Nshenyi Cultural Village
Are you already in Uganda and looking forward to experiencing typical Ankole Culture during your cultural safaris? Nshenyi Cultural Village allows tourists to experience the traditional pastoralist way of life and enjoy serene Ugandan countryside and the simplicity of life around you.
Even with the effects of modernity, this rural village still remains authentic where tradition, simplicity of life, family, culture and friends are greatly appreciated and held close by the people. Nshenyi is traditionally a pastoralist area and when you visit this site, you will discover that the Ankole long-horned Cow is always the King and most valued item and you will get a chance to participate in all the activities that range from waking up very early to milk the cows which will be taken for breakfast, visit the nearby local school, participate in meal preparation (including how Plantain, locally referred as matooke is prepared), see how ghee is made and many other activities. The terrain of this area if characterized by numerous rolling hills, green countryside, vast savannah plains and acacia trees, an environment that is perfect for rearing cattle.
This Cultural Village is a family owned working farm close to the Kitwe Town on the border of Ntungamo district, about 30 minutes’ drive from Ntungamo Town Center, about one hour’s drive from Mbarara Town on a newly tarmacked road up to Kikagati Trading Center in south-western corner of Uganda where the three countries of Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda meet, making it a perfect stop point for tourists interested in experiencing life in a typical rural setting. Along the way to the site are dotted villages, schools, rolling hills, banana plantations, freely grazing cows and locals going on with their usual activities but before approaching the Village where ypu will see River Kabobo, a tributary of the popular Kagera River that feeds into Lake Victoria (the source of the Nile).
Besides cattle rearing, the people of Nshenyi also grow crops which will be evidenced by the large tracts of banana plantations as well as other crops such as beans, Irish potatoes and cash crops like coffee. Tourists to Nshenyi Cultural Village get to see how Banana juice or beer is made-stomping on bananas with feet and get entertained in traditional dances and songs and get warmed by Camp fires at dinner time when the moon rises. Not only that, a visit to this site will provide tourists with an insight to how cattle is valued by the people of Ankole and you will learn that a man’s wealth is measured by how many cows he owns. When he accumulates up to 100 heads of cattle, a bell is put around the necks of the most valuable cows to show everyone his great achievement. Conflicts are solved with cattle, marriages are cemented after paying bride price inform of cattle and friendship is honored by giving and receiving cattle.
Accommodation is provided within clean, traditional and fully furnished Bandas with warm water provided for showering. General activities to enjoy within the site include bird watching, entertainment in traditional music and dance of south-western Uganda, visits to the Batwa people as well as their pottery stations, campfire experience and bull roasting to allow you taste the low cholesterol and tender beef, traditional fishing demonstrations, guided nature walks, traditional milking lessons, hike into Tanzania or crossing the Kagera River and finally visit to the nearby local school.
According to Julie, the author of this article, also a writer at Rwanda Gorilla Trekking (For memorable gorilla tours in Uganda), visiting Nshenyi Cultural village is one of the amazing ways of spending time while surrounded by nature, clean fresh air and friendly people. Tourists that visit this village get the chance to experience the traditional lifestyle of Banyankole people with activities such as nature walks, learning about farm tools and milking of cows awaiting tourists.