Community-Based Tourism in Uganda
Community-based tourism in Uganda involves visiting different local communities within different visited destinations and having an encounter and interactions with the local people. Travelers experience a unique and authentic way of life of the local people as they showcase several experiences. It involves cross-cultural learning and connecting with the people in the local communities.
Community-based tourism is a form of responsible tourism to an extent that it helps in the preservation of the cultures in the visited communities and this is through learning and participating in different traditional/cultural activities and this creates a sense of pride in the cultural heritage of the community and encourages the local people to sustain their traditions and practices. This generates unity among the community members.
Uganda boosts a rich cultural heritage and this can be experienced in different destinations within the country. The following destinations offer remarkable community activities that can be integrated into your Uganda safari.
The Batwa community experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Batwa are known as the original keepers of the forest. The experience starts with a hike in the forest as the original inhabitants show you how they lived in grass thatched houses. Visiting the Batwa community provides you with an opportunity to participate in activities such as hunting using rudimentary tools, traditional dances, and songs, honey harvesting, and also listen to folk tales about their ancient history.
You may also visit a Batwa traditional homestead and learn how to prepare a local meal, and also encounter the local medicine man. The Batwa can also be met in Mgahinga gorilla national park and Semuliki National Park.
Ankole community in Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is located in Western Uganda and is surrounded by the Ankole community and a visit to one of the communities within or outside the park exposes you to their unique cultural heritage. Popularly known for livestock farming and therefore you may have a chance to visit a farm and participate in milking the cows also grazing. While on the community premises, you will listen to folk tales, and learn about the different cultural traditions and norms but also enjoy the traditional dance “Ekitaguriro”. Besides visiting a local community, you can also visit the Igongo cultural center for an amazing tour of the museum that showcases a typical homestead, history, and culture of the people of western Uganda. Delight in the traditional local dance performance too.
Bigodi community visit in Kibale Forest National Park
Visiting the Bigodi community can be done after the chimpanzee tracking activity in Kibale Forest National Park. The walk takes you through a swamp with a wide diversity of species such as birds and monkeys. You also encounter local people during the village walk. Get an opportunity for a cultural experience, take part, and witness activities like local liquor making, basket weaving, cultural dances, and paying a visit to the cultural doctor.
The Karamojong community tour in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is situated in the North Eastern part of the country and the most popular community is the Karamojong with the most preserved, richest, and most authentic culture in Uganda. The Karamojong are majorly pastoralists and are frequently recognized for the way they dress which is comparable to the Maasai of Tanzania and Kenya.
A community visit to the Karamojong takes you to a typical homestead with grass thatched houses. You are welcomed by a cheerful traditional dance (Mori dance). Engage in other activities so that get an insight on their culture, for example in their daily activities such as preparation of local food. You may learn some songs, the traditional dance, how to make crafts, how to play traditional games, and listen to their legendary history narrated by the elders.
Other community-based experiences to fully participate in while on your safari in Uganda include; a visit to the fishing village in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Boomu Women’s group in Murchison Falls National Park and where you appreciate the performance of traditional dances, learn local food preparation through some classes by the community members and also how to hand make baskets and mats.
Book a community experience and learn more about different cultural heritages while on your safari in Uganda.