After exploring the wildlife and bird species of Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is very relaxing to spend time with one of the best and interesting communities around the Park.
Leopard village is a community-managed socio-economic development initiative run by the Uganda Carnivore Program and supports cultural and wildlife conservation programs through ecotourism development.
This initiative gives tourists an insight of how the local communities exist together with the wildlife and also offers an opportunity to experience some of the cultural activities of the area. It is situated near Muhokya village and sits on 3 acres of land, bordering the northern sector of the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park. Therefore, this village is one of the few examples of local communities co-existing with wildlife.
While here, tourists can explore the replica of traditional huts of the Bakonzo, Banyabindi and the Basongora, watch some of the interesting traditional performances, buy some of the beautiful handicrafts, interact with the local community members about their experiences of living near the Park, explore the local schools and have quality discussions with the carnivore researchers.
The main aim of this community-based initiative was to assist in the conservation of the Park’s wildlife through supporting the locals to regain their traditional custodianship of the local wildlife and other natural resources. They gain economic benefits which in the end help to counterbalance the costs associated with living with the carnivores (especially leopards) that usually prey on their livestock and herbivores, especially elephants that always destroy their crops. With the help from their Global partners, Muhokya and the surrounding villages such as Hamukungu and Kahendero are starting new ecotourism ventures as a way of offsetting the challenges faced during their coexistence with the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park and all the proceeds and donations to the Project go directly to Conservation and Education projects as well as community development as well as the performers (individual artists).
Some of the activities at the Leopard village include sharing of folktales by the local community members, cultural tours of the replica of the traditional huts of the Basongora, Banyabindi and Bakonzo ethnic groups, cultural performances by local community cultural groups and school children from the three villages-Hamukungu, Muhokya and Kahendero, visits to some of the local schools.
How to Reach the Leopard Village
Muhokya is the first Town you will find when driving from Kasese towards the Queen Elizabeth National Park along the Kasese-Mbarara highway.
For more information and bookings, reach them on Fortportal-Mpondwe road, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check their website on http://www.uganda-carnivores.org/leopard-village. Alternatively, you can call +256 791 492 245 and +256 791 779 442.
Besides the leopard Village, tourists can participate in cultural encounters through visiting the Kikorongo women community, Katwe Tourism Information Centre (KATIC), Nyanz’ibiri Cave Community, the famous Agro-Tour Walk within Kataara Village and many others.