Ishasha Community Uplift Group has been set up as an organisation committed to conserving the bio-diversity of the area by reducing threats to the eco systems through increased economic opportunities for local community members.
The Community is situated in area bordering the Southern Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in South West Uganda. Being along the main route between Bwindi (where visitors view the mountain gorillas) and QENP it is ideally suited for a stopover for an interesting and fulfilling visit to the community from which visitors can be engaged to have a broader understanding of the local communities of the area and their challenges. In particular, we are focusing on those communities which border the park and fight a continual battle between growing their crops and the game incursions which raid them as an easy source of food. We offer a guided tour with some of the community members of this agricultural area which incorporates different areas of interest to visitors including:-
Visit Deo’s model homestead and learn about what he farms and how he provides for his family
Visit to the elephant trench which is a means to reducing animal crop raiding.
Visit Agartha’s home to see how grains and millet are processed and taste some too!
Visit to the local school
A Community liaison Officer has been employed to ensure the needs of the community are carefully heard and evaluated and the interest of tourists catered for correctly. A mobile phone communications network with solar chargers has been installed to help ensure communication between the parties, not just to ensure the community is ready to receive visitors, but also to warn of animal incursions and be able to alert the Park Authorities quickly. The revenues earned from these community tours is given to the communities for projects that they wish to start or expand. One of the most popular requests to date is for funds to assist with maintaining the elephant trench. This trench is a large trench which has been dug along the park boundary for some 20km and due to its particular shape and depth, it helps prevents animals such as elephants, buffalo and hippo from crossing to the crop areas. The problem is that over time parts become filled in, water logged or damaged and so continual repairs are necessary as well as extensions and other measures where the trench is not possible. We are working together with Uganda Conservation Foundation to further this project. More information on UCF and their projects can be found on www.ugandacf.org.
Deo’s Model Homestead and Trench Tour
Deo and his delightful family live on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Ishasha Sector. He is a craftsman and a farmer. He would like to share with you the challenges he faces when living on the edge of the Park, mostly wild animals coming to eat his crops and the solutions he is trying. Deo takes you to the famous elephant trench, explains its use and its pitfalls and how to maintain it – an on-going local issue. He also shares with you some of the organic farming methods that he uses to help maximise his yields. Deo has been trained in Medicinal Plant Growing and Use, he will show you some of the plants and you will get to sample a few concoctions. Deo is a role model to his neighbours/community, he has endeavoured to implement the entire home (hygiene and) home improvements methods taught by the Community Uplift Team, and to a high standard. Deo’s tour around his homestead is not only fun but also educational and perfect for the nosy visitor who has ever wondered how a rural Ugandan lives and the tactics they are trying to help pull themselves out of poverty.
Agartha’s Taste of Uganda Tour
Agartha is the Chairperson for her local community group and tirelessly works to improve not only her family’s wellbeing but also her neighbours. Agartha takes great pride in sharing with you how the women of her tribe, the Bakiga, prepare their favourite food. Not only do you hear how the ingredients are grown and harvested but also how to shift, grind, cook and most importantly keep the much loved food warm for their husbands. During the tour Agartha weaves in stories of what it is like to be a Bakiga wife whilst encouraging you to taste what you have prepared together then send you off on your journey with a packed snack.
Reservations and Timings
Ideally at least two days notice is required for the tours as this ensures that the community participants are available when required – if you would like to arrange a booking please contact us
You can participate in the tours any time throughout the day however early morning or late afternoon is recommended to avoid the savannah heat.
We recommend you visit both homesteads to enable you to compare local living in the Trading Centre and on the edge of the National Park. Visit Agartha’s before heading to Deo’s.
Both tours take approximately 45-60 minutes each but can be customised according to the time you have available by prior arrangement.
There are crafts made by the local Community Group for purchase on site as well as at our craft shop at Ishasha Wilderness Camp situated nearby.