Community Based Tourism
for community development
explore the rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery while making a positive impact.
KALONGA is a community in the central region of Uganda in Mubende District. MUBENDE district has a tropical climate with moderate rainfall and temperature. The rainfall pattern is bi-modal with two seasons and the annual rainfall varying between 560 mm to 1,272 mm.
The months of March to May and September to November receive very heavy and well-distributed rains of up to 1,200 mm. There are two dry seasons from June to July and December to February. This, therefore, provides for two crop-growing seasons. The high altitude ensures a favorable climate with medium annual temperatures ranging from 17.2 degrees to 29 degrees centigrade.
The community of Mubende is composed of people of different social and ethnic origins with majority being Baganda; 36.1% followed by Banyoro 14%, Banyankole 11.4%, Bakiga 10.7%, Bafumbira 9.9%, Banyarwanda 6.8%, Bakhonzo 3.1%, Batoro 2.5%, Basoga 0.7% and others 4.6%.
The District is in Buganda Kingdom and hosts the historical home of the great Bunyoro Kitara Empire with the seat of King Ndahula the Chwezi and site for queen and priestess Nakayima at the popular tree on Mubende Hill. The main custodian of the Cultural heritage is the Buganda Kingdom headed by his majesty the Kabaka of Buganda.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the district. According to the Uganda Agriculture Census of 2019/2020, it indicates that maize is the major crop produced in the district both as food crop and cash crop, followed by Banana food, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, banana bear, G/nuts, Irish potatoes and sweet bananas.
Kigezi is a region in Western Uganda composed of six districts of Kisoro, Kabale, Rubanda, Rukiga, Kanungu, and Rukungiri. Kigezi borders two international boundaries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kigezi region is home to the Bwindi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for gorilla trekking. Other top tours and activities in Kigezi include trekking tree-climbing lions at the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, golden monkey trekking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, bird watching in the Echuya forest, hiking the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, canoeing at Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi, Nature walks, Batwa cultural experience, coffee making experience, lake Mtanda historical cultural tour, Bafumbira culture, Gisozi caldera hike among others.
Kigezi is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery. The region is home to several ethnic groups, including the Bakiga, Bafumbira, and Batwa, each with their own unique traditions and customs, and home to numerous cultural sites, including traditional homesteads, burial grounds, and shrines, which provide a glimpse into the history and traditions of the local communities.
- Community-Based Tourism: You can participate in community-based schemes such as organic farming, basket weaving, Nature walks and traditional crafts. This can provide a sustainable source of income for local communities while preserving their cultural heritage.
- Cultural Homestays: You can stay with local families and learn about their way of life, food, and customs. This can provide a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the daily lives of the people. If you prefer staying in a hotel, there are a number of them and Visitors are free to chose accommodation type that meets their needs.
- Cultural Trails: You can go on guided tours of the sub-region’s cultural sites, including museums, traditional dance performances, and historical landmarks. The trails can be designed to showcase the unique cultural practices of the Batwa, Bakiga, Bafumbira, and other ethnic groups in the sub-region.
- Cultural Festivals: Kigezi hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, including, the Bakiga Nation festival, Shemererwa festival and the Kigezi Tourism and Cultural Fair. You can attend these festivals and experience the traditional music, dance, and food of the local communities.
- Ecotourism: Kigezi is home to several national parks and tourist attractions, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can go on guided tours of these parks and learn about the sub-region’s unique flora and fauna while supporting conservation efforts.
- Locals could offer Airbnb-like services, either as standalone apartments or hosted within family homes, which would allow tourists to learn from the locals while providing economic benefits for the community.
- Women could provide cooking classes to tourists to showcase local cuisine.
- Locals could teach tourists about the local dialect and heritage, as well as traditional Kigezi dances.
- Farmers could host and train tourists on how to plant in the difficult terrain of the rift valleys.
- Locals could offer training on how to make local crafts.
- Camping sites will be created within community with trickle down benefits to the locals.
The community tourism scheme has the potential to create a positive social impact on the communities in Kalonga and Kigezi in several ways like;
Economic empowerment: The scheme will provide economic opportunities to the local communities, including those involved in arts and crafts, by promoting cultural tourism. This will result in increased income and improved living standards for people in the area.
Preservation of cultural heritage: By promoting cultural tourism, the scheme will help to preserve the cultural heritage of the region. This will lead to a renewed appreciation of traditional customs and practices, which can contribute to a sense of pride and identity among the local population.
Community development: The scheme will promote community development by encouraging the participation of local communities in the tourism industry. This will result in the development of local businesses, infrastructure, and services, which can improve the quality of life for people in the area.
Cross-cultural exchange: Community-Based tourism will create opportunities for cross-cultural exchange between visitors and local communities. This will promote understanding and appreciation of different cultures and contribute to a more peaceful and tolerant society.