Batwa Experience
Batwa Experience
4.5
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
About
NOTE: There are several imposter tours in the area, particularly near local lodges, who charge a fee for tours. This FREE tour is available ONLY through the Batwa Development Program Craft Banda just outside the park gates. This original and authentic Batwa Experience tour provided to help the Batwa. The historical reenactment by the Batwa Pygmy demonstrates the use of medicinal herbs, traditional shelters, fire making, honey harvesting, burial rituals, different types of snares and tribal dances. The Batwa share their heritage with tourists as well as their own children so their culture may be preserved out of the rainforest. They strive for authenticity. FRAUD ALERT! If someone has asked you to purchase tickets, it is an imposter taking advantage of Batwa. Levi Busingye will be your guide. Levi and the other tour hosts are pictured on this page. The full experience lasts 3 to 4 hours and involves a hill climb that is done slowly in stages. Visitors may also elect a shorter version.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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peek
Kampala, Uganda681 contributions
Sep 2021 • Friends
Visiting the Batwa is a moving experience. Listening to their tales about the forest life the community used to enjoy and learning of their forceful eviction and the impact it has had is quite emotional. I am glad that the community has sought to preserve that little bit of their culture in the little enclave forest.

The guide is quite knowledgeable and extremely enthusiastic. The entertainment by the Batwa is beautiful. The music has a special touch to it and there is delight as the community perform.

The crafts they sell are also quite beautiful.

I am glad to learn that the Ugandan Court is examining compensation for the Batwa.
Written September 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GlobetrottingSwede
Paris, France3,144 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
We always try to include a primal tribe experience when we travel: the San in Namibia, the Hadsabe in Tanzania and the Vedda in Sri Lanka.

Although these encounters are set up for tourists, there is always something interesting. The Batwa Pigmies were kicked out of the mountain forests to make room for the gorillas (tourist money). There is not much left of the Batwa language and culture, but this experience is a way to support these people and get a glimpse of their former way of life.

The walk goes through a local village (not Batwa), so also a good way to see local life up close.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cynthia Yohanna E
1 contribution
Jun 2021
I do not regret doing the Batwa Experience. I learned so much about this beautiful people group and their former and current way of life. I would recommend the Batwa Experience to anyone. Be aware that if you are out-of-shape or unaccustomed to hiking, this experience may not be for you. The trail up to where the experience is held is rather narrow and quite steep at times. The guide did an excellent job of explaining everything, and he made sure we were given plenty of breaks on the way up the mountain. It was very evident that the guide cared for everyone's safety.
Written June 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tina W
3 contributions
Oct 2021
An interesting visit - you'll learn about the Batwa culture, both before and after they were moved out of the forest. We had a nice hike to the village and a cool coffee experience after. Overall, though, I would rather have used the time elsewhere.
Written October 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

P W 132
72 contributions
Jan 2021 • Family
Labeled as “Pygmies”...not so much. Long walk up a mountain-which took most of time-so not for those who are not in shape. Singing and dancing of Batwa entertaining. Showing us how they lived in forest was not very authentic. Their “homes” clearly for tourist eyes. If you are in to this kind of visit go...being a bit of a caveman I would have rather had a massage back at the lodge;)
Written February 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kim | Our Planet in my Lens
The Netherlands680 contributions
Nov 2018 • Friends
You shouldn’t leave Bwindi without meeting the Batwa tribe; the original inhabitants of the jungles of Bwindi known as the ‘keepers of the forest’. For years they lived in harmony with the forest and survived by hunting small game using bows and arrows. Unfortunately they lost their traditional ways of living, but they are more than willing to share their history. Depending on the tour you book, you will enjoy traditional songs and dances, hear ancient legends, learn about their way of life like food gathering and hunting techniques or how to make a fire. You will even get a chance to share a local meal. I have visited the Batwa in the Rushaga Area. From Gorilla Safari Lodge it was just a short walk to the Batwa and I thought it was quiet a good experience. It was nice to meet them and learn a little about their history and how they survive. Of course it looks like they are performing for tourists but for me, it didn't felt very touristic. I was the only one visiting them at that point and visiting them is a way of supporting their community.
Written March 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review! The Batwa are a precious people, and your support of the Batwa Experience actually helps them retain some of the rich heritage so that their children will know the Batwa way of life they had lived in the rainforest until it became a World Heritage site in 1992. Learn more at batwaexperience.org and kellermannfoundation.org.
Written March 19, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter v
Boston, MA68 contributions
Nov 2015
A terrible and shameful exploitation of the few remaining Batwa (Pigmy) people in the area. Once you are on the two hour guided trip you are locked into seeing a clearly oft repeated performance that has little to do with the lives or culture of this individuals. Stay clear.
Written June 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Paul T, Advisor at Batwa Experience, responded to this review, Jun 7, 2016 Mr. Von Mertens, Thank you for your review. Here are some remarks. Your review indicates you visited in November, 2015. Your review is dated approximately June 5. Is this fair? Batwa Experience was established by an anthropologist. It was originally intended for showing Batwa children how their parents and grandparents used to live, so that they do not lose their heritage. The activity has not changed much since it was established. So yes, it is "oft repeated," as most cultural reenactments are. And yes, it has "little to do" with contemporary Batwa life or culture, because it is, by design, historical. The Batwa reenactors are very experienced in what they do and they make every attempt to demonstrate how they used to live in the forest. You could have asked the guide and reenactors to see their village. They would have been happy to do that after the tour. Batwa Experience barely makes a profit, after paying the Batwa cultural reenactors and guide. If there is any profit, it goes to paying health care, school fees, land, infrastructure, and housing in Batwa settlements. There are Batwa involved in the board governance of Batwa Experience. There is no commercialization beyond the tour itself. What you probably did was go on a fake tour claiming to be "Batwa Experience", which sells baskets to tourists after some dancing. We get many complaints from people going on fake tours, but unfortunately there is no trademark law here where we can have a "cease and desist" order enforced. Be thankful the fakes did not talk you out of money for a faked land purchase, as happened recently. I believe you went on a fake for the following reasons. The tour is usually 3 hours, not 2, as you indicated. Did you spend about a half hour walking up a steep hill at the outset, meeting reenactors on the way? Was your tour guide named Levi or Sylvia? If the answer to these questions is no, then you went on a fake. If they tried to sell you something, then you went on a fake. If you suspect a fake, I request you write a new review of your tour operator, and delete your review of Batwa Experience. Even if you registered specifically for Batwa Experience, tour drivers here often detour tourists to fakes in exchange for a kickback from the fake tour. Because of its efforts and that of Bwindi Community Hospital, its sister organization, the Batwa were saved from dying off after being ejected from their forest home. I would ask you to rethink whether you went on the authentic tour, or if you went on a fake tour which exploits Batwa and defrauds tourists. I appreciate your trying to protect the Batwa from exploitation. However, if you went on a fake tour, your review may be ultimately harming the people you are trying to protect. So please reconsider what you wrote, and evaluate whether you really went on what you think you went on. Thanks again, Paul Advisor for the Batwa Experience
Written June 8, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Elizabeth
Fort Worth, TX8 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
My Dad and I really enjoyed our Batwa Experience. We felt it was very tastefully done and informative. The Batwa seemed to enjoy entertaining us with their dancing & singing. They did show us their crafts, but it wasn’t an obligation to purchase. The hike was also enjoyable and a great way to practice for a Gorilla Trek! I’d recommend this experience to anyone visiting the area!
Written August 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

beverley p
Dubai, United Arab Emirates98 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
I wasn’t really sure what to expect of this tour but was very pleasantly surprised and so glad we decided to go. What an enlightening experience! We were taken on a 2 hour walk through the settlement and were given a full insight into the lives of the Batwa people. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone and would add to your list of things to do.
Written April 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
So glad you had time to do the Batwa Experience! They are precious people!
Written April 7, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

edelfromdublin
Dublin, Ireland58 contributions
Sep 2018 • Solo
I visited a local Batwa village and was very moved by the tough life of these people. Having been moved on from where they had lived for years they now try & survive on a piece of land they can never own or grow crops on to survive. They are ostricised from local villagers and seem to rely on the occasional tourist visit for donations to purchase well needed food supplies. It's very sad to see that people who live side by side cannot work together in helping each other. I found the Batwa people to be very friendly & happy to sing & dance during my visit. I was assured by my guide that the donation I made would go to purchase food. My guide accompanied the village chief to the nearest foreign exchange office a drive away (which we provided) to ensure he would get a fair rate of exchange (not always the case for the Batwa people - another example of the mistreatment of a minority group).
Written September 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review! They are indeed a precious, joyful people who need our help. The Kellermann Foundation in the US is dedicated to working with the Batwa so they can help themselves while maintaining their heritage.
Written September 25, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Batwa Experience (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go