A Cultural Safari Experience at IGONGO CULTURAL CENTER and MUSEUM
Igongo Cultural Centre & Country Hotel places you 7.3 mi (11.7 km) from Mbarara University Of Science And Technology and 7.5 mi (12 km) from Mbarara Golf Course.
Located 12km from Mbarara on the road to Kampala, this cultural village features the best museum displays in Uganda. Set on the grounds of a former palace of the Ankole king, this quality museum explores the peoples of southwestern Uganda, particularly the Ankole, through artefacts, a cultural village replica and a heap of info. There’s a restaurant serving traditional Ankole dishes, such as smoked Ankole cow’s milk and boiled meats. There’s also a new on-site hotel.
Within the centre, visitors can find the Eriijukiro museum ~ a tour of which takes around half an hour; Eitaramiro cultural village showing the evolution of typical Nyankore and Kigezi households; twenty two bed accommodation; restaurant (where you can try locally sourced traditional dishes of millet bread, matooke and ghee, along with a local drink made from millet or sorghum), the Nkwanzi craft and book shop and the Mbuuro gardens which feature historical sculptures of animals and people.
Visitors can explore how their grandparents lived with a collection of historical artifacts brought to life with clay models and featured presentations. The cultural village showcases a traditional homestead complete with real milk gourds, calabashes, hides and skins and a, fireplace together with grinding stones, millet, flour and farming tools. The Igongo Cultural Centre also features information about the ancient tribes and clans of Uganda
There’s a great bookshop with an interesting selection of Ugandan reading material. Directly across from the centre is Biharwe Eclipse Monument atop Biharwe Hill. It was built to commemorate a victory for Ankole kingdom 500 years ago, following an eclipse that saw the invading king retreat in fear (and never return), spooked as day plunged into sudden darkness.
The center is the embodiment of a true cultural experience; food, drink, artifacts, museum, traditional performances and all. A guided tour through the museum will place you in the footprints of the forefathers; their cattle keeping, cultivating and hunting ways. You will also find out the different ways in which women in Ankore expressed beauty or sought it including how and where they wore their jewelry. It would add delight to your tour to Uganda to view the ghee making process, the traditional milking and churning process in Ankole. These are a sharp reminder that having a meal was not just chewing the ready product but a craft in itself worth passing down from one generation to another. The center also has traditional houses in various forms and made of different material; wood, grass and mud long before skyscrapers shot through the ground. For the book lovers, Igongo has a book and crafts shop with literature to occupy you for the rest of your journey and souvenirs to serve as a gift from Uganda to you.
It is after a walk down memory lane and through part of Uganda’s heritage that you could settle to a local food buffet consisting of fresh ingredients grown by local farmers to support the community’s development. Your menu is however not limited to the buffet; an order for something other than that which is served in the buffet can be made. Traditional performances of the South Western dances; ekitaguriro and entogoro could be the farewell package for you as you leave Igongo Cultural Centre.
Igongo cultural Center and Museum can be your source of relaxation after an exhausting gorilla trekking escapade or draining hikes up Uganda’s mountains. It can also be a starter before you delve into a full-blown Safari to Western Uganda or Rwanda. Whichever of the two you choose, Igongo Cultural Center is a site worth to visit.