Monday, 19 June 2017


Do you love African traditional dances? Are you interested in cultural safaris in Africa? Despite wildlife attractions, Africa is also known for its dramatic and inspiring cultural experiences which are characterized by poetry, ritual or dances and one of the most indicating types of the African life and soul. Uganda in particular, is a cultural hub where most of the African cultures are demonstrated together with religion, ancestral worship and spiritualism. If you are planning for your wildlife safari to Uganda but you also wish to encounter some of the traditional dances, it shouldn’t worry you in any way. With over 65 different languages being spoken, Uganda is described as a melting pot of cultures. While in your safari to this beautiful country, expect to meet different traditional practices that are represented in each region. Uganda’s traditional dances are true representation of real African experiences that come once in a life time.

Below is a list of different cultural dances that can make your stay in Uganda memorable.

The Batwa cultural encounter: Are you interested in gorilla and cultural safaris in Uganda? Well, visit the Batwa cultural trails in the south western Uganda. The Batwa pygmies were the ancient people to live in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for several centuries. The Batwa were renowned hunters and gatherers who found had found refuge in the Bwindi’s jungles for over 500000 years. When need to conserve the mountain gorillas and their habitat the Batwa pygmies were forced to leave the forest till today that they are among the marginalized people around the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. For authentic African dances, visit the Batwa during the Batwa trail as you enjoy your gorilla safari. You certainly enjoy the most inspiring and emotional dances and songs that will be demonstrated by the Batwa as they sing and emphasize why they were removed from the forest and wishing if they could be allowed to return to their ancient home.

If you are in Kidepo Valley National Park, still there is no need to worry about cultural experiences. Visit the Karamojong people or Ik people in North Eastern Uganda for unique dances and traditional practices that will make your stay memorable.

Muwogola, Baakisiima and Nankasa (Kiganda) dances: If you are around Kampala and you are interested in cultural experiences; include the Kiganda dance as part of experiences for your encounter. The Kiganda dances are three Baganda traditional folk dances that were initiated from the palace of the king of Buganda just adjacent Lake Victoria where there is a home of Nalubaale-the wife of Lubaale-one of the gods of the Baganda people. Buganda region forms the largest portion of all the tribes that are ingrained within Uganda and it lies within the central just adjacent Lake Victoria. The Kiganda dance is the most dramatic and famous cultural dance in Uganda and rarely can you find a muganda who doesn’t know how to perform this kind of dance. This inspiring dance is normally performed whenever or where the king has a gathering or where he is supposed to talk to his subjects.

Ekitaguriro by the Banyakole people: In western Uganda, you will meet exciting cultural dances that will be demonstrated to you by the Ankole people both men and women will be performing and demonstrating their Ankole dance. In many occasions, the dance is performed to demonstrate the love of Ankole people and their cattle. The cattle in this area have long horns and thus making the dance aerial. The sound of the songs is like that of the cows and interestingly you will also get a sound of milk pouring/flowing from the cow’s udder. The stamping walk of the men during the dance is like that of cows and hands of the women demonstrate the long beautiful horns of the cows and this explains why they dance with their hands up in the air.

Mwanga dance: While you are in the highlands of Eastern Uganda, you will encounter the Bagisu dance. This is a ceremonial initiation dance of the Bagisu people. The Bagisu have a belief that for young boys to become men, they must be circumcised. During the Imbalu cultural circumcision, candidates are moved around dancing for a period of about 21 days till the time an elder will cut off the fore skin of male’s penis. During this event, other community members will be drumming and dancing around and most interestingly, tourists have also attended this dramatic event in life. This experience is seasonal and occurs in every an even year. The Bagisu tribe is known as Bamasaba. For any one in Bamasaba land who doesn’t go through this traditional practice, he will never be regarded as a man in the community. Currently, in the course of the three day ceremony of dancing, visiting friends and family, feasting and receiving gifts, preceded by a couple of months of preparations like bamboo strips being handed down to the candidates by their eldest uncles on the father’s side to represent the responsibility and strength required to face the challenge of manhood, the initiate will be decorated with white ash like powder.

Ekizino dance: This is a cultural dance that is performed by the Bakiga people from Kigezi area in Uganda. At first, the dance was demonstrated whenever the King was going to settle disputes in his kingdom and explains why it is famously called a Court dance.

Akembe dance: This dance is demonstrated by the Iteso people in Eastern Uganda. It is a famous courtship dance that is performed in Teso area. It is one of the softly performed musical dances that are played using melodic instruments.

Adungu dance: This is a famously performed dance by Alur people along the West Nile area. It is performed on melodies from an instrument called Adungu. The dance is demonstrated by the talented young boys and girls and you will enjoy how they will be jumping in a given pattern. Alternatively, you can also enjoy the Gaze dance that is demonstrated by the Lugbara in West Nile area. For visitor to Murchison Falls National Park, as you enjoy your wildlife safari make sure you visit a community around west Nile for such authentic African dances of a life time.

Runyege and Entongoro dance: In case you are interested in chimpanzee tracking around Kibale National Park, make sure you include in your safari the Runyege dance. The dance is demonstrated by the Batooro people in Western Uganda and specifically, by talented youths at a time when they will be searching for their partners.

Irongo, Nalufuka and Tamenaibuga: If you around Jinja Eastern Uganda for your white water rafting, visit the Busoga community and enjoy the Basoga cultural dances as they demonstrate peace and unity. Historically, there used to be two men who were such tight friends that they shared anything in their life. But one day, they went out to take beer which they traditionally serve in a gourd. After having too much of the drink, they started to argue and it led to a fight between them. The gourd which had beer was broken in the fight and the friendship had to end there and then. The men’s community noticed that a quarrel between these men would cause their friendship split and affect the unity of the community and this explains why the dance was initiated to unite the people.

Bwola dance: This is a court dance which is performed by the Acholi people in Northern Uganda. It is a circular dance for both old men and women. The dance demonstrates the fence of surrounds the Kingdom. There are several events and conversations that occur in the course of this dance and this explains the length of the dance performances.

Still in Northern Uganda, there is Larakaraka dance, a ceremonial cultural/traditional dance from Acholi land and it is mostly performed during weddings. It is known that when the young people in a given village were prepared for marriage, they would organize a ceremony where all potential partners would gather. As an indicator of unity, food and alcoholic drinks were served in the course of this ceremony while young men would dance to attract or convince the women available at the ceremony. Those that prove to be the best would get their partners and so competition was at its course. For those who prove to be poor dancers were likely to die as bachelors.

In conclusion, Uganda’s cultural dances are represented by all the tribes and they all demonstrate different traditional practices within their communities. Exploring this abundant cultural experiences is indeed a reality about authentic African cultures.

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