Cultural Encounters in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Cultural encounters in Queen Elizabeth national park are one of the best cultural experiences that you can have during your visit to the national park. Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest national park in Uganda after Murchison falls national park located in North-western Uganda. The national park is situated in Kasese district and covers 1,978 square kilometers. The park shelters about 95 mammal species and over 600 species of birds thus making it one of the best national parks for birding safaris in Uganda. Cultural encounters in Queen Elizabeth national park entail the following;
Kikorongo Women Community.
Kikorongo means “Too Much Sunshine” in the local language of Lukonzo. However, the heat of the African plains has not diminished the energy of the Kikorongo Equator Cultural Performers! This vibrant performance which takes place at lodges around the Queen Elizabeth National Park is a wonderful glimpse in Kikorongo-with dance, drama, music and fire-making.
While a local interpreter explains the significance of the performances, you can sit back and watch village life unfold in front of you. Kikorongo’s African Art and Craft Workshops teach guests how to weave baskets and bowls using natural fibres.
The local instructors demonstrate how to recycle magazines into colourful paper beads which can be made into unique necklaces. If you own craft skills are not up to scratch, beautiful items made by the women’s group such as baskets, bowls, purses and woven belts are available to purchase.
Katwe Tourism Information Centre
This unusual lake is far too salty to support much wildlife- though since the 16th Century, Lake Katwe has ensured the survival of the local communities, who spend their days under the equatorial sun, walking the network of paths that cross the lake and harvesting salt from its milky waters.
Katwe salt lake tour gives a unique insight into the fascinating yet tough process of salt mining, as well as providing an alternative income for the locals. See villagers at work on the lake, cross the mud walkways and enter a traditional grass hut. Visitors will also pass the nearby bird sanctuary lake which is home to thousands of birds including flamingos which are best sighted from October to May. During the Katwe Village Walk, visitors are welcomed to a traditional homestead where cooking demonstrations introduce you to the region’s cuisine and there is also a trip to a local school.
Nyanz’ibiri Cave Community
Stretch your legs after long game drives with scenic walks around a slice of Uganda paradise at this community site known as “the cave.” Admire panoramic views of volcanic crater lakes to a soundtrack of crested cranes and eagles. Paddle a canoe, hike to the transparent lake, spot eight species of forest primates, or simply just stop and smell the local flowers- this is the place to come and truly connect with nature.
Local attractions include a historic cave and cultural museum- a perfectly preserved Banyaruguru hut which is filled with valued local artifacts that were once the tools of everyday life. The community run establishment also offers three, fully furnished private bandas and a campsite.
All visitors are invited to use our restaurant and bar and also enjoy our evening traditional dance performances. A generous portion of your activity and accommodation fees go directly to the community development, conservation and educational projects.
Also, visitors can explore the “Bat Cave” which is tucked beneath the shady canopy of the famous Maramagambo forest. The cave has a viewing room built through funding from the Centre for Disease Control in which visitors can observe pythons that live alongside bats.
The sweeping Kichwamba Escarpment makes up the eastern wall of the western rift valley. This 2-3 hour trail begins in rural Kataara village with a hike through the farms of the escarpment in the cool morning or early evening. Your expert local guide will point out beautiful bird species, exotic and medicinal plants and sites of cultural importance as well as explaining local farming methods.
Visitors will also learn about the enduring challenge of human-animal conflicts in the area, and you will also tour the beehives that used to divert destructive elephants away from community crops on the park border. Interested visitors will also have a chance to try their hand at honey harvesting. After enjoying the peace of the endless savannah and the shade of the trees, visitors hike back up the escarpment and can return to their lodges.
Other activities to combine with cultural encounters in Queen Elizabeth national park.
During your community cultural tour or cultural encounter in Queen Elizabeth national park, visitors can also participate in other activities offered in the national park such as; lion tracking experience, game drive, boat cruise on Kazinga channel, chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge, bird watching, mongoose tracking, camping, and a guided nature walk in the park.
Where to stay during your visit to Queen Elizabeth national Park.
For visitors looking to spend a night or more in the park, there are plenty of accommodation facilities that you can stay at like; Park View Safari Lodge, Elephant Hub Safari Lodge, Engiri Game Lodge and Campsite, Kyangabi Crater Resort, Mweya Safari Lodge, Kasenyi Lake Retreat Lodge, and Elephant Plains Lodge to mention but a few.
Getting to Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
The national park can be accessed by road from Kampala via Mbarara which covers approximately 420km. Queen Elizabeth national park can also be approached from the north through Fort Portal covering a total distance of 410km. Visitors can also access the park south from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is great after a gorilla trekking safari.