Community walks in Mgahinga national park
Community walks in Mgahinga national park: To explore the African culture so well, visit the local communities on foot and this will offer you an insight into their livelihood and their day to day lives. Mgahinga national park is located in the south western part of Uganda and its one of the protected areas that has the best African culture. Mgahinga national park is surrounded by the Batwa pygmies, Bakiga and Bafimbura.a
The most loved tribe around Mgahinga national park is Batwa and it’s the most visited. The Batwa are loved because they were initial habitats in Mgahinga national park. The Batwa had lived in Mgahinga national park for so many years until 1991 when they were asked to move out. The Batwa were evicted from the forest of Mgahinga in 191 when the government was gazetting the park.
The Batwa people were evicted from Mgahinga national park to create enough space for wild animals and give animals the freedom to move around the park without being killed for meat. The Batwa used to eat different foods while inside Mgahinga national park and among them included meat from different animals. Evicting them out of the jungle was to save animals and increase their population.
The Batwa immediately left the national park in 1991 and they didn’t go very far from their original homes. They decided to settle on the outskirts of the national park where tourists who love to explore the African culture now find them. It was not easy for the Batwa to get used to life outside the forest but when they mixed with the Bakiga and Bafumbira they learnt slowly the way of living of other locals.
Tourists who want community walks while in Mgahinga national park will definitely get a chance to visit different homesteads of the Batwa pygmies. The community walk will give you an opportunity to meet some of the elders who still remember how life was in the forest. They still have skills in hunting even though they are no longer allowed to hunt in Mgahinga.
The elder Batwa pygmies can still start a fire out of wood and rocks and they are best at knowing different plants that are used as local medicine. A local guide normally takes you to a home of elderly Batwa or traditional healers where you meet people that tell you different stories of long ago, show you plants still used as local medicine, and sometimes skulls from dead animals that cure diseases.
The community walk in Mgahinga national park will take you to different homesteads like we said. You will can visit the home of a winemaker who uses ripe bananas to make banana juice and local wines. Here you will seat and watch them peel the ripe banana and thereafter squeeze the juice out of them. They will show you how the wine made is kept and turned into local wine.
The community walk in Mgahinga gorilla park can still take you to the homes of craft makers. The Batwa learnt how to make different crafts in order to earn a living and when the tourists visit their areas some of them do buy some of their crafts which in the end gives them money, they use to improve their lives.
Some Batwa are traditional dancers and when you visit their homes you will be welcomed by young women who play drums and dance. Tourists who know how to dance can always join the group and copy their way of dancing. During the dances, the locals are always sat at the corner and when the show is done the elderly start to tell stories of long ago.
From listening to stories of long ago, tourists will learn how the Batwa lived in the jungle wearing backcloths and not having permanent houses. The old Batwa will tell stories of how they used to hunt small animals using bows and arrows, gather fruits, eat small insects, and also collect honey. They will tell you different plants they used to take when they felt sick.
Tourists who would love to donate or help the needy can take community walks to different schools and hospitals. By visiting schools, tourists can always donate scholastic materials or money which can be used to develop the school. Community walks to hospitals can help tourists to see different patients, or how the hospital is working, and in the end, those that want to donate can still do so.
Community visits in Mgahinga national park are the best way to see the Batwa people, learn about their past and see how they are living their day to day live outside the jungle. Tourists who want to have community tours while on their safari in Mgahinga national park can always communicate with their tour operators so that they get local guides who will take you around the communities while you are on a safari in Mgahinga national park.
How much are community walks in Mgahinga gorilla park?
Community walk in Mgahinga national park is what we call the Batwa trail experience. For a traveler to be part of this experience they must pay a certain amount of money that is used to develop different community projects. The price of a community walk in Mgahinga gorilla park is $80 for foreign non-residents, $70 for foreign residents, and UGX50,000 for citizens of East African member citizens.