TRAINING IN GUIDING AS PROVIDED BY PETER NIZETTE (RTP) AND JOHNNIE KAMUGISHA , CHAIR OF THE UGANDA SAFARI GUIDES ASSOCIATION (USAGA)
Training in guiding was provided by Peter Nizette (RTP) and Johnnie Kamugisha, chair of
the Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA).
Preliminary training was provided to over 50 aspiring guides from all areas around the park and then of these the six most promising and most committed guides went on for a further week of intense training and earned the title of Bwindi Specialist Guides. The group was formally registered at local authority level, with only those undergoing the training course entitled to use the title. The training has been summarised in a guides “pocketbook” which will be used by USAGA for future guide training and is available at https://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/17646IIED.pdf and included in Annex 7.
The guide training not only helped to instill technical and practical skills but the trainers also
worked with the guides to identify and develop itineraries for potential new trails that that
could be included in tour operator itineraries. Three new guided walks were identified – one
at Buhoma and two in Rubuguri. Trail guides were produced for each of the guided walks
and disseminated widely to tour operators and lodges by the guides and Bwindi and by the
Responsible Tourism Partnership at the World Travel Market in November 2018.
The “Rubuguri Origins and Honey Trail” flyer is available at: https://pubs.iied.org/G04323/
the “Reformed Poachers Trails” is available at http://pubs.iied.org/G04322/; and the
“Traditional Rural Life and Batwa Culture” trail is available at http://pubs.iied.org/G04324/.
Each of the trail guides is included in Annex 7. We also developed a badge for the Bwindi
Specialist Guides and provided khaki shirts with the badge attached that they could use as a
Read what those that have been on tour with us have to say
DEVELOPING THE CAPACITY OF COMMUNITY GROUPS TO PRODUCE HIGH-QUALITY HANDICRAFTS
The BATWA’s Trails & Specialists Guides are ready to welcome you …
There are now three new Nature, Culture, Lifestyle and Birdlife trails around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as a cadre of seven, specially trained guides who have been deeply involved in developing these new experiences. All the trails are different with a great mix of people and their lifestyles in the setting of the spectacular countryside with diverse birds and other wildlife.
After nearly a year of identifying trails sites, ensuring local people along the way are totally engaged in the process, sitting with them and getting local stories, myths, legends and knowledge that they would like to share, mapping and trialling the trails, with ‘real’ tourists – we are there.
The main idea is to create additional, authentic, experiences that visitors can buy, before they travel or when there, to greatly enhance their experience, complementing the gorilla experience and putting them in close and ‘real’ touch with local people going about their daily lives and wanting to share that with visitors. Extending the stay means more local spending, more money staying and circulating in the local economy. Creating greater socio-economic and cultural resilience
Connecting those livelihood experiences with visitors greatly assists not only the visitor to have a ‘real’ deepening of their journey to the forest but also creates direct monetary benefits to the local population whilst, at the same time, heightening local awareness of the need to conserve the forest; creating local alternatives to traditional uses of the forest, with it’s rare and endangered species.
SO – a win-win-win all ‘round – people, places, biodiversity & conservation – and – exciting tourist experiences.
Stories of myths and legends;
Displays of herbal medicinal remedies;
Displays of coffee growing and processing;
Educational lifestyle experiences of the Batwa as traditional custodians of the forest for past millennia;
Ex-poachers as ‘new’ market gardeners;
Women’s groups growing fresh and ‘new’ produce for lodges and camps;
Ex-poachers turned apiculturists;
Streams and rivers; and
All in the spectacular countryside surrounding the National Park guided by specially trained members of the Bwindi Specialists Guides Group.
Trail Maps and Guides
Bwindi lives and livelihoods guided trails
Rubuguri origins and honey
Traditional rural life and Batwa culture