On 4th August 2015, the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) officially opened their first café, the Bwindi Bar. Located near Volcanoes Safaris’ Bwindi Lodge on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the café is staffed by disadvantaged youths living near the Bwindi National Park in Buhoma. It is hoped that the training they receive will boost their future prospects.
The new bar is modelled on a Jamaican style rum shack complete with characteristic wooden counters and benches, rustic stone walls and finished off with vibrant splashes of colour. Offering breath-taking views of the forest, customers will be treated to a cacophony of sound from local chimpanzees and monkeys as they sip their morning coffee, and on a good day, may even be greeted by a wandering mountain gorilla. As well as a variety of teas and coffees, delicious breakfast options that blend international and local tastes are on the menu.
The VSPT hopes that this project will serve as a stepping stone in the career paths of its trainees. Before commencing their two-month internship at the Bwindi Bar, staff gained practical skills in food preparation and service which they are now putting into practice. The recruits will also be encouraged to progress onto further training at nearby lodges. Thus far, the project has been a tremendous success with all nine of the first wave of trainees currently, or soon to be, in employment.
Bwindi Bar Project Assistant Mariana Mary Nandawula commented that “The Bwindi Bar project is going really well. Despite the fact that we have no marketing materials, word is spreading and we already have a few loyal customers as well as a trickle of tourists and guests from Volcanoes Safaris’ Bwindi Lodge. The interns are all settling into their roles and enjoying the experience. We hope this project is of great benefit to them”.
Volcanoes Safaris specialises in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. For more than 15 years Volcanoes Safaris has been at the forefront of great ape ecotourism and are the only safari company to have signed the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Safeguarding the Great Apes. In addition to operating safaris in Uganda and Rwanda, Volcanoes Safaris has a collection of four eco-luxury lodges in the region: Kyambura Gorge Lodge; Mount Gahinga Lodge; Bwindi Lodge; and Virunga Lodge.
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT)
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) is a nonprofit organization affiliated with Volcanoes Safaris, which undertakes community and conservation activities in areas that neighbor the four Volcanoes lodges. From the safari price paid by our guests, Volcanoes Safaris contributes $100 to the Volcanoes Partnership Trust.
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