A trip to Ugandan or Rwanda would not be complete without engaging with the local people, and experiencing some of the truly authentic cultural encounters that both countries have to offer. Such exchanges will prove to be a memorable and rewarding addition to any wildlife or gorilla safari, and for many can become the unexpected high-light.
Uganda and Rwanda are both uniquely ‘unspoilt’ destinations, which means that the community-based tourism you will find here is genuine, welcoming and not at all like the ’canned’ village walks found in some destinations. Cultural encounters available include anything from trying your hand at making a beeswax candle at a honey co-operative, developing your jewellery-making skills by rolling a Ugandan paper bead, visiting a Genocide memorial in Rwanda, watching drumming performances, visits to working salt lakes, cultural dance performances, living history encounters such as The Batwa Trail, coffee plantation tours on the shores of Lake Kivu, pottery demonstrations, guided nature walks around local conservation projects, and of course, a traditional (‘un-canned’!) village walk.
By incorporating cultural encounters we recommend into your itineraries, you are not only offering the latest authentic experiences to your clients, you are also helping to support the communities of Uganda and Rwanda. These activities create employment and improve livelihoods, as well as encouraging local people to become ‘destination guardians’, working to defend and protect natural habitats and ecosystems. Community tourism is an important part of protecting Africa’s wildlife, as well as its people.