The next day we had scheduled a visit to the forest, where the Batwa pygmies used to live. The Batwa people were pushed out of the forest when the gorilla tourism picked up. A hunter-gatherer tribe, they never learned the merits of agriculture or livestock breeding. they told us that when they gave them animals as compensation to their exile form the forest, most of them simply ate them. The visit is part of a local project to generate revenue for the community through the participation of Batwas that show the tourists how the life in the forest was.
It was a very interesting experience. The Batwa used the forest resources for everything, for making clothes, medicines, huts, pots and everything else they needed. It was a very primitive life of a fast vanishing culture. It is really worth to have more visitors learn how these people lived and help them develop a new life outside the forest. One can debate whether the gorillas, the Batwas or the tourism should be the priority of the government, but the truth is that the country needs the income and the gorillas need the forest.
Next: Streets of Kampala