Batwa Cultural Trail, Experience in Mgahinga Forest
The Kisoro mountainous area and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in the southwestern part of the country has a pretty cold weather throughout the year. While the inhabitants around the local area and the lower lands incessantly maintain warm clothing to relieve the challenging cold climate, the Batwa guides seem agreeable in their polished animal skin, open shoes and light head gear.
The Batwa guides and the dancers have added a considerable measure of value worth and experience to the tourism attractions in Mgahinga National Park where gorilla trekking, mountain climbing and trekking the golden monkeys used to be the pillar of tourism activities.
The guides help you through both the long and the shorter trails to encounter the amazing life of the Batwa, the Batwa people are the first forest people who as they used to live their unique setting and their interesting culture. The Batwa trail starts with a short prayer in whispers to their gods of the jungle called Biheeko who is accepted to have powers to offer protection or deny one of life as they go on their hunting, raiding communities, gathering fruits and different activities in the jungle they once imparted to wildlife.
They always make helpful elucidation on the medical values of various herbs, bee honey reaping skills, hunting strategies, fetching water using bamboo tubes, making fire by rubbing dry sticks against others and hut construction styles.
The main highlight of the Batwa trail is the Garama cave which is about 200 meter long hatchlings tube which used to act as the King’s residence, training wing, chambers, storage facility, armory among others.
Here baffling voices rise up out of the various chambers with enthusiastic tunes reliving how they used to live before the jungle was gazetted into a national park. The earlier dim abyss today has permanent lighting, better access stairs as guests descend and ascend from the cave harvest and an improved shelter on the top of it, courtesy of the USAID-Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift Program.
The trail ends up with sensational Batwa tunes and vigorous ground stamping dance strokes which will take long in any guest’s memory.