The thrill of walking the Batwa Cultural Trail in Mgahinga

The mountainous Kisoro region and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has a pretty cold weather almost throughout the year. While the residents in town and the lower lands chronically maintain warm clothings to mitigate

the challenging chilly weather, the Batwa guides appear comfortable in their polished animal skin, open shoes and light head gear.

The Batwa guides and the dancers have added a lot of value and experience to the tourism attractions in Mgahinga Gorilla National park where gorilla tracking, mountain hiking and golden monkey tracking used to be the mainstay of tourism activities.

The guides enable you through both the long and the shorter trails to experience the extra ordinary life the Batwa ,the first forest people who as they used to live their original setting and their unique culture. The expedition begins with a short prayer in whispers to their god of the forest called Biheeko who is believed to have powers to offer protection or deprive one of life as they go on their hunting, raiding communities, fruit gathering and other activities in the forest they once shared with wildlife.

They ten make useful interpretation on the medicinal values of different herbs, bee honey harvesting skills, hunting tactics, water fetching using bamboo tubes, making fire by rubbing dry sticks against others and hut construction styles.
The main highlight of the trail is the Garama cave a 200 metre long larvae tube which used to act as the King's residence, chambers, training wing, granary, armory among others.

Here mysterious voices emerge from the multiple chambers with emotional tunes reliving how they used to live before the forest was gazetted into a protected area. The formerly dark abyss today has permanent lighting, better access stairs as visitors descend and ascend from the cave harvest and an enhanced shelter on top of the cave, courtesy of the USAID-Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift Program.

The trail experience concludes with sensational Batwa tunes and vigorous ground stamping dance strokes which will take long in any visitor's memory

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