The Cultural Encounters in Mount Mgahinga : Mgahinga national park lies high up in the clouds between 2,227 meters – 4127 meters. continue reading this article to know more more about the cultural encounters in mount mgahinga. This park is famous for being a home to the rare mountain gorillas as well as the endangered golden monkey. These live comfortably in that dense Bamboo forest. Besides the primates, there are various wildlife species one can see on your Uganda safari. Mgahinga forest has a big cultural significance especially to the indigenous people who are the Batwa pygmies, the three conical dormant volcanoes and these are part of the Virunga Range. These Virunga Mountains are shared by the three countries, which are Uganda, the Democratic Repulic of Congo and Rwanda. With all this in place, there are various activities other than primates watching that you can always go for during your visit to Mgahinga for instance,

The Cultural Encounters in Mount Mgahinga

Explore the Batwa trail

The Batwa people are the indigenous people of this dense forest, they are basically hunters, fruit gatherers and they are also known to be really fierce warriors and they highly depend on this forest for their shelter, for their food and also medicine because they use a lot of herbs.

You will visit their communities, have time to interact with them and get to learn about their cultures. The formation of this park led to the eviction the Batwa from the forest area and settled outside the forest and today they are working as tour guides on their tribe Trail and this way earn some money to help them care for their families. These guides will help you understand the magic behind the Batwa’s original home as you take your nature walks and will explain more about their the cultural heritage.

The Batwa are guide along this trail because they are the best people to explain their culture, demonstrate their amazing hunting techniques, gather honey techniques, they will show and explain the different medicinal plants and how they get cups out of bamboo stems as well as how they build their traditional grass thatched huts. The women do most of the entertaining, they sing and dance for the visitors, they engage in income generating activities like craft making to sell to the visitors and this was since the government forced them out of the forest. The guide can take you that sacred Garama Cave which was once a safe haven for Batwa people during their hard times protecting them from their enemies and while there, the women perform songs, some of them are sorrowful songs though. At the end of that tour though, you will be amazed by how rich the Batwa culture is although it is slowly fading away.

The Cultural Encounters in Mount Mgahinga
Batwa People

What you need to carry for the Batwa cultural experience

Batwa cultural experience is a full day activity however, sometimes it depend on some facts that may occur. Therefore, one is required to be well prepared with some of the following;

Carry some packed snacks or food and bottled drinking water as you think you will need that day.

You will need good hiking boots/ shoes because as the guide takes you through their forest, you will have to hike in some areas in the jungle and such boots are best for such walks

You may require the sunscreen and may be a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Because the weather in the region is not that reliable, you will need to carry a waterproof jacket/ raincoat or an umbrella especially when you are you are having a full day cultural tour.

The Batwa cultural experience is one of the amazing tours that you can do in additional to the primates watching. This experience is charged, both the foreign non-residents and the foreign residents pay a sum of US $80, the East African residents pay 50,000 UGX before you start the tour.  This fees charged goes back the Batwa community. It is used to pay the guides and the musicians who will entertain you, which you visit, their communities. Most of this money goes to what is called the Batwa community fund through which they collect money to pay school fees for kids in the village, buy them books and that way, they are helping improve those kids’ livelihoods and ensuring a bright future for them.

Mgahinga national park is part of the popular larger Virunga Conservation Area together with the adjacent parks in Rwanda and Congo. This conservation area is amazing because the volcanoes’ slopes are covered with various ecosystems, interesting bio-diversity and then all peaks are gifted with stunning sceneries thus making this place worth a visit.

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