Busoga adds herbal forest to tourism circuit

The entrance of Kyaka herbal tourism forest found in Bunyanzi Village, Kizuba Sub County, Namutumba District. PHOTO | RONALD SEEBE

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  • While highlighting the role of such sites, Ms Kadaga said tourists from Europe buy traditional products like crafts, mats, and called upon all former and reigning Miss Tourism representatives in Busoga Sub-region to promote sites in their respective chiefdoms.

A historical cultural herbal tourism forest has been discovered in Busiki, one of the 11 hereditary chiefdoms of Busoga Kingdom located in Bunyanzi Village, Kizuba Sub County, Namutumba District.
 
This was during a tourism campaign trail headed by the first deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, and the Busoga Kingdom Minister of Tourism, Ms Hellen Namutamba.
 
“We have discovered two tourism sites in Busiki chiefdom, one is Kyaka tourism forest which sits on eight acres of land and is the first cultural medicinal herbal tourism forest in Busoga,” Ms Kadaga said at the weekend.
 
Ms Kadaga later took to X, formerly Twitter, and wrote: “We have unveiled Kyaka Medicinal Tourism site as number 38 on the Busoga Tourism Circuit, a natural forest where a diversity of herbs grow naturally.”
 
The second site, Ms Kadaga said, is Namagelo, a historic stone also in Kizuba Sub County, where the Baise Igaga clan who came from Bunyoro are believed to have first settled.
 
Ms Kadaga said the campaign aimed at identifying tourism sites across the 11 hereditary chiefdoms in Busoga Kingdom.
 
The campaign started in Buyende District and identified Kagulu Hill which has since attracted over 6,000 tourists, before heading to Mayuge District where they unearthed Bishop Hannington Shrine and St Mathias Mulumba tourism sites.
 
“If it was not for the Covid-19 pandemic, we had agreed with people of Buyende District to construct lodges and hotels so that tourists visiting Uganda can pay $500 (about Shs1.8m) for a night, which is good money,” Ms Kadaga added.

First Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Kadaga (Left), Mubale Alupa (Right) a witchdoctor in-charge of Kyaka herbal tourism forest. PHOTO | RONALD SEEBE


 
While highlighting the role of such sites, Ms Kadaga said tourists from Europe buy traditional products like crafts, mats, and called upon all former and reigning Miss Tourism representatives in Busoga Sub-region to promote sites in their respective chiefdoms.
 
Mubale Alupa, a witchdoctor in-charge of Kyaka cultural medicinal tourism forest, said it has been in existence for over 300 years and none of its trees has ever been cut down.
 
“There are trees like Ivongo which cures diabetes and others that cure eye diseases. The place is very historical, useful to the community and a blessing to the people of Namutumba, Busoga and Uganda,” he said.
 
Other residents, however, want the government and Kyabazingaship to tarmac the 12-kilometre road from Namutumba to Kyaka forest, which will not only ease transport, but businesses, including lodges and hotels, will sprout.