The Buniga Forest Trail showcases the life of the Batwa native pygmies—their historical nomadic cultures when they occupied the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest until 1991 when the forest was gazetted as a national park. The tribe was forced out of the park and since then have been struggling to cope with modern life outside the jungle. The Buniga forest trail is a USAID initiative put together to help the Batwa community earn a living from tourism around the UNESCO world heritage site. This walk is truly an experience, not challenging at all, but rather informative and exciting.
The Buniga Forest Batwa Experience
The Buniga Forest Walk is arranged by the Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF) and the walk starts and finishes at the NCCDF offices in Nkuringo.
The Buniga Forest Walk provides the means for the Batwa to preserve and earn an income from their culture and heritage. The forest walk is a source of employment for the Batwa guides with employment and enable women sell their crafts to the visitors.
Buniga Plants and Animals
The Buniga pocket forest is rich with diversity floral; within the forest you will encounter indigenous plant species with medicinal benefits to the Batwa and the local community such as the Giant lobelias and tree ferns and species like Syzygium which provide food to Chimpanzees.
The Buniga forest is often visited by birder for its diverse bird life, with over 100 species of birds identified within and near to the forest. The trail within the Buniga Forest allows visitors the chance to sit and listen to the birds. The forest is also habitat for many mammals species to include;- Duikers, primates like the Black and white colobus monkeys and Chimpanzees.
70% of the fee you pay for the experience goes to NCCDF which employs your guides and operates local community conservation and development projects. The remaining 30% goes to the Kisoro Local Government which owns Buniga Forest.