The batwa experience is one of the activities, excursion you should endeavour to participate in. For several years before Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was gazetted as a National park, this forest was home to the Batwa Pygmies who were referred as the original dwellers and keepers of this tropical rain forest. After Bwindi Forest was gazetted as a national Park in 1993, the Pygmies were reallocated from the forest to the near by villages and towns.
For a long time, the Batwa pygmies depended on forest resources for survival. They used to hunt forest animals using spears and allows for meat and gathering plants and fruits for food. They could harness honey and depend on shrubs for medicine. They constructed huts using trees, leaves and climbing plants from the forest. In other-ward one can conclusively say that the Batwa Pygmies lived in harmony with the forest, and animals like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants, birds among others.
When Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was gazetted and declared a world heritage, the Batwa were expelled from the forest and their life changed there and then leaving their lives endangered since they had no land outside the forest and were not used the life outside the forest.
Batwa Pygmies experience as an activity can be done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Buhoma side located in the Northern Sector of the Park. Kindly note that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in South Western Uganda and has two sectors which are The South and the Northern Sectors. If you are interested in doing it, you need to book permits/Accommodation on the Buhoma Side.
The activity takes up to 5 hours including both the journey to and from plus the real experience. There is no set time for the activity so it can be flexible. Kindly note that the lates time to depart the craft shop is 2pm. You can join a morning or afternoon group.
How difficult is the hike?
The hike is moderately strenuous. Parts of the trail are steep but manageable. The path is well-maintained, and the guide will travel at your desired pace. The hike is not recommended for clients with major mobility issues or severe health problems that could place them at risk in an isolated environment.
What do I need to carry/Dress?
Carry your cameras, packed lunch, water and some energy giving snacks. You will require to have you hiking boots on, garden grooves, long sleeved trousers and shirts are required. Please bring your rain jacket and coats just in case it rains. Insect repellants are also recommended.
What is the Minimum Number of Visitors
The minimum number of people for the Batwa Experience is one and the maximum is 12 people. Up to 24 people can participate in the Batwa experience per day with 12 moving in the morning and 12 in the afternoon.