Farming Experiences in Uganda
The Uganda population majorly depends on farming for a livelihood, and farming experiences are some of its rewarding safari attractions.
Uganda is known for the best fresh fruits, organic coffee and many other indigenous organic farm produce and given by the fertile land and the climate that God blessed the Pearl of Africa with.
Much as several touristic large scale farms are established in Uganda, Valiant Safari farming experiences focus on taking you to smaller farms where you will have a feel and taste of the authentic farming practices of the indigenous Uganda farm produces.
Coffee, tea, pineapple, cocoa, grapes, beekeeping and cattle farming are a few lucky concepts we have featured on this page among the many farm products the pearl of Uganda has to offer.
Coffee farming and tours in Uganda
Uganda is gifted by nature proven by highlands in every corner of the country. The high altitudes make it unavoidable for coffee to produce the best flavours. Coffee farming in Uganda takes place on the slopes of all the highlands as well as the lowlands. From the east, slopes of Mount Elgon to the west, slopes of Mount Rwenzori and the Virunga volcano range to the southwest is all a vast coffee growing area. On Ugandan highland slopes, Arabica is the most commonly grown type of coffee as it flourishes well with high altitudes. While Robusta is grown in the most of lowlands and plains, almost throughout the country.
Mount Elgon coffee experience
Mount Elgon coffee experience on the Sipi – Kapchorwa slopes and the Budadiri slopes of mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda, coffee is grown in large quantities. Coffee farm tours in this region are exciting especially in Kapchorwa around the Sipi river and its tri-falls network.
On your visit to this area, you will get a chance to visit the coffee farmers and learn how coffee is grown, harvested and processes the traditional way. You will end the experience by participating in making your cup and testing the great aromas. This is an authentic experience that will leave you wondering how our ancestors were very clever people, even without machinery they always got the work done for survival. For mechanised coffee processing, you can visit the processing plant in Mbale town, to see how coffee is processed for export purposes.
Mount Rwenzori slopes and coffee, the Bukonzo, Bwamba, Bundibujjo, Busongora, Fort portal slopes of the Rwenzoris and Kasese are renowned coffee farming communities growing mainly Arabica coffee. With hikes to the slopes of the mountains while studying how coffee is locally grown at the higher altitudes of mountain Rwenzori, and coffee drying amidst often wet climate is a rewarding experience you should never miss.
The Rwenzori Snow peaks coffee house, at Ihani village in Bugoye sub-county of Busongora North is a must-go place while on your visit to the Rwenzoris. Here you will partake in a coffee experience, from a farm walk to traditional processing and preparing of a cup for testing.
Farming Experience Around Bwindi
The Bwindi area on the steep slopes of the Albertine hills is covered by numerous coffee growers. The Gorilla conservation coffee farm in Buhoma is a place to visit for a coffee farm experience.
While Henry’s coffee and banana gin in Buhoma is an authentic experience, you should never miss a visit to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to track the mountain gorilla.
Did you know that Uganda is the only place with the Wild coffee? In Kibale forest lies the ancient tracks of the Robusta coffee in the wilderness. Take a nature walk to search this wild species of coffee deep in the forest reserve.
Tea Farming experience, the lower slopes of Mount Rwenzori in the crater lakes region of Kibale and the southwestern Uganda hills is tea growing area.
The Hills are decorated by the tea plantations that will, in the first place, give you excellent scenic views. Visit a tea plantation for a tour guided by a local site guide. Learn as you willingly participate in planting, propagating, and harvesting tea using the local harvesting skills.
Usually, traditionally woven baskets are used to pick the tea leaves before being taken to the processing plant on the farm. Take part in sorting the tea leaves and go through the process at the factory that leads to your favourite beverage if you are a tea lover.
Farming Experience in Kiable Area
In the Kibale area, many local communities engage in different farming practices, including growing vanilla, cocoa, banana plantations, coffee, and tea on both small and large scales, making the Kibale-Fort Portal region rich agro-tourism spot in Uganda.
Beekeeping and honey harvesting
Uganda is one of a few countries where you can get organic Honey. Organic honey goes hand in hand with organic coffee farming, and most coffee farmers also carry out beekeeping on the farm to complement pollination. Most Ugandan bees are kept in the traditional long hollow beehives, which have been practised for generations.
Visit the Kasisi project farm once in Kibale to learn about keeping the wild African honeybee. This experience will add to your knowledge of how honey is harvested and processed in Uganda.
Winery tours and wine tasting in Uganda
In Uganda, wine is made out of several crops including, grapes, bananas, apples, to mention but a few. Here I bring you the most winery experience from grapes. Valley wines, located in Bushenyi, is a prominent vineyard and winery in the country.
Valley wines are the only vineyard right at the equator! It covers about a hectare of sandy, loamy soils, sitting at an altitude of 1,500 metres above sea level. It usually plants the grape varieties of Regalé and Staveau, which are probably French hybrids.
On a winery experience, you will have a chance to visit the plantation and learn the process from land preparation, planting, weeding and disease control to harvesting. There are usually 2 harvesting seasons in a year, falling within January to March and July to September. After harvesting, you will head to the processing plant, and here you go, with sorting where de-stemming is done, crushing, pressing, filtration, bottling and packaging. End the experience with a wine tasting session.
This winery is located near Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo National Park and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It can fit well en-route as a stopover on your gorilla trekking or game safari.
Livestock farming and milking experience
Livestock and dairy farming is one of the top agribusinesses practices in Uganda today. Cattle keeping is a major culture to many Ugandan tribes across the country. It has contributed to the flourishing of the activity. Many commercial farms like JESA produce milk and its products commercially for local markets and export. You can visit the farm and processing plant on tour.
However, in this article, I would like to discuss authentic traditional cattle farming practices unique to the specific Ugandan tribes. The Karamojong keep cattle in the form of pastoralism, and cattle are the main wealth to the Karamojong. They get milk and blood from cattle for a livelihood. Cattle are also used to pay dowry during the marriage process as a cultural tradition. Visit this pastoralist tribe in eastern Uganda to experience their unique lifestyle.
Another prominent cattle keeping tribe in Uganda is the Banyankole. These keep the Ankole long-horned cattle. On your visit to the western part of the country, you will never miss streets and farmlands decorated by these great long-horned cattle.
Nshenyi Farm Experience, the farm is centred on Ankole cattle farming as a tradition and the related products and community activities. Nshenyi Farm is a cultural village located in Kitwe, Ntungamo district. Nshenyi Village is traditionally a pastoralist area, with rolling hills covered by savannah grass and acacia trees, ideal for cattle rearing. The people of Nshenyi have a life and culture designed around cattle. Cultural practices like marriage and childbirth are celebrated with cattle.
While on a visit to this farm, you will be able to experience the lifestyle of traditional Ankole people, from homesteads “Eka”, cattle rearing on the farm and the associated foodstuffs cultivated by this tribe. The milking experience is one of the highlights you will never forget on the farm, participate in the traditional hand milking and milk processing.
Emburara Farm Experience
Emburara Farm Lodge in Mbarara District is a luxury farm and cultural lodge with unforgettable farming experiences. The farm lodge has a variety of activities centred on traditional Ankole people’s culture, the treasured Ankole long-horned cattle and foodstuffs like bananas. The farm tour experience follows the natural pattern of the cattle from when it leaves the Kraal to return. Depending on the time of the day you visit, you will be able to experience, Milking, feeding/grazing, watering “okweshera” of the cattle and much more. At the traditional milk shed “Enju y’ebyanzi,” you will learn about the conventional way of processing and preserving milk.
While on a farm trip or safari in Uganda, never miss a stopover to test the Ugandan fresh fruits like mangoes, oranges, pineapples, and so much more. It is a farming experience you will live with for a lifetime. Luwero area is well known for growing the most delicious pineapples in the country. Emburara is en route to Queen Elizabeth National park.
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