Rubuguri Village Walk

Location: Bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Reached by rustic roads clinging to steep hillsides, this small community makes up for its isolation with the warm welcome of its inhabitants. The Village Walk takes you past a swamp to a small homestead, where you will have the chance to meet the residents and learn about life in Rubuguri, as well as participate in a crafts demonstration.

You will then visit the lively St Peter´s Primary school to meet the pupils and teachers, and to watch this region´s most famous cultural attraction – the dynamic Kiga dance. The best dancers are said to be those who make the earth shake – and as the barefooted students leap several feet into the air to the rhythm of joyful songs you will be able to decide for yourself if they achieve their goal!

Highlights
  • Get involved in daily life, with a visit to a traditional homestead
  • Be amazed at the energy of the local students as they leap into the air to perform the regional dance
Responsible Travel
  • This tour is operated by the Nkuringo Cultural Centre  (NCC) in Rubuguri, which creates work opportunities for local residents. It promotes tourism and related activities as an alternative income to the timber, meat and honey that residents used to obtain from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • The profits are split evenly between the site owners, the community guides and the NCC for community projects.
  • Handicrafts are sold at the nearby Wagtail Eco-Safari Camp – all proceeds are returned to the artisans.
  • NCC has begun an IT project – it will have four computers, and IT classes will be run for up to 12 students at a time with just a small fee to cover basic costs.
  • A stage is also being built at the Centre to allow for cultural performances to take place here, by local residents as well as the nearby Batwa community.
  • NCC has purchased costumes for the dance groups who perform at the Centre.
Package Includes
  • Guided walk and all demonstrations
Contact us for more information

Email:  info@pearlsofuganda.org
Phone: +256-414501866 / +256-772657700

Website: nkuringoculturalcentre.org

Duration
Two and a half hours
What to Bring
  • Walking shoes or boots
  • A waterproof jacket and warm layers – the weather is particularly unpredictable in this region
  • Sun screen
  • Bottled water
  • Camera
Price
$15 per person
Book with these operators & lodges:
Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org

Nkuringo Community Experience

Location: Nkuringo, bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Congo border

Set in a lush hillside bordering Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with dramatic views towards Congo, Nkuringo is a wonderful place to visit for those who want both a cultural experience and beautiful scenery.

Step back in time with a visit to Nicholas the blacksmith, who beats knives and machetes into shape in coals fired by his father´s sheepskin bellows. Sesilia will welcome you into her home – a series of traditional huts used for grinding millet, cooking over an open fire and distilling waragi gin. Pena is the village´s traditional healer – and she will show you how she uses native plants to make tea, ointments and powder to cure all manner of ills.

Visitors with extra time can request a visit to the school, hike up to the top of a hill overlooking the Congo border or see the piggery project in action – just let us know!

Highlights

  • The blacksmith´s art has changed little in centuries – watch how a shapeless lump of iron is magically transformed into a sharp knife!
  • Greet local residents as you stroll through the village streets enjoying the spectacular scenery
  • Learn the secrets of the Impenetrable Forest as the traditional healer shows how leaves and bark are used to treat headaches, pneumonia, polio and “bewitched legs”!

Responsible Travel

  • The tour and craft shop are operated by the Nkuringo Conservation and Development Foundation (NCDF).  The community conserves the gorillas in this area, and in return are able to benefit from gorilla tourism through the development of community tourism activities in Nkuringo.
  • All guides and NCDF staff are local, and all profits from the sale of crafts are returned to the artisans
  • The local Batwa community are also supported and promoted through NCDF
  • 30% of the tour fee goes to NCDF, 30% to the community guides and 40% to the site owners
  • NCDF trains a group of local orphans who perform at the community-owned Clouds Lodge – guests can arrange to sponsor an orphan (selected by a local committee)

Package Includes

  • Guided walk and all demonstrations

Contact us for more information

Email:  info@pearlsofuganda.org
Phone: +256-414501866 / +256-772657700

Duration
Two to three hours, depending on preferences
What to Bring
  • Good walking shoes (it can get muddy)
  • Waterproof jacket and warm layers as the climate is extremely changeable
  • Sun screen and hat
  • Money for tips (please give to your guide after the tour) and craft purchases from the NCDF shop
Price
$10 US per person
Book with these operators & lodges:
Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org

Buniga Forest Walk 
Location: Buniga Forest

Discover the gorgeous hidden treasures of the Buniga Forest and its diverse flora and fauna populations escorted by locals who are expert regional guides. Buniga Forest Reserve is one of the 3 remaining pocket forests adjacent to Bwindi National Park in Kisoro District. Due to the increased encroachment on the forest and associated loss of biodiversity and other forest values and products, the trail was created by the NCDF to protect the forest and manage it for ecotourism activities that benefit surrounding communities.

Highlights

  • Discover the rich flora and fauna populations of the forest.
  • Take part in a forest adventure.  
  • Learn about local conservation activities and community development initiatives.  

Responsible Travel

  • All profits from tours benefit surrounding communities
  • The project was developed to protect the Buniga Forest and its ecosystem.
  • The tour is an embodiment of the principles of sustainable tourism, as it benefits both conservation and community development while providing an unrivaled adventure to tourists.  

Package Includes

  • Guided tour 
Contact 
Email:  gervaset2006@yahoo.com
Website: www.ncdfuganda.org
Phone: 0773337985

 

Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org

Buhoma Community Cultural Walk

Location: At the main entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Overlooking the imposing hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable forest, with the mist swirling over the summits, this is one of the most dramatic settings for your cultural tour!

Your first stop is a handicraft shop run by the community women´s group. These skilled artisans create beautiful grass mats, wood carvings, dyed fabrics, handmade paper and natural beeswax candles. Next, you will meet the Batwa – former forest dwellers who perform songs and dances about the forest they are no longer permitted to live in. One of the most important community figures is the traditional healer – who not only treats the sick, but uses his knowledge to conserve and educate about the various medicinal plants. The primary school visit gives an insight into life as a rural child in Buhoma, as you meet the friendly teachers and pupils.

You are sure to see many, many bananas on your travels through Uganda – and this tour concludes with an explanation of the different types – along with a demonstration of how they are used. Watch, taste and enjoy!

Highlights

  • Purchase beautiful crafts made by local women – and know that your money will help them take care of their families and send their children to school
  • Hear the moving story of the Batwa people- they are working with local NGOs to purchase land in order to cultivate crops and finally become self-sufficient again.
  • Meet the local healer. He can treat anything from stomach aches to impotence – a form of traditional Viagra!
  • Learn the process of transforming bananas first refreshing banana juice, then to a popular beer (rwarwa) and finally to local gin (waragi). Will you dare to try it?!

Responsible Travel

  • All 12 guides used are local, and the banana brewing and the sale of handicrafts benefit local producers
  • The Batwa receive all the proceeds from their performances
  • 20% of the fee goes to Buhoma Community Rest Camp Council which supports community development projects
  • Since the Community Rest Camp opened, a community secondary school has been opened with funds from tourism. They also support a local primary school, are starting others, and fund local nurseries.
  • A maize mill has abeen funded by the Rest Camp
  • A microfinance “circle” has also been started in the community.

Package Includes

  • Guided tour
Contact us for more information

Email:  info@pearlsofuganda.org
Phone: +256-414501866 / +256-772657700

Duration
Three hours
What to Bring
  • Good walking shoes or boots – it can get muddy!
  • Waterproof jacket or poncho, and warm layers – the weather is extremely changeable in the mountains
  • Sun screen
  • Sun hat
  • Waterproof bag for cameras and other equipment
Price
$15 US per person
Book with these operators & lodges:
Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org