“See the Pygmies” is one of the most popular tourism pitches. Please be cautious. Make sure you support cultural tourism products that are likely to bring more than just money for alcohol into the Batwa communities.
In Mgahinga, consider taking the Batwa Trail. It is available in a shorter and longer version; the price and the activities are the same, the only difference is the length of the walk across the lower slopes of Muhavura and Gahinga (on average 2.5 versus 5 hours). You will see the forest as a larder, pharmacy, builder’s yard, tool kit and, above all, a home. Along the trail you’ll try to fire a bow and arrow, check hives for wild honey, help repair a Batwa shelter, harvest plants for medicine and food, light a fire without matches, listen to legends and learn about Batwa culture and traditions. The highlight of the trail is a descent into Garama Cave, a historical hiding place 342m/1,120ft long. It provides the setting for an unforgettable dancing and singing performance.
Photo: Elizabeth Kamugisha, Marcus Westberg
This Travel Guide is based on the the Gorilla Highlands Interactive eBook, an award-winning labour of love that gives you a comprehensive insight into the cultures, languages, people and nature that make our area so special. By purchasing the ebook you will contribute to an ambitious initiative that aims to transform southwestern Uganda.