September 2003, Bwindi - The Buhoma Village Walk is a guided tour offered mainly to tourists visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla watching. This initiative adds to the variety of tourist activities offered in the area, while also providing members of the local community with an alternative source of income directly linked to conservation.
The FAO project, launched in 2001, has enabled more than 300 small-scale natural resource-based enterprises to be set up around the park, with community members running them independently and earning income. Activities range from food production to tourist tours.
Trained community guides lead tourists to a number of interesting natural and cultural sites, ranging from rural homesteads to visiting the local traditional medicinal healer. The guides have been trained in presentation skills, park knowledge, handling tourists and first aid. The initiative has been quite successful, with the number of visitors jumping from 94 in July 2003 to 148 in July 2004.