batwa family in bwindi kisoro

Batwa also known as pygmies are found in districts of Kisoro, Kabale and Kanungu. They are believed to have migrated from forests of Democratic Republic of Congo in search of wild animals, hence settling in forest areas like Echuya forest in Kisoro and Kabale.  They live in houses made out of grass and sticks. This indigenous tribe was displaced by authorities; they were evicted from the forests of Mgahinga National park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This was done to protect the gorillas being hunted leading to their extinction. This caused Batwa to migrate to other places especially in the towns to find settlement.

batwa cultural dance

Batwa are highly discriminated by the dominant tribes like Bafumbira and Bakiga. This leaves them very intimidated and voiceless.  They are found on the streets collecting rubbish and begging from other people. Some opt to stealing which leads to their death. They leave in the slums in houses made of plastic paper which are easily destroyed.


These Batwa are now dependant on NGOs like United Organization for Batwa Development in Uganda (UOBDU). Such NGOs fight for the rights of these people. They provide employment and education so that they can be like other privileged people.

Batwa are a center of tourism in the districts of Kisoro and Kabale. Tourists pay to watch them sing and dance as they play their local instruments. Others make handicrafts and jewellery which is sold to the tourists.