Igongo Cultural Centre – Mbarara
Igongo Cultural Centre is one of the sites in Uganda where one can learn about the culture of the westerners in Uganda and their tribes. You could be wondering about the special things that make Igongo Cultural Centre one of the best places to tour while on a Ugandan trip and here is your answer;
Situated about 12km along Mbarara – Kampala City road is Igongo Cultural Centre one of the best places to experience the culture of the people from the south western part of Uganda “the Banyankore”. Interested in the history of the Ankole culture? Then having a tour to Igongo cultural Centre to experience the unbeaten Ankole culture will introduce you to everything you have ever heard about this beautiful culture of the Ankole people.
You can even spend a half-day, full-day, two days and even three days tour in Igongo Cultural Centre enjoying Traditional dance and drama from the locals, hiking the Biharwe Eclipse hill, visiting the workshops, taking part in milk smoking, touring the farms around the area, milking, ghee processing, millet grinding on stones, touring the museum among others
Igongo Cultural Centre is the best place for book readers, history lovers and all people interested in discovering new things.
The major attractions in Igongo Cultural Centre include the Museum, Nkwanzi crafts, and bookshop, Cultural village, Mpororo court, restaurants, hotels, and bars that are worth a visit as explained in this article below;
- Museum: This museum in Igongo cultural Centre is known to be one of the best museums in Uganda and of course the best in the western part of Uganda put in place to preserve the ancient Ankole culture. There is a whole lot of items preserved within this museum all refereeing to the Ankole kingdom and these include the Long-horned cattle representing that Banyankore are cattle keepers, the milking pots, hides and skins, stools, regalia, the Ankole traditional attire, and many more. This museum is good for both students on research and also history lovers from all corners of the world since this museum is amongst the best museums after the museum of Zurich and the Uganda national museum.
- Nkwanzi crafts and bookshop: Book readers who tour Igongo Cultural Centre have an opportunity of buying some books that have a detailed history of the Ankole culture for over 500 years. This book has some interesting notes explaining the Eclipse Monument situated on Biharwe hill which was put in place as a memorial site that came in existence very many years ago when the baganda had come to Ankole to invade the Ankole cattle but as soon as they approached on top of Biharwe hill, behold total darkness covered them and they had to run away leaving the cattle behind in fear that the Ankole ancestors were against them which was not the case. There are also developmental books with some important information about Uganda at large. Apart from books, there are several handmade crafts including the traditional costumes that are used during the traditional functions such as omugamba for giveaway ceremony beautiful jewellery, traditional clothes for Ankole, among others. Visitors are free to buy some crafts at a moderate price.
- Cultural village: This cultural village is also known as Itaramiro which means “a place of where people gather”. The cultural village is filled with grass thatched huts made of different designs some for the farmers and others for the cattle keepers. A tour to this cultural village is very rewarding as visitors encounter with the local community and spend some time listening to the stories, riddles and a lot of interesting things about the ancient Ankole lifestyle while enjoying the warmth of fire set in between as they sit in a circular position
- Mpororo court: This is also known as Kitami palace situated in Igongo Cultural Centre. Inside this palace exists some statues of the women council, royal drums, milk pot, spears and other items that make up regalia. A tour of this palace enables you to learn some interesting stories about the leadership of Mpororo kingdom in the 18th century.
- Hotels: There are many hotels in close vicinity with Igongo Cultural Centre such as Lake View resort Hotel, Agip Motel, Rwizi Arch hotel, Hotel triangle and many more but the most interesting hotel that I recommend to visit for that Ankole local dish with good environment filled with gardens for recreation, book reading, picnic, swimming, and complete relaxation from the days noise and fatigue is none other than Igongo Cultural Centre and Country Hotel situated along Masaka-Mbarara road. This hotel has enough parking space and accommodates different people from different backgrounds including the locals and internationals, young and old. All you need is to have a stopover or an overnight there for overwhelming experience in the land of milk and honey as you will surely enjoy as much milk as you can alongside different dishes prepared from local Ankole foods including mingled millet, boiled meat, ghee among others
You may opt for a stopover while heading to other locations in western Uganda or any overnight in Igongo Cultural Centre for the best and unbeaten cultural experience in western Uganda since it is strategically positioned near the road and easily accessed by road transport from Kampala the capital city of Uganda which is about 4 hours’ drive along Masaka Mbarara road.
Igongo cultural Centre still remains in the top attractions in Uganda thus encouraging anyone heading to western Uganda for a tour to make a stopover at least for a half-day if not two to three days and have a touch of Ankole traditional culture at glance.
A tour to Igongo Cultural Centre can be easily combined with a visit to the Equator for beautiful photographs which is also situated along Masaka –Mbarara road, game drive and boat cruise in Lake Mburo national park, gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, or Mgahinga gorilla national park, canoeing in Lake bunyonyi and many more since Uganda is blessed with lots of attractions to view. All you need is to contact Achieve Global Safaris now for the best Ugandan tours that are always available at any given time.