During a recent visit to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with a group of journalists, the tour guides took us for a visit to the mysterious Garama Cave, which was the home of the Batwa Community for decades.
The 342m long cave gives an insight into the kind of life led by the Batwa who are food gatherers and hunters. To enter the cave, you must descend 4 meters deep into the ground where you find rooms of all shapes and sizes. In one corner, we saw what used to be the Batwa’s dancing hall, while nearby stood the conference room from where the king would address his subjects and together they would plot the next operation. The conference room also has a podium where the king would stand as he addressed his subjects.
The cave also has bedrooms for the adults and children and these are clearly demarcated.
The Batwa are an indigenous group of people who have special features and exhibit unique behaviour. When the area was gazetted into a park in the early 1990s, the Batwa were relocated to an area adjacent to the park where Uganda Wildlife Authority continues to work closely with them.
The Batwa have been largely cooperative in efforts to help them earn a living through work. Often they are called upon to entertain guests at the Visitor Information Centre through dance and drama.
A visit to Garama Cave is a must for tourists in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Uganda Wildlife Authority is also in the process of further improving lighting inside the cave and providing more information about the cave and the Batwa.