Culture and Community

Maasai Village Tour

The Maasai are a famous ethnic group of Kenya and are known for their warrior culture. A visit to a Maasai village brings you closer to the local people and also offers you a glimpse into their culture and way of life. You will be taken through the history of how they used to live in Maasai Mara before the conservation area was officially gazetted as a national reserve. This is a great way to spend an afternoon while on safari in Kenya. The Maasai are also known for their colourful traditional wear that consists of colourful sheets and beaded jewellery as well as their interesting traditional dance that involves jumping up high.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary/Swamp walk

The Bigodi Wetland Walk is a local community-run initiative located outside the Kibale National Park boundary right next to the Bigodi trading centre. The guided swamp walk is a 3-4 hour trail and less strenuous than the chimpanzee trek. The Bigodi swamp is home to different species of monkeys and bird species like the Great Blue. The proceeds from this trail is used in community projects in Bigodi Trading Centre a small town with locals. The Bigodi swamp walk is also one of the best bird-watching trails and a must-visit for birders.

Homestays and Community tours

The community tours are taken in the communities surrounding the national park for a glimpse into the way of life of the locals like their culture, beliefs and food preparation. A homestay can be arranged in one of the homes in the community where you can spend a night with the family, cook traditional meals with them, eat with them and even visit their gardens. You can also visit a craft-making centre to look at some of the colourful craftwork of the community and maybe purchase a souvenir.

Batwa Trail

The Batwa pygmy trail is a great activity to interact with the former inhabitants of the forest. The 3 km trail takes you to the Garamba cave where the batwa will take you through how they used to hunt for food, light a fire with sticks, gather fruits, show you medicinal leaves in the forest and stories about their time living in the forest. The trail then ends with a traditional dance from the batwa and you are free to join them in the dance. The Batwa trail is a good way to experience the culture and traditions of the Batwa.

Coffee and Cultural Tours

Coffee tours are one of the activities in the Elgon area as it is a leading area for growing Arabica coffee in Uganda. The coffee tour takes visitors through the process of making coffee and touring the coffee plantations with the coffee farmers.

The cultural tours offer an experience of the way of life of the bagisu who are the natives of Mount Elgon as you look at their culture, customs and their mountain life.

Karamojong Cultural Tour

Community walks in Kidepo take you to visit the Karamojong as you interact with their culture through visiting their manyattas- their local homesteads, participating in their traditional dance and getting an experience of their culture. The Karamojong are an ethnic group and nomadic pastoralists with a strong attachment to their cattle.

Visit to the IK tribe

The visit to the IK tribe is also a community tour that takes you on a day hike to Mount Morungole where they live. The hike takes you through stunning scenery and also offers you spectacular views of Kidepo Valley National Park. The day is spent with the IK tribe as visitors spend time with the people, experience their way of life, listen to stories of how they migrated into the mountain and engage in the IK tribe dances.

Visit Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

The Iby’Iwacu cultural visit is a great way to experience the way of life of the Rwandans as you get a look into their culture, traditions and norms. The cultural visit can be done after your gorilla trek depending on what time you return. While at the cultural village, you will visit the traditional medicine man, a craft centre and even be treated to the unique Rwanda traditional dances which you are free to join in.

The Samburu People

The Samburu National Reserve get its name from the Samburu people therefore the name has a great attachment to this indigenous group and one cannot talk about the reserve without mentioning the relationship between the conservation area and the people.  The Samburu are a tribal group of Kenya and are closely related to the Maasai of Kenya, the attachment to the Maasai also involves the Samburu people speaking the same language as the Maasai – “Maa”. The Samburu people are mainly pastoralists as they rear cattle, camels and goats. The Samburu have a very close relationship with their animals, especially cattle and often spend a great part of their day grazing and tending to their animals. The Samburu people live further to the north outside the national reserve and a visit to spend some time with this cultural group can always be arranged.

Visit Kikuyu Village

Kikuyu Village in Kenya

Visiting a Kikuyu village is one way to spend your time while on safari in Aberdare National Park. The Kikuyu people are a tribal group in Kenya that accounts for 17 % of the total population, the Kikuyu speak the “Gikuyu” language as their native tongue as well as Swahili. The visit to the Kikuyu offers one a glimpse into the culture, community and way of life of a Kenyan ethnic group. You will also get acquainted with their customs, traditional wear and traditional dances.