Batwa People were great local hunters and gatherers who migrated from the Ituri forest reserve of Democratic Republic of Congo in search of wild animals for hunting, these people moved in groups following trails in the great forests of the Virunga Massif and after their migration some settled in the western wing of Uganda and the other settled in the Rwanda.
These people were great hunters who used to feed on wild meat, used forests as their shelter through sleeping in branches of large trees, caves and more, they also used tree leaves as their medicine. Back cloth was their main wearing gear which they manufactured from special tree capping using their local manufacturing tools; they produced fire out of stone using stone age tools.
These people were shy since they were spending most of the times in the forests so they were not used to human beings but now there are upgrading into normal civilized human beings.
After the establishment of national parks in places occupied by Batwa people an order was issued for them to vacate these places such that they are gazetted for the conservation of different wildlife primates and species, this made them feel discriminated from the society but later they got used to the society after frequent visits to their societies by people from different countries.
Where to go for Batwa people in Uganda & Rwanda
In Uganda these people after their migration from Democratic Republic of Congo they settled in Western wing of Uganda near national parks like Semliki National Park, Mountain Rwenzori National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mgahinga National Park with Mgahinga being the major place to see these Batwa people.
Many tourists traveling to Uganda with the option of doing gorilla tours in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park always experience the Batwa trail experience and this is a full day adventure experiencing the history and current life of the once forest dwellers.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is located in the Western part of Uganda near Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo inclusive of the Virunga Massif; it is characterized with tropical rain forest and bamboo forest where Golden monkeys are residents.
Although it’s mostly known for the shy endangered mountain gorillas but it’s the only place to do the Batwa cultural experience in Uganda, this Batwa cultural experience involves visiting these people in their local communities and share with them through experiencing their ways of living, participating in cultural performances like dances, use of their local tools like hunting tools including spears, bow, stone age tools and more. This Batwa Cultural Experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park goes for a full day and it costs $80 USD per person to participate in it.
For Rwanda when these people migrated from Democratic Republic of Congo, they settled near Volcanoes National Park which is Rwanda’s top and popular destination to visit mostly known for the Shy endangered Mountain Gorillas.
If you are interested of the Batwa people in Rwanda are found in the IbyI’wacu Cultural Village, this village is where the Batwa people do all their activities which involves cultural performances like dances, practicing on how to use their local tools, simple agricultural practices and more therefore visitors to this village are entertained with cultural dances and singing from these people, they are allowed to engage in some activities like putting on their cultural wearing gears, practicing on how to use their local tools like hunting tools they used for hunting, stone age tools they used for production of fire and more. This IbyI’wacu Cultural experience costs $20 USD person and its mostly done on your way back from Volcanoes National Park.
For an amazing Batwa Cultural Experience in Uganda and Rwanda strategically located in the Eastern part of the African Continent do not miss out Mgahinga National Park in the Western part of Uganda and IbyI’wacu Cultural Village in the Northern part of Rwanda Ruhengeri Province.