Uganda’s Cultural Heritage – Beyond Wildlife – Primates

Posted by on April 6, 2014

Uganda – Beyond the Wildlife – Primates – Meet the People of Uganda

Ugandan Culture-Traditions – diverse People Groups – enriching and unforgettable experiences

Uganda is known for its Primates – the majestic Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and to a lesser degree the endangered Golden uganda-culture-visits.jpgMonkeys. Thousands of visitors per year flock here to see them, others come to climb the tallest Mountain Range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, others want to experience the Nile up close by partaking in Wild Water Rafting.  All enriching experiences that will stay with you for a long time to come.

Most visitors to Uganda see the Wildlife, the Primates, the stunning scenery but sadly miss out on the real “Pearl of Africa” its people, culture, traditions.

Cultural tourism not only exposes visitors to Uganda to its rich cultural history, its people and its ways but it assists communities in building infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and income for its people.  It allows inter-cultural exchange between visitors and Ugandans.

All over Uganda one can visit villages, take village walks and be introduced to local culture and people.  One can stay in the same villages in African Banda’s (African styled round Dwellings) partake in the preparation of meal from the garden to the plate.

You can spend a day with the original people of the Ugandan Rainforests – the Batwa Pygmy People on the Batwa Forest Trail, you can ride a Mountain Bike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or through Buhoma Village and support The Ride 4 A Woman organization that means children in school, women receiving income while at the same time you are enjoying the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest.  You can learn how to make Banana Beer or gin, learn of the traditional medicines gathered from the surrounding forest, you can visit the Katwe salt works an see how salt has been made for centuries and distributed to nations far and wide, you can visit the keepers of the Mountains of the Moon and enjoy the fabulous foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains and its people, just to name a few opportunities.

Below are just a few examples of the Cultural Experiences that can be a part of your stay in Uganda.

Visiting a Karimojong Manyatta in Northeastern Uganda:visiting-a-Manyatta

Visiting the Proud Karimojong Warrior Pastoralists and their Families in a Manyatta A Karimojong Village (Manyatta).

Visit near or on the way to or from Kidepo Valley National Park in Northeastern Uganda Meet the Karim0jong. a fierce and proud people living as semi-nomadic herders in the remote and unvisited Karamoja region of Northeastern Uganda.e nice

One of the nice things about Uganda is that a visit such as to Manyatata is not part of a tourism scheme, the visits are authentic Africa at its best and not staged Tourism.

The Karimojong have a proud heritage, they were known for being fierce warriors, able cattle herders in remote northeastern Uganda – a visit to a Manyatta will be most unique and something you will not forget.

Visiting the Ik Tribe – The Mountain People of Uganda:visiting-the-Ik-People

Climbing Mount Morungole to visit the Ik People – the Mountain People of Uganda located in North Eastern Uganda near Kidepo Valley National Park.

Visiting one of the most remote Tribes in East Africa – the Ik People The Ik People who live high in the remote Mountains that make up Morungole which is on the border with Kenya and just outside Kidepo Valley Park.

There are only about 10,000 Ik People in the remote Mountain region near Kidepo Valley Park. A visit here will be another most interesting time while you are in Uganda and the scenery going up and down the Mountains here will be most amazing.

Batwa-Forest Trail-mgahingaThe Batwa Trail in Mgahinga Park with the First People of the Forest:

Experience the ancient ways of hunting and gathering of the Batwa People – the original People of the Forest Experience the ways of the ancient Batwa People who once lives in these forests and now show the way of their ancient culture.

See the forest, wildlife, birds, gathering and hunting  through the eyes of the first people of the forest the Batwa People who would love to show you their hunter gatherer ways of old in the 21st century.

The Batwa people left a small ecological footprint on the land where they lived.  They respected nature and their surroundings – but can no longer living in the forest where they had been for thousands of years.

Buniga-Forest-WalkBuniga Forest Walk with the original People of the Forest:

Buniga Forest Walk where you experience Nature and an ancient Culture The Buniga Forest Walk is where  members of the Batwa Community lead you through Buniga Forest showing their ancient ways of hunting, gathering and living.

Buniga Forest like many others such as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was once inhabited by the Batwa People and now they can lead you through their ancient forest.

Buniga is near Kisoro and near Nkuringo and Rushaga which is near the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

After the forest walk, you can visit the village where they now live.

Experience Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with the Batwa People:Batwa-Experience-Buhoma-area-Bwindi

See and Experience the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with the Batwas – the Keepers of the Forest The Batwa Experience in Buhoma – A Day with the original people of the forest –

The Batwa Pygmies for thousands of years of years lived in the forests of Southwest Uganda. the Batwa People lived, hunted and gathered in their beloved forest but in the 1990’s were evicted when their forests became part of various national parks.

Other local tribes have not treated the Batwa people in great ways, the Batwa walks restore some of their dignity and keep their ancient culture alive.

Today they can show you their ancient ways and here you even get a taste of Batwa cooking as it is prepared in the forest.

Boomu-experience-an-African-VillageBoomu Women’s Group – Experience an African Village:

A Village Visit or African Village Stay with the Boomu Women’s Group Boomu Women’s Group – Kigaragara Village near Murchison Falls National Park Boomu Women’s Group (there are actually some men who belong to the group) at Kigaragara Village near Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest

Boomu is a great for  visitors to experience Ugandan Village Life,  go on a village walk and meet Ugandans as they live out their daily  life.

You can even stay in an African Banda (traditional hut), gather the food in the garden and cook the meal, enjoying a time with Ugandans in an African Village.

Buhoma-Community-Village-WalkBuhoma Community Village Walk :

Buhoma Community Village Walk – Meet the Community beyond Gorillas This 3 hour Village Walk introduces you to the people and their culture living near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Buhoma Area.

During the guided Village Walk you cal learn the traditional ways – Locally made crafts – Dances- Traditional cooking-Brewing-Herbal Medicines.

Thousands have taken this walk and enjoyed learning the local cultures of the people surrounding the ancient forest.

This is the most popular village walk in Uganda and probably one of the best and by taking it you help the local community.

Mountain Biking through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:mountain-biking-buhoma-bwindi

Mountain Bike Rides in and around the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Nature, Birding and Village Mountain Bike Guided Rides in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Take a mountain bike ride at Bwindi and support the local community and the Ride 4 a Woman organization – enjoy the inspiring scenery of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or experience a village bike ride which is like the village walk described above except that you are on a bike.

You can ride a bike in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and it can include bird watching and seeing other wildlife.

This has become a popular activity in the Buhoma are for visitors to the forest.

Ndere-dance-TroupeNdere Dance and Music Troupe making Africa come Alive:

Ndere Troupe – Keeping Uganda’s Culture Alive and Well Cultural Dances and Music from throughout Uganda An evening with the Ndere Troupe is something not to be missed.

The Ndere Troupe simply a must see and hear, experience while in Kampala on a visit. The Center where the Ndere Troupe performs also serves Ugandan Food for an extra cultural touch.

The Ndere Center also has lodging available at the site, there is restaurant and bar for comfort of its guest.  During rainy days performances take place inside, while most of the time the performances are held outside.


The Cultural Diversity of Ndere Troupe cannot be matched by anyone!  – A must see – for every visitor to Kampala.

Sosolya Undungu Dance Academy:Sosolya-dance-drumming-school-kampala

 Sosolya Undungu Dance Academy Teaches –African Drumming – Dancing Award Winning Sosolya Undungu Dance Troupe teaches and performs African Music & Dance for you and your Group while Visiting Uganda.

They have become very popular in recent years performing in Canada, Germany, Austria and China.

The group is made up of mostly young people from all over Uganda, the school instills cultural pride and keeps the traditional dances alive.

Every Sunday – from about 4 pm onward to you can watch the Sosolya Dance Troupe perform at Hotel International in the Muyenga area of Kampala.

Ruboni-VillageRuboni – in the shadows of the Mountains of the Moon:

Ruboni Village – Rwenzori Foothill Hikes – Village Walks – Dancing & Drumming Lessons Off the Map for most visitors to Uganda – a place of peace and rest – not to be missed Ruboni Village is not a place many visitors come to – yet those who come here find it an amazing place to be.

Dancing – Drumming Lessons, Village Walks, Craft Making, Story Telling, Interactive Foothill hikes.

At the same time you can experience the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon, the Rwenzoris. Ruboni which is one of the most beautiful areas in Uganda.  Combine a cultural experience with hiking including the 3 day Mahoma Trail in the foothills of the tallest Mountain Range in all of Africa.

Village-Stay-UgandaExperience the Real Africa with a Village Stay:

Stay in an Authentic African Village during your Safari in Uganda Village Stay – a Cultural Experience in Uganda like no other.

You can visit Africa but never visit Africans – you can visit Uganda but never meet Ugandans while on a Safari here.  A Village Stay lets you experience Authentic Africa at its best.

You will not be staying in a 4 Star Hotel but in a real African village where you will experience Ugandan life, culture and traditional values.

There are various villages where you can stay and some include a home-stay with a Ugandan Family.

Experience Ugandan Culture -Traditions through Hands-on Experiences:hands-on-experiences

Experience the Real Uganda first hand –its Culture, Traditions, Customs and Ways Learn new skills, ways, craft-making, cooking, dancing, drumming from Ugandans through hands-on experiences in the Pearl of Africa Uganda – the Pearl of Africa is a country of many experiences that create lasting memories

Learn new skills, learn of the local culture and make friends in the process. while you are learning some traditional ways of making crafts such as basket weaving, jewelry, even learning how to carve or make a drum.

Uganda provides the perfect setting for learning the African Traditions of old through hands on experiences.

Lake-Katwe-SaltworksA Visit to the Ancient Lake Katwe Salt Works:

Lake Katwe – Harvesting Salt for over 500 Years The guided Walk covers Lake Katwe Salt Works and Birding at Lake Munyanyange Lake Katwe Crater Lake is a place of Salt harvest in various forms – a process that has taken place for over 500 years.

The guided tour shows you the ancient ways of salt making and you will readily see what a rough job it is to do to extract the salt from the lake.

Henry Morton Stanley who was the first European who came to Queen Elizabeth Park and found the adjacent salt works.

It is hard way to make a living, there are health hazards involved when you stand in the saline waters all day long. One can also visit the village where the salt-workers live.

Igongo-Cultural-CenterIgongo Cultural Center and Museum:

Preserving the Natural & Cultural Heritage of South-Western Uganda Cultural Center – Museum – Restaurant –Village Visits.

If you are traveling to or from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Queen Elizabeth.

Igongo Cultural Center is the perfect stop-over for lunch on your route to your destination in Western Uganda or coming from Western Uganda and headed for Kampala or Entebbe.

Have a great traditional Ugandan Lunch, visit the Museum and enjoy another touch of Ugandan Culture.

The Amabeere Caves:Amabeere-Caves

The Amabeere Ga Nyina Mwiru Caves Some call them Amabeere Caves – it is the same Place Just 8 kilometers from Fort Portal discover the ancient and legendary Amabeere Caves.

The Amabeere Caves and the three surrounding Explosion Crater Lakes make it a most interesting half day adventure and can be easily taken while headed to Queen Elizabeth Park from Fort Portal or Kibale Forest.

A hike to the Amabeere Caves is a mixture of Legend, Culture, Tradition and Adventure that awaits visitors to here.

You can also combine a visit here with a Village Visit to make your day even more complete.

Best Place to buy Drums in Uganda Best-Place-to-buy-Drums

Mpambire cradle of Drum Making in Uganda The Drum Makers of Mpambire  carry on the ancient tradition of Drum Making.

These are the Royal Drum Makers for King of Buganda, they have practiced their craft for hundreds of year.

If you are heading for Western Uganda to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Queen Elizabeth Park you will pass Mpambire and if you are not looking up you could easily miss it, but we will get you there.

Purchase an African Drum and take it home as a remembrance of your time in Uganda.

Best Places to buy Arts and Crafts in Kampala:Kampala-Crafts-Markets

Buying  African Souvenirs and Gifts in Kampala – Uganda Best Places to find African Arts, Crafts and Souvenirs in Kampala Craft Markets and Stores in Kampala – Uganda.

Kampala is filled with places where you can buy African Arts, Crafts and Souvenirs – wherever you go you will find a place where you can buy some souvenirs, arts and crafts.

There are some great buys that you can make here, from fabrics to carvings, batiks, paintings  and more.

Your purchase of local arts and crafts in turn supports a Ugandan family and in that way you make a difference in their lives and you benefit from the purchase.

The Pearl of Africa-Uganda-is certainly much more than Wildlife, Primates and Scenery – it the People of Uganda with their rich history and culture – Meet Uganda up close – its People, its Traditions and Cultures. From Kampala…jon

“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” John Hemingway, African Journeys



Jon Blanc

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