The enchanting Batwa pygmies of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They are a hunter-gatherer tribe that has lived side-by-side with the wildlife of this ancient park for thousands of years. They are known as the keepers of the forest. The Batwa cultural experience starts with a nature walk. Hike through the forest, see the forest in a new way and through the eyes of the original keepers of the forest. Most visitors usually enjoy this activity after Gorilla trekking. This Experience takes place outside of the park, in an old-growth forest, on land that is next to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park.
The cultural experience shows, how they lived in huts made of grass, trees, used tree-houses and caves. Get to know the Batwa village life of long ago, the sharing, living as a community, as a people, learn the things that they revered and cared for and almost lost.
You will need a Batwa guide, who will provide all the information, chance to see the forest and its habitats through their eyes. Hike in the forest with the people of the forest, see how they lived and hunted in the traditional manner. Enjoy trying out your hunting techniques as the Batwa teach you how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
This will also include; a visit to a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook and serve a meal. You will also have the opportunity to sample the prepared dishes if you want. There is a medicine men, you can talk to and learn about the medicinal properties of the forest flora. You will realize that to the Batwa, every plant and weed in the forest is has an importance. The guide will often stop to pluck off leaves from trees and demonstrate its medical importance. There are leaves to deal with pressure, fever, diabetes and even the common cold. These remedies are usually first crushed or chewed directly from the mouth. Beside the forest medicines, you will learn how the
Batwa prepare their traditional dishes, build their huts, harvest honey and make fire. The Batwa are good artists and will impress you with some of their products like; a cup made out of bamboo. Throughout the trail, the Batwa will narrate stories that will highlight their history/creation and life in the forest.
Enjoy a lively music performance, learn about the Batwa’s fascinating way of life; from religion to their food gathering and hunting techniques, and interact with the tribesmen. Hear ancient legends and traditional songs. The Batwa have a symbiotic relationship with the wild.
The government, several international and local organizations to help ensure a smooth transition to their new settlements, things haven’t gone according to plan. The Batwa have never adapted 100% to their new way of life and settlements. Today, they mainly live in the districts; Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu, Bundibigyo, Mbarara, Ntungamo, some in Lwengo and Mubende and other places therefore they are scattered.
The cultural visit in Bwindi have contributed greatly to the social and economic welfare of the Batwa community. Through tapping into the generous proceeds from Tourism.
In 2002, the United Organization for Batwa Development (UOBDU) was founded to help with supporting activities. These help in income generation, land, housing, forest access, benefit sharing, education and adult literacy.