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The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) has begun a Tea Processing exhibit at the Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge in partnership with local communities. The tea tour demonstrates how tea is grown, picked and traditionally processed in Uganda.
Tea has also proven to be a very useful buffer crop when planted between forest areas with protected wildlife and local human communities. Animals do not eat tea so feel no need to come out of the forest to “crop raid” which is the source of much human-wildlife conflict in areas around National Parks.
Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge, which is located at the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, World Heritage Site and home to the Mountain Gorilla, has a small tea plantation that separates the forest from the local community. The VSPT has partnered with local growers and the lodge to demonstrate tea processing to interested visitors. The tour shows how tea is grown and also how “black”, “green” and “white” teas are produced and differentiated. Guests are invited to taste the tea at the end of the tour.
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.