KICHWAMBA ESCARPMENT COMMUNITY TOURISM INITIATIVE
A New Way to Travel
Kichwamba Escarpment Community/Nature Walk
- Kasyoha- Kitomi Forest Walk
- Kichwamba-Kyambura Home-stay Program
- Indigenous Tree Conservation Program
Tourist destinations are often packaged so that everything is a photo opportunity, and tourists are shown only one side of a country, the part that sells well. It is not always easy to get off the tourist trail and see how life is lived every day.
Uganda has not escaped this tendency. It is promoted as a natural paradise, and more than a half million tourists arrive every year to visit its National Parks, Forests, lakes and mountains. However, not many visitors have the chance to get to know the way rural communities live during their stay.
It is hard to express the variety and richness that you can experience with rural community tourism. So the best thing to do is to cross the threshold and start the adventure of getting to know the “Pearl of Africa” in a different way: Come and Trek Africa Eco-Tours will go with you in this exciting adventure.
Above: Kichwamba Community Tourism Coordinator with guests at Tourism Information Office
This is part of an exciting Eco-tourism program run by Trek Africa Eco-Tours in partnership with local communities of Kichwamba and Kyambura bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park. The program brings real life experience to tourists while enabling the local community to develop income generating tourism-related ventures that safeguard their traditions and preserve the local environment. The Community and Nature Walk can last from one hour up to three hours.
Kichwamba is in Western Uganda at the edge of the Rift valley, just 2 kms from Kyambura Gorge Game Reserve and 10 minutes drive into Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). It is about 350 km from Kampala on the Mbarara-Kasese road. Set on a very high escarpment, Kichwamba offers you stunning panoramic views of the QENP and the Rwenzori Mountains. Spending some time in these local communities will give you a window into their way of life. The information Office and starting point for the Community/Nature walk is in the vicinity of the lodges located around the Escarpment like Kingfisher, Katara, Enganzi, Kyambura Game Lodge and Jacana
On the Left, Guests at Kichwamba Information Office
When you are visiting Queen Elizabeth Protected Area, include in your program just 2 hours for this lifetime experience with the communities in Kichwamba-Kyambura area. A combination of culture, amazing geographical features and panorama along the Escarpment are well parked in a Community/Nature walk of one to two hours.
For travellers with a sense of adventure, this trekking route along the ridge of the vast, towering Kichwamba Escarpment with steep cliffs provides a truly unforgettable opportunity to explore part of the Albertine Rift stunning scenery and meet the people of the rural highlands, whose lives have changed little in many hundreds of years.
Small groups of 4 to 6 persons at a time, (not ideal for small children – cliff faces can make people nervous). You will not only enjoy the fascinating scenery but will also get an opportunity for a life-changing experience of rural African life by experimenting with harvesting food and preparing local dishes. All the food crops are organically grown. Come with us and take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Itinerary 1: Katinda Cliff (1 hour)
This is a fairly short walk in fascinating surroundings with fantastic views of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kyambura Game Reserve. Get a lifetime experience with the local community going about their daily chores, including fishing, gardening and brewing the popular local drink -“tonto”.
Itinerary 2: Katinda Cliff-Twin Lakes (2 hours)
This walk takes you up to the Katinda Cliff. This time, you descend to the twin lakes of Katinda and Murambi and cross the Ismuth separating the 2 lakes. Here you will try out fishing in the lakes and then climb out of the valley on the South Eastern side of Lake Murambi. You will see and if time allows, participate in the process of making local brew called “tonto” an extract from a type of bananas.
Guests visiting a local “brewery”
The hike takes you through a densely populated section of Murambi village where you will interact with the local community as they go about their daily chores. Here you will see gardens of Coffee, Cotton, Bananas, and other legumes like Beans and Ground Nuts, all organically grown.
You come out at Ruriba Trading centre. Here you will see the “3rd Command View”-a high point which folklore says was used as an observatory post to look out for hostile tribes. You complete your 2 hour walk here and you will be picked by your vehicle and taken back to the Information Centre.