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Supporting Local Communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
For travelers who wish to involve in supporting local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park on their Uganda safaris.
These communities are one of the great pillars for cultural and community tourism on a safari to Uganda.
The communities have local projects that help community members to support themselves and their families financially while promoting safaris in Uganda. They participate in local arts and crafts, traditional dances, agriculture, mining, fishing, and being local guides.
However, for tourists who safari Uganda for cultural tours and want to visit these communities will deeply;-
- Learn about how these communities live
- See their cooking demonstrations
- Enjoy their traditional dances
- Experience the local salt mining activity, and many others.
The communities in or around Queen Elizabeth National Park include
- Kikorongo Women Community
- Leopard Village (Muhokya Village)
- Nyanz’ibiri Cave Community
- Katwe Tourism Information Centre (KATIC)
- Agro –Tour
On the other hand, some of the different tribes around Queen Elizabeth National Park include Basongora, Bakonjo, and the Banyabindi. There are also different fishing villages of the park that all carry the status of wildlife sanctuaries in which different communities of the park live
- Katunguru in Kasese
- Katunguru in Bushenyi
Kikorongo Women Community
The Kikorongo Women Community is a traditional group in Kikorongo, Queen Elizabeth National Park. The name “Kikorongo” means too much sunshine in the local Rukonjo language.
They perform lively traditional dances, drama, and music in the lodges around the park for tourists on Uganda safaris and tours.
As the group performs their captivating traditional dances, a local interpreter gives meaning to their performances by interpreting their songs and dances.
Their songs send beautiful, educative messages to the audience, for example among many things, they teach about safe drinking water and poaching.
This group of women likewise has a craft shop in the Kikorongo center from where they make and sell local handy craft materials like
- Jewelry, for instance, their famous paper beads.
The group also holds workshops where they teach interested tourists how to make these local handy crafts, for example, the beautiful paper beads made from magazines.
Leopard Village (Muhokya Village)
The Leopard Village was called so because of the way the villagers persevere with the animals that prey on their livestock, especially the Leopards.
In the Leopard village, visitors on Uganda tours and safaris will enjoy various cultural traditions like
- Sharing folk tales.
- Teaching about the different agricultural and pastoral livelihoods.
- Educating about the Albertine Rift Valley.
Muhokya Village will also offer you both the short and the long tours whereby in the short tours, you will,
- Visit and get to enjoy performances from local communities like the
- Banyabindi Cultural Drama Women’s Cultural Group
- Basongora Women Cultural Group
- Muhokya Primary School Choir
- Young Men’s Acrobatic Crew
- See traditional replica huts of the Banyabindi, Bakonjo, and Basongora.
- Visit craft shops from where you can purchase the local craft materials made by the locals.
In the long Cultural and Community tours in Muhokya,
- You will meet and talk to the following communities about their opportunities and challenges in the park; but mostly about their agricultural and pastoral lives.
- You will also get to visit local schools in the community.
- Tourists will similarly debate and discuss how the communities can improve their human-wildlife conflicts.
Nyanz’ibiri Cave Community
The Nyabirinzi Cave Community, also known as “The Cave” is where you can awe at the beautiful volcanic crater lakes of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
They are a beautiful scenic area in which you can view the birdlife in the area like the Grey-Crowned Cranes and the Eagles.
The historic and cultural museum is in a Bunyaruguru hut from where you will see very old valued artifacts that were used in the past.
The Nyabirinzi Cave Community also has bandas and a campsite whose financial gain majorly goes to community projects like
Katwe Tourism Information Centre (KATIC)
The Katwe Tourism Information Center will give you lively experiences of the Katwe salt mining activity during your Uganda Safari holidays.
Salt mining has supported the Katwe Community for over 600 years as a major income-generating activity.
Near the lake is a bird sanctuary that will enliven your bird-watching safari in Uganda.
The community is also where you will experience a traditional tour of the communities of these people.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has various communities that participate in agriculture, hence promoting agricultural tours.
Katara Village has farms in the Kichwamba Escarpment that you can visit with the help of a guide in the morning and the evening.
The journey takes 2-3 hours and tourists will learn about the human-wildlife conflicts too.
The guide will tell you about local farming plans, the plants, birds, and sites of cultural importance.
Another Agro-tour in Queen Elizabeth National Park takes place at the Omwani Coffee Plantation which has a rich local supply of Coffee with an original taste.
How You Can Participate In Supporting Local Communities In Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are various ways in which you can support these communities for example you can
- Participating in Cultural and Community Tourism
- Supporting their businesses
- Spreading the word about them
Participating In Cultural And Community Tourism
By doing cultural and community tourism and walks, you help to support the local communities.
The generous collections from the fees paid are used to develop community projects like building schools and health centers.
In your cultural and community tour, you will enjoy cultural performances and participate in making crafts, cultivation, and cooking demonstrations.
Supporting Their Businesses – Supporting Local Communities
The local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park are self-sufficient when it comes to sources of revenue.
They make crafts, perform traditional music, dance, and drama, participate in agriculture, mine salt and have budget lodges. You, therefore, support them by purchasing any of their given goods and services.
Among their handy crafts include
Volunteering is a nonprofit activity that will nonetheless help develop a positive uplifting toward yourself.
Some of them include
- Teaching local farmers about viable agricultural skills.
- Working with church ministries.
- Building homes for homeless individuals.
This can help you to decide how often you can volunteer in these communities and identify your skills and cases that you can easily volunteer with.
You can also donate as a way of supporting local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Tourists mostly donate money or items to support these local communities. Among the items to donate are clothes, shoes, scholastic materials, agricultural tools, hospital equipment, and any other giving.
Spreading The Word About Them
You can also support the local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park by sharing their story with the world.
These may include writing a blog article about them and following them on their social media pages to like and share their posts.
Why Should You Support Local Communities In Queen Elizabeth National Park
There are various reasons you should support the local communities in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park and some of them include
You Support Local Tourism
Queen Elizabeth National Park has various communities that live both inside the park and around it.
By supporting these local communities, you also support local tourism. This consequently helps to support local projects and developments hence growing these communities.
Tourists Get To Learn And Connect With The Locals
Supporting local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park will also enable you to make friends and learn about the locals.
You get to interact with different cultures and explore the ways of the different people in the park.
The People Depend On Local Tourism
Another reason you should support the local communities in Queen Elizabeth park is that it is one of their major sources of income.
With the locals being in or near the national park, they can add tourism to their other sources of income like farming, mining, and fishing.
It Enables You To Give Back To The Community
Supporting local tourism in Queen Elizabeth National Park is a great opportunity for tourist who is passionate about giving back to the community. You can help fundraise for a common course that the locals are working on.
Precautions When Visiting To Support The Local Communities In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Below are the various important things to note as you visit the local communities to support them
Respect And Appreciate The Culture Of The People
One of the ways in which you can respect and appreciate the culture of the locals is by dressing appropriately. Most, if not all the local communities in and around the park wear long clothes which are at least knee-length for the women.
Another way to appreciate the culture of these people is to learn a few words in their local language. This alone will impress them and will set the pace for a memorable experience.
Some of the few words to learn may include
- How are you
- What is your name
- My name is
- Can I take your photo?
Be Open Minded
Some people come with a preconceived concept about the local communities. However, you will sometimes be surprised at how different your experience will be from your expectation.
Plan For What To Give
You don’t want to give all that you have and be left with nothing to sustain you! The easy way is to plan for your donation early enough to easily know how you are going to spend.
Give At Your Own Will
When you visit the local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is important that you follow your heart with the giving. This is when you actually get to enjoy the experience and feel good about it.
What To Wear When Visiting Local Communities In Queen Elizabeth National Park
Visiting the local communities is quite a task when it comes to dressing code. You will want to blend with the community by wearing clothes that go at least knee-length or below it.
Better still, we recommend that women wear a skirt or dress that goes to the ankle level to protect their legs from insect bites. This will also protect them from either very cold or very hot weather.
Equally, you can wear long-sleeved shirts to also protect you from insect bites or weather conditions.
Also, wear good sturdy shoes to help you with the easy walking along the tracks to the community destinations.
Have a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the hot sun.
What To Pack When Visiting Local Communities In Queen Elizabeth National Park
When visiting the local communities to support them, carry
- A camera to take photos of the locals.
- Sunscreen protects your skin from the scorching sun.
- An insect repellant to protect you from insect bites.
- A back bag to help park all your belongings.
Supporting local communities in Queen Elizabeth National Park may be a nonprofit activity, but it does a lot for the people. This is in terms of development projects, supporting their families, and putting a smile on their faces!