As small as it is (241,038 square kilometers), Uganda is endowed with more than 56 tribes that speak over 30 languages. Surprisingly, each of these tribes has different music, dances, lifestyles, rites of passage, languages, food, traditional dressing, building architecture, and cultural norms/beliefs and also produces distinct traditional mats, ceramics, textiles, pottery and jewelry among others.
There are also over 650 designated cultural and heritage sites that offer unique cultural experiences, one of which is the Entanda Traditional Hunting and cultural Experience that is famous for offering interesting cultures and practices of the Baganda (of Central Uganda). It is found at around 60 kilometers west of Kampala (Uganda’s Capital City) and offers breathtaking excitement that can never be experienced anywhere else in Uganda or the African continent.
Before you even arrive at the site, you will be welcomed by the thundering sounds of the African drums from a distance, which then becomes louder as you get closer to the Entanda Cultural Center. What stand out about this place are the traditional music and the locals dancing as they welcome visitors to the site. This is typical Ugandan culture-to be hospitable and friendly to visitors.
After the welcoming dance and music, tourists are served with a buffet of fresh and typically organic fruits picked from the gardens as a second phase of welcoming visitors. This can be known as the fist of the teeth and jaws. All the fruits are naturally sweet and include pawpaw, passion fruits, jack fruits, guavas, sweet bananas, avocados, watermelon, oranges, mangoes and sugarcanes. Interestingly, visitors are always encouraged to pack some on their way back, as a way of having memories of the site.
Several traditional games exist for tourists to engage in and some of them include learning and playing ancient instruments such as the Sekitulege, bow and arrow shooting competitions as well as board games and rope skipping.
Nature walks to the forests, wetlands, hills and homesteads are part of the interesting activities that await tourists that visit the Entanda Cultural village. While here, the locals take visitors through the daily activities such as using hunting spears, horns as well as machetes during hunting (for men). The targeted animals will be identified although there will be no killing, so as to allow the animals populations to increase after many years of uncontrollable hunting.
As the men are out on hunting, the females remain with the local women who go with them to the gardens to harvest food for a meal and has to be prepared through traditional means. Just like in the ancient times, when husbands are hunting or at the gardens, their wives stay home to prepare food.
While the food is getting ready, females are taken through some Ssenga (aunt) sessions whereby they go to the bush to learn about traditional marriage and home management skills. How to treat men well and the Ssenga shows how some specific herbs that are used to treat sicknesses and Kiganda ways of managing homes. Surprisingly, detailed bedroom matters are discussed thoroughly during this session and the senior Ssenga will be able to take visitors through the secrets to her over 50 years of staying marriage.
After the long day hunting, the men return very hungry and food is served hot and steaming. Everyone sits on a mat and uses natural forks/spoons (bare hands) for eating. Lunch usually comprises of Luwombo (steamed chicken or beef), sweet pumpkin and sweet potatoes. You will notice that most of the foods are not fried but taste remarkably, hence the reason most of them rarely suffer from some diseases such as High blood pressure and Heart disease. After the mouth-watering and hefty meal, the men join the Kojja (uncles) to learn about the traditional marriage and bedroom matters.
Several activities are conducted after lunch and these include learning about the numerous local herbs or wine brewing/processing and tasting. On the other hand, you can join some of the local herdsmen in grazing and milking cattle and the final yet most interesting activity to close the day is always a football match organized between the locals and tourists. The most interesting thing is that both men and women are free to engage in this adventurous activity.