Batwa Garama Caves in Mgahinga Gorilla National park
Some of the steep mountain slopes contain caves formed by lava tubes, one of them being the famous Batwa Garama Caves located near the park headquarters. Batwa Garama Caves is a sacred place for the Batwa, and during the Batwa Trail, you can discover how it was used as a shelter during battles and as a place to store looted treasures.
Batwa trail: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park presents a chance for tourists to get up close and personal to the Batwa people and learn more from them about their way of life. During this activity, you will understand the way the Batwa used to live in the forest jungles, how they hunted, gathered their fruits, you will also be introduced to the jungle clinic where you will learn about the different herbs that the Batwa used to heal their ailments all of which are present in the forest.
Batwa trail is carried out within the boundaries of Mgahinga national park in the foothills of mount Sabinyo and Mount Muhavura. At the climax of the trail, you will be led to the Batwa Garama caves, this cave is 342 meters long and 14 meters deep and is found below a plateau that lies north of the park about 3km from Ntebeko park offices, the Garama cave holds a lot of cultural and social significance to the Batwa community because before their eviction from the forests, the Batwa used this cave as a council chamber and also a hideout for their warriors after they had raided their neighboring communities. As of today, the Batwa Garama caves is a habitat for bats, the Batwa only uses it as a stage to showcase their music from during Batwa trail walks.
During this musical performance, the Batwa will reminisce about their good old days in the forest and the agony of being evicted from their ancestral lands that came with the creation of Mgahinga national park. The entire Batwa trail costs 80$ and lasts for about 4 hours giving you ample time to enjoy and learn a thing or two from the earliest inhabitants of East Africa. Being one of the most marginalized groups of people, part of the proceeds that are gained from this activity go directly in improving the lives of these people through construction and funding social infrastructures like schools and health centers within this community.
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