Cultural Encounters near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Take a break from mountain gorilla trekking at Bwindi Impenetrabale Forest to learn about local cultures.
Learn new skills from Bakiga women
Ride 4 a Woman is a non-profit organization that empowers local women in the Bakiga tribal communities surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The women form the cornerstone of their families; they raise children, work the land, tend to their animals, and perform many other daily tasks for survival. But many have aspirations outside the home, seeking to learn new skills that will help their communities thrive.
In 2009, Evelyne Habasa and her husband, Denis Rubalema, formed Ride 4 a Woman to provide skills training to these women. They started with a bike rental business, training women to maintain and repair bicycles that were heavily used by tourists. Today, Ride 4 a Woman has expanded to teach a variety of job skills, operates a microfinance program that provides loans to women starting small businesses, and runs the Bwindi Women’s Community Center, where visitors come from all over the world for a fun, immersive cultural experience.
At the community center, you can learn to:
- Cook traditional Bakiga dishes
- Dance the Kiga dance, a celebratory dance of the Bakiga tribe
- Weave baskets from local grass
- Sew on a treadle sewing machine
Check out a sample Ujuzi itinerary that includes a visit with Ride 4 a Woman.
Discover the secrets of forest survival from the Batwa
The Batwa people are indigenous to the Bwindi area and have a lifestyle of harmony with the forest going back thousands of years. Traditionally, they survived by hunting small game with bows and arrows, and by gathering plants for food and medicine.
The Batwa Cultural Experience is one way that the Batwa share their amazing heritage and traditions. Visits can last half a day or a full day, with activities such as:
- Hiking with a Batwa guide, seeing the forest through the eyes of someone who calls it home
- Learning how to shoot with a bow and arrow
- Visiting a Batwa homestead to cook and sample local dishes
- Learning about the medicinal properties of the forest flora from a traditional healer
- Hearing ancient legends and traditional songs