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Meet Batwa Pigmies
The Batwa, one of the oldest surviving tribes in Africa, is in danger of losing its culture. The Batwa suffered tremendously during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, having previously been evicted from their homeland when it became the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in 1991. Now the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust is running projects aimed at reviving this marginalised community’s cultural traditions. A visit to the Batwa Cultural Heritage Site offers guests the chance to support the Batwa and to learn about their handicrafts, storytelling and fire-making techniques.
Bailey Robinson has three nights at the Mount Gahinga Lodge, including trekking in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Tours cost from £1,785, including flights. http://www.baileyrobinson.com
By Caroline Eden
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.