Buhoma Community Walk: Must Do

Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is not only popular for being the first sector for being created but is also known for offering wonderful cultural experiences to tourists on their gorilla tours. One of the must-do cultural tours within the region or sector is Buhoma Community walk and it is not just any walk but introduces tourists to the local communities living near this verdant Forest as well as their interesting culture, and involves activities like making art and crafts, enjoying traditional dances, traditional cooking, making herbal medicines and brewing local gin among others.

This 3-hour village walk not only provides chances of observing the people living near the Forest but is also a perfect way of offering direct support to the local community members to allow them benefit from tourism development and the presence of resources in their area. This informative and rewarding walk normally begins from Buhoma Community Rest Camp and is conducted in the company of local guides and it’s not surprising that you will be delighted by how helpful these locals are as you observe and learn their local lifestyles. While on this walk, you first stop will be at the Craft shop where women weave and sell handicrafts where you will also purchase some of the items within the Community Crafts Center, which you will definitely appreciate.

There will be another stop at the beautiful waterfall within the center of the farmland and you will also see a number of energetic and hardworking women cultivating their fields and tending to their crops. Traditional tools such as hoes and pangas are the basic equipments used in addition to their ordinary energy but no high-tech equipments like it is done in other developed countries. If you happen to visit at the right season, you will get the chance to see how tea is harvested (picked) and you will moved by how the skilled pickers swiftly pick fresh leaves.

There is always another brief stop by River Muyaga where you will be moved by how the local women wash clothes with their hands and not the washing machines as you are used to back home, and the surrounding areas offer some beautiful butterfly species that you can amazed at. You will then proceed with the walk until you find a banana plantation where you will observe how local beer is brewed using bananas and how the local gin-“waragi” is distilled. Amazingly, Uganda is one of the World’s top growers of bananas with more than 50 varieties grown, thus the reason it is sometimes referred as “Banana Republic”.

The Buhoma Community walk also leads tourists to the Village Traditional Healer whom when you meet might think he is a witch doctor but is not because he uses what nature offers (tree and plant species) to treat different ailments. You will be moved by his immense knowledge and informative demonstrations and if lucky, you will get some of his patients who will corroborate to the healing powers. Tourists can participate in this walk also visit the nearby Mukono Primary School and interact with some of the children and their teachers who will tell you some of challenges they face in trying to build their careers. What will captivate you is how these children learn without computers and electricity but still have high spirits and look forward to great careers.

The highlight of this visit is the visit to the Batwa Pygmies-original inhabitants of the forest before it was gazetted in 1991. While here, you will see how these people make fire from rubbing sticks and will be concluded with an invigorating traditional dance.

Conclusively, the Buhoma Community Walk is an add-on activity for tourists on gorilla safaris within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and introduces tourists to traditional activities of the locals including beer brewing and local gin distilling and allows tourists to meet the traditional healer who uses local herbs to treat ailments that you may need to use tablets for.