Are you wondering of any alternative way to enjoy Uganda besides gorilla trekking? A cultural tour is another way to enjoy the pearl of Africa outside the jungle Africa. Cultural tourism is a newly introduced tourism package, which the government together with other tourism bodies has established to expand tourism products in the park of Africa. The strategy is aimed at attraction a new form of travelers who are interested in culture which also increase the strength and competitiveness of Uganda’s tourism sector in Africa and the entire globe. The new plans to promote culture were disclosed during the launch of the culture and conservation of the great apes research report at fairway hotel in Kampala. Cultural tourism is therefore expected to bring in a high number of travelers and increased government revenue, which will support economic development.
It’s undeniable that most people have traveled to Uganda for gorilla safaris in Bwindi or else enjoy a game drive in the open grasses of Murchison falls, park, Queen Elizabeth national park, kidepo valley park and Lake Mburo national park, Chimpanzee trekking in kibale forest national park, bird watching and Mountain climbing. However, most travelers have missed out a cultural taste of Uganda’s traditions, customs and norms. Unlike in the past decades, cultural tourism has presently picked and is developing at a steady pace. Uganda has been widely depending on gorilla safaris and other wildlife safaris but the country is much more than this. Uganda is richly blessed with a unique and indigenous culture, which make it a distinct destination. For the upcoming travelers, Uganda has a new experience for you. Prepare for a tour a to any of the cultural sites in Uganda and enjoy this amazing experience.
Cultural groups in Uganda
Uganda is a diverse nation with over 65 different tribal groups scattered in different corners of the country. Cultural groups in Uganda include Baganda, Batooro, Banyaro, Bakiga, Bafumbira, Bagishu, Bamba, Batwa, Banyuli, Bagwe, Bateso, Kumam, Jonam, Jopadhola, Acholi, Alur, Madi, Langi, Lugbra, Tepeth, and karimajong among others. Interestingly, each cultural group is unique in its own way in terms of customs, traditions, norms and practices, which are worth exploring on your Uganda safari. Travelers have a chance to take part in these cultural practices, which increase their understanding of Uganda culture and make them feel at home. Cultural tours take travelers to different cultural points with different features such as caves, which hold different cultural meanings.
Popular cultural tourism areas
Much as each tribe is different from the other, some tribes are more understanding and popular than the others. These tribes are a target for travelers and have a true definition of Africa traditional culture. These include:
Batwa pygmies are best visited during the Batwa cultural rail in Mgahinga gorilla national park also a home the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Batwa are indigenous traditional forest dwellers that lived with wild animals in the forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga for thousands of years when gorilla tourism had not been introduced. In this trail, travelers have an opportunity to see and expereince how the Batwa lived before being forced out of the forest by the government to create the national park and protect the gorillas. Also, Batwa trail is an opportunity to help the Batwa as they try to adapt to life outside the forest and to see how they lived when there. The batwa are very interesting people, very short in stature but very cunning and full of knowledge. What actually amazed me is the making of fire b using just pieces of wood. The highlights for us were the fire-making demonstration and the visit to the large underground cave. Batwa carry out some of their traditional forest activities such as gathering fruits, collecting honey, searching medicinal herbs and hunting among others to traveler. Batwa dress in bark clothes, which make the experience so original and enjoyable. Also, several, poems and traditional dances are sited telling their stories, which increase travelers understanding of whom the Batwa are. Also different caves re visited especially Ngarama cave where Batwa used to offer sacrifices and perform different rituals.
The IK people
This is yet another indigenous tribe of people living in the mountains of northeastern Uganda. IK is an indigenous trice and the least populated with not more than 10,000 people including children and parents. The IK were formerly dwellers in kidepo valley national park who were displaced when the park was garzetted. Ik people are so traditional people were parents find it strange to live with children in the same house. For this case, children aged 3-4 years are normally expelled from the house of their parents to form their same age group. Everyone survives on his or her own as soon as he reaches above 5 years. A visit to the IK people makes you appreciate the actual African tradition and its exceptional features.
In general, a taste of a cultural experience is all that travelers need to make their Uganda safari a lifetime experience. Add a visit to any cultural group, met and interact with local people, learn more about their traditions, norms and customs rewarding you with an exceptional experience. A cultural tour complement other tourism activities in Uganda such as gorilla tracking in Mgahinga/Bwindi, bird watching and game viewing among others all making a complete Uganda safari package.