In history, caves were homes and shelters for Bushmen at the time of the stone and Iron Age. A cave is natural stone underground openings that are most times inhabited by birds, insects and some wild mammals especially bats. Some caves are however big enough for a fully-grown human being to enter. Caves are formed after several process especially of erosion and Uganda has various caves that act as leading tourism sites and they include the following.
Garama Cave – Under ground cave
Garama cave can be traced in southwestern Uganda in Kisoro district around Mgahinga national park. The Batwa pygmy communities that initially inhabited in the dense forests in the area make the Garama cave famous as they lead many tourists on trails to these mysterious cave.
The 14 meters deep underground Garama cave was used as a hiding place for the Batwa after raiding their neighboring communities. The Garama cave is very interesting and special due to the attachment the Batwa people have on it. This strong attachment can be seen as a Mutwa guide explains to the tourists the historical events that would be done around the cave.
The Munsa earthworks have been linked to the Bachwezi according to evidence from the earthworks archaeologists
These are the second largest rocks in the country consist of immersed trenches, from which the rocks derive their name Munsa – a Runyoro word that means place of trenches
Semwama Hill Caves
Located in Kakumiro, western part of Uganda just beneath a flat-topped rock outcrop. The Semwama caves are highly valued by the local people around because they acted as places for refuge in case the local community would be invaded. There are several caves at Semwama but the one that is easily got to have 2 compartments locally referred to as waiting areas – ebidongobo. Most times, the compartments provide shelter to cattle however it has a traditional Bachwezi shrine where many traditionalists and some local people plus the interested tourists take various offerings especially of seeds and leaves.
Some local people believe that this cave was once used as an elders meeting place. A visit to the caves enables tourists to learn more about the culture of the people around.
Nsongezi Rock Shelter
This is located in southwestern Uganda and its one of the most significant Stone Age sites the country has.
Many archeologists have made excavations around the Nsongezi area discovering various fossils especially pottery works estimated to have been made in AD 1000 before the 19th century.
Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru Caves
These caves are located in Nyakasura in Kabarole district in western Uganda. Though locally known as Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru, they are stalagmites and stalactites that formed after several processes of erosion. The locals named them Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru (breasts of Nyinamwiru) because the stalactites from the roof of the cave has a breast shape and constantly drips milky limestone water. The local people say that Nyinamwiru was a princess whose breasts were cut off by her father Bukuku the then king in order to discourage the many ugly and unsuitable men who were asking for he hand in marriage.
After cutting the breasts off, they say that she was taken into hiding in the caves where she was later found and made pregnant by king Isaza leading to the birth of Ndahura. Since Nyinamwiru had no breasts, she resorted to feeding her son with the milk dripping out of the stalactites hence the name Nyinamwiru.
The local people around the area have a great attachment to these caves. Some stalactites and stalagmites actually met to form pillars that greatly support the caves. Listen to the myths the local people have regarding the caves is very interesting.
The Nyero Rock Paintings And Caves
These are good archaeological sites with rock paintings of pre- historical lives of the people during that time. There are several paintings of the people, wild animals (zebra), and canoes carrying people plus many other pictorials. These rock paintings are estimated to be around 300 years old. They are located in eastern Uganda in Kumi district, which is approximately 200 kilometers from Kampala.