Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
A chance to have a taste of the Ugandan lifestyle. You will meet with locals of many different generations and see the way of life in this developing country. One of the highlights of this cultural visit is a visit to a traditional healer or medicine man from the DRC. He will show how bananas are used for a children’s drink, to make beer and also the local spirit. You will also get the chance to interact with the local Batwa community, they will show you how they incorporate every day activities into dance.
Batwa Cultural Experience
This activity requires a free day in Bwindi. You will trek into the forest to a Batwa village and meet the community. Here you will learn about their life style, past and present. They will invite you into their homes and show you their traditional hunting techniques and craft making skills.
Bwindi Community Health Centre
Or as it is affectionately know, Dr Scott’s Clinic, was started by US Missionaries Scott and Carol Kellermann in 2003. They
came to Uganda with a mission to the Batwa Pygmies who had been evicted from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest after it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991.
BCHC provides different levels of health care to different patients. People from the nearby parishes use the Health Center for
everything: outpatients for all health problems, delivery of babies, vaccinations, treatment of TB and when they become seriously ill and need admission to the wards. Sometimes very sick people are carried for miles on a stretcher by villagers.
People from further away use the Health Center for more complex problems, and will often go to their local Government Health Center first. Some of the local Government Health Centers struggle to get adequate supplies of drugs and others have
staff that battle with difficult working conditions and low morale. BCHC has a reputation for high quality, and sometimes
people travel for many days by foot to reach the Health Center. The x-ray and ultrasound machines are the only functional ones for many hours drive in every direction.
Altogether BCHC is relied upon by more than 40,000 people in Kayonza and Mpungu subcounties of Kanungu District. It is
especially important to the several hundred Batwa Pygmies who live nearby in poverty in settlements surrounding Bwindi
Impenetrable Forest. They get free health care, and are reached out to by Outreach projects.
Lake Mburo National Park
Ankole Cultural Centre
The Banyakole community surrounding Lake Mburo National Park have created the ‘Ankole Cultural Centre’ to highlight the customs and history of their kingdom. The Cultural Center is situated just outside the park near the Sanga gate. A visit to the Center
will introduce you to the traditional culture of the area and the local way of life. Typical village houses can be visited and Ankole guides will explain their people’s history and lifestyle. Distinctive Ankole hand made crafts can be purchased as souvenirs.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
VISIT TO THE SALT PLAINS AND FISHING VILLAGES:
Katwe Salt Lake is home to Uganda’s oldest industry. Here salt is mined in the traditional manner and the salt ore looks the
same as it did in the 14th century. The salt mine has been divided and distributed to various tribes in Uganda according to
traditional cultural expectations. Visit one of the local fishing villages and learn what is involved in the day to day life within
Ugandan fishing community.
KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary:
This small, but impressive wetland sanctuary protects the Magombe swamp and is an important contribution to Ugandan
conservation. It is run by Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) and all the money raised
from tourism is used in community projects in Bigodi. The trail offers one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa and
gives walkers the attractive prospect of seeing various different primate species in just a few hours. The swamps are a haven
for a huge number of bird and butterfly species and so ornithologists will be in great delight as they trek through the rich
swampland accompanied by the great diversity of sights and sounds of the beaked and tuneful residents. Visitors can also
expect to see at least 5 to 6 of the different primate species which reside in Kibale Forest National Park.
CULTURAL / FARM WALK:
This is available for any of the clients and lasts about 2 hours. The walk includes visiting the vanilla plantations, where Ndali
grow and process their own vanilla for resale locally and internationally. The vanilla grown on site is supplemented with that
grown by over 1000 other farmers, a community project implemented and maintained by Ndali. On the walk you also encounter
coffee plantations and a wide variety of birds and some small primates. On
the way back up to the lodge, clients are shown the extensive Ndali kitchen gardens
where a wide variety of fruit and vegetables is grown and used at the lodge or sold
at the local markets.
LUNCH AT TINKA’S
Tinka is an prominent community leader in Bigodi district and he welcomes you
into his home to enjoy a traditional Ugandan meal. Not only will he be able to
supply the Ugandan diet, Tinka will also describe each dish and give you background
information on the farming, harvesting and cooking methods involved in
preparing the foods.
This community project is situated halfway between Entebbe and Kampala. It is a locally run company who use natural materials,
such as banana leaf, pineapple and elephant grass, to make various kinds of paper. This is then used to produce a wide
variety of items, including photo frames, gift boxes, cards, albums, books, and many other interesting objects. During your
visit you will be shown the process of paper making, with an opportunity to get your hands dirty and give it a go if you
wish. You will be shown how the paper is then worked to make the various goods and again have the opportunity to make
something yourself to take home. At the end of the tour, there will be a chance to purchase any of the items on sale. The
money received from the sale of any goods is used to help local communities. This year papercraft have expanded their crafts
to include the making of soaps which they supply to the lodges and also jewelry which is made from recycled glass.
ENTEBBE WELFARE SCHOOL
Beyond Frontiers Travel, helps to support this school.
The school was established to help children with disabilities in Entebbe and the surrounding areas. It is a mixed gender school
with the ages of the children ranging from 5yrs to 17yrs. At the close of 2009 there were a total of 65 pupils at the school,
and an estimated increase of about 10% is expected in 2010. It is the only school in the area which caters for children with
special requirements. The majority of the pupils are day schooled but a few who come from far board at the school. At the
moment there is 1 girl’s dormitory and 1 boy’s dormitory.
The education level taught is from Primary 1 to 4. The school wishes to extend this to reach Primary 7, but unfortunately
they do not have the facilities to cater for the increased number of students.
The day to day activities are run by a team of 6 teachers and the head mistress is called Gertude Nakanabi and has been in
this position since 2003.
USE OF COMMUNITY RELATED AND ECO FRIENDLY LODGES
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge: This lodge, a first in Uganda, has been built as a
partnership between the Nkuringo Community Development Fund (NCDF),
United States Agency for International Development USAID, Wildplaces, Africa
Wildlife Foundation through the International Gorilla Conservation Programme.
With the ultimate goal of protecting the natural habitat of the mountain
gorilla, ‘Clouds’ will directly benefit the community of Nkuringo who also
have a significant stake in the venture.
Buhoma Lodge: The lodge has been designed using sustainable local materials where possible, with the emphasis being on
natural products, which has, in turn, given support to the local communities. Solar power is used inside the chalets for lighting.
Gorilla Forest Camp: Designed to blend seamlessly into the fragile environment.
Mihingo Lodge: The main dining area is a large thatched structure
built of rocks, the wood of dead weathered olive trees found on the
land and native grasses. In appreciation of its fragile surroundings,
Mihingo Lodge is an environmentally friendly accommodation. The
buildings are constructed in such a way as to melt into the rocky
outcrops and savannah landscape around them. Electricity, hot water,
and water pumps are powered by solar energy and there is a
natural water catchment system to take advantage of the rains.
Ndali Lodge: Designed to blend with the landscape, the
lodge was built using all local materials such as traditional
mud render and thatching, providing the lodge with its key
qualities of light, space, simplicity and openness to nature.
The interiors are imaginatively and comfortably furnished
where the decor emphasis in on the use local materials. At
night the dining room is festooned with candles – the
lodge only has solar electricity in the cottages so as to not
destroy the tranquility and atmosphere of a night in the
African bush. The lodges’ special atmosphere, friendly and
informal, is due in part to the welcoming and unaffected
staff who are all from local farms and villages and trained
by the lodge.
Jacana Safari Lodge: Designed using local materials and organic furniture to blend in with the surrounding forest.
Kyambura Game Lodge: The lodge has been built using environmentally friendly local materials by builders from the local
community. The lodge also has a beautiful camp fire setting around which local traditional dancers will entertain you as you relax after the day’s activities. The restaurant serves organic vegetables from our own garden.