Why Opt for other Primates activities from Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Mountain Gorilla Trekking is one of the most popular wildlife adventures in Africa but also one of the most expensive safaris in Africa as a single gorilla permit costs US$ 600 per person if you are doing gorilla trekking in Uganda and US$ 1500 for Rwanda gorilla permit which makes it hard for low budget travelers but even if it’s like that still visitors yearn for a chance of meeting the rare mountain gorilla in the wild. Good news is that you can enjoy a more affordable primate tracking in Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth park and Murchison falls park and ditch the expensive Bwindi gorilla safari package.

You can visit Kibale forest Budongo forest, Kaniyo pabidi forest o or Kyambura and get chance to encounter up to 12 primates including the infamous chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, baboons, Black & White colobus monkey, L’hoest monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, Grey cheeked mangabey to mention but a few.

Here are four reasons why you can ditch the gorilla safari in Bwindi for a trip to other primate destinations

Cheaper permit –  Unlike the high cost gorilla permit that costs US$ 600 per person, it will just cost you US$ 150 per person for a primate walk in Kibale forest and only US$ 90 per person for treks through Bundongo forest , Kaniyo Pabidi forest and the Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth.

Shorter distance –  Bwindi forest and Mgahinga park are both situated in the south western corner of Uganda with road trips lasts up to 8 hours if you are travelling from Kampala city while trips to Murchison falls park and Queen Elizabeth park are way shorter so you won’t have to worry about the long distances boring trips.

Wildlife driversity  – A safari to  Bwindi forest and Mgahinga ranges will only limit you to seeing the gorillas and a few other primates which is not the case if you do primate tracking in Murchison falls park & Queen Elizabeth park , you will get chance to encounter other species including  herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffes, warthogs, lions, leopards, antelope species and a variety of brid species.

Other activities – You don’t have to be limited to only gorilla trekking & nature walks when you make a tour to Murchison falls park  and Queen Elizabeth national park , from exciting morning and evening game drives to relaxing  launch trips along the Nile , hot air balloon safaris and bird watching , the list of things to do not only caters for nature and primate lovers but also adventure seekers and ardent birders.

So if you can’t afford gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, then you should consider tracking other primates in the above mentioned destinations to cut your trip expenditure and also get chance to encounter other wildlife species. To book or inquire about a safari to Bwindi forest, Murchison falls park, Queen Elizabeth national park or any other destination, simply send us an email to info@gorillasafaritrek.com or call us on +256-777887173

The Batwa Cultural Experience in Bwindi National Park

Following the government orders in 1991, the Batwa were displaces from their initial home where they lived as food gatherers and hunters (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) they were relocated to a free land in Buhoma, this came after the UNESCCO approving Bwindi as a World Heritage site and so by protecting the forest as a national treasure because of the rare mountain gorilla the Batwa were forcefully evacuated from the forest to reserve the eco system.

Batwa CommunityAfter their struggle to learn behaviors in the community, they claimed for a private land as a platform to keep their culture in progress, they were given a part of the forest next to the community and that’s
where tourist will always find them to show case their ancient forest culture.

At the demonstration forest you are welcomed by representative of the Batwa family who will take you around with the help of the community guide translating during the entire activity.
In this place you enjoy the cool temperature from the forest for there are small tributaries of river Munyaga passing in the middle of the forest, there is a lot to admire from the red tailed monkey that are much friendly to the batwa and once you enter the forest you start hearing welcoming calls or even they come much closer to your hanging and jumping in tree branches.

Just moments of pleasure from the word go, these people lived an interesting life for sure the forest life is such amazing and touching, we started with visiting the man hood tree that is near the entrance we used to the forest, the guide narrates that during the time in the forest, work was communally done where by women could gather food and men would go hunting and protect the families but at any scenario when these men would go out for hunting and at the end would come back with northing they would go to this Viagra tree cut its skin and cued it as a result to increase their sexual desires to satisfy their wives and make them forget about the missing hunt and so as a compensation.

They would distribute work evenly like making  fire for warming and roasting meat, they get a piece of dry stick rub it to one another with much energy and as a result of friction fire is produced and one major task of fire was honey harvesting, after finding the bees like in ant hills or in the middle of dry tree branches, an expert would climb the tree and them smoke or even burn the bees when then they die or get suffocated then honey is harvested but all this takes few minutes because bees are territorial and they will always want protect themselves by stinging .

Batwa DanceIn their free time they would go dancing drumming as by any community with norms otherwise if they lost a member they would look for  trees with huge buttress and dig a hole beneath to bury the dead, after a burial they would practice some culture behavior to prevent to dead spirit from coming back to the community.
However they now stage all this in one place as a demonstration platform to showcase their life in the forest, they participate in weaving, and making different craft works that they sale to visitors who go visit them and appreciate their effort in Bwindi also as a consolation after the forest; otherwise the government still cares and keeps inspecting their way of life with free health care from Buhoma community hospital.
To note! Despite the fact that Batwa were driven out of the forest and now mixed with the community in bwindi, they have intermarried with the other race so the real Batwa are perishing and that’s why you will find some Batwa taller than before as the real pygmies. If he is one he called Mutwa if they are more than one they are Batwa if not called Batwa they are Pygmies in English or short people; however whenever you thing of gorilla safari trek you also remember visiting the Batwa community for a magical bush experience in Bwindi national park.

Gorilla Trekking and Buhoma Community Walk Experience in Bwindi

Visiting Bwindi impenetrable is arguably well known for the vast and stunning gorilla trekking activity in different gorilla trekking zones, from Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the eastern side of to Rushaga in the south and Nkuringo in south west of Bwindi Impenetrable, on many accessions as from numerous travellers who have visited the country there tends to be a lot that visitor leave out and they are a good complements to the jungle experience and this may either be by less communications from the safari operators.
Some travellers may think some activities are not worth what they expect or else after full filling their dream as by many have it in mind they may not have a second chance of any related activities because they take pretty of time planning for the rare mountain gorilla in the mist and may be taking an extra mile may either upset them or they would prefer resting for the next day schedules.

Gorilla trekking is a scheduled opportunity where by you will follow the protocol after a good briefing time of which this includes minimum silence in the jungle, a calculate 7 feet distance you are told to leave once you approach the mighty apes, despite the fact that it’s a jungle so you will expect some difficult in penetrating the impenetrable Bwindi so you are recommended to dress according without leaving covering clothes alongside gloves from stinging nettles, endeavor to packed food and water with you reason that you can rule the exact time of finding the gorilla because nature rules their movements especially in times of scarcity in food.

For a successful gorilla safari in Uganda you are required to make earlier gorilla permit booking;8 depending on the availability, this is accompanied by reserving you accommodations facilities although gorilla permits booking is crucial because permits are always on high demand especially in the pick seasons of June, July, August, September, November, December, and January to February, in other as of current there are 14 gorilla groups or call them gorilla families Uganda and 12 are available for tr;2acking and only two reserved for research and gorilla habituation process, these groups are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in the Virunga section with only one special gorilla group called Nyakagezi

Buhoma Community walk
However there are such passionate activities from gorilla trekking in Bwindi and amongst them are the juicy community walks of different categories in a series from A-Z, there are such experiential moments of discoveries of life style for different households of the rich forest harbors.

Usually the community walk starts from the Buhoma community camp the budget accommodation that is well situated a few meters to the park head quarter briefing point with a wonderful Bwindi canopy view, this is a community lodge that every member around Buhoma is a beneficiary and particular groups are seen switching leadership of the facility every after a year for different management with in community.

Buhoma Community Hospital
The community walk start with visiting the hospital, a medical center that was purposely built for the evacuated by the government of the Republic of Uganda from the forest as measure of protecting the rare mountain gorillas and reserving the eco system, the Batwa were evacuated form the forest in 1991 after Bwindi national park was announced the world heritage site and they were displaced to the public community in Buhoma.
It was a negative effect to the batwa but a positive effort the conservationists; these people lived in harmony with a mountain gorillas however in the long run the Batwa kept learning and getting used to the normal behavior of the community gradually, despite the fact that they were forest residents they were hunters for men and women where food gatherers it took them a difficult time finding a living because they were not used to life after the forest.

As a measure of the government helping them back was to construct a hospital for them because they used to find it had to access medical bills when they fellow sick, the hospital doesn’t only help the Batwa alone but the entire community too so it’s worth visiting.

The medicine man
Medicine ManFrom the community visit you traverse l to the medicine man uphill the trail with a spontaneous view of the forest canopy, here you will find the old man by name Alphonse reading and researching about the medicinal plants from his French book, he is such a welcoming gentle man because he is used to walk in visitors at any respective time. He has his demonstration room that he will allow you sit and relax as you wait for his spectacular explanations about each piece of both fresh green plant and the dry ones.

He has been approved by the medical team from Buhoma community hospital with his system of healing patients using natural herbs; he however has it on notice that researchers especially scientists in botany frequently visit him from high institutions of learning mainly from Universities to consult him about different plant species.
Dr Alphonse as by the locals he will first examine his clients like all medical persons by touching different sensitive parts of the body and after discovering the source of pain or sickness and the he will prescribe for medicine to take for you heal, enjoy seeing him saying facts about his local herbs.

When he was asked about the challenges he faces in his work, he said he is challenged by the relief of the area for it hilly and it tends to be had for him to visit his patients yet he is aging up; otherwise he is training his children to keep the work going on because the herbal medicine is hereditary.
This traditional healer can speak French as a foreign because he spent most of his time in Democratic Republic of Congo so people from French stand high chance to communicate one on one for deeper detailed information otherwise the community guide is around to translate to you when he explains in his mother language.

Buhoma Local Beer Brewery
The excitement still continues straight from the historical herbalist to the banana magic, one would wonder how food would then turn into beer but with the Buhoma community walk everything is possible, enjoy a memorable experience in Bwindi, banana brewery is one way of living that the community survives. Women will cut banana leaves and men will dig sizable hole and lay then cut bananas as they will lay them on each other as they are covered by banana leaves and the soil to warm them and keep them ready after a week, after the bananas are ripe and ready yellow, they are peeled off the husks and then put in the canoe and men will start to press them to squeeze juice out of them using the elephant grass that will add some friction in the process.

After that process women will prepare or grind roasted sorghum into floor that is used as a fermenting the banana juice. The juice is separated from the residue and then mixed with the sorghum in a separate canoe and it’s then kept for about 3 days and now it has fermented into banana beer.
From the banana beer a colorless liquid is the process through distillation process, this is done by boiling the beer to a maximum boiling point and the vapor after is booing will turn into spirit at 45% of alcoholic content, it’s now a concentrated spirit that most community members will enjoy taking during their free time especially after work and weekend days.

St Mathew the Orphan communitySchool in Buhoma
St Mathew BuhomaThis is a community school located a few kilometer before the park head quarter in Buhoma, It helps numerous kids of different categories most especially orphans, the Batwa, and the other needy kids.
It is a primary school that has played a very big role in the community despite relying of orphanage funds from well-wishers, it may sound unreal but more than 60 kids are taught in one class room to the extent that a teacher only has a space of him and the chalkboard and the entire school has than 300 pupils; however the school still need much help to set up enough class room blocks that can accommodate all the kids.
To all teachers all over the world and interested in seeing an African child excelling this goes to you to help kids of St Mathew primary school where necessary from individual sponsorship to general help so that the orphans, the needy and the evacuated can get a new life out misery.

To travellers planning a gorilla safari in Africa for Bwindi in Particular are recommended not to leave behind what cannot exceed their travel kilos and it is valuable to the needy community of Buhoma like school bags, shoes, and all other scholastic materials that can help the school.