Today, more than 80% of Uganda’s Batwa or Twa (Pygmy) tribe is officially landless. Originally, these minority people were inhabitants of the rainy forests on which they heavily relied as their source of food & medicine for years. They’re also excellent hunters & fruit gatherers. They are however heavily despised by their neighbors who don’t think of see as human beings.
However, over the last decades, many Batwa in southwestern Uganda were forced by the government to move out of the forests (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park & Bwindi Impenetrable forest) in a bid to conserve them because among other reasons they are home to mountain gorillas which are a great tourism attraction. This greatly disrupted their traditional way of life and caused extreme hardship leaving no option for the few but to reside along the park edge.
Good news came with the formation of the United Organisation for the Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU); an organisation which has spearheaded efforts to restore their rights. The organization intends to achieve this through formal & informal education, skills development, agricultural enhancement & advocating for human dignity.
The Batwa trails:
This is a tourism project run by (UOBDU) that runs across the lower slopes of the Muhavura & Gahinga volcanoes in Mugahinga Gorilla National Park. Guests are guided by the Batwa community members on forest walks exploring the life experiences they go through in their homes (forests).
There’s entertainment from the local community and a variety of locally made crafts available on sale.
For inquiries contact:
Phone: +256 (0) 4864 30140
Fax: +256 (0) 4864 30140
Uganda Wildlife Authority office
Plot 7 Kira Road, Kamwokya
Phone: +256 (0) 414 355000
+256 (0) 312 355000
Fax: +256 (0) 414 346291