Check out this month’s issue of TEMPUS magazine, which just hit the stands this week and features an in-depth exploration of the Batwa and the Virunga region of Rwanda and Uganda. This is the region where I did some work last Fall with Praveen Moman, owner of Volcanoes Safaris, and his staff at the Mt. Gahinga Lodge. It is written by Sophy Roberts, the journalist who traveled with our group, and has some great images by photographer Michael Turek.
In 1992, the Batwa (bush people) living in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest became conservation refugees when the area was turned into a World Heritage Site to protect the endangered mountain gorillas located within its boundaries. The Batwa were forcibly evicted from the park, and with no legally recognized title to land, they were offered no compensation. Displaced from their home, the Batwa community became a marginalized people overnight, forced to live in poverty as squatters scattered among the rocky outcrops in neighboring farmers fields.