Ladies put on masks to depict their epic safari mood into the African wild places.

Africa will never fail to excite your moods, now the art and craft identity was the best way to reveal how tranquil these tourists fell in love with wild beauty. Not to mean that one chose to mask her face with Burchell’s zebra while another chose Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi that was named after the Tring Museum's founder, Walter Rothschild, you can even commonly call this the Ugandan giraffe. These wild animals are among the many game animals that excites tourist moods even though are not part of the big five class which is always a common lookout for most of the tourists while in the wild places of Africa. This tourist safari expression happened in Queen Elizabeth national park and one can wonder why since no any of the animal on the masked faces reside here, it happened after the tourists' past encounters on the previous stays of their 13 days safari to Uganda which included Lake Mburo national park where both animals sit treaming Acacia Hokii. This park's varied habitats allowed them to encounter its population of 68 mammal species including impala which, in Uganda, only lives here,Burchell’s zebra and eland which are found only here and in Kidepo.Other species include warthog, buffalo, oribi, Defassa waterbuck and reedbuck. Leopard and hyena are also present while crocodile and over 300 hippos are found in the lake.

The evolution of African art and crafts: With profound evidence we believe that Africa is the cradle land of mankind, African art existed before recorded history some dated back 500 BC for example rock art is centuries old while shell beads fashioned for a necklace have been recovered in the caves. One of the many challenges facing African communities today is how to keep its indigenous spirit of Crafts alive while embracing the current era of Digital and Technology. There are needs to adapt to practices hence serving the communities best and keeping the traditions alive. There is need to examine the principles behind the creation and production of African craft. The colonial periods and current originating communities made no distinctions on African craft and art. In our campaign to encourage active community participation through Eco-tours we believe communities must be active with love for their culture and traditions for their well being. In most parts Globalization and tourism has been the noble cause to fading cultures and rendering the locals quite vulnerable to external threats, we are very much aware as anything from colonization, intermarriages, to modernity and currently the lucrative tourism as a business there must be best practices to guide operations while respecting the values of local cultures to succeed.

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African crafts and art as a sign to show affection or love among couples, relatives and family members: Love was and is a great aspect to value and respect, in the African tradition mostly when lovers wanted to show it this way through the offer of gifts, should those parties live in a distant place the means of transport was only walking on foot passing through the jungle. Some time the journey becomes hard and longer due to obstructions like valleys, mountains, Rivers, Lakes, Rocks and man eating beasts. Couples before marriage in the African tradition are very shy and this is taken as assign of respect, to some extent communication between the two is between mediators. The girls will choose someone known to her who will be approaching the boy’s side and the boy will do the same. The communication and interaction will be between their mediators until the day they got married together; this practice was a strong cultural behavior when it comes to avoid sex outside marriage. Even though the modern era is making this irrelevant where boys and girls meet up in schools, places of work and show love some communities still emphasize this practice. To show love the boy or girl would make an African art and craft given to the mediator to take to the fiancé, the rate at which the fiancé will admire the craft basing on the making, coloring, size and uniqueness reveals how much love.

African crafts and art as a communication tool: There was no proper communication like presently; individuals would spend a period of above 10 or 20 years without visiting each other. For such individuals to keep in touch one would make an art or craft and send it to the relative through some one. The receiver would do the same and in that way relatives living in distant places keep in touch. T he one making and choosing the equipment to send does so with care as each carries a certain degree of meaning and the receiver does the same to interpret the meaning as portrayed in the art and craft. To some extent mostly in the younger generation consultation was done to choose which equipment to send or getting the actual meaning as contained in the art and craft.

African crafts and art as Identity: Yeah when we come to this point African art and craft was a unifying factor among the clan members and tribe. It’s possible to allocate your origin basing on the art and craft, members in the communities were able to distinguish members basing on their art works. During marriage ceremonies they would be bring more than one ladies before a gentleman and this is till done in most societies today, the bride will be able to select the bride groom from the group with the aid of art and crafts as she would be decorated differently for the ceremony.
African crafts and art used to show status: Mostly on marital status asthey are done in relation to gender, there are some which are only done by females like weaving Mats and making beads where males do more of curving, making home facilities like Motor, stools and drums as a traditional musical instrument.
African crafts and art seen as a form of Wealth: The family that makes and owns more crafts was considered to be rich, it was replaced by having more food stores, land, children and livestock but currently the capital inflow is the factor to consider. Men preferred marrying women who would make nice looking art and crafts and vice versa to look very rich. Some crafts are for kings and some are for the servants, next time you are buying the craft try asking its origin and meaning.

African crafts and art as a discipline tool: To some extent there are some crafts which children were not supposed to touch or own, when those crafts are in place meaning children will go away and give room to elders to discuss. To some time it controls children to do bad and other members of the community believing they will be cursed. In chiefdoms there are special crafts and arts used to show or describe scenarios, there are those when put on the entry gate to the kingdom means that day nobody will enter to go to the king except servants and family members etc.Do you want to contribute or lean more?Instinct safaris is astronger promoter of wildlife conservation, local people's capacity building and value the preservation of their cultures. We opened up our responsible and informed eco-tourism campaign in 2011 and now hold a centre to encourage active community participation in south western Uganda Rubuguri town council. Next time on your visit tothe region,feel free to stop and interact with the locals learning more on the Nyandwi indigenous cultural trail we launched for tourists. The place has an art and craft gallery and Batwa museum, there is alocal hand roasted coffee cafe at Rubuguri Hot pot offering home grown and grounded Agandi coffee cup.

 

 

History and culture tours to Africa:Uganda safaris through ages and stages.

                                                                                                                                  Batwa family welcoming dance inside Buniga forest.

                                                                                                                                  Batwa family welcoming dance inside Buniga forest.

What you need to know about your African cultural safari:

On our journeys you will discover Africa as the cradle land of mankind revealing to you rich histories and deep cultural antics. These tours are the perfect choice for any scholar, researcher, or an enthusiastic tourist beginning or ending any business meeting or conference in Kampala and Kigali. Instinct safaris field experts will help visitors gain insight into the complex history and cultures that make Uganda and Rwanda what they are today. The tours will include daily Visits to ancient landscapes while exploring cultural villages and getting on to learn more about the layers that make up the rural and natural fabrics of Uganda the pearl of Africa.

Did you know? Uganda is a conducive shelter to the world’s most indigenous tribes of Batwa people; they claim to be the original dwellers of the tropical-natural verdant swathe in the Albertine rift valley including Bwindi impenetrable forest and the Virunga massif. The Batwa are known as the keepers of this forested zone presently a world heritage site under UNESCO declarations due to the region's outstanding global conservation values. To some extent when the neighbouring Bakiiga communities found them inside the forest on wild hunting games, these Batwa would resist them through a fight for invading their ancestral homes.These occured inside the forest of Bwindi claiming other societies are destroying their natural tapestry in this reffered to as an "ancestral home". Why not book your tour today and fall in love with Batwa forest experience of Uganda to learn more, these incredible designed Eco-friendly trails will allow you to see the natural wonders of the true African wild through the eyes of the local people Exploring cultures and discovering remote wild places as were protected by these forest dwellers or keepers of the forest.

                                                                                                                        Tourists tasting Batwa forest delicacies during Buniga trail walk.

                                                                                                                        Tourists tasting Batwa forest delicacies during Buniga trail walk.

What you need to know before booking your Batwa Forest Experience safari to Uganda: This experience will rotate on Batwa Life inside the tropical rain forests as the major theme.
Food: The Batwa are known to be gatherers of plants, fruits, flowers and roots while in the tropical rain forest.
Shelter: Batwa lived a simple life in caves, under huge tree roots and logs of fallen trees before uppergrading to simple shelters in huts constructed of leaves and tree branches.
Batwa live as Nomads: While inside the forest they lived a nomadic life moving frequently from place to place, this was due to search for fresh supplies of food, an epidemic spread of tropical diseases like small pox or external threats from seasonal visitors to the forest who were the locals from adjacent communities.
Batwa live in harmony with nature: The Batwa lived in harmony with nature including the Mountain gorillas for millennia, some anthropologists estimate that The Batwa tribes belong to the pymoids class. They existed and occupied most equatorial forest of Africa for 60,000 years or more. The Batwa of Bwindi is part of the Bush men of Kalahari Desert, The Bambuti of Rwenzururu and the Twa of present Rwanda.

Batwa forest Eviction of 1992 and its consequences:In 1992 something happened to the lives of Batwa and life changed forever, the refugia of Bwindi impenetrable national park became national park and in 1994 UNESCO declared the conservation forest a world heritage site. This was due to its uniqueness and rich biodiversity where three Great Apes were looking only for this forested 332 sq KM home to survive, there were mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and human beings freely roaming the tropics of Bwindi forest. However the Batwa were evicted from the park,this was because conservation management was afraid for the risk both will get involved into due to closer daily encounters, as we know Mountain Gorillas share 98% of DNA closer to human beings. Minus being our cousins there were fear for the spread of diseases between mountain gorillas and the Batwa people.The challenging side effects was the mechanism under which this eviction was done without compensation to the batwa families. Ever since the Batwa people became the casualties of conservation laws living without title to land, education, health and even political voices. The Batwa became conservation refugees in unfamiliar environment living as scoters on other people’s land, they live by providing manual labor for food, clothing and shelter. Having lost the relationship of their ancestral home lands to conservation,many Batwa died during this period and the tribe’s existence was threatened. Currently we have a declined population of Batwa families still living out of the forest in hanging villages at the boundary to the vast of extinction. By the year 2,000 several conservationists,Governments and charities both national and international heard the call to save the Batwa and their reaction was politely welcomed with donations and trying to stabilize the Batwa. Programs were laid to improve the conditions for this tribe of Indigenous people through home building, schools, hospitals and clinics, water and sanitation projects are being implemented, income generation and the promotion of indigenous rights were put in place.

                                                                                                                                                            Batwa family elder inside his hut.

                                                                                                                                                            Batwa family elder inside his hut.

Supporting the Batwa tribe today:
Book your tour with us: Instinct safaris is committed to promoting the Batwa and have two members from Batwa families on our community guiding team, book your eco-tour with us incorporated with local community experience to visit and learn from the pygmies and the proceeds of the tour will be deposited to the Batwa account directly.
Buy Batwa hand made local crafts: This is another way to directly support the Batwa, they are known to make Baskets, weaving and curving and from any location ask your guide to show you the Batwa craft shop and do your shopping directly for amazing gifts to take home or send to the loved one.We don't encourage buying crafts displayed along the trails as this will encourage children to boycott school and run on trails with tourists to sell their crafts.Instinct safaris for this case allocated acommunity curio shop in the remote villages of Rubuguri in the southern sector of Bwindi forest where crafts are diplayed for sale on behalf of the locals.
Donations: From every where you are contact any organization that works with indigenous people and share information about the Batwa, you can contact us and we advise how to donate to the Batwa projects through Instinct safaris fund for the impoverished communities. Instinct safaris implemented several projects to favour the Bwata and other members of the local community like Rubuguri Batwa museum through Nkuringo cultural centre, Rubuguri Batwa vegetable garden with indigenous vegetables to combat malnutrition challenges and healthy living among the locals.We have the ride for Omutwa trail featuring mountain biking enthusiasts on day biking itineraries from allover the world.

 

Visiting Mount Nyiragongo in DR Congo

Hi folks! Have you played with the thought of heading to DR Congo on your next trip to Africa? We have browsed the interweb and collected some of the most breathtaking footage of the hike up to and overnight stay on Mount Nyiragongo in eastern DR Congo. Enjoy!

Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Trekking to the crater rim (starting at 1,989m/6,525ft, reaching 3,470m/11,380ft) is about 5-6 hours, the hikers sleep in huts on the top and enjoy stunning night views of one of only several crater lakes in the world, this one being the largest.
Le 3 avril 2012, ascension du volcan Nyiragongo dont le sommet culmine à 3470 m. Regardez le film jusqu'au bout, vous y verrez des images (en super 8) d'une première ascension en ... août 1974! Thierry Henckaerts.
Video Maker credit: Francesco Pandolfo Nyriagongo Expedition 2016

A night inside one of the worlds largest and most active volcanoe, Nyiragongo, Africa. Sleeping next to a constantly erupting lava lake has to be on your bucket list.

An African safari evolution - The long way to responsible eco-safaris

Back in history: As a common word used by many holiday makers today, it’s derived from the Swahili language meaning “a Journey”. The interaction of local inhabitants of African jungle and first Arab traders in the colonial times made this word common. However it brought mixed implications amongst individuals where big game would be hunted and shot with joint efforts of colonialists and small committee of local tribes including chiefs. All of this will be done after trekking deeper inside then forested canopies and savannah lands to allocate wild animals’ herd and people would spend more than seven days to months in such form of wild experience,they would explore new places, cross rivers and walking deep inside these forested zones all which described Africa as a ''dark continent". Of-course this act continued due to the increased demand to fill Museums out of Africa with African wildlife specimen for example the Smithsonian institute where 11,400 wild animals faced riffles to fulfill this purpose. The most common preferred wild animals during these days were big game for example African elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, hippos, and rhinos. Many got adapted to this as a form of amusement, hoppy and spending their leisure time out of home experience, this is when more local societies imitated the word and used it in reference to any out of home related affair. For example in the traditional Bantu linguistic class of the Bakiiga people in western Uganda,they still refer to this word in most of their daily life journey related scenarios like ndenda okuza aha safari which denotes "I want to be on the journey", More dialects are explored while withus on any of our safari to Uganda, Rwanda or D.R.Congo.

What is the current plight of African safaris today? Today these negative descriptions in the word safari are being rapidly eliminated by more travel associations, responsible travel companies, conservationists, NGOs and the governments. At Instinct safaris for example atypical African safari implies that your time in Uganda, Rwanda or D.R.Congo with us will involve game viewing, wild animal tracking for all the time you will spent in the wilderness plus exploring cultures on village walking safaris for distinguished community interactions. The general ideology of traditional safaris will be always to immerse yourself in the rural and natural fabrics of Africa focusing on amazing wildlife and generous local community living in harmony with nature not limited to any. The safaris in Africa today are proudly informed,responsible and active: The platinum of African safaris is wildlife encounters in their natural habitats and community interactions in their original settlement patterns. The safari term has been currently re-phrased to mean something new and quite rewarding for the wildlife,people and their cultures, the key motivation to book an Africa safari by every tourist is to admire African wildlife and beautiful endemic birds on the continent alongside other forms of ventures provided off the beaten paths.

At Instinct safaris we cherish every moment together with a growing trend of responsible Eco-cadres for the last 6 years making sure safaris mean holiday trips that look at the entire benefit of wildlife of Africa, people and their cultures on every tour booked by our potential tourists. Successfully booked our defined or predefined Eco-tours means you are directly participating to impact the local lives while contributing to conservation efforts of wildlife areas like Bwindi impenetrable national park-this only 332 km of forested canopies in the Albertine Rift valley.The forest is a naturalshelter for more than half of the 8oo mountain gorillas left in the wild, Kibale rain forest with 4500 chimpanzees and more wildlife species calling these places comfortable good homes.Your safari booking is a vital procedure to protect sanctuaries and encourage people’s motivation to participate in conservation.

We don't have positions for hunting safaris: Through our knowledge and experience we don’t host and conduct any form of hunting safari, our small company is operated by a team of 10 responsible Eco-cadres who make up a front-line team confined in three of our major points of reception. All our team members are locals minus Niels who sits at the main gateway in Switzerland as an overseas group representative, our central reservations in Kampala Uganda host six members while the south western gate for community outreach in Rubuguri town at the southern sector of remote Bwindi and Mgahinga conservation area (BMCA)  remains to implement Eco-projects for community capacity building and participation in responsible Eco-tourism. As opposed to hunting safaris, our potential visitors will always get wildlife encounters in their natural habitats and help make a difference in the need to collaborate in protecting such species. Responsible safari help generate local revenues used to manage these conservation areas, wildlife projects like research and monitoring, safe water provision,hippo census and lion counting in Queen Elizabeth national park of Uganda and more in other game reserves.

The need for Responsible Eco-tourism as a key to save Africa’s wildlife species: Low impact development and environmental friendly safari travel is the better way to go, as we are always aware even though hunting safaris are not widely supported unplanned tourism is always dangerous to conservation. The rapid development of infrastructure, increased tourists numbers to conservation areas are a good indicator to a flourishing tourism industry, as the globe’s number one increasing sector laws and regulations must be put in place and followed by each stake holders. The closer wildlife encounters and huge volume of tourists’ vehicles in the conservation areas are the current threats.While we understand how excitingly such moments will mean to the life of tourists however the life and privacy of wildlife must be taken into account.At Instinct safaris we say tourism must be Eco-friendly operated. Such experiences leave wild animals quite stressed as well as rendered vulnerable to external risks as animals won’t be able to differentiate from tourists and poachers. Your African safari with us will take youto wildlife and the local community staying only in Eco-lodges with positive impacts on supporting community, responsible Eco-tourism and where ecological footprint is kept at minimum standards. During your course of itinerary to the safari in Africa you will prove that modern safaris also are socially responsible journeys designed to discover African cultures interacting ethically with local communities, hosting and celebrating cultural events like the initiation ceremony and imbalu celebrations of male circumcision in Busoga, Banana beer festivals in Rwanda, Gorilla wild trail run in Rubuguri,The international gorilla naming ceremony of Kita Izina in Rwanda, Mountain gorilla marathon in Rubuguri and Youths cultural troupe at Ndere centre in Kampala etc.Do you want to be part of any conservation efforts in Africa?Just dropus amessage!

These modern safari styles conducted by responsible Eco-operators will always have appositive impacts on the local community. The cultural interactions offered by reputable safari operators don’t exploit the local people, on the other hand the community benefit from employment opportunities and financial gains for example Clouds mountain gorilla lodge under wild places Africa employs only locals from Rubuguri and Nteko parishes through a memorandum of understanding between the Uganda safari company (TUSC),international gorilla conservation program (IGCP)and Nkuringo community conservation and development foundation (NCCDF). The community benefits by selling their locally made goods and services to both parties, local crafts are sold to tourists,some lodges and operators support organic farmers and buy local produce like honey, milk, eggs, vegetables, coffee etc. directly from the local communities.
Presently game watching safaris and wildlife tracking are about respecting such conservation motives: Experiencing the local cultures of pristine Africa like Ibyiwacu cultural village in Rwanda, Exploring natural fabrics and scenic places with natural wonders e.g. the sempaya male and female hot springs of semlik wildlife reserve, Visiting historical sites and sightseeing e.g. on the Nyandwi trails of the first man to discover and enter Rubuguri where foot marks of him, the hunting dogs and servants seating rocks are still marked at Iryaruvumba caves and All forms of participatory adventure activities and outdoor experiences are meaningful to combat climatic challenges and boost development. In such communities with merger resources,it will always be apleasure to welcome you.Karibu!