Birding Excursions in Semliki National Park

Communities around Bwindi National Park 2024 – 2025

Communities around Bwindi National Park 2024 – 2025 : There are different communities in the surrounding areas of Bwindi national park and they include the Batwa people and the Bakiga people.

Community tours contribute to the wellbeing of the locals in the neighboring communities of Bwindi National Park through income earned from the activity. Taking part in this activity does not require prior booking and can be done before or after the gorilla trek around Bwindi national park.

Tourists can also buy different souvenirs from the craft shops owned by the local communities of Bwindi national park. There are different arts and crafts at these shops including clothing made with local materials, paintings, sculptures, jewelry among other items which can be bought at affordable prices to support the locals.

Communities around Bwindi National Park 2024 – 2025 : Community tour with the Batwa

The Batwa people are known for being the original dwellers in the Bwindi forest. They are also known for their unique culture and way of life which can be experienced during community tours around the national park which involves interactions with them.

The Batwa pygmies practice a traditional hunter-gatherer way of life as source of their food. They also depend on the forests for medicines and various herbs used for healing purposes and tourists can also engage in this experience during community tours with the Batwa.

Another activity that tourists engage in when visiting the Batwa is traditional dance performances with the locals which are a form of welcome to their community that involves chanting local twa songs and dancing.

The Batwa also acts as guided for tourists engaging in the Batwa trail experience which involves walking through the Bwindi forest. It is also a way through which tourists can experience the lifestyle the Batwa people has during their stay in the forests and tourists can also get closer to nature and see different primates and bird species as they enjoy the guided tour in the forest.

During the visit to the Batwa community, tourists also enjoy different demonstrations such as how to make fire using sticks which is another tradition among the Batwa people. Visitors can actively participate and take turns making the fire with help of the Batwa locals during their tour in Bwindi national park.

The Batwa can also teach tourists about their honey collection methods during the community tours around Bwindi national park.

Apart from the Bwindi national park, the Batwa can also be encountered during tours around Mgahinga national park and also around Lake Bunyonyi.

The cost of the Batwa tour in Bwindi national park is about 30 USD to 40 USD per person and can be done in the different sectors of the national park including Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo sector.

Communities around Bwindi National Park 2024 – 2025 : Community tour with the Bakiga

The Bakiga are among the tribes living in the neighboring areas of Bwindi national park and they also have a unique culture which tourists can experience when visiting their villages.

A number of activities can be done when visiting the Bakiga people during tours in Bwindi national park and they including tasting the local coffee which is grown by the locals on the edge of the national park. Different types of coffee are grown including Robusta coffee as well as Arabica coffee.

When taking part in the coffee tours around Bwindi national park, tourists get to visit the farms, learn how to hand pick the coffee, see how coffee is harvested, how to pound the coffee, hand grinding the coffee and also get a taste of the local coffee which is also packaged and is available for sale at an affordable price.

Tourists can also visit the farms of the Bakiga people where other crops like bananas are grown around the terraced hills around the Bwindi national park.

Communities around Bwindi National Park 2024 - 2025
Community tour with the Bakiga

During the community tour with the Bakiga, tourists can also get to learn how to make the banana gin from banana leaves using local fermentation methods. Visitors can participate in this process and also take a shot of the local gin.

Another activity which is done during community tours with the Bakiga is learning how to prepare local food. During this cultural experience, tourists can learn how to hand grind millet using stone and later cook and serve the millet with the local women.

Story telling is also part of the community tour experience with the Bakiga in Bwindi national park and tourists can get to know more about the culture and traditions of the Bakiga during this activity.

The community tour with the Bakiga takes about 2 to 3 hours and costs about 40 USD per person during tours around Bwindi National Park and can be done as a group activity or by individuals during their tours around the park.

Other community experiences which are carried out around Bwindi National Park include the Buhoma community tour, Nkuringo community tour, Buniga forest walk among others.

Apart from community tours with the Bakiga and the Batwa people, there are many other activities which can be done around Bwindi national park and they include gorilla trekking tours around Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma sector, gorilla habituation in Rushaga sector, bird watching, hiking, guided nature walks and also butterfly tours.

After completing these activities around Bwindi national park, tourists can spend their nights at the budget, midrange and luxury lodges found around the park.

How to get to Bwindi national park

Bwindi national park is located in south western Uganda and can be accessed by flight and also by driving during tours in Uganda.

There are different airstrips which can be used during flights to Bwindi national park and they include Kisoro airstrip which can be used during gorilla tours around Rushaga and Nkuringo airstrip. Another airstrip in the national park is the Kihihi airstrip which is used during tours around Ruhija sector and the Buhoma sector.

Tourists can also drive to Bwindi national park using different routes such as the Kampala-Mbarara-Kabale route which takes about 8 to 9 hours. Bwindi national park can also be accessed from Rwanda using the Cyanika border or the Gatuna border.

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