The beguiling Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is not only beautiful; it is also home to an astounding range of flora and fauna. Mountain gorillas are the main draw; it is home to around half of the world’s remaining population. But visitors are starting to find another route into magic of the forest, following the trail of the Batwa.
Believed to be the original rainforest dwellers, the Batwa no longer have access to the forest, evicted when it was gazetted in the early 1990s. But they are starting to see how their traditions can help them create a new life outside their natural habitat, by showing tourists how they used to live.
And any eco-tourist would be fascinated by what they could learn. After breakfasting on forest fruits, Batwa guides demonstrate how essential their religious rituals were in the success of a hunt, relying on age-old methods of snares and traps made from forest vines. They show their visitors how they used to live, sheltering up in the trees or in the sanctuary of the forest caves, sustained by wild honey. And they share their love of music, dance and storytelling, vividly and energetically bringing their culture to life.
We’d say it would be a life-changing day out.
Collis, S. (2010, July). “Trail of hope for Uganda’s lost Pygmy tribe”. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/jul/17/uganda-mgahinga-batwa-trail-pygmies.
Ochol, M. (2013, April). “The Batwa Trail”. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4EtWrJiyto.
Watt, Sue (2011, September). “Uganda: mountain gorillas and Batwa pygmies in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/africaandindianocean/uganda/8796056/Uganda-mountain-gorillas-and-Batwa-pygmies-in-Bwindi-Impenetrable-National-Park.html