Bigo Bya Mugenyi, the Chwezi Site, a Historical Place for the Bachwezi People
Bigo Bya Mugyenyi, interpreted locally as “The Fort of the Stranger” is said to have been inhabited by the Bachwezi (the Chwezi people). The Bachwezi were assumed to be demigods. The Chwezi people have no clear historic background and their identity rests unknown. Whereas Bigo Bya Mugenyi is an important place in the history of Uganda, the site remains abandoned yet it would have a big potential for cultural tourism. However, the site taught in primary school curriculum of Social Studies.
But according to the folktales, the historical site was dug out to house the Bachwezi Empire from interruptions or invasions from outsiders like the Luo from the South Sudan.
This Site is found in Mawogola County at about 50 kilometers from Sembabule. While at this place, you will get involved in a cultural stride in accompanied by a trained tour guide. The guide will lead you to the Wildernesses huddled on a rough landscape leading you to the entrance of this wonderful Site named Kabeho. While at Kabeho, sightseers will be pleased with an assortment of traditional equipment used by Bachwezi. Among the tools are the earliest spears that the guards used to camp before arriving at the Rivers Katonga and Kachinga. The remarkable Rivers are believed to have ‘Holy’ waters and normally, travelers stop at the place to use waters for cleaning their bodies before making a longer walk Bigo Bya Mugyenyi.
When at the two rivers, tourists hike through the brushes to enjoy the fascinating sights of the dark and green flora that offer superb views of the progressing nearby hills. There is a surprising deep green verge that shows the path of the green ditches. For centuries, this concealed jewel has not exposed its secretive mysteries to the enthusiastic inquirers.
Bigo Bya Mugyenyi is gifted with a thick forest that houses a diversity of flora and fauna which include Leopards, waterbucks, bushbucks, the duikers plus several snake species and many more. The wildlife species supplement the cultural expeditions. Fortunately, it is on record that no visitor has ever been confronted by the wild animals making the site preferably safe for visitation. The local people near the Chwezi site naïvely believe that it is if it rains, then something bad is about to happen at this antique site.
Having taken a long strenuous but exploratory hike through the bushes, you will arrive a vertical hill that takes you to the first spot of Bigo Bya Mugyenyi. At the first site, there are many grass-thatched huts where the guardians of the site live. And when you proceed onward, you will find a well maintained fenced site on a somewhat raised ground. This is exactly where the natives pray to the Chwezi gods for benedictions and prosperity among the many life challenges. The Bachwezi are assumed to have enigmatic supremacies and propensities of leaving foot patterns on the rocks, disappearing in air and soaring with the airstream.
Nearby the holy place is a huge hut enclosed by Bamboo trees and the inside of the shanty is entwined with bamboo rods and doormats. There are also many gourds from which the inhabitants take water and milk. Similar to hut in Kasubi Tombs, the hut at Bigo has drums sounded when folks come together to pray and sacrifice to the gods. Bigo Bya Mugenyi gets between 20 and 40 locals visitors who go there to pray to the Chwezi gods. Tourists also visit the place for the cultural, historical and nature experiences.
Before going for a nature walk in Bigo Bya Bugyenyi Fort, ensure that you put on long trousers and long sleeved shirts to guard your legs from insect bites. Stronger closed hiking shoes are also very good against thorns, stick and creeping creatures.
From a tourism perspective, Bigo Bya Mugyenyi is among the vital cultural treasures in Uganda. Even though the place is still neglected and little do done to preserve it, it is among the cultural Tourist sites in Uganda that has got a potential for travelers.
Another site traditionally simulated historical site in Buganda is the Nakayima Tree flocked by people seeking to produce twins and grow in wealth. Nakayima is roughly two miles away from Bigo Bya Mugenyi, a distance that can be trekked on foot.