Wednesday, 19 April 2017

THE BATWA AND GORILLA TOURISM




Are you curious in exploring about the Batwa people and mountain gorilla tourism in Uganda? The Batwa are regarded as “pygmies” whose ancestral home was the tropical rain forest in Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda but later got displaced due to need to conserve valuable wildlife species like the critically endangered mountain gorillas. These forest hunters and gatherers were evicted from their treasured forest some thing which made them conservation refugees at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-the ancestral home for the Batwa people
Like any one can tell his or her creation history, these unusual pygmies too have a remarkable creation story that is worthy sharing! If our creator rewarded others with fascinating heights and abundant land, the Batwa pygmies got it all “African tropical rain forest.” But what seemed a demeaning moment for these creatures was the 1990 conservation eviction, which left them perplexed like their Almighty God had finally abandoned them. Today, visiting these unique pygmies is one of the criteria to retain their historical practices and culture a live.
The Batwa people making fire
As well, several people still ask if surely there is a peaceful life between the forest dwellers and mountain gorilla tourism or conservation. Well, we can say there is or there was harmonious survival between two because it happened for a thousand centuries without any kind of environmental effect and why not coexist with nature? However, different misconceptions have been said about the Batwa pygmies; others have called them “conservation killers” but this does not matter because they never did it as said or even tasted the mountain gorillas. But due to interface with the modern life after the eviction, they found that money was used as an inducement a reason they are misunderstood as gorilla killers.

What is interesting about the Batwa and the mountain gorillas?

Despite the blame that has been passed onto the Batwa pygmies, they should be credited as “The keepers of and protectors of rain forest”, that provided an ideal refuge for the world star attraction-the mountain gorillas. This serves as a reason why several of the largest primates are concentrated within Uganda and thousands of visitors are attracted for gorilla trekking or tracking throughout the year. Not until the Bantu people migrated into the area that deforestation and cattle grazing were initiated in the beloved tropical forest that the gorilla refuge an impact was noticed. To day the Uganda boasts as the best tourist destination because of abundant wildlife especially in magnificent national parks like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park but we as well applaud the work of these amazing pygmies. Even at the time Rwanda was turned into a kingdom, still the Batwa people could pay tribute to the Tutsi king in several occasions and they even included in the king’s court as advisers, warriors and dancers. Their source of money was from the forest encroachers, the caravans and traders who would encroach on their place.

1991 was a year of disgrace to these pygmies when Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park were established to protect several species like birds, plants, and world’s largest primates. This made the Batwa the marginalized species around the two parks. However, with current intense pressure from surrounding communities still, we can say it was in deed an important initiative to gazette the forest because they wouldn’t be available, and hence we applaud mountain gorilla protection and tourism that have kept the primates home.
On other hand, it was unfortunate that these forest dwellers who had a harmonious life with several species, took only what they needed, went with no compensation! Although these are Ugandan nationals, they had no human rights some thing that made them to be refugees around the two national parks. The preconception that went against these pygmies really made them to be neglected including the government.
However, their customs and ancient practices almost disappeared and it has now turned to be history in the ears of the Batwa children since they have not encounter ancient forest lifestyle their ancestors experienced. Never the less, these pygmies have currently got a voice for their views to be heard using several Batwa organizations and currently these organizations have caused a positive impact on them. Hopefully, they may wish to return to the forest and still have a peaceful stay with the Giant Apes but this probably won’t happen in any way!
These pygmies are currently not more than 3000 but the ancient Batwa traditions and coexistence with the jungle, wildlife that includes the critically endangered mountain gorillas is under going revitalization by concerned agencies. These agencies include the American medical missionaries by Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann; Carol Kellermann for instance bought land and built schools, hospital and clinics, water and sanitation as well as several projects that help in income generation. All these support activities are currently belonging to Batwa Development Program (BDP) and it is supported by the Kellermann Foundation; a US based non profit organization.
Are there exciting things to enjoy in the Batwa community?
Oh! Yes, there are more than mountain gorillas in South-Western Uganda. Meaning visitors get authentic cultural experiences with the Batwa people much as they are restricted from staying in the forest. We appreciate Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Netherlands Embassy in Kampala for initiating the “Batwa Cultural Trail” at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The Batwa Trail Experience has helped the Batwa Guides to realize their potential while guiding the visitors via the jungle, explaining to them the old ways of hunting and gathering, the different ways that they used to survive while in the forest. Come and enjoy your stay with the Batwa people! Its in deed an incredible experience for visitors here especially encountering the eyes of forest dwellers and exploring the Garama cave where the Batwa king lived and then be welcomed by a thrill of lamenting song from the Batwa women as they mourn why they no longer stay in the forest. This activity is currently serving as a source of survival.
The Batwa Trail Experience-Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
In addition, the International Gorilla Conservation Program started the Buniga Batwa Forest Walk and Village visit program. At extreme southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is where Buniga forest is situated, it is not included in the Bwindi jungle but just a portion of the similar vegetation, wildlife species and apes that are shared between them. To reach Buniga forest, one can go through Nkuringo, Rushanga, Lake Mutanda or Kisoro. While here, visitors who get into this are get filled with informative stories concerning the Batwa pygmies and their ancient practices like bee-hives and handcraft making as well as seeing the original forest dwellers.
Further more, there is also the Batwa Experience at Buhoma-Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where visitors come to explore more on ancient hunting and gathering as well as food preparation and also discovering the value of forest to man. It is delightful sharing a meal with these pygmies; let it be your memorable experience as you include it in your safari! Come and compare the current state of the forest and the past.

In conclusion, equally gorilla tourism and the Batwa pygmies should be credited for the protection of the mountain gorilla, forest, birds and several species that Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park boast of today. Visiting the Batwa is one of the remarkable experiences any one must not miss while at a gorilla safari in any of the two parks in South Western Uganda. With 3 unusual cultural activities to do in the Batwa community, visitors can take part in the Batwa Trail Experience, Buniga forest walk and Batwa Experience at Buhoma area and no regrets are attached because they are areas to up date memories with the first forest dwellers. If you are interested in any cultural activity; please consult Maranatha Tours and Travel and they will be of great value to you!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

THE BATWA EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA-the pearl of Africa


A day off for a cultural encounter at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the remarkable experiences of a kind with the “Batwa pygmies”. If others have shared stories about their creation, then why not interact with the natives of the Bwindi Impenetrable forest-the Batwa pygmies? The Batwa experience means a tourist leaves the destination with elusive lessons on authentic life style in the forest and traditions of the Batwa people who found treasure of life in the dense rain forest in South Western Uganda. There are a lot of things that make the Batwa pygmies more unique than you might have heard! Come and you will appreciate that God rewards every one differently and in deed it is not just staring at the eyes or heights of the Batwa pygmies but also exceed travel expectations while exploring the Batwa people who lived in this rain forest for 500,000 years. The fact is that God gave them the rain forest, also means they were the first people to have a home in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and no tribe can claim their origin in the forest if it is not the Batwa pygmies.

The Batwa making fire

If Mount Morungole gave life to the endangered Ik people in North-Eastern Uganda, then Bwindi Impenetrable Forest exceedingly provided more than life to the Batwa pygmies; they left less foot prints in the jungle because it was all about mutual interaction with nature and taking what is needed! This might seem surprising because our interests differ, others it would have been the order of the day struggling for ownership of the forest or piece of land here but this was different with the Batwa pygmies who peacefully lived in the forest and in return maintained their traditions without any external influence not even those who used to go to their places.

Currently, mountain gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and the Batwa experiences are incorporated in visitors’ itineraries and it has helped to keep the Batwa traditional practices so that they extend to future generations and improve on the quality of Visitor’s cultural experiences in the community. This experience is guided by the Batwa guides who take tourists via the forest for authentic demonstration of Batwa ancient practices like handling the bow and arrow that was used while hunting and gathering traditional herbs for treatment. It is an incredible moment to see you discover the value of forest products or share the enriching Batwa cultural food!

The bow and arrow

To begin your day, the Batwa encounters are done around the adjacent communities at the park which starts with hike and nature walk via Bwindi Impenetrable forest, staring through the eyes of the unique pygmies “The keepers of the forest”. Before conservation came to pass, the gazetted places were used as hunting areas by natives around them and incredibly, discover the ancient hunting tools the Batwa pygmies used to look for food, how they survived in grass thatched houses and sacred caves like the Garama caves. The Garama cave was a residential place for the Batwa king and you will discover that outsiders were never permitted to access this sacred place unless a person had “special permission”, and notably this place was used for safety purposes. If you are so fearful or frightened, you only need to chill as the guides lead you down where darkness welcomes you with a thrill of mournful voices from the Batwa women lamenting why they are no longer in their most beloved rain forest. As the dim light torches tear apart the darkness from the sacred cave, an exciting dance is performed before you and it will look as if tears are falling down but it is to make your stay the most memorable with the Batwa pygmies.  In deed this is a life time experience you must not miss to encounter after your Mountain gorilla adventure at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

The Garama caves

                                          
The Batwa house

We highly appreciate your interaction with the Batwa people because your visit shows sign of respect to the Batwa pygmies and their traditions and hence it is one way of renewing ancient pride the Batwa had before the place was gazetted as tourist destination that forced them out of the jungle. While out of the forest, it was one of the worst experiences for the Batwa pygmies as many described them “primitive” and “uncultured” and hence they felt out of the place.

Be part of the most interactive experience which involves intense learning to help you compare between the current look of the forest and the ancient practices in the forest only when you are at the Buhoma sector-Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Do you have plans to interact with the ancient forest inhabitants? Book or incorporate your mountain gorilla safari with the Batwa experiences at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. We honor your safari at Bwindi Impenetrable forest and the support that you give to the Batwa Development Program. For authentic African safari experiences in Uganda, contact Maranatha Tours and Travel and your safari will be made possible!!

In conclusion, visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is more than just the mountain gorillas, forest birds or golden monkeys but also destination to explore authentic cultural practices like dances, life style in the forest, demonstration of ancient hunting techniques and enriched interaction with unique Batwa pygmies.


Monday, 3 April 2017

THE EXCITING CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS IN KARAMOJA REGION


THE KARAMOJONG CULTURE

Visiting Uganda rewards travelers with more than authentic African wilderness but also inspiring cultural experiences in life time. Are you looking for exciting cultural encounters in life time? Come and explore the Karamojong culture as you enjoy your wildlife safari at Kidepo Valley National Park, North Eastern part of Uganda. The natives are famous Nomad Warriors whose pride lies within the ancient life style of semi nomadic cattle keepers in remote areas of karamoja. The Karamojong life style is unique on its own and for time memorial many are left in suspense due to clingy behaviors of these natives to ancient practices, and hence many people regard them as backward people due to rigid minds towards modern life.

The Karamojong people are enormous cattle keepers who also believe that several herds of cattle within and around their community belong to them. This perception then cut across communities hence stimulating cattle rustling behaviors in the region. However, due to prevailing peace and security campaigns by government, cattle rustling have currently reduced.












These pastoralists believe in cattle keeping and the large herds of cattle was part of recognition as man!! This means that the pastoralists spend whatever it takes to keep their pride. According to the Karamojong culture, males are supposed to search for water and pasture in the hilly areas based on their kraals whereas the females live in Manyattas. The Manyattas (Karamojong village) are permanent homesteads and it is where women do some farming, spend time with the young ones and do some local brewing. Within the village, democracy is practiced based on the patriarchal society famous as the Gazelles while the elderly society is called the Mountains.


The natives here practice communal way of life and the man has right to polygamous family provided the he is capable of paying the dowry. The extended families share responsibilities amongst themselves.

Historically, the cattle keepers originated from the Ethiopia way back at 1600 where they lived within Mount Moroto as some of the Nilotic groups remained in Kenya, South Sudan and several areas within Uganda.
Currently, these pastoralists are over 370,000 in the country and being the Nilotic ethnic group, they communicate using Karamojong language where the word Ngkaramojong means “The old tired men who stayed behind” at the time of migration.

What are the exciting things to enjoy while at safari in the Karamojong land?
Once you think about wildlife safari at Kidepo Valley National Park or while at hike in the Sipi falls Mount Elgon National Park, endeavor to spend time at Karamojong village famously called “Manyattas”. The village is the biggest in East Africa around Kotido town. The Karamojong village is culturally endowed with authentic African culture that enriches the travelers with memorable authentic experiences. Be there to encounter the Karamojong live!! One of the most interesting things for you not to miss is to bend down as you try entering the Manyattas with narrow entrance! Just the setting of Manyattas alone is a true African setting. 


Travel to the village and encounter the unique life style with perfect traditional dances that will excite you as enjoy also fantastic high jumping dances. It can be very exciting if you visited the place personally and encounter the remarkable performance in the region as the Karamojong demonstrate their sign of respect for your visit in the village. The Karamojong culture is one of the incredible cultural experiences for you to discover and have lessons about the true African culture.


THE IK NATIVES
Just on Mount Morungole exists yet another unique group of creatures the Ik people. If you are planning to have trip to Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP), it will be exciting to include cultural experiences in the Ik community, North Eastern Uganda. The Ik group is one of the smallest tribes in the country who form population of about 10000 to 11000. Like the Karamojong originated from the Ethiopia and lived in the Kenya then later found them selves around the wilderness of KVNP, the Ik people too originated the same way. The natives were originally hunters and gatherers but because of cattle rustling in the area from external groups like the Pokot and Turkana of Kenya, Karamojong of Uganda and the Tuposa of South Sudan, the Ik people therefore left cattle keeping and begun practicing small scale farming, goat farming and bee keeping.

The traditional practices of the Ik people were also destabilized due to government’s influence that changed the hunting area to wildlife reserve. To ensure they lived in peaceful life, the natives found themselves lonely on Morungole Mountains with outstanding scenic views in Uganda.


Your stay with Ik people
The Ik culture is another unique encounter to excite you as you discover the unique traditional practices like bride price payment where 5-10 beehives, goats, chicken money other than cattle is mode of paying dowry in the community. While at the village, discover the social habit of the Ik elderly people with their children. Above all enrich your learning with the polygamy practices in Africa with the Ik people on the mountain.

The Ik cultural encounter offers amazing encounters at the rarest tribes in Africa whose population is not more than 10000 but come when you are physically strong to hike. To reach the village, follow the trailhead marked by the US forest service or drive to the place. Hiking to the Morungole Mountains (2749 meters above sea level) takes you the whole day as you adventure through the Ik village (between 8 and 16 kilometer adventure). Visit the area and enjoy the most magnificent sceneries in Uganda then sight on the valleys down slopes and the great Eastern rift valley of Kenya. At the village, astonishing traditional dance will welcome you to the village! The Ik culture is embracing tourism as source of income just it is famous in the Batwa community. To discover the cultural potentials in Ik village requires you to plan it well; connect with Maranatha Tours and Travel to combine your wildlife safari at the Africa’s perfect national park according to CNN.

In conclusion, visiting Kidepo Valley National Park is the perfect destination that rewards travelers with more than authentic African wilderness but also unforgettable cultural experiences by the Karamojong and the Ik people. If you want to discover the authentic African culture after your wildlife safari in the park then never miss to visit Manyattas and Ik villages. Enjoy your time with the Karamojong and Ik people!!




Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The benefits of using car hire Uganda for airport transfer



Private car hire is one of the most comfortable and safest means of ground transportation to take you to you all round Uganda from the airport. Its services are customized in accordance to your choice and needs with the main reason of leading you safely to your destination.
Uganda car hire companies have a variety of cars that are up to date or modernized with the intention of meeting the travelers’ needs from different worlds. The services offered by these car hire companies are exclusively meant for you the person who has booked at that particular time, nor any other person/ passenger is included.

The following are some of the benefits one can get from using a car hire for airport transfer
Using car hire save time- as the traveler comes out of the airport terminal he/she is immediately picked up and sets off to his/her destination without waiting. These car hire normally have professional drivers that are well knowledgeable about the routes of the city. So they will always use the shortest routes possible during your airport transfer since there is no any other passenger to interfere your journey.

There is room for relaxation while using for Uganda car hire for airport transfer. After a long haul flight, the traveler is worn out and tired and all they need to do is to have some rest and it is only hiring a private car in Uganda that can make that happen as all you need after your arrival at the airport is to seat in the car and relax as you relive off the stress for the long flight. The other work of driving, putting your luggage in the car, and clearing of the parking ticket is done by the chauffeur

Using car hire Uganda permits you to focus on other commitments/obligations. As you book with the car hire company on the internet and confirm with them all you need to do is to set a remainder that you are arriving on a certain date. You do not have to worry of how you will be transferred to another destination after the reaching the airport.

Furthermore when you are traveling with car hire services, you are able to do some other important activities you may want on your laptop, tablet or smart phones since you have privacy, enough space and a chauffeur in the car.

Car hire Uganda for airport transfer is cost effective and also one pays in accordance to your convenience. Car hire airport transfers have a standard price charged. They do not charge according to the distance so long as you are going with in the same proximity of the area. The payment procedures are also convenient as one can use electronic payment or cash payment.

There is no better ground transportation that can give you comfort and safety during Entebbe airport transfer other than Uganda car hire services.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Renting a car for a cultural safari to Uganda



Traveling by car usually gets you to places that tend to be difficult to reach by public transport, as it gives the convenience of going your own way, in your favorable time and is often cheaper than public transport most especially when traveling as a group.This becomes even more interesting when on a Uganda Self Drive because one gets complete freedom and power to control his/her trip. There are several car hire companies in Uganda that offer the most reliable and affordable car hire services for both business and leisure travelers.


 Pricing.                                                                                                                                               
The Price is normally calculated by the number of days taken in possession of the car. The more days taken, the less you pay per day. The cars are ranked according to a class, small to large ones, prestige and specialty vehicles with a sliding scale of prices for each car class. Usually when booking, an example of a car type in the specific class booked is given to help you get an idea of what you will have.                                                                             
Customers can choose among four types of rental cars: Economy, Intermediate, Standard, and Luxury.

Insurance
In case the car is damaged, stolen, or damages another, injures, or kills someone, the liabilities to the rental agency can go far beyond the agreed fee, hence when renting a car, you are advised to be keen on the insurance options offered,  like how they affect your liability. The following are some of the presented insurance option s;
·   Collision/loss damage waiver.Under the standard rental car contracts, the customer is personally liable to the rental car company for the cost of repairs if the vehicle is returned with any damage whatsoever. It is sometimes included in the total rental cost and in most jurisdictions, it reduces the customers’ liability to a fixed amount.
·   Theft liability waiver: In case the car is stolen, this option means that the rental company cannot come after you personally, provided you are not responsible for the theft.
·     Wind screen breakage insurance: This covers the wind screen /shield damage
· Personal effects:  This basically covers the loss of personal items in case it is stolen or damaged.

Choosing a car and optional extras.
The customer needs to choose a car that is able to meet their needs and can also be easily driven. The customer has to take check whether there is room for all the passengers and luggage being carried to ensure that they are comfortable with the transport means.

Booking.
The customers are advised to book in advance to ensure that they get a car for hire as there are large numbers of tourists that book most of the car.

Checking initial condition.
Before the customer departs with the car, he or she is advised to check the exterior and the glasses of the car in order to mark the scratches an dent found at the time of pick up and time of drop off. This enables the customer to avoid considerable hustles at the end of the rental.

Filling the tank.
The cars are usually rented with full tank and expected to be returned with a full tank, although some agencies rent the cars without fuel. The customer is advised to note whether the car has a full tank and ensure that the car rental agent notices, because in case the car is returned without a full tank yet it was received when full, a premium  may be charged, which may be up to three times the cost of fuel.

Before setting off.
The customer is advised to know the following before setting off to ensure that they are satisfied with their choices,                                                                
·         Directions of destination via road map.
·         What to do in case of accident to ensure their safety.
·         Any local specific driving rules and conventions.
·         Controls of the car that differ between car manufacturers (reverse gear, seat adjustment, lights, radio, navigation, opening gas/fuel tank, opening trunk/boot, opening hood/bonnet, etc.)
·         What kind of fuel is recommended, and how it is marketed at your destination as petrol in a diesel engine can both prove an expensive mistake.
·         Known issues of the specific car model chosen.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Car hire/ Rental package and self drive Holidays throughout Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda



In case you are a tourist or a visitor to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and you are planning to travel with our company and conduct your private holiday within these countries privately, and then we shall be able to offer you   a very good valve car hire/ rental package on your dream safari. These safaris are majorly counted to principles towns and cities of the above countries that we cover. In all our car hire arrangements there is an inclusion of driver mostly in some special cases  we may also be in position to offer a Uganda self drive hire option on your to option depending on your choice.


Our tours and Travel Company will ensure that everything is covered according to your wishes. We also offer free cancellation and change and we do not charge transaction fees. Our company has a very high degree of responsiveness which is available for our clients for seven (7) days a week. You can get in touch with our staff in case there some questions and queries about your car rental or package to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Our company prides herself on providing out tailored   accordingly to the tailored preference to each customer’s requirements mostly to major cities on the countries.

We offer the best discounts on offer for a large variety of brands and models with no hidden costs to get promotional offers on cars. We serve you as your comprehensive car rental company and we offer you some of the biggest and unbeatable discounts plus no extra hidden costs or extra charges on the rental cars. When at the company and you identify the car of your preference then we shall provide you with a quote and rental terms and conditions for the company.

Our company shows the best has the best discounts on offer for a large variety of brands and models with no hidden costs to get promotional offers on cars. We serve you as your comprehensive car rental company and we offer you some of the biggest and unbeatable discounts plus no extra hidden costs or extra charges on the rental cars. When at the company and you identify the car of your preference then we shall provide you with a quote and rental terms and conditions for the company.

Our company also offers vacations to domestic visitors within East Africa since we have a strong experience of arranging self- guided and short, long trips and gorilla safaris for our customers to Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda most especially to those clients who are coming from the United States of America (USA), Canada, Austrila , United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa.This season if you have never made a safari or arranged any holiday with us, it is high time you arrange one with our company. You can place your order by making an overview of how we can tailor our arrangements to create your perfect safari and tour and adding you any other plans you may wish.