On May 10, 2013, President Museveni is expected to flag off the Kagulu Hill climbing challenge in Buyende district. The first of its kind, the event is part of a drive by Busoga Tourism Initiative to address the need for basic health services in the community.
Other activities will include HIV/ AIDS testing and counseling, dental screening and treatment, de-worming, and basic personal hygiene.
According to Budiope East MP, Sulaimani Kirunda Balyejusa, the initiative is aimed at rejuvenating Busoga’s cultural heritage to tap funds from the Government and tourists, as well as help the locals to market their products.
Kirunda says showcasing Busoga’s culture and legacy would resurrect the region’s lost glory and enhance development. Edward Baliddawa, MP Kigulu County North, says the competition is a follow-up of the Busoga Tourism Expo that was held in December last year (2012) in Jinja.
After a successful expo, the organisers resolved to organise an activity around Kagulu hill, one of the three sites that were marked to be developed into viable tourism sites. Busoga Tourism Initiative works closely with Basoga in the diaspora to encourage international tourism to the region and inject funds to rejuvenate Busoga region.
To participate, foreigners will pay $250, Ugandans between sh100,000 and 600,000, based on local, political, business or corporate capacities. The rock climbing challenge for both adults and students is scheduled to take place between May 10 and 12.
RICH CULTURAL HISTORY
Kagulu Hill is located in Buyende District, 30km from Kamuli town. The hill rises to approximately 3,500ft above sea level.
With a five-kilometre radius, the hill is the historical destination for the first prince-turned-king of Busoga, Mukama Namutukula.
It is here that he rested after he alighted from the dilapidated boat at Lyingo landing site on Lake Kyoga, 10km away.
One of the outstanding sites is one with an engraving of a man’s feet, a spear and a dog.
This is supposedly the exact place where Namutukula rested on arrival, and it is believed to have been drawn by the ancestral spirits.
To the west of Kagulu hill, are smaller hills in a line, commonly referred to as Kagulu’s wives — Kagwese, Mawaale, Mpanga, Nakyeere, Bukolimo and Butadewo.
To the north is the shrine of the aging oracle, Mandwa Kagulu Nabiryo, said to be haunted by 45 spirits that own and patrol the hill.
At the summit of the hill are two wells, one with a dugout canoe with an oar. Legend has it that one time, a white man “stole” the oar, but his car was involved in an accident and he was forced to return it.
Since 2003, many people, especially foreigners, have been enjoying rock climbing at Kagulu Hill.