in the forests. The Batwa were the original inhabitants before Bwindi impenetrable national park was gazetted in 1993. They were displaced to the neighboring areas of Bwindi Forest though they were not used to life outside the forest.
To go for Batwa community trail in Bwindi Forest, you need to book a permit through your tour operator, by using email or by buying permits at the booking office located north of Buhoma entrance to Bwindi impenetrable national park. Batwa trail expedition is charged USD 80 per person a day, USD 70 for a group of 2-3 people, USD 60 for group of 4 and more. For a filming ticket, it goes for USD 400 for a group per day. It takes two hours to organize a short trip and a four hour notice to organize a long walk through the Batwa community. Only a limit of 12 tourists in a group are allowed on a walk and 24 a day, i.e. 12 in the morning and 12 in the evening.
Batwa community trail in Bwindi impenetrable national park starts from Batwa craft shop in Buhoma trading Centre a few meters away from Bwindi impenetrable national park gate. On the trail experience you get entertained by traditional dances and local songs sang in perfect tunes and you learn many activities as they are demonstrated by the Batwa people and tourists’ involvement is highly welcomed for example;
- women preparing local food
- weaving making,
- learning how to pick herbs which are used to cure several diseases
- fire making
- burial rituals
- collecting honey
- Making of cups and collecting water using bamboo stems.
The Batwa community experience is led by an experienced Batwa leader who was there before the eviction. The experience is a mimic of what used to be the pygmy Batwa life in the forest and when you get a chance to interact with the Batwa you will see their overflowing love for the forest and pain of eviction through their eyes. You will also get to know the mysterious stories of the Batwa as you continue to interact with them and get to witness their ancient homestead.
The Batwa community trail experience is a spectacular way of learning and enjoy the lifestyle and the culture of the most ancient endangered group of people in Africa with only 3000 people alive.