You will be impressed when you get a chance to visit the Batwa and live like them For one day or just hours, in the hilly communities overlooking the Bwindi forest. You will be inspired by how these indigenous people have managed to coexist with the Bakiga tribe and can now have a smile despite the many changes that have happened in their life since they were displaced from the forest, their original traditional home! It is a story of joy that you won’t forget all your life.

Most Batwa people can’t read, write or speak English since they haven’t had much opportunity to attend a modern school. However, they are a very innovative group of people that have mastered their life both in the forest and as they adapt to the life outside the forest.

Fortunately, Mr. Nyasio, a local Mukiga young man, and his family have been of great help to the Batwa. He has lived with them all his life. They share the same village since his father offered the Batwa part of his land, to live on when they were displaced from the forest in the 1990s. Through a series of activities at Sanuriro village, Nyasio shares the story of his life with the Batwa and the many achievements he has had with the Batwa positively contributing to the local life, in Sanuriro village.

Activities:

You will spend time with the Batwa as you tour the local farms of sugarcane, bananas, yams, mountain cows and goats, and fish ponds. Nyasio has trained the Batwa to introduce them to farming. You will have an opportunity to share the farming lessons, and later, stay with the Batwa at the social center that they have established on this farm. At the social center, you will enjoy the music and dance sessions before you head back to your lodge.

The tour is charged either as a full package or the individual activities. You will be required to pay a little extra to buy local gifts to support the Batwa innovation. All the tour payment is retained within the village to support the farm and livelihood activities of this Batwa community.

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What to bring:

Ruboni Community Visitors Centre

The center is built for the locals to meet their visitors in the most respectable way. While here, we show you around our village and a cross-section of Bakonzo life in just one spot. If you have more time, we take you on short guided tours around the village in the foothills, where you can spend from a few minutes to several hours as you explore the nature, culture, scenery, and landscapes of the Rwenzori mountains. We offer volunteer placements in a range of projects including traditional farming and agro-processing, enterprise development, conservation and tourism, women empowerment, skilling, girl child empowerment, and education. Our volunteer opportunities are ideal for people who want to learn as they help change the lives of the local people. This is yet the best way to experience Rwenzori Mountains. We ensure that, while at this center, the locals feel at home and the visitors feel very welcome.

Experiences:

This is what you will experience when you visit the Ruboni Community Center.

Handicrafts purchase: A handicraft shop is stocked with locally made handicrafts. It is the ideal shipping center for gifts to use in your home or bring back home to your friends and loved ones.

Local meals, and snacks: Our kitchen offers only Ugandan dishes. Our meals and snacks are made by the local people with the local ingredients made to the traditional test that suites our guests who want to enjoy the local Ugandan cuisine. from making a Rolex to the most complex local dishes, you can also participate in the cooking process (prior booking) as part of the Ugandan food experience.

All sorts of drinks: A well-stocked bar with most of the modern and local drinks. our snack bar also offers hot drinks such as tea and coffee. in the local village, you can also participate in the experience of making the local drinks at a small tour fee.

Tour information: We have an info point about the short and long tours, treks, and safaris in the Rwenzori foothills, mountains, and queen Elizabeth national park. on request, our experienced team will also help you on how to travel to any part of Uganda. All information to our visiting guests is free of charge. Remote guidance on travel consulting around Uganda for guests who are not intending to visit is at a small fee of 10$.

Entrance

The minimum entrance fee is 1000 Uganda shillings for members and 4000 Uganda shillings for none members. The entrance fee enables you to get the benefit of this open networking spot in the village.

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What to bring:

It is possible to just arrive and enjoy the center’s services. However, depending on your interest, such as taking tours, participating in the experiences, or doing longer treks, you may need some items that you must pack, just in case. These include

Katwe community is one of the famous places that carry the history of the Kasese district and Uganda. Over the years, Katwe has not changed much and you’re yet to prove why during your visit. It is one of the privileged communities located inside Queen Elizabeth National park, giving visitors an opportunity to explore both the nature and culture of Uganda. The destination is rich in nature and culture. The local community guides experience of this village will be showing you around to explore the variety of holiday opportunities offered including; Traditional salt mining, fishing and boat cruises on Lake Edward, birding at Lake Munyanyange where you can find the migratory lesser flamingos in season, wildlife viewing on the shores of Lake Edward, and the local culture of the people who live in Katwe.

I know people who love culture, nature, wildlife, and great scenery would never want to leave Katwe when they visit. During the visit, the guides from Katwe Ecotourism Information center (KETIC) will take you on the tour of your choice. You can take all or choose from the following activities;

Activity 1 – Arrival in Katwe is like going out of the planet earth. all things seem different in the first place. You can arrive any time during the day. after orientation at the information center, you will head to salt mining as the main story carrying the heritage of this area. You will learn the science of salt mining from residents that have grown from slat proceeds all their life.

Activity 2 – After the salt mining tour, you can choose to pass by Lake Munyanyange. This is a national bird sanctuary. in season (August to November) you can find the lesser flamingo congregated on their seasonal visits from lake Magadi in Kenya. you will listen to the interesting flamingo migration story as you look for other unique bird species.

Activity 3 – Walk back to the community office amidst the breathtaking scenery of the landscape. this is a good time to go to the shores of Lake Edward. you will be meeting the fishermen as you look for wildlife on the shores, such as elephants, hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, Uganda cobs, and others that may be inside. this area is both park and community. the local people will share with you the story of how they live with wildlife, unprotected, which sounds like most people’s nightmare.

Activity 4 – After the exploration of the fishing and wildlife on the lake shores, you’re welcomed to the community. you can meet the dancer’s group, buy some handicrafts or visit one of the local homes to learn the way they cook fish freshly caught from lake Edward. after lunch and some time with the community is a good time to return to your hotel or next destination.

These tours can be charged separately or together as a package. I will quote the price of the salt mining experience. The others will be quoted on request.

Price per person: USD 10.00

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Important Note: Accommodation to this holiday can be offered by the community in Katwe or any other lodges in and around Queen Elizabeth National park.

What to bring:

Introduction:

A day with a coffee farmer in the Rwenzori foothills will change your mindset about the coffee you take every day. you will realize that it is not just a cup of coffee but a ton of labor effort and love from one farmer in the country that wakes up every day to go and tend to the coffee plant for several years, selectively harvests, drys, and process the coffee been to suite your innermost taste. this farmer in Ihani village will take you on a coffee farming experience that can take from one hour to a full day based on your interest. it is the main livelihood in this area. they have mastered planning, harvesting, drying, grinding, and taking a cup of organic coffee every morning. you will also go through all these steps during our coffee tour.

Stage 1 – Arrive any time between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm. you will be welcomed by the guide at the f-coffee house, who will give you a background of the coffee house project as he shows you the tools and items they use to farm and process coffee.

Stage 2 – You will be guided to the coffee gardens you start at the tree nursery, proceed to the tree gardens at the homes, and then to the demo garden before you reach the processing plant on a scenic hill. at each stage, you will participate in the local farming activity. the journey shows you the value of improved organic farming and how it increased the quality and quantity of coffee harvested.

Stage 3 – At the processing center, you will be shown the different ways of processing coffee to give the same organic cup of coffee. the different processes vary in length, level of activity, and preference by the market. you will get the reasons and advantages for each process as you participate.

Stage 4 – After you appreciate the journey of coffee farming, you will be brought to the traditional hut to make your own cup of organic coffee, the local way. this stage starts with an introduction to the local grinding tools which include the motor, pistol, and grinding stone. Grind your own coffee, heat the water on the traditional clay stove and then sip the well-deserved cup of coffee as you take the views of the surrounding mountain community

Price per person: USD25.00

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Important Note: accommodation can be privately arranged at any accommodation at the gateway (7km) or in Kasese town (16km)

What to bring:

Introduction:

The beauty of the hills, forests, and waterfalls on this trek are irresistible when you choose to trek the Rwenzori through the Nyamugasana valley. You will be trekking through the coffee farms, homesteads, and other scenic trails used by the local people during their daily life in the Rwenzori foothills. Following the Nyamughasna river, you will soon cross into the natural forest and trek under the canopy, until you reach the spectacular twin waterfalls. It feels like paradise when you see starling birds flying in and out of the falls, where they live. Below the falls, there is a pool where you can choose to swim in the glacier-cold waters that flow from the Rwenzori Mountains. Enjoy your picnic on the giant rocks as you take the views of the rapids and falls from different viewpoints.

Stage 1. From Queen Elizabeth national park, Arrive at the Nyacomose office in Kyondo town council. You will be briefed by the guide and set your baggage for the trek. The best arrival time is early in the morning between 7:00 am and 8: 00 am.

Stage 2. Start the trek, latest at 9:00 am. you can choose to drive to the hills where the forest entrance starts. whether by walking or driving, the views are spectacular. You will be scanning the local hillside settlements and farms throughout this part of the trek.

Stage 3. At the end of the road, you will cross the river Nyamughasana and start the forest walk. Under the canopy, you will find varied plants, insects, and sometimes primates amidst the mix of river and forest sounds. The guide will be introducing you to the ecosystem to relate it to local life. This forest is home to the twin waterfalls that you will find at the end as you slope down into the river valley to meet the waterfalls and giant rock landscape in the river bed. You can also choose to have a picnic and picture moments at the waterfalls before you return to the community.

Price per person: USD 25.00

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Important Note: Accommodation for this trip can be arranged in Kikorongo next to Queen Elizabeth National park, or in the local villages near the base camp.

What to bring:

Dave the Cave is an eco-lodge located in  Nyanzibiri village. Nyanziibiri is a local Ugandan dialect meaning two lakes. The lodge is perfectly perched on the edge of the beautiful twin lakes; Kamweru and Chema, at GPS coordinates; -0.26082, 30.12364. It is a modest eco-friendly lodge with private guestrooms, dormitories, a camping ground by the lakeside, and restaurant facilities. Dave the cave has 6 wooden comfortable cottages with a capacity to accommodate up to 24 clients per night. Besides the beautiful nature and scenery around the lake, the traditional story of the two lakes and how they relate with the local people has inspired so many visitors. Overlooking Lake Kamweru, the lodge offers comfortable accommodation, delicious fresh meals, and nature-based short trips to this area neighboring Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Why you must stay here

All travelers who are friends with nature must stay with us during their trip to Queen Elizabeth National park. The lodge is forested and is home to an abundance of wildlife such as monkeys, birds, butterflies, insects, squirrels, and other small mammals. In the lakes and wetlands, you will find fish and other amphibians.

The friendly staff offers a very high level of hospitality at the lodge, and on guided community excursions. The lodge is a perfect base for exploring the entire crater lakes area, with a long list of affordable walks and activities. The onsite mini-museum, forests, and herbal gardens offer guests an opportunity to explore nature and culture throughout their stay.

Dave the cave is a birder paradise with a list of over 120 bird species. A balcony in each room offers the best views of Kamweru lake and the surrounding wildlife. We also have abundant camping grounds with both the lake view, hill view, and bush camping. The lodge also offers some camping gear for hire when needed

Activities and short trips you can do during your stay

Highlights

Responsible travel

What to bring

Introduction:

This full-day activity in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park showcases the community’s local ways of life, wildlife viewing, savannah jungles landscape, and sceneries. The day package includes three different activities with three independent activities that are enough to fill up the whole day with reading intervals. it is suitable for guests who want to integrate culture and wildlife into their safari of queen Elizabeth and yet explore longer for a full day. To get the best out of this, you will preferably spend a minimum of one night at the destination, which can be either before or after the day of exploration. this activity is a perfect add-on to any other wildlife safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park or en-route to other destinations such as Kibale national park, the gorillas or lake Bunyonyi, and Rwanda.

Activity 1 – After breakfast at your lodge, with the help of a local guide, you will go on a bodaboda safari to explore the landscape around Queen Elizabeth National Park on a motorcycle like a local. Visit the local communities, around Lake Edward and Katwe salt pans.  Ride through the park to the equator. View immense wildlife on this enchanting journey outdoors. You can also take the option of participating in traditional salt mining midway in the safari. After the safari, you will retire to lunch.

Activity 2 – This afternoon you will participate in the afternoon boat safari. Connect to the Kazinga channel to join a boat cruise. For two hours on the channel, you will be looking for wildlife as you view it lined on the edges cooling off. The landscape and scenery are great. Common wildlife here includes; elephants, hippos, buffalos, waterbuck, crocodiles, birds, and others.

 Activity 3 – After the boat safari, you’re welcomed to diner ending the day at the elephant home.

Price per person: USD 100.00

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Important Note: Do you want this holiday for yourself or for someone else? In any case, you may want to buy now or in the future, for your friend or loved ones. Please contact us and we will give you great offers in a facility that allows you to give/ receive this wonderful gift to/ from your friend.

Those willing to spend a night; luxury, midrange or budget accommodation can be easily booked with us separately.

What to bring:

Introduction:

This is a full-day activity in the Rwenzori foothills that showcases the community’s local ways of life, nature in the unique forests, and landscapes on the mountains and foothills offering great scenery. It is a package with four independent activities that allow the guest to explore through the whole day. It is easy to add to a longer trip, for those planning a long safari in Uganda. To get the best out of this one-day experience, you will preferably spend one night, either before or after the day of exploration. The choice of the night to spend at the base camp will be determined by the distance of travel on the day before or after the experience.

Activity 1 – From your lodge, wake up early morning for breakfast. You will then take an early morning nature walk of your choice. This can either be a forest walk or a hill climb walk to take the scenery on the Rwenzori foothills. After the walk, return to an early lunch and relax.

Activity 2 – This afternoon you will participate in the cultural village walk. The village walk leads you to the community center where the community converges every evening to celebrate their local culture and other local cultural values.

Activity 3 – During the time at the community center, you will attend the local cultural festival. It is a collection of cultural music, dances, songs, with interpretations showcasing the Bakonzo culture on the Rwenzori Mountains. If interested, guests are also invited to participate or learn how to play the different musical instruments, sing or dance along with the local community members. It is a true moment of excitement and has been a highlight for most visitors who come to Rwenzori.

Activity 4 – After the dance, you’re welcomed to the drinking time where you will share a local drink and then retire back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Price per person: USD 65.00

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Important Note: Do you want this holiday for you or for someone else? You may want to buy this holiday for your friend or loved ones. Please contact us and we will give you great offers in a gift certificate that allows you to give/ receive this short trip as a wonderful gift to/ from your friend.

Those willing to spend a night; luxury, midrange or budget accommodation can be easily booked with us separately.

What to bring:

Introduction:

If you’re staying in the Rwenzori foothills, your evening is worth joining the cultural dance events. This evening event is a perfect display of culture in the Rwenzori. It is a mix of cultural dances, cultural demonstrations, local snacks, and drinks. The event enables visitors to have fun with the locals in Ruboni, the Rwenzori foothills village of Nyakalengijo. It is an opportunity to explore locally as you learn the people’s way of life.

If you attend this event, you will have a chance of discovering some of the hidden cultural secretes of the Ugandan Bakonzo people. You can dance, sing, or learn how to play the different musical instruments in some of the interesting workshops that can be easily arranged during the event.

The event is a daily evening activity for the locals where the visitors are allowed entrance, for all the two hours in the evening. This two hours event starts from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Special arrangements are possible under which you can be allowed to join this even earlier in the day.

Activity  

The activity is divided in three parts. On arrival, guests will be welcomed to a collection of different songs and instruments, being played by the local women and men. At each stage, the dancers will translate the meaning and cultural purpose of the song or dance.

Guests will then be welcomed to participate in the music themselves if they wish (optional). It is your choice. This allows you to do everything the locals have been doing for hundreds of years. After the training, all guests will be treated to a drink of their choice. The drink time is also the best time to go to the crafts shop to see some of the souvenirs on sale, in case you need to support the community members in this line. After the drink, retire to your accommodation

Price per person: USD 20.00

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Important Note: Do you want this holiday for you or for someone else? You may want to buy this holiday for your friend or loved ones. Please contact us and we will give you great offers in a gift certificate that allows you to give/ receive this short trip as a wonderful gift to/ from your friend.

Those willing to spend a night; luxury, midrange or budget accommodation can be easily booked with us separately.

What to bring:

For those seeking to explore Mount Elgon, we introduce to you Bluestar homestay.

Blue star homestay is located in a village setting of Sipi falls, in the foothills of Mount Elgon National park. The family has opened its doors to overnight guests and is willing to show you around mount Elgon from the base to the high peaks. The home offers three rooms with a capacity of accommodating up to six people a night. The family has a small backyard farm with goat’s cows and chicken. The crops grown include bananas, vegetables, and coffee from which you will be shown how to farm, harvest, and roast to prepare the coffee drink. From the farm, the family makes their own coffee so that guests can be treated to a fresh organic cup of coffee at any time.

Why you must stay here

Moses masai, your host is a very experienced loca guide in the area. he is also a key member of the local guides association. He will be able to show you the entire mount elgon on the mountain treks to the peaks and on the community tours of the area including the water falls tours, coffee experience, sundowner and others.

The homestay is safe for your property during your stay. it is privately surrounded by a wooden fence with a lockable gate. guests can park their cars inside the gate. The home is lit by hydropower, connected to running water and wireless Television. Guests can charge their gadgets within their rooms and have the liberty to watch TV news or sports in the living room on request.

It is located in sipi area, a short distance from the starting point of all sipi falls activities; the water falls walk, the rock-climbing and abseiling points, the sundowner tours and the local trading center where you cans wish to do some shopping or meet the local people.

It is a very welcoming and hospitable family. They will show you how to do everything in their home including cooking and farming. this family gives you an opportunity to experience the local life as an insider, in a none touristy way.

The price for the accommodation service is very low compared to other accommodation facilities in the area, yet the services are quite reliable.

Activities and short excursions you can do during your stay

Sipi area short trip can be added on a trip to the longer Kidepo Valley National park safari, Mount Elgon multiday trek to the peaks, or can be taken independently by those who want to unwind for a short while. In each case, Bluestar homestay is a perfect base. The following activities are available during your stay;

Key activity highlights

Responsible travel

What to bring: