Community tourism in Uganda.
This is a form of sustainable tourism which gives tourists an opportunity to stay close with the locals they visit. Tourists get the true feeling and experience of being closely with these people, the money generated from these initiatives helps in improving their lives. The Uganda community tourism association (UCOTA)’s goal is to make sure local communities benefit from these tourism initiatives. They do this by encouraging tourism management bodies to provide a percentage of the revenue generated to the locals. Many communities have benefited from this initiative by constructing their own accommodation facilities that offer accommodation to tourists, they make crafts, papers, museums, they organize entertainment for tourists among others as they earn a living. Community tourism plays a major role in promoting tourism in Uganda
Entanda community initiative was established in 2013 with an aim of protecting and revitalizing the waning Buganda cultural practices and natural environment through tourism. The community is based in Mityana approximately 2 hours from Kampala city. Entanda community has promoted traditional practices in the area of music, intimacy talks, games, hunting, back cloth making, food preparations and dining. The community conducts hunting expeditions with the visitors in the wild, however you don’t kill what you have hunted, you let it go afterwards. The funds from tourists have been used to support the community in terms of training, grading the community roads, supporting the only school the community has, locals have formed SACCOs to help them improve their livelihoods. Entanda is one of the best cultural initiatives in central Uganda. They have food preparation lessons, fruit gathering, hunting activities, tree planting and community walks. It’s a good place to go to if you are interested in learning more about Baganda people.
Boomu women’s group
Boomu womens group is located approximately 13 miles from masindi on the edge of Murchison falls national park in kaniyo pabidi forest. The community gives you an opportunity to interact with the local people, you get an insight into their lives and the challenges they face. This is a great opportunity for you to experience the real rural life of Ugandans. They offer bandas and campsites that offer accommodation to tourist and a craft shop with a variety of crafts. Members of the group have benefited from the funds they get from tourists. They have been able to take their children to school among other things that improve someone’s life.
Isunga community is located in fort portal. The community takes you through the Toro and Bakiga cultures. They have services like birding expeditions, traditional gardening and cooking classes, camping and homestays, community walks, coffee tour experiences, open local markets, crater lakes exploration, biking tours and a lot more.
Kafred bigodi community.
Located in kamwenge, started in 2016 with an aim of improving the livelihoods of the people staying around kibale national park
The community offer services like visits to the traditional healer who will teach you the local herbs, tell you stories about spirits and a lot more about their tradition and culture. You will visit different homes of the people who will tell you their history, birth, clans and marriage ceremonies. You will be taken to their church and the trading center
Batwa cultural experience
The Batwa people used to live in Bwindi Forest but were displaced in 1992 when the forest was turned into a national park. The cultural experience was established with an aim of getting funds to educate their children and to share their heritage with their visitors. They offer service like, hiking to the forest where you will see different species of birds and primates, visits to the traditional healers who will teach you their herbs they get from the forest, they have traditional entertainment through songs and dances. You will see how they live their life like hunting and how to use a bow and arrow.
Why you should take place in community tourism.
Many of these communities are economically marginalized with no source of income to improve their livelihoods. The money you will pay to access their services and products will help in creating jobs for the people and to finance the community projects thus improving their lives.
You will experience the true life of Ugandans, their culture and a lot more about Uganda than having guided tours. You will get a chance to be close to the people from different tribes.