Major Caves to Visit in Uganda
Major Caves to Visit in Uganda will give you an insight into the magnificent adventurous caves that exist in the country where travelers can explore. There are several major caves to visit that attract visitors in Uganda each with its own historical and cultural backgrounds situated in the eastern region and western regions of Uganda. Caves are formed as a result of different forces such as soil erosion, stalagmites and stalactites, and many other earth crust forces. Some of these caves were used to provide shelter to the bushmen and act as hiding places in times of wars, such as the Bat cave in Queen Elizabeth National park, others were homes and hiding places for the Batwa pygmies such as Garama cave in Kisoro and Nyero caves in Kumi, and others have traditional history such as Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru caves in fort portal and Semwama Hill Caves all acting as tourism sites in Uganda
Garama Cave in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Garama cave has been in existence for several years situated deep inside Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Kisoro district about 3km from the park entrance (Ntebeko) of Mgahinga national park covering the length of 342m and the depth of 14m. The cave used to be the hiding place for the Batwa people when their neighbors would attack them and can be explored during the guided nature walks and the Batwa trail in the forest. During the trail, visitors have an ample time alongside the Batwa guide as they pass through the thick blush heading towards the cave. On the cave, the local Batwa women perform some sorrowful and heart-felt traditional songs that reflect from the cave leaving everybody around mesmerized. Garama cave was the ancestral home and the council chamber for the Batwa people. Visiting the Garama caves can be joined with other activities such as hunting and gathering as demonstrated by Batwa. Currently, the cave is a home for nocturnal mammals such as bats
Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru Caves
Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru are cultural rocks located near Nyakasura primary school and fortpotal town in the western part of Uganda. These rocks caves were formed as a result of Stalagmites and stalactites but also the local Batooro have their traditional belief that these are the breasts of Nyina Mwiru and the history has it that they came as a result of the Tooro king by then king Bukuku cutting off the breasts of his beloved daughter the princess and threw them into the cave after she refused to get married to the man he chose for her and then later was taken and kept in that cave where king Isaza found her and rapped her producing Ndahura. On the other hand, these caves are known to be the ancestral homes for the Bachwezi where the king of Bachwezi was born from. Visiting these caves is really a fascinating adventurous experience as it offers a historical background about the cave and the tradition of Batooro people.
A tour to Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru caves can easily be combined with a visit to the crater lakes, community walk where visitors meet with the locals and interact with them learning about their culture. The visit to Amabere can also be combined with exploration of the crater lakes where several wildlife species such as primates and mammals are seen .some birds are also spotted, visit Bigodi wetland for nature walk and birding among others.it can also be combined with a tour to Kibale forest national park for chimpanzee trekking, Queen Elizabeth National Park for the lions, boat cruise and game drive, Semliki National park for birding and hot springs viewing among others making it the best place to add on the tourism bucket once in Uganda.
Bat Caves in Maramagambo Forest with in Queen Elizabeth National Park
This cave is found in the canopy of the Maramagambo forest with in Southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth National park in the south western part of Uganda in the Bushenyi district. A visit to this cave is the best thing that any visitor shouldn’t miss out while on a Uganda tour especially in queen Elizabeth national park. In Bat cave, there are both bats and python snakes living together. Beneath the bat caves are two crater lakes that is Kyasanduka and Nyamasingiri crater lakes, which are easily seen while in the caves. While visiting the caves in Maramagambo forest, visitors have a greater opportunity of sighting out several forest dwellers including the primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, monkeys, several mammals including Pottos, Pygmy antelopes, Bushbabys, bird species such as Rwenzori Turaco, Forest Flycatcher, and White -Naped Pigeons among others. Maramagambo forest can easily be accessed either by road through Kampala– Mbarara- Bushenyi or by air from Entebbe International Airport to Queen Elizabeth national park
The Nyero Rock Paintings and Caves
The Nyero rock painting and caves became a world heritage sites in 1997 by the UNESCO. These Nyero rock paintings are archaeological sites found in the Kumi district in the eastern part of Uganda about 250km from the capital city of Uganda. These paintings include people, wildlife, and many other paintings that have been in existence for over 300 years but first established in 1913. The major aim of introducing this rock painting in order to generate some attribute to the Batwa who once lived in this area but now it’s an attraction for visitors who intend to have a tour to the eastern part of Uganda and mainly occupied by the Luo, Bantu, and the Nilotic especially the Itesots.
Teso people treasure these rocks and take them to be the sacred areas with beautiful paintings in different colors especially red and white though the painters are still unknown by the people in the neighboring communities. People in that area used to visit the rocks with and carry some offerings to their god and pray for fortune, rain, and a lot of blessings. However, later in the 1970s, the government of Uganda at that time banned them from offering sacrifices and holding prayers there.
The Rock has six different shelters including Nyero 1which is the smallest rock which is painted in a shape of Acacia pods, Nyero 2 which is the main rock filled with red paintings with a huge painting of an object thought to be a canoe, Nyero 3 which is situated close to Nyero 2 painted in white, Nyero 4 with red paintings, Nyero 5 situated close to the primary school, and Nyero 6 which has red paintings and all these can be explored during the guided nature walk always combined with a tour to Sipi falls.
Semwama Hill Caves
Situated in Kakumiro district in the western part of Uganda also holds a great historical and cultural background believed to be a place of worship since it has a bachwezi shrine where people take offering to the gods
“Visiting one or all these caves surely offers an Irresistible and Placid experience of learning more about historical, traditional and cultural beliefs of the people of Uganda”.