Community/Cultural tours in Murchison Falls National Park are a lifetime experience as you get to see new people with different ways of life.
Let us first know the denotation of culture. Culture encircles the social behavior and norms of a group of people in a given society.
It encompasses the language, what to wear, cuisines, social habitats, music, and the arts of people.
To cultural encounter is when you visit a society to see and learn their way of living. Not only learning, but you can also as well participate in activities like craft making and enjoy cultural dances.
A range of diverse communities that reflect the tribes of Uganda surrounds Murchison Falls National park.
The Banyoro in the South, the Alur in the Northwest, and the Acholi in the Northeast. These tribes have diverse cultural backgrounds that you can encounter on cultural safaris in Uganda.
However, among all the communities surrounding park, there are impressive communities that you shouldn’t miss on your cultural encounter in Murchison Falls National Park. The Boomu village near Kichumbanyobo and the Mubako cultural performers.
Let’s dig in and learn more about these impressive communities,
Boomu Women’s Group -Community In Murchison Falls National Park
Boomu Women’s Group is located a few yards ahead of the Kichumbanyobo gate at the southern entrance of the park. It is 8 kilometers from Kaniyo Pabidi an eco-tourism site in Budongo Forest.
A combined group of women formed it in 1999 in the Kihaguzi village. Their main aim was to fight poverty amongst themselves and improve their social development.
The togetherness of the women was also to fight malnutrition and to enable their children to go to school for better education.
All members are subsistence farmers as they grow food for home consumption and the excess is sold in markets.
This is why they first bought land in Kigaragara village for farming 3 miles away from their current location.
However, women get challenges of hunger when they sell most of the food in markets trying to raise income.
To improve this, the group started making crafts for sale and began to develop their community tourism. Through this, they were able to construct traditional bandas and a restaurant.
Boomu Women’s group has hopes of inspiring more people to come together and work towards economic and social development.
What To Expect During Your Cultural Encounter With Boomu Women’s Group In Murchison falls National Park?
Forget about western life, Boomu village gives you the full insight into how rural Ugandans live. It gives you the real African touch during your African culture safari.
There is no electricity nor solar lighting, you fetch water from the well just like any other African child.
You get to experience the authentic African way of preparing an organic meal fresh from the garden. You get to peel food and cook it on local traditional stoves “Ekyoto”. This will leave you wanting for more.
Forget refrigerators, for the cold drinks, fancy plates, and cutlery as you get to eat food with your bare fingers. How fascinating is that!! However, a fork can be provided for ease of eating.
Do not forget to say thanks when you finish enjoying the meal.
There are no dishwashers, all utensils are washed with hands and put on local stand racks.
When you visit the Boomu women’s group, you will fall in love with the little African village because of its experiences.
What To Do At Boomu Women’s Group During Your Community/Cultural Tours In Murchison Falls National Park
Boomu village offers a unique cultural experience during cultural encounters in Murchison falls National Park. During your visit to the village, there are a lot of activities you can participate in to enjoy the true African episode.
In this village, people work together hence the name “Boomu” which means together. The women’s group provides the best cultural experiences in the park and it attracts many culture lovers to encounter the village.
Get to enjoy village walks for a few hours during your cultural encounter. You can participate in basket weaving as the women are great instructors.
Participate in cultivation and enjoy making yourself herbal medicine.
Enjoy cultural performances through music, dance, and drama. A little secret, you as well participate in the traditional dance.
The best experience is the fascinating cooking tour. Doing things in a local traditional way is the order of the day here, and if you have a camera, you can record these unforgettable memories.
Learn how to make dyes from plants and flowers. See them used as the loom to create a cloth fabric and work alongside African women.
Get some time and visit the village chairperson. She will be delighted to share with you full information about the local life, culture, and tradition of the people.
For you to enjoy and exhaust the African experience, you can spend at least 2 nights at the women’s traditional bandas. The bandas are in hut form with mud-made walls and grass-thatched roofs providing comfort at a budget cost.
This information here is nothing compared to what you experience and witness in the village. A visit will leave you with ultimate lifetime cultural experiences.
Mubako Cultural Experience In Murchison Falls National Park
Mubako village is situated in the North West outside of Murchison Falls National Park. Mud and grass thatched huts make up this village.
Many people in the village depend on tourism as there are limited economic opportunities. Proceeds from tourism is what the locals use to buy food from markets and take their kids to school.
The people are farmers and grow cassava however the land is not so productive. The cassava is dried and grounded into flour that is used for baking bread to provide more food.
Some flour is fermented to make the local gin “Waragi” which is sold to locals in local communal bars.
As said, the people from Mubako survive from tourism, they perform cultural dances to tourists who visit the village.
But mostly, the energetic dancers offer impressive cultural dances when called to perform at the respective lodges in the park. Their performance is accompanied by the beautiful sound of the “Adungu” mainly done at dusk.
The Mubako community also has a craft shop where people sell their crafts like baskets, woven mats, craft shoes, and hats. This is how these people earn their way of living by selling handmade crafts.
The Mubako people performances give a lifetime experience while on your Uganda cultural tour.
When going for cultural encounters in Murchison Falls National Park, always wear decent. The people you are visiting respect culture, so your dress code should be proper and maintained.
African culture prohibits walking in public with some of the body parts uncovered. Please be vigilant and always put on long-sleeved clothes.
When To Go For Cultural Encounters In Murchison Falls National Park?
Cultural encounters in Murchison Falls National Park usually take place in the morning or the afternoon. Usually, lodges hire cultural performers to entertain tourists in the evenings around campfires.
However, to enjoy the full gist of the cultural experience, you can always spend over 2 nights in the villages. The villages have accommodation facilities that can suit you like Boomu women’s group has traditional bandas that are comfortable.
This gives you ample time to participate in most of the cultural activities leaving you satisfied with the experience.
What Is The Best Time Of The Year -Season To Go For Community/Cultural Tours In Murchison Falls National Park?
Cultural visits in Murchison Falls National Park take place all year long. However, the best experience is in the dry months as the roads leading to the villages are dry and accessible.
Also, some experiences are best on dry days like the cooking experience and participating in cultural dances.
The dry months of the year are from December to February and from June to August.
In the wet months, the tracks may become muddy and slippery as roads in Murchison Falls Park are murram. The heavy rains may delay you and limit your time for the cultural experience.
Wet months are from March to May and from September to November.
Also keep in mind that Ugandan weather is not predictable. Seasons change as it can rain during the dry months or shines in the wet months.
Why Do Community/Cultural Tours In Murchison Falls National Park?
There are several benefits of doing cultural encounters in Murchison Falls National Park. These benefits are for both the tourist and the villages.
Benefits To The Tourist
As a tourist, when you cultural encounter, you get to learn about the real African culture. You learn their dress code, arts, and their way daily way of life.
You get to interact with local people one on one which is a great experience. Usually, a chat with a local chairperson gives you full information about the people’s history, language, and behavior.
Cultural visits give you unforgettable memories when you participate in the activities done in the area.
Benefits To The Cultural Communities
The people in the cultural communities only depend on and survive on tourism. In their regions, there are few economic opportunities for them. The land in the region is not productive and this brings hunger and malnutrition cases.
However, when you visit and pay some money for activities and buy craft materials from them, they get income. The money is used for buying food, taking the children to school, and improving their standards of living.
Also, when you visit, the young children are inspired as you get a chance to talk to them. The inspiration pushes them to stay in school and achieve big as they mostly want to be like you.
One can as well enjoy cultural encounters in other places while on cultural tours in Uganda. These are Kidepo National Park, Bwindi National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
Community/Cultural tours in Murchison Falls National Park give you a clear mind and teach you more about the real Ugandan culture.
You get big opportunities in participating in cultural activities like the cooking experience and cultural dances. This is the only chance you get to live like a real rural Ugandan. How inspiring it is!!
Always remember that your visit is 100% treasured as the people in the cultural communities depend on tourism.
Let us help you enjoy your cultural tours in Murchison Falls National Park during a safari when you combine it with other wildlife activities. Kindly send us an email for guaranteed arrangements.