The mudslides in Kasika village, Western Uganda could be a warning to the village residents. The mudslide in this village has claimed 15 people, this week. More people are still missing and others are in Hospital. From looking at the land terrain and the soil structure, this could be just a warning for the residents of this area.

The landscape of the Kasika and Kigoro area is characterized by bare hills with no trees, only small rocks, over-cultivated, steep hills with valleys, and poorly positioned buildings all over the landscape.

The buildings are obviously not strong. House construction in this village is either with bricks or poles (mud and wattle) The brick walls are laid with local clay and without added cement. The mud and wattle houses are set with small sticks used as poles. These sticks are obviously collected from very young trees. The houses are either residential or commercial at the small trading centers; Kati, Kabugha, and Kasika, where the highest death toll occurred.

Mud remains in Kasika village

The planning and positioning of houses are so lacking. People build in the mouth of the valley. When I asked one resident, she said they build like that because of the lack of water on the high hills. They want to build at places where they can easily access water. 

Water is a basic need for all human beings, animals, plants, and land. No wonder, lack of water is a driving factor of the house location, Farmers in Kasika target the water that comes from over the hills or the ones in the main valley running through the village below the residences.

While we advocate for tree planting as the natural solution to mudslides, proper planning, and infrastructure development are also important. If the people of Kasika village can have proper land planning support, get water and electricity in the gazetted residential areas, then be shown to build the proper designs, they will be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. This is what we want to work for.

when the land is properly planned, then tree planting will also be done in the properly designated areas for such. This way, trees can be ensured to last long enough to influence ecosystem resilience and long-term landscape restoration.

Kigoro village, the larger area where Kasika village is located is known for charcoal burning. The past and current livelihood is cutting trees for charcoal and firewood while they are still young and not being replaced. All trees have been wiped and left with bare hills. The hills are not only bare but also steep. Soil structure with small marram pebbles makes it lose and susceptible to erosion. The long-term impact of charcoal burning is probably what has happened today.

Swept crop gardens

The village hasn’t only lost people and houses. It has lost its livelihood. Many crop gardens have been swept by the floods and then by the crowds who came to see the incident. Household belongings have also been lost. The remaining families will need to live in concentration camps in the short run, so needing supplies and household utensils.

From the thousands of people turning up, the remaining people will need to get food aid to live on in the short run while they reestablish as their only remaining gardens have stepped beyond recognition. This is an indication that hunger and famine are the next enemies in the doorway.

one day, the village has lost its effort for the last decades using the wrong livelihood intervention of cutting all the trees without replacing them. if nature repeated this as we have repeatedly cut the trees, there will be no human life left within one month.

I believe the mudslides are more severe because the hills are left bare. From my observation, when the hills receive rain, the water runs over the land surface and collects in the small valley. As the water increases, flowing down the valley, it creates the volume that carries the small stones. These small stones are rammed into the residences that stand in the way at the valley opening.

Having been at night, the people were all dead asleep. Taken by surprise and in shock, the weak houses were swept with the people and all their belongings.

The mudslides happened on the night of Tuesday 6th September 2022. The village is still in shock, by the time of writing this post. As the district excavator looks for more bodies, people are in fear of what could be found under the mud and what might happen from the next rain. Everyone wants the night to come later as people will definitely fear going into the houses.

Bodies of flood victims in kasika village

We need to plant trees. These hills need to be given a hat first. On different social media groups, people are giving all sorts of ideas but they all lead to the restoration of the degraded hills. Other than that, I think we need to sensitize the people so that they can interpret the likely reasons for the mudslide, in relation to their past livelihoods of extractive consumption of natural resources.

By now, to prevent any future happening of Mudslides, all the hills should be uniformly re-afforested collectively. A study needs to be done on what trees will do better and a little quicker, to create room for the secondary foliage that would come naturally.

As I end this post, I say to all the people and especially you reading it now, let’s plant trees in Kasika village to save future occurrences of mudslides, loss of lives, and livelihoods. I am off to planting trees in Kasika. You can join me any time. Other than tree planting, you can help in some way of your choice.

Ask me how and I will give you more information on how to join this tree planting effort.

OPTION 1:

FOUR DAYS JOHN MATHE CAMP TREK

(staying in cabin)

Day 1: Nyakalengija gate1646m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:

On the first trekking day, we start Rwenzori climbing. After a briefing with the local porters and guides, you will trek from 1646 meters to Nyabitaba hut at 2632 m Dinner and overnight at the mountain camp. (5-6hrs)

 Day 2: Nyabitaba 2632 m: – Nyakalengija gate1646m:

After breakfast at Nyabitaba, you will trek through the mix of bamboo and tree forest to Lake Mahoma to take great views and picture moments over the lake. Lake Mahoma is the largest lake in mount Rwenzori. after a good time at lake Mahoma, return to lunch at Nyabitaba and then descend to the Rwenzori National Park headquarters Ruboni community. (3hrs)

Price per person: 295$ (three or more people going)

OPTION 2:

THREE DAYS/ TWO NIGHTS MAHOMA TREK

(Wilderness camping)

Day 1: from the base camp (1615m) to Omu kakiiza camp (2,977m:

The first trekking day starts at Nyakalengijo base camp at Omuka Kiiza Camp. Today’s trek starts with a relatively steep trail. However, the trail has been designed to cut the terrain making it easy for all guests. The guide will take you through the 7.2 km trek that goes through a lush forest on the ridge that offers breathtaking views of the Mubuku River trailing the valley. You have high chances of spotting some wildlife which includes; chimpanzees, Blue Monkeys, Columbus Monkeys, the three-horned chameleon, and some unique forest birds. The favorite bird of the day will be the colorful Rwenzori Turaco. This bird shares this forest with a multitude of other birds, making the journey a good one for bird lovers.

Day 2: Omu Kakiiza Camp to Lake Mahoma camp (2990m):

Early morning, you have a choice to do morning walks around the camp, return to breakfast and set off to the next camp that will be at 2990 meters. The trek today will take you an estimate of 6.6km, up to the highest point of 3030 meters (the highest point on this trail) before descending to Lake Mahoma. Today’s night camping will be at Lake Mahoma. Lake Mahoma is the largest and most accessible of over–twenty lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains. The common vegetation on today’s trail is bamboo sparse trees and some mountain shrubs. The trail will sometimes lead you through the mountain elephant tracks. Look out for the fresh footmarks of this large mammal. Mountain elephants are known to be shy and more aggressive. This makes it hard to find. Lucky guests have sometimes spotted them at a distance as they take a drink from the hot springs. As you near the lake you will find some unique alpine vegetation such as the giant lobelia, tussocks, and everlasting flowers.

Day 3: Lake Mahoma camp to the base camp:

On this day, you will complete the Mahoma trail trek ending at the park gate to the base camp. With a ranger, the morning is a good time to take a short walk that gives you an opportunity to take some pictures of the scenic lake views. Take the suggestion of the ranger which walk will be the best based on his knowledge of the area. Return to breakfast and then descend through the forest zone with a mix of bamboo, heather, and lichen handing off trees like “old man’s beard”, from Lake Mahoma to Nyabitaba hut. At Nyabitaba, you will join the central circuit that will lead you to the park gate.

Price per person:  460$ (three or more people going)

Trip includes: 

Trip excludes:

Description

A trip to the legendary Mountains is the next challenge to every adventure seeker, that is none comparable to any Mountain in Africa. Traversing the four of the five vegetation zones of the Rwenzori Mountains in one journey. The mountain is a complete beauty all the way from the communities and the foothills. You will be entering through the local subsistence farming plots mixed with traditional homesteads in the peripheries of the forest. At a higher altitude, common sites are the extensive bogs, great scenery of the glacier valleys, the glacial rivers with glittering falls, rapids, and of course the beautiful fauna and flora with unique flowers and colorful birds, most of which are endemic to this mountain.

I have provided four options for trekking on the central circuit as follows;

Option 1 – Six days Central circuit trail: This is a full circuit completed

Option 2 – Four days, trek to john Mathe: This is a return journey that ascends for two days and descends for two days on the same trail

Option 3 – Three days Mahoma trail loop: This is a loop south of the central circuit trail and is a complete three days circuit.

Option 4 – Two days overnight trek to Nyabitaba campl: This is an ovrnight trek tah takes guests to Nyabithaba, the soectacular lake mahoma and great views over the labe before returing to the base camp

 

OPTION 1:

SIX DAYS CENTRAL CIRCUIT TREK

Day 1: Nyakalengija gate1646m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:

On the first trekking day, we start Rwenzori climbing. After a briefing with the local porters and guides, you will trek from 1646 meters to Nyabitaba hut at 2632 m Dinner and overnight at the mountain camp. (5-6hrs)

Day 2: Nyabitaba-John Mathe 3.414 m:

On the second trekking day, Leave Nyabitaba and take the central circuit loop anticlockwise. The trail leads to the crossing point of rivers Mubuku and Bujuku. After a slippery and difficult path, you will reach Nyamuleju hut at 3000 meters a simple shelter among rocks. It’s better to hike for the other 3 hours and reach John Matte hut at 3414 meters and spend the night. (7 hrs)

Day 3: John Mathe – Bujuku 3962m:

The third trekking day will lead you to Bujuku hut after 5 hours of hiking passing through the Bigo bog where there is an old shelter. Bujuku hut is located at 3962 meters near Bujuku Lake in a valley among 3 mountains: Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, and Mt Speke. (5hrs)

Day 4: From Bujuku Hut to Kitandara hut, 4.023 m.

From Bujuku Hut climb through moss-draped groundsel vegetation to Scott Elliot Pass, 4.372 m., between Mt. Baker and Stanley. After you will head to Upper Kitandara Lake and through thick mud to Lower Kitandara Lake where Kitandara Hut is located, 4.023 m. Time to complete the hike about 3 hours more. From Kitandara Hut you can proceed to climb Mount Baker or Mount Luigi di Savoia and the peak Vittorio Sella. Enjoy the view of Mt. Luigi di Savoia.

Day 5: From Kitandara Hut to Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m.

Some people consider the fifth trekking day as hard as the second! After crossing Fresh Field pass the head for the new Guy Yeoman hut at 3261 meters. In case of fog or bad weather, it could be hard to follow the trail and remember that the last part is full of bogs. Before Guy Yeoman hut there are other two shelters: Bujongolo and Kaijongo. Bujongolo is well known for having been the base camp of Luigi di Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi who conquered and fully explored the Rwenzori in 1906. (6hrs)

Day 6: Guyeoman – Nyakalengija Base camp:

The sixth trekking day is dedicated to descending to the camp of Nyabitaba. On the descent, there are some tricky points since the terrain is often slippery and boggy. Thanks to the newly developed ladders and boardwalks that make it a lot easier. After Kichunchu rock the trail will become easier passing through bamboo forests interesting to many birdwatchers. (5-6 hrs)

On the same day (after lunch at Nyabitaba) you will continue to the Rwenzori National Park headquarters Ruboni community. After a well-earned rest with the entire trekking group, porters, and guides, you go to Ruboni community camp for dinner and a night. (3hrs)

Price per person: 1050$ (two or more people going)

 

OPTION 2:

FOUR DAYS JOHN MATHE CAMP TREK

Day 1: Nyakalengija gate1646m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:

On the first trekking day, we start Rwenzori climbing. After a briefing with the local porters and guides, you will trek from 1646 meters to Nyabitaba hut at 2632 m Dinner and overnight at the mountain camp. (5-6hrs)

 Day 2: Nyabitaba-John mathe 3.414 m:

On the second trekking day, Leave Nyabitaba and take the central circuit loop anticlockwise. The trail leads to the crossing point of rivers Mubuku and Bujuku. After a slippery and difficult path, you will reach Nyamuleju hut at 3000 meters a simple shelter among rocks. It’s better to hike for the other 3 hours and reach John Matte hut at 3414 meters and spend the night. (7 hrs)

Day 3: John mathe 3.414 m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:

On the third day, you will retune back to Nyabitaba on the same trail. this will lead you back to your previous camp for dinner and overnight.

 Day 4: Nyabitaba 2632 m: – Nyakalengija gate1646m:

After breakfast at Nyabitaba, you will descend to the Rwenzori National Park headquarters Ruboni community. After a well-earned rest with the entire trekking group, porters, and guides, you go to Ruboni community camp for dinner and a night. (3hrs)

Price per person: 670$ (three or more people going)

OPTION 3:

THREE DAYS/ TWO NIGHTS MAHOMA TREK

Day 1: From the base camp (1615m) to Omu kakiiza camp (2,977m:

The first trekking day starts at Nyakalengijo base camp at Omuka Kiiza Camp. Today’s trek starts with a relatively steep trail. However, the trail has been designed to cut the terrain making it easy for all guests. The guide will take you through the 7.2 km trek that goes through a lush forest on the ridge that offers breathtaking views of the Mubuku River trailing the valley. You have high chances of spotting some wildlife which includes; chimpanzees, Blue Monkeys, Columbus Monkeys, the three-horned chameleon, and some unique forest birds. The favorite bird of the day will be the colorful Rwenzori Turaco. This bird shares this forest with a multitude of other birds, making the journey a good one for bird lovers.

Day 2: Omu Kakiiza Camp to lake Mahoma camp (2990m):

Early morning, you have a choice to do morning walks around the camp, return to breakfast and set off to the next camp that will be at 2990 meters. The trek today will take you an estimate of 6.6km, up to the highest point of 3030 meters (the highest point on this trail) before descending to Lake Mahoma. Today’s night camping will be at Lake Mahoma. Lake Mahoma is the largest and most accessible of over–twenty lakes in the Rwenzori Mountains. The common vegetation on today’s trail is bamboo sparse trees and some mountain shrubs. The trail will sometimes lead you through the mountain elephant tracks. Look out for the fresh footmarks of this large mammal. Mountain elephants are known to be shy and more aggressive. This makes it hard to find. Lucky guests have sometimes spotted them at a distance as they take a drink from the hot springs. As you near the lake you will find some unique alpine vegetation such as the giant lobelia, tussocks, and everlasting flowers.

Day 3: Lake Mahoma camp to the base camp:

On this day, you will complete the Mahoma trail trek ending at the park gate to the base camp. With a ranger, the morning is a good time to take a short walk that gives you an opportunity to take some pictures of the scenic lake views. Take the suggestion of the ranger which walk will be the best based on his knowledge of the area. Return to breakfast and then descend through the forest zone with a mix of bamboo, heather, and lichen handing off trees like “old man’s beard”, from Lake Mahoma to Nyabitaba hut. At Nyabitaba, you will join the central circuit that will lead you to the park gate.

Price per person:  460$ (three or more people going)

OPTION 4:

TWO DAYS NYABITABA CAMP/ MAHOMA TREK

Day 1: Nyakalengija gate1646m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:

On the first trekking day, we start Rwenzori climbing. After a briefing with the local
porters and guides, you will trek from 1646 meters to Nyabitaba hut at 2632 m Dinner
and overnight at the mountain camp. (5-6hrs)

 Day 2: Nyabitaba 2632 m: – Nyakalengija gate1646m:

After breakfast at Nyabitaba, you will trek through the mix of bamboo and tree forest to
Lake Mahoma to take the great views and picture moments over the lake. on this trek,
you have chances of finding Rwenzori Turaco birds chameleons, primates in the
canopy, elephant spoors, birds, and or ducks swimming on lake Mahoma. Lake Mahoma
is the largest of all the lakes on Mount Rwenzori. After a good time at Lake Mahoma,
return to lunch at Nyabitaba and then descend to the Rwenzori National Park
headquarters Ruboni community. (3hrs)

Price per person: 295$ (three or more people going)

Each of the trips includes: 

Trip excludes:

Please note that these are the prices for 2022 and my change without notice; please contact us today to find out the current prices.

Day 1: Nyakalengija gate1646m – Nyabitaba 2632 m:
On the first trekking day, we start Rwenzori climbing. After a briefing with the local
porters and guides, you will trek from 1646 meters to Nyabitaba hut at 2632 m Dinner
and overnight at the mountain camp. (5-6hrs)


 Day 2: Nyabitaba 2632 m: – Nyakalengija gate1646m:
After breakfast at Nyabitaba, you will trek through the mix of bamboo and tree forest to
Lake Mahoma to take the great views and picture moments over the lake. on this trek,
you have chances of finding Rwenzori Turaco birds chameleons, primates in the
canopy, elephant spoors, birds, and or ducks swimming on lake Mahoma. Lake Mahoma
is the largest of all the lakes on Mount Rwenzori. After a good time at Lake Mahoma,
return to lunch at Nyabitaba and then descend to the Rwenzori National Park
headquarters Ruboni community. (3hrs)


Price per person: 295$ (three or more people going)

We thank you for choosing to visit Ruboni and either stay with us or do our activities. By choosing Ruboni community, you have chosen that your trip benefits should go directly to the local community that owns and runs Ruboni community camp and her associated tourism activities. Thank you very much for choosing to put a smile on the rural economically challenged households.

As you set up for your visit, I would like to give you a few hints that may help you to be more prepared for your visit/ stay with us. Please read on…

Packing:

The main packing list for Ruboni includes a warm layer, rain gear, and insect repellant. A specific detailed packing list will be provided based on the activities you want to do. These activities may range from walking in the community forest, trekking to the hills, walking in the village, to trekking the Ruwenzori Mountains up the margarita. Here you will find a packing list for the margarita trek that covers the general items you will need for this trek to the highest and lower peaks of the Rwenzori mountains.

Activities:

Ruboni community camp provides services beyond accommodation restaurants and bars. We coordinate a list of over eight different community activities that you can participate in during your stay with us. Though it is easy to arrange the activity of choice on arrival, it is better to have a peek idea of what activities you will have to select from. The activities that we offer can be found on this link.

Payments and finance:

We are not a cash-only business. You have three options of payment methods you can use. These include; Credit card payment, mobile money, wire transfer, and cash on arrival.

All credit card and mobile money payments will call for a surcharge to cater to the withdrawal and transaction fees. On a credit card, it will be a 4% charge while on mobile money it will be on a case-by-case basis, mainly depending on which mobile money network provider, but won’t exceed 3%. You can contact us to find the local mobile money rates at your time of travel to Uganda.

Ruboni community camp is located 26km from the nearest ATM machine. Please plan appropriately. Even if you will pay cashless, we recommend that you can carry some cash to buy local gifts and give some tips. Tips and purchase of gifts are not compulsory but are one way to increase a smile on the local service providers so we highly recommend them.

Conduct: we guarantee that you will have a good stay with us. This is based on our past experience and our knowledge of the local hospitable and friendly people. However, we encourage you to listen to your guide regarding the local way of life. This way, you will be able to express yourself to the locals in the most appropriate way that allows the people to welcome and entertain you in their local culture and way of life.

Rooms and capacity:

Ruboni community camp is a small lodge that takes a maximum of 20 people per night. Our rooms are twin and double basis. We have self-contained and none self-contained rooms. Hopefully, by the time you receive this, you have gone through the reservation processes and have selected which room you will take. It is important to specify if you want a twin or double so that we can arrange for you before arrival.

Diet and special diet requirements:

At Ruboni, we prepare both vegetarian and nonvegetarian meals. Vegan meals can be prepared at prior request. We cater to special diet requirements on request. Please share with us if you have any special diet requirements that we must know.

How to get to Ruboni Community Camp:

Ruboni community camp is located 26km from Kasese town. For those coming from Fort portal, you don’t have to drive all the way to Kasese town. You will branch off right, at Nkenda electric terminal on Kasese fort portal road, 9km before Kasese town or 8km from Hima cement factory. The main landmark here is the many metallic electric poles on your right just after crossing the river Mubuku bridge. From the branch off, you will drive for 17km towards the Rwenzori Mountains National park gate. The accommodation is located on the left, about 1km before the park gate.

Ruboni Community Camp can also be found through Google maps. This app will show you the direction from any location if you ask for directions to Ruboni Community Camp.

Contactless check-in (zero space for covid19):

Due to the emergence of covid19, we have modified some services. We are always committed to keeping our guests, staff, and community safe from covid19 and other emerging health risks. This is done through our “zero space for covid19 strategy”.

Since we can only succeed by preventing covid19 as a team, we encourage you to help us minimize the chances of spreading the virus by using our contactless check-in system. You can contact us for the contactless check-in form. you will then have to fill out this form and return it to Ruboni Community camp through ruboni.communitytourism@gmail.com or WhatsApp +256752503445

  1. Non-cotton shirts
  2. Long sleeve shirts
  3. Waterproof hiking boots
  4. Pairs of pants
  5. Sandals for changing while in the camp
  6. Extra pairs of socks
  7. extra pair of shoes for staying in the camp
  8. warm underwear
  9. scarf
  10. puff jacket
  11. Poncho. (Rain overcoat)
  12. Rain jacket
  13. Waterproof pants
  1. Waterproof bags like Ziplocs for protecting your items from rain
  2. Hot water bottle (optional)
  3. Water bottle (a camelback is handy)
  4. Large backpack/ Rack sack
  5. Small backpack (day pack)
  6. Good sleeping bag (below -3 degrees)
  7. Headlamp
  8. Microfiber towel (or a handkerchief)
  9. First aid kit (personal)
  10. Extra camera battery and extra memory cards
  11. Trail snacks
  12. Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses
  13. Water filter/ purifying tablets
  14. Trekking items of personal preference (have to be within the maximum 22 kg allowed)
  15. A power bank and solar panel compatible with your rechargeable gadgets (should be refilled every time you have a chance)
  16. Toiletries of choice of personal preference
  17. Prescription medications (if any)
  1. Climbing rope (provided within the budget)
  2. Mudguards
  3. Pair of crampons  
  4. Harnesses       
  5. Ice axe            
  6. climbing boot
  7. Rubber boots
  8. Snow glasses
  9. Helmet
  10. Warm Gloves
  11. walking poles (walking stick)

You should stay at these two community lodges during your trip to Uganda. Owned and run by
the local communities living next to the most popular National Parks of Uganda, they offer a story of
both wildlife and culture, showcasing how they have lived all their life with the animals, including those
as large as the elephants and as hostiles as the Lions, king of the jungle.

Ruboni community camp

Location: Rwenzori mountains National park
Activities: The activities offered by Ruboni Community camp include; accommodation, village tours,
Rwenzori trekking, traditional dances, and other cultural experiences

Prices for the year 2022: (as prices may change without prior notice, kindly contact us for current prices)

Other unique activities you can participate in, off the tourist network;

Ruboni restaurant terrance

The elephant home

Location: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Activities: The activities offered by the elephant home include; accommodation, village tours, wildlife
safaris, Kazinga channel boat cruise, Lion tracking experience, bodaboda safaris, Chimp tracking, and the
crater lakes tour.

Prices for the year 2022: (as prices may change without prior notice, kindly contact us for current prices)


Please note: the park entrance fee of 40$ per person covers 24 hours and can cater to all activities you
do in the park within that 24 hours window. This means, that one entrance fee can allow you to do the boat cruise, game drive, and chimp tracking if they are done on the same day.

Elephant home twin room

Payments:

Payment is easy too. You have access to several flexible payment options in US Dollars or Uganda shillings;


I mention it again; please contact us to find out the current prices, since they may change without prior
notice. For more inquiries, contact us through this website via email, phone call, or WhatsApp.

Tourism Benefits distribution:

These lodges are fully owned and run by the local communities. All the money spent on this facility goes
back onto the community improving the local standards of living, supporting environment conservation, and enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change. If you want to explore and learn more about
how these benefits reach out to the community members, you can ask to visit some of the beneficiary
projects in the area. Besides, we have volunteer packages where guests can stay longer to participate in
community development and conservation initiatives supported by tourism.

Community Enterprise name: Bwindi Eco-farm
Location: Nkuringo gate, Sanuriro village, Bwindi impenetrable National Park

Description:

The location on the hills in the remote areas of Bwindi, Nguringo leaves the local residents with very little hope for water, food, or access roads to their homes. Like, many other surrounding villages, Sanuriro village is mainly covered by tea gardens as a key cash crop. Nyasio, a local resident has chosen to make a difference by establishing a food crop farm to address food scarcity in his family and the surrounding community. It requires extra effort to provide manure, water, labor, and security to the farm amidst scarcity in this hilly village. This calls for hard work and innovation on the farm. He has had no option but to train the short Batwa people, on how to grow some of the tallest bananas in Uganda.

Here, this farm gives visitors an opportunity to spend a day or a few hours on this mountainside with the Batwa people, experiencing a memorable moment of living with the Batwa. Sitting on 2 acres, this land has been planned to maximize the use of manure, water, and labor. It is an all-inclusive farm with few animals, (cows, goats, chickens) to provide the most needed manure. With a forest to supply the energy and building materials, Nyasio is able to spend all his time on this farm to ensure high production, skills exchange with the local community including the Batwa people. This farm is a food spot. Local people in the surrounding village, frequent the farm to buy foods including bananas, sugarcane, yams, and others for food or for resale as household businesses.


Nyasio’s effort has empowered the whole village. He also provides classes and job opportunities to the Batwa to help them earn the necessary income and food for their households. Now Nyasio has integrated tourism. He has opened the farm to welcome tourists to come and learn as they support his effort. This is one way he will continue to address climate change challenges on the farm, and empower the local village with access to food, income, and skills using the tourism benefits and connections.

Activities you can participate in:
• Batwa forest life experience:
• Batwa music and dance performance:
• Batwa skilling experience:
• Bwindi eco-farm tour:

Duration: Each activity takes 60-90 minutes. The full experience takes 4-5 hours

Highlights:
• Farming with the Batwa on the farm
• Learning how to use local tools
• Harvesting and eating local fresh foods
• Batwa traditional stories and dances
• great scenery of the hills and forest

What to bring:
• Insect repellant
• Buy drinking water from Nkuringo
• Walking shoes
• A hut as the area may be hot
• Sun cream
• some cash for tips and buying gifts
• Camera and binocular

Accommodation option
• A leveled ground for camping with a pit latrine is available on the farm

Price:
• Camping $ 10 per person – Bed/ own tent
• Each activity 15$
• Full day experience 50$

Responsible travel:
• The employment opportunity for locals,

• Training and skills to the locals
• Support the Batwa marginalized group of people
• Market for the local goods and services

Contact:
Nyasio Byamukama:
Assistance in booking by The Uganda trips
TEL: +256 706581477 Whatsapp: +256 780278010
Email: theugandatrips@gmail.com
Website: www.theugandatrips.com

Absolutely YES, and this is why?

I am sharing my hands-on experience, after traveling to Queen Elizabeth National Park Recently. I hope this information will help you to make the most valuable decision about whether you should or shouldn’t travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

I traveled to Queen Elizabeth National Park early this year. First I didn’t know what to expect other than the animals. I was not sure of the other attractions such as the beautiful landscapes, the friendly people, the excellent climate, and many more that I am about to tell you.

Queen Elizabeth Safari

When you travel to Queen Elizabeth national park, you have good access to a range of accommodation facilities. You have an opportunity to explore the budget and standard that suits you. I think Queen Elizabeth is a complete destination with something to offer for every visitor. If you’re looking for accommodation, the elephant home was definitely my best due to the affordable prices, delicious food, hospitable staff, spacious and clean self-contained rooms, and easy accessibility by both public and private transport.

The secret of Queen Elizabeth lies in the budget, access, community, scenery, wildlife safaris, and cultural encounters that are easy to arrange through the local communities. I know someone may tell you that it is very expensive to stay in or around Queen Elizabeth. This will be probably because they look for high-end tourism companies, lodges, or safaris and end up losing the niche of this destination. Thanks to Rainforest and community tours being a specialist in community-based tourism around Uganda, I was able to find my best and will definitely come back to this “paradise on earth”.

Queen Elizabeth is an iconic ecosystem that stands out from the rest of Uganda. It connects an extensive rich habitat of fauna and flora. In this park, I found cross boundary wildlife such as the elephants, birds, and other water life that crosses all the way from the Virunga National Park. During certain seasons of the year, you can even find massive numbers of birds congregating on the banks during the famous Kazinga channel boat cruise. Lake Munyanyange, also a salt lake in Katwe is a hub for lesser flamingos that visit once every year all the way from Magadi in Kenya. This is when you participate in the wildlife safaris in Kasenyi or Ishasha sector or when you take the Kazinga Channel Boat cruise. This boat cruise is conducted on the freshwater channel that links Lake George to Lake Edward. Lake Edward is a cross-border lake whose main part is in Congo. 

Besides the enormous holiday potential of this park, I was surprised to find out that, Queen Elizabeth National park is close to many other attractions in the western region than you can ever imagine. These include the great mountain gorillas that are just 146km away. The Rwenzori Mountains of the moon are also located about 40Km away. Other attractions include; the Kalinzu forest offering nature walks and chimp tracking experiences, the crater lakes area for scenic walks, and the cultural encounters in the surrounding areas.

This is the only park in Uganda that is easily accessed by public transport. With public means, you can reach all activities in the park. Again, the safaris and activities in this park are better organized by a local community service provider who is knowledgeable of the area. The elephant home plays this role very well. This protected area is a human biosphere. You will find safe roads that travel through to access the human communities that live within the park. Such villages include Kasenyi village, Lake Katwe salt-mining village, Hamukungu village, and others. When you visit these communities, you get the best story of people and wildlife.

If you want to go to paradise cheaply while in Uganda, you will have to choose Queen Elizabeth national park. I highly recommend it for people looking for affordable services such as food, transportation, safari options, and cultural encounters that share the story of how the people live with wild animals in the heart of Africa. The Bodaboda Safari organized by the youth at Kikorongo was my favorite. I was able to see the people, landscapes, local economic activities, and animals for barely 25$. The price may have changed by now, but it will still be low compared to Africa’s traditional safari prices. The Bodabda safari helped me save time and money. It was very easy to organize through the elephant home. They even have a package for this safari, that includes accommodation at the elephant home.

In the end, it is not risky to travel to Queen Elizabeth, at any time of the year. However, Queen Elizabeth is a destination that you need to plan more time for. To explore this area better, Rainforest and community tours, is your ultimate guiding star, and the elephant home lodge is your gateway. The staff at the elephant home is very hospitable and knowledgeable about all the activities you can do in and around the park.

Ruboni Community Visitor Center is a local tourist spot at the entrance to Nyakalengijoa central circuit gate of Rwenzori mountains National park. All tourism activities in Ruboni village are sold here. We also provide information about the different tourism activities in the Rwenzori mountains.

From just visiting the Ruboni area, to doing village tours or trekking to the High peaks of Rwenzori mountains on a multiday trek, the Centre is your one-stop point where you will get support. We provide information, do reservations, organize treks and receive payments. At the center, we have local guides that take you across the village on the many activities that are listed below;

This Community visitor center is a social enterprise that aims to empower the local people by acting as the sales house for the local tourism services and products for the local community. It aims a boost the local economy through support for training, enterprise development, production capacity building, and marketing of the local goods and services to both the locals and tourists.

The center also provides support to the community on tourism product development, marketing, capacity building, and networking.

Ruboni community camp is located in the Rwenzori foothills, at the entrance gate of Nyakalengijo, on the central circuit trail. This location is ideal for guests who want to spend some time in the mountain landscape that is full of unique cultural encounters. The main experiences here are; meeting the people, food experience, the great scenery, and getting to learn about Rwenzori mountains that are off the touristy route. An ideal stay in Ruboni community is two nights / three days long, though it has also been enjoyable for people staying shorter or longer. It is easy to reach Ruboni community camp on your way between Kibale and Queen Elizabeth national parks, by just branching off 17km to the west, at Nkenda electric terminal on Kasese – fort portal road.

This is how you can spend your three days during your stay at Ruboni Community Camp.

Day 1: Arrive at Ruboni community from Kasese town. You will be welcomed by the team, at the lodge. This evening, you will get an orientation about the available village activities as we validate the requirements. Retire to dinner in the cozy restaurant overlooking the Rwenzori Mountains. For those coming from far, it is possible to arrive from as afar as Kampala, Murchison falls, or Bwindi.

Day 2: Early morning village tour activity. Options to select from include a forest walk, hill climb trek, nature walk inside the park, or the overnight hill trek that takes you to 2400 meters. Whichever trek of choice, the activity will expose you to the beautiful mountains scenery, local crops gardens, and small animals unique to the Rwenzori foothills where you may sometimes find the three-horned Chameleons. After the tour, you will return to lunch at the camp. Relax the rest of the day or get ready for the next cultural encounter; a cultural evening at the community center.

If you choose to rest, you have the mountain scenery, the great foods, the hospitable staff, and the comfortable balcony in the restaurant to rest in the quiet home listening to the natural sounds within the camp. If you chose the cultural event encounter, then you will start off from the camp at around 4:00 pm. The community center is open for visitors throughout the day, the cultural events and festivities start at 5:00 pm ending at 7:00 pm. This gives you two full hours of living like a local with the locals.

Drive, or walk the 2km to the community center in the residential village where you will meet the locals during their social time. Ruboni community center is a place for fun in the cultural music and dances, local drinks and foods,  cultural workshops such as percussion, cooking tours, and craft-making, or talking to the people firsthand to share their stories of the local life.

While here you chose who to socialize with women, men, or children as they live their local life. Staying here is also a moment to reach out to your family and share your Rwenzori experience with them. This is possible with the WiFi connection. During or at the end of the experience, you will have time to go to the gift shop and buy some of the local crafts and souvenirs to take back home.

Day 3: In the morning spend some quiet time on the lodge balcony to have a late breakfast while gazing at the beautiful mountains, as you relax. After late breakfast, take the village walk and retire to lunch. On the village walk, the guide brings you to several households to show you their local livelihoods. These include; crafts producers, a farmer, traditional healers, storytellers, and blacksmiths. On this walk, you will have an opportunity to buy local produce such as coffee, vanilla, bananas, and crafts, after participating in processing them locally, with your hand and a few locally made tools.

Day 4: After an early breakfast, is a good time to transfer from Ruboni community camp to your next destination? People who want to trek the Rwenzori to the high peaks can also start their multiday trek on this day. You will find several treking options ranging from three days on the Mahoma trail loop, four to six days on the central circuit, or 8 days to margarita peak trek; the highest on mount Rwenzori.