The Batwa Trail

Location: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

The dense forests at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes were home to the Batwa people: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to ancient knowledge passed down for generations.

When Mgahinga Gorilla National Park was established, the Batwa were suddenly evicted from the forest and forced to abandon their low-impact, nomadic lifestyle. Now landless, they work when they can for local farmers, and the only time they are permitted to re-enter their cherished forest is as tour guides on The Batwa Trail, where they invite visitors to discover the magic of their old home.

During this moving tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate how to make bamboo cups. Guests are finally invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave, and leaves guests with a striking and moving sense of the richness of this fading culture.

Highlights

  • Switch off your flashlight in the Ngarama Cave, as ghostly singing begins to echo in the pitch darkness
  • Making fire requires team work! Watch your Batwa guides create fire to smoke out bees
  • See a traditional Batwa grass hut – quick to build and to demolish which was essential for this nomadic culture
  • Enjoy the lively dance at the cave´s entrance as the Batwa women sing a traditional song to welcome their guests
  • Walk through the pristine Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, with spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes

Responsible Travel

  • Most Batwa are unable to earn money to provide for their families, as they have no land of their own. Part of the fee goes directly to the guides and performers, while the rest is put into a community fund which will help pay for school fees and books, and purchase land.
  • The tour encourages the practice of traditional skills such as sourcing medicinal plants, making bamboo cups and using bows and arrows – skills which are being lost as the Batwa integrate with the surrounding communities
  • The income provides an alternative to illegal poaching in the Park

Package Includes

  • Guided tour and performances

Contact The Batwa Trail for more information

Email:  uobdubatwa@gmail.com

Web: www.TheBatwaTrail.com

Phone: +256 486 430 140

Duration
Full day tour (Note: this tour involves hiking at an altitude of around 2,500m for at least 4-5 hours.)
OR
Half day tour
What to Bring
  • Packed lunch and plenty of drinking water
  • Good hiking shoes or boots, sun screen and a hat
  • The weather varies greatly at this altitude – we recommend bringing layers, including a waterproof jacket
  • Tips for the guides and performers
Price
$80 US per person (includes UWA park entry fee)
Book with these operators & lodges:
Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org

Classic Africa Safaris

Location: Entebbe

At Classic Africa Safaris, we endeavor to ensure that every safari runs smoothly, take great pride in our work, and do our best to demonstrate that you are in capable hands. We pay attention to detail and are flexible whenever possible to accommodate our customers.

Our enthusiastic and motivated guides are well trained with many years of experience. Each has attended birding and wildlife courses to enhance an already substantial knowledge of local culture and history. All our guides have certificates in first aid and have training in off-road and 4WD driving.

Classic vehicles are the backbone of the company. Each vehicle has been developed and built to a standard we believe is comparable to no other. We operate our own vehicle fabrication workshop where we ensure your vehicle is in prime condition prior to leaving on safari.

Activities Offered

  • Safaris
  • Birding
  • Cultural encounters

Responsible Travel

  • Classic Africa offset their carbon emissions via a tree planting initiative. Local farmers can supplement their income by planting indigenous trees through this project, managed by Eco Trust , a local conservation organization.
  • We are proud to support for Entebbe Primary School for children with learning difficulties. Our clients find a visit to the school a memorable and enlightening experience.
  • We support several community projects and activities throughout Uganda and Rwanda, including KAFRED, Paper Craft Africa , the Batwa Cultural Experience and community cultural walks.
  • We can organize volunteering opportunities in local schools, orphanages and wildlife organizations. We also have a good relationship with Bwindi Community Hospital, where clients can visit or volunteer for variable time periods.
Available Vehicles

4WD Land Cruiser and 4WD Nissan Patrols

Pearls Supported
  • KAFRED
  • The Batwa cultural tril
Contact

Tel: +256 (0)41 4320121 / 4323560
Mobile: +256 (0)772 642527
Email: classic@classicuganda.com, classic@classicafricasafaris.travel
Website: www.classicuganda.com

Contact us for more information about Pearls of Uganda

Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org