Rwenzori Cultural Encounters – Rwenzori Trekking tours
Planning for Cultural Encounter in Rwenzori Mountains ? Walk with Bakonzo villagers through their homesteads in the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains as they demonstrate their daily activities, from tending to their animals and crops, to preparing meals with the freshest ingredients.
Rwenzori Mountains national park is not only known for their Rwenzori Trekking to the snow-capped summits but also riveting cultural encounters. During the Rwenzori Trekking tour with Rwenzori Mountaineering service through the Rwenzori Mountains there are many interesting cultural encounters that you can enjoy. These include;
Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite
The small village of Mihunga overlooks the craggy snow0capped summits of the Rwenzori Mountains. The bakonzo-who are the dominant tribe around the Rwenzori Mountains have had their residence here for the last 300 years with no running water or even electricity, hence the Community has acclimatized its lifestyle to the conditions and steep green hillsides of then Rwenzori foothills. The Mihunga Community Tourism group-the Turaco view leads tourists on an invigorating cultural walk and tour of the village. This tour involves a visit to the Traditional healer who uses concoctions made of local plant herbs to treat and heal several ailments. While on this tour, you will also visit the Village school, attend some of the craft making demonstrations and enjoy an exhilarating traditional dance performance and can even join them. Tourists can also engage in a nature walk through the neighboring forests to explore interesting bird species such as the beautiful Turacos within the Forest canopy and the experienced guides will identify other bird species such as the Bee-eaters, sunbirds and some primate species such as the red-tailed monkeys and the Black and White Colobus monkeys and keep a keen look for the Baker and Portal peaks standing above the Forests. On a clear day, you will see the spectacular snow-capped summits of Margherita.
The Ruboni Community Camp
This is the most interesting cultural encounter within the Rwenzori Mountains. There is nothing as fascinating as exploring the serene farming Village of Ruboni, a haven to over 2,000 bakonzo who live in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. While in this Village, you will enjoy a village walk with some of the villagers as they demonstrate some of their daily activities that include tending to their crops and animals, preparing some of the traditional dishes with the freshest and most delicious ingredients. You will also get to meet the traditional healer (the traditional doctor of the Village) who uses different plants to treat common ailments, you will visit the blacksmith who mold metals into different tools such as knives, visit the women basket weavers and some of the elderly story tellers who narrate some of the ancient ways and how life has changed from the past and enjoy an traditional dance accompanied by energetic drumming.
Not only that, the guide can also take you through the rocky Mubuku River, and it is from the waters of this River that the name Ruboni was derived. Ruboni is a Lukonzo word that means “crystal clear water”. While on this walk, you will follow this crystal clear water stream and you will meet some of the locals carrying firewood and crops from harvesting. As the trails seconds, the guide will point out some of the native bird species such as the handsome francolin and the Rwenzori Turaco, Cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, small sunbirds and reptiles like the three horned chameleon. You will also encounter some squirrels and primates like the Blank and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and Red-tailed monkeys.
Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail
Going through this spectacular 6-7 hour trail through the valley and stunning sites offers great cultural significance to the Bakonzo tribe within the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. The local guide will lead you to the traditional healer to illustrate some of the “Muhima” powers then to the local blacksmith who uses open fire to mould iron into several tools. Basket weaving demonstration is also part of your activities to enjoy within this cultural encounter.
Besides mountain climbing that is known within the Rwenzori Mountains national Park, tourists can actually participate in cultural encounters through the Bulemba-Ihandiro Cultural Trail, to the Ruboni Community Camp and to the Rwenzori Turaco View Campsite to experience some of the cultures of people who surround the Rwenzori Mountains.