The Batwa Pygmies, People that existed in the East African Jungle Forests
The Batwa Pygmies of the Jungle, At one moment you could think that you have explored all the cultures in Uganda. Having seen the Baganda; the largest ethnic group in Uganda with their Bulange mengo, Kasubi tombs and many different monuments like the Kabaka anjagala, the Basoga proudly originating from Jinja the land where the Nile river starts from, the Banyankole with their long horned cattle, the Batooro in western Uganda where nature explodes to its peak, the Bagisu and their magnificent annual Imbalu cultural festival and perhaps many more other cultures.
But just note this, don’t ever come for gorilla safaris in Uganda and return home without encountering with the Batwa pygmies to see Uganda’s ancient forest through the eyes of its first inhabitants. The Batwa people live in Bwindi impenetrable forest, according to their creation story, their creator gave some people height, others fertile land, but when it came to the Batwa, such gifts were done, so he gave them the forest.
The Batwa were the first dwellers of the montane Rainforests of Uganda and Rwanda. They lived in the Rainforests for 0ver 500,000 years without farming, no charcoal making, their shelters did not disturb the environment and there was no destruction of the forest. They simply just lived in harmony with their darling forest, wildlife including the Mountain Gorillas.
Cultural safaris in Uganda expose travelers to this endangered group of people in Uganda deep down in Kisoro and Kabale districts of Uganda. They are one of the oldest enduring tribes in Africa, though their culture, identity and language are under increasing threat. During the Batwa cultural experience, hike in the forest with the people of the forest led by a Batwa guide.
See how they lived and hunted in their conservative way, also try out your hunting skills as the Batwa teach you how to shoot using a bow and arrow. Also visit a traditional Batwa homestead and watch the women prepare, cook and serve a meal, a taste of the local cuisines is a guarantee except to the ones that don’t wish to. The tang is just finger linkable.
The fact that the Batwa are often called the jungle people, one would think that they only associate with their immediate neighbors; the mountain gorillas, but, the pygmies are very hospitable people that you can barely leave their community without hearing them sing for you their ancient legends and traditional songs.
A safari in Uganda to the Batwa community will help to keep the Batwa traditions and culture alive. And not only that, but also providing income, infrastructure, and support to this isolated and first People of the Forest. So if you ever think of a safari in Africa, the Batwa community is a must not miss destination