The Roots of Hope Foundation started a community tourism and homestay project in 2007, fueled by partnerships with volunteer programs like Interconnect Uganda (ICU), NGOAbroad, and Nabuur Foundation. This program brings valuable funding to the projects supported by Roots of Hope, and provides visitors with an unforgettable experience that is very different from typical tourism programs.
When you visit Kyarumba with Roots of Hope, you will stay with a host family in their home and experience village life as many people do all over Africa. The area sees very few visitors, so you will be welcomed with interest by the community. You will soak up the culture, talk with the villagers, eat local food, hike in the mountains, and enjoy performances by community drama groups. You will meet women and girls working on the projects supported by Roots of Hope, and if interested you can take part in these projects as a volunteer. Trained guides can provide company and support as you explore, helping you learn about your surroundings and interact with the friendly locals as you go. While English is not uncommon in the area, the residents will be thrilled to teach you a few words of their local language.
Kyarumba is situated next to the famous Rwenzori National Park, home to the tallest mountains in Uganda. The terrain is interesting and beautiful, filled with green rolling hills, rivers, and a labyrinth of trails that the villagers travel daily as they move through the hills for work, school, errands and social visits. For those interested, guided treks and climbs to the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains can be organized with a guide company in a nearby town. Queen Elizabeth National Park, a popular wildlife viewing destination, is also nearby for those wanting to arrange a safari before or after their homestay.
Accommodations are basic but comfortable and secure. The cost is $20 USD per night for full room and board (including meals), and this money helps support community projects like vocational training for women and education costs for girls. All are welcome, but minimal physical fitness is helpful so that you can walk the trails between houses as the villagers do.
To arrange a visit to Kyarumba with the Roots of Hope Foundation, contact us here.
Here are some words from past homestay visitors:
“After an unforgettable stay in Uganda – and especially in the Rwenzori mountains with you and women and girls of Kyarumba – and after our stay in Tanzania and Zanzibar, we are back home and at work. I’ve to tell you that our stay in Uganda – between all our other experiences – made the deepest impression….. Please greet Miriam and her family and thank them for the hospitality we met. And please greet and thank Maureen and her friends for their songs. We cherish and hope to meet you again in the future”
– Ignace Cordier from Holland
“My trip to Kyarumba was like dropping into a different and wonderful world. What a special place! It was exactly what I was looking for but had not been able to find through typical tourism offerings and larger volunteer programs. The people were unbelievably welcoming and took such good care of me. The place is gorgeous, and my hike in the hills with the boys is a day I’ll never forget. Volunteering with the womens’ groups was the perfect framework for soaking up the place and culture, and added so much depth to my time there. They are inspiring in their dedication to improve their community, and I’m honored to be part of their efforts.”
– Alissa Bell from the USA