The Bakonzo are Bantu-speaking people. This tribe is one of the 54 tribes of Uganda. They live on the Rwenzori Mountains and are until now, known as the indigenous tribe for this mountain. The Bakonzo people originally traveled from the Congo and settled here about 300 years ago. There are about 800 000 Bakonzo people in Uganda today.
The Rwenzori Mountains are central to the life of the Bakonzo people who live on the lower slopes, and it is the home of their central spirit Kitasamba, king of the Mountains. In the local language (Lukonzo), Rwenzori means Rainmaker, and they are called Mountains of The Moon as during the day they are covered by cloud, but are often clear at night and visible by moonlight. These mountains are shared by Uganda and Congo. The mountains provide an important source of water as they supply water to the surrounding communities and to Lakes George, Edward, and Albert, which support an important fishing industry
The Bakonzo people are reliant on subsistence agriculture and despite poverty and economic problems; they are blessed with a plentiful supply of clean, fresh water and fertile soil. Traditional crops include millet, yams, beans, potatoes, and bananas. More recently new crops such as cassava, maize, and coffee are also grown.
The Bakonzo are distinctive from all other tribes of Uganda. They also stand out from the other Bantu tribes of Uganda in many ways. Their language dialect is not easily adopted by any other tribes of Uganda, including the closely living tribes such as the Batooro who live in Kabarole located on the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. Many other ways of life stand out from all other Ugandan ethnic tribes, such as the way they carry their luggage, the naming of children, the clans, their diet, and the dressing code.
Because it is the most unique tribe of Uganda, you probably don’t know Uganda well, until you have met the Bakonzo people. To learn more about the Bakonzo tribe and culture, visit Ruboni community camp, in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Experience one of the most outstanding moments while at Queen Elizabeth National Park by participating in the village hill trek. It is a 3-5 hours hill trail overlooking this wildlife-packed savannah of Queen Elizabeth, astride Lake George at the equator. The trek offers one of the best views in the area.
This panoramic view gives it all. Viewing the lakes surrounded by expansive savanna is like a magical dream of the jungle. You will see the land dotted with grazing wild animals. on the earlier part of the trail, you can also be able to take the sight of fishing boats hovering over the waters in the middle of the jungle. With a local guide, the trek starts from the Elephant home, Kikorongo. The tour is offered in an affordable package that includes a packed lunch. Within the price, you will also get a day pack with 1 liter of water.
Taking this tour is probably the first time you will realize that 3 hours of trekking can feel to be too short. The beauty of this trail easily keeps you going without realizing the hustle of climbing the hills. It feels like flying over Queen Elizabeth National Park as you enjoy the views over Lakes; George and Kikorongo, that you won’t find anywhere else in the area.
Anybody can go on this trek with ease. It is suitable for all levels of strength since it has two optional routes. Those who wish to visit the mountain lake by car will be able to use a less scenic route driving to the village near the lake. The advantage of using a walking trail is that it is mainly open with short grasses and shrubs that allow for full-time views of the landscape in the entire region.
As you trek, unique plants, insects, and colorful birds are a common sight, making this trail a birder’s pick. With a bird guidebook, you will be amazed to spot and identify some of the birds such as black-headed Weaver, scaret_chested sunbird, and more. As you take the breaks, spend some time learning from the guide how the local people relate to these birds.
The hill trek gives every guest, an opportunity to live like a local for a moment. During the tour, you will meet and mix with the local people doing their local trades. These meetings can turn up to be all-around participation in the local life, from observing the local mountain architecture, innovative ways of transporting basic and commercial commodities, planting, harvesting, processing, and tending to domestic animals. You will also be amazed to hear the story of how the local culture contributes to the conservation of the natural habitat on these hills. The farmers are taking the effort to innovatively prevent the soil from flowing downhill.
This trek is a world on its own. You will be inspired by this survival economy that runs without any machinery on these hills. All basic needs such as firewood and other domestic luggage are carried manually on the back. The women carry with a string around the head, supported by the neck. They carry this way to have a balance on the mountainsides. As you intermingle with the mountain people, you will learn that this way of carrying is another bizarre adaptation by the tribe over years.
The hills are so fertile that everything put on the ground will germinate. The food grown contributes to the domestic food needs and income when they sell the surplus. The local crops grown on these hillside farms include; cotton, coffee, bananas, beans, and other vegetables. Visit the farms to take some pictures or even participate in the farm activities. The farmers will explain the farming processes of their crops.
After spending time with the farmers, you will continue to the most interesting point of the trail; the mountain lake, parched on the top of the mountain. At the most scenic spot next to the lake, you will take your picnic lunch. The farmer will tell you the story of the local beliefs and practices he knows about this mountain lake and how it formed in his garden. Take a tour around the lake to view it from different angles. The time at the lake is a memorable picture moment. After the tour around the lake is a good time to descend to your lodge at Queen Elizabeth national park.
It is very easy to arrange this trek if you want to take it. We require you to book at least one day before the trekking day. Contact us today to reserve your date.